- Book Title: POZ
- Print Length: 199 pages
- Genre: Gay, Romance, Young Adult, Sports
- Publisher: Harmony Ink Press; 1 edition (January 8, 2015)
- Author: Christopher Koehler
- Posting Date: January 19, 2015
Character Interview w/ Michael & Remy:
Thank you for joining us for Part 2 of our interview with Remy and Michael of Poz. You can read the first half on JP Barnaby’s blog (http://www.jpbarnaby.com).
For both of you – How long have you two known each other? How did you first meet?
Michael: We met when Remy and his brother Geoff were in the fourth grade.
Remy: Geoff and I were the new kids in school and up marches Mikey—
Remy: You were Mikey then. Anyway, up marches Michael and announces we were going to be friends.
Michael: We’ve been together ever since.
Remy: No, we haven’t.
Michael: We have, it just took you a long time to figure it out.
Remy: Uh…I seem to remember some confusion on your part, as well.
Remy [eye roll]
How did you get started in Crew?
Remy: This’ll sound silly, but I was looking for a sport my brother didn’t play, and crew seemed to be as far away from football as I could get, literally and figuratively. I’d thought about track, and ran for my first year of junior high, but I could still see him practicing and as soon as I saw the first Cap City Rowing Club Junior Crew recruitment event in eight grade I headed for the boathouse and never looked back.
Michael: I was after Remy.
Remy [nonplussed]: Wait, what?
Michael: You were rowing, so I took it up to keep an eye on you. I couldn’t join Cap City until I was in the eighth grade same as you, but yeah, you were in ninth grade. I joined as soon as I could because you were there.
Remy: But…you’re a natural at it.
Michael [shrugged]: That was entirely secondary and coincidental.
Remy: We’re going to talk about this later.
Michael: He’s so adorbs when he’s flustered.
Why did you seek comfort at clubs?
Remy: Believe it or not, I never did. Geoff and I both have fake IDs because we’ve always looked older than our ages, but none of our friends could ever pull it off. Let us not discuss Grindr or Scruff.
Michael, does Remy’s status scare you?
Michael: It did at first, I have to be honest. I mean, come on. It’s HIV. For a while, I even stopped kissing him. I’m not real proud of that, but it’s true. It was a scary time.
But I talked to my doctor about it, and he helped put my mind at ease. Eventually, Rem’s HIV specialist talked to us both about Truvada before I went on it and that helped a lot. Dr. Kravitz helped me to realize that when Rem’s taking his meds as directed, his viral load is essentially zero, the same as anyone without HIV. When I take Truvada every day, we could probably even bareback and I’d be safe. Rem bit my head off the one time I brought that up, so we still use condoms.
Remy, do you have any regrets?
Remy: Regrets are so unfashionable, don’t you think? Do I wish I weren’t infected? Sure. Taking the meds as directed and watching everything else about my health can be a nuisance, but there’s something you don’t understand. I’ve got an opportunity so many me before never had. I take a few pills and I