Guest Author: Posy Roberts!

Please help me welcome Posy Roberts back to my blog! She’s celebrating the release of her book Tangled Mind, and sharing a little about the research she did while writing the story.

Thanks for visiting, Posy!

 

I love to research. I’m curious to the nth degree, so I’m constantly looking things up, which often leads to me getting lost online rather than putting words to paper. I search for videos, photos, forums, research studies, websites, news, and even rely on weather charts to tell me typical temps and precipitation for certain areas. With Tangled Mind, I had to look into co-dependent treatment, which led me to resources for people living with an addict (of any kind), even though co-dependence can happen outside of addiction as well.

I’m trained as a marriage and family therapist and have seen a lot of family dynamics in action. I’ve seen patterns of behavior people struggle with for years to change. Our brains are partially wired by past experiences, so when we need to make changes, our brains want to take us back to old and familiar behaviors. We have to push past natural tendencies, and that’s hard. And if we have another person there consciously or unconsciously pushing us to go back to bad habits, it makes it even more challenging. Change is hard, plain and simple, but change for co-dependent people can be even more challenging.

I also had to dig into grief for this book and pulled out the familiar Kübler-Ross stages of grief model, but also looked into other theories. No matter what, grief is individual, and there is no timeline. There is often no real “end” either, even if we are able to go about our daily lives more easily. We don’t ever really “get over” it; we just learn how to live without. And the way we lose someone can affect how we manage our grief. Beck’s grief is a huge challenge for him because of the way he lost his boyfriend at the start of this story.

For Tangled Mind, I had to learn about heroin. Aside from prescription medication, the hardest thing I’ve ever tried is marijuana; so learning about heroin was eye opening. For years now, if I heard of a celebrity dying of a drug overdose, it was nearly always heroin. The stuff scares me, but I had to research this so it rang true. I ended up on forums where people openly talked about their heroin use. It was interesting how frank these people were on a site that was public.

The other research I do, if I have the opportunity, is talking to people who have experience with whatever topic I’m writing about. Sometimes that’s easy to find, but other times it’s nearly impossible. I most recently found a video channel on YouTube to help me with my current work in progress; it’s been invaluable. I’ve relied on my Facebook and Twitter friends when I’m at a loss and want a more in-depth understanding of something than a book or website can give me.

And of course, there is personal experience. That’s the sort of research that can be dangerous, though. I’m currently writing about a man suffering from PTSD in my novel Silver Scars. I was diagnosed with PTSD years ago, but I didn’t want to rely on my personal knowledge too much. Not only is there danger in doing that, I also risk not doing my character justice. I dove into the research headfirst and learned a lot beyond what I knew from my own history.

But of all the types of research I do on a regular basis, I have to say my favorite is photo research. Getting lost on Tumblr is one of the best things ever.

 

 

Excerpt:


Before I had a chance to shut the front door, the sound of Brady choking on his own vomit pierced my eardrums. I was in our bedroom within seconds to witness him take what ended up being his last breath. Immediately I rolled him to his side to help him clear his airway. He flopped onto his back.

Abdominal thrusts. I slapped his face and shouted his name.

9-1-1.

I followed the directions the dispatcher gave me on speakerphone, putting my effort into every motion as tears ran down my face.

“The paramedics are on their way. Do you hear the sirens yet?”

“Yes,” I said as I used my full weight to come down on Brady’s torso, trying to dislodge whatever particle had stopped all air from moving in and out of his lungs.

Nothing helped. He just stared up at me with glazed-over eyes and refused to breathe.

“Goddammit. Don’t you dare leave me like this!”

I blankly watched as the paramedics swarmed into the bedroom, shooing me away so they could assess Brady’s condition, and I saw the grim looks on their faces when they realized what had really happened. The frenzied activity ceased, and their demeanor changed the second they found the syringe, spoon, and lighter.

 

 

 

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Posy Roberts writes about romantic male love. Whether her characters are family men, drag queens, or lonely men searching for connections, they all find a home in her stories.

Posy is married to a man who makes sure she doesn’t forget to eat or sleep; her daughter, a budding author and dedicated Whovian, helps her come up with character names. When Posy’s not writing, she enjoys crafting, hiking, and singing spontaneously about the mundane, just to make normal seem more interesting.

Contact Posy:

https://www.facebook.com/posy.roberts.3

https://www.facebook.com/posyroberts11

https://www.facebook.com/groups/757618490928296/

https://twitter.com/PosyRoberts

http://www.pinterest.com/posyroberts/

http://posyroberts.tumblr.com

http://instagram.com/posy_roberts

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Guest Author: Posy Roberts!

If you visited during my Bi Pride Week celebration you probably remember Posy Roberts. Her post was personal and colorful and altogether wonderful, and this one is no different! Thanks for coming back, Posy!

Your kisses are much deeper than usual as you slip your hand under your lover’s shirt to thumb over a tight nipple. It’s a risk, but you palm that prominent bulge that keeps nudging you in the hip, and you want to go even further. Visions dance in your head: falling to your knees, opening his fly, releasing him from that cotton prison. You lick your lips.

Then you hear people approaching on the walking path just three feet away. Do you keep going or do you stop?

Agoraphilia – The psychosocial arousal from being outdoors, in open spaces, or from having sex in public places.

That was a new word for me, but far from a new concept. From a psychological standpoint, very little has been written on the topic, unlike its cousin voyeurism. Yet when looking at fiction, bookstores could probably devote an entire section in their stores to books with this kink in it. On the page, people are having sex in clubs, taxis, pools, showers, toilet stalls, and of course parks. And we can’t forget the back room or the bathhouse where being watched is just as exciting as watching.

It’s fun getting intimate while out and about, especially knowing you could potentially be caught. Since public sex and indecent exposure is illegal almost everywhere you go, there is an element of danger to this kink, but even if you know you won’t get arrested, the sense that you could be seen is enough to make all the risks worth it for some.

Ross in Charley’s Curious Sustenance has a little taste of sex in public, and so do Hugo and Kevin in all three of my North Star books. In Spark, Hugo skinny dips, and Kevin can’t help but follow him in the lake. Neighbors, especially at the well-populated lake, could easily spot them as they get it on. Then in Fusion, there is an even riskier experience that happens in the ocean with another person standing right beside them, again during a skinny dipping adventure of Hugo’s. What is it with these two guys and water? Maybe they have aquaphilia too, or at least Hugo might. And there will be even more in Flare.

My mind can’t help but go to high school when privacy was at a minimum. Kids were always making out at parties or even at their lockers. I still remember the little flutter of excitement I got from doing that, and PDAs were everywhere too. After privacy can be more easily found, many people leave public sex behind along with their forgotten locker combinations and high school sweethearts.

Agoraphilia is a paraphilia, or a condition where a person’s sexual arousal and gratification is dependent upon a particular act. Most people are not true agoraphiliacs at all. If a person becomes dependent on their kink to achieve satisfaction and can’t find it any other way, then they may have stepped over the line from a kink to a diagnosable problem. A kink shouldn’t rule your life but add to it.

I know some of the public sex Kevin and Hugo had sure added to their enjoyment. It made them feel (healthy) risk, which helped them bond through a shared experience. They were a good match, because Kevin was willing to indulge Hugo’s desire for public sex on occasion. That doesn’t always happen in real life. Couples often have to compromise, but if you or your partner is unwilling to try a kink for whatever reason, then pressuring them isn’t going to do anything to improve your sex life. And it may ruin your relationship.

Start small with this kink and be mindful of the laws where you live. How about giving a blow job on your deck or having sex on a sleeping bag after dark? You don’t even have to go that far. A quick grope can be just as exhilarating.

Have you heard of people having sex in public and not getting caught? How did they avoid capture? Haha. I just imagined a cop with a really big net. How common do you think this kink is?

Bi Pride Week: Posy Roberts

Posy Roberts is a wonderful writer and a cool lady–but you may not know she’s also bi. Coming out as a bisexual isn’t easy, in part because of all the negative stereotypes and myths that go along with that word. I’m happy to turn my blog over to Posy so she can shine a harsh light on some of them, and eloquently kick their asses to the curb for all of us.

Ass-U-Me

Four years ago when I told my husband, “I’m bisexual,” I think I turned his brain to Jell-O. I immediately reassured him that I wasn’t looking to end our relationship or start a new one with a woman (or a man), but I wanted to be honest with him. This wasn’t a huge revelation to me. Some of my first sexual experiences were with girls, but my first real kiss was with a boy. I went on to date and fall in love with several different boys. I had a crush on a woman in college, and when I now look back and examine my past, I had more than a few crushes on women.

As I relayed some of those stories to my husband, he saw that this wasn’t a new discovery for me, but he still had to adjust. He started to question our relationship and whether or not he could meet my needs.

Photo Credit: Converse

When I started to share my bisexuality with more people in my life, I had mixed reactions. Most were totally fine with it. Some jumped to the conclusion that I wanted to suddenly start snogging them. Uhm… no thank you. But that was just the start. I’ve run across some of the most preposterous (in my estimation) assumptions. Many of these come from the GLBT community too, which surprised me at first.

Bisexuals…

  • can’t make up their minds.
  • can’t ever settle down because they’ll always desire the other gender.
  • are sluts or want to be with everyone.
  • want threesomes.
  • just need to find the right man/woman.
  • are confused.
  • are experimenting or going through a phase or using people as a gateway to identifying as gay or lesbian.

I’ve run into all of these. I’ve also talked to several other people who identify as bisexual who have experienced the same thing, so at least I knew I wasn’t alone in this.

Can’t make up my mind? I made it up two decades ago when I knew I wanted John to be my husband. He was the one. We’ve been married for nearly nineteen years, so I obviously settled down. We adopted dogs together, bought a home, had a baby, and made a commitment to each other to be there and grow together and support each other through that. And we have grown in many ways. When I came out, that certainly sparked some of that growth, but I’ll come back to that in a minute.

I hate the word slut. It is packed with so much judgment and it devalues a person with one, very harsh syllable. It’s a cutting word. Just listen to it. But the message in this assumption is really about bisexuals wanting to hook up with every male and female on the entire planet. I recall meeting a woman; we hit it off and were having a decent time with a group of friends. It came out that I was bisexual, and she turned to stare at me. “Now you’re gonna want to make out with me. Right?” I have a type. She wasn’t it. In fact, most men and women aren’t it. I’m attracted to certain things, most of all, a great sense of humor and a kind heart. She had neither. For the record, I’ve never had a man say this to me after he’s found out I was bi.

What men have asked me is, “Wanna have a threesome?” Of course they’ve been straight men and are imagining being with two women. Is that a bisexual fantasy like it is a straight guy one? Not for me. Sex is about communicating with my lover, not being worried if someone is feeling left out. I’m already forced into multitasking as a mom and an employee, so adding more to my already full plate is not at all what I want from a sexual experience. I don’t think bisexual people have any more desire for a threesome than gay or straight people. Some will want to go down that road and others will not.

I don’t need to find the right woman to turn me all the way gay. I’m not going one day magically end up a lesbian. I’m not confused. I’m also not experimenting. I know what I like. I identify as bisexual because that fits me. Yet it’s human nature to want to put people in easy-to-distinguish boxes. Bisexuals refuse to be so simply boxed up.

 

It is because of all of these assumptions that I have chosen to write about bisexual characters. In my North Star trilogy, I cover several of these in varying degrees, but I also examine them from my bisexual character’s perspective as well. Since Kevin has essentially lived as a straight man for thirty-five years in Spark, he is shocked by some of the issues he comes across once he starts dating a man. The truths he is forced to face are more and more challenging as the trilogy continues. As a writer, I want to shine a light on these assumptions so they aren’t just sitting in the dark places alongside bigotry and hate.

A few weeks ago I was helping my husband paint his office. I was cutting in while he was rolling a burnt-orange color on his wall. I told him I was writing this article. He shared how confusing it was for him when I first came out, but then he told me he was so glad I did. It made him ask very hard questions about our relationship. The biggest conclusion we talked about as we covered the ice blue walls with warm orange was that your partner, no matter who they are, will never be your everything. One person can’t fulfill all your needs. My coming out put a very sharp focus on that realization, and then he looked back at himself and realized I couldn’t meet all his needs either. That’s why we have friends and why we rely on family and go meet people with similar likes online. It’s unfair to our lovers to expect them to be everything.

That’s rich coming from a romance writer, isn’t it?

Spark, by Posy Roberts

In their small-town high school, Hugo and Kevin became closeted lovers who kept their secret even from parents. Hugo didn’t want to disappoint his terminally ill father, and Kevin’s controlling father would never tolerate a bisexual son. When college took them in different directions, they promised to reunite, but that didn’t happen for seventeen years.

By the time they meet again, Hugo has become an out-and-proud actor and director who occasionally performs in drag—a secret that has cost him in past relationships. Kevin, still closeted, has followed his father’s path and now, in the shadow of divorce, is striving to be a better father to his own children.

When Hugo and Kevin meet by chance at a party, the spark of attraction reignites, as does their genuine friendship. Rekindling a romance may mean Hugo must compromise the openness he values, but Kevin will need a patient partner as he adapts to living outside the closet. With such different lifestyles, the odds seem stacked against them, and Hugo fears that if his secret comes to light, it may drive Kevin away completely.

Posy Roberts writes about men falling in love with men. Her newest release is Spark. The second book in her North Star trilogy is Fusion, and it will be released by Dreamspinner Press in November.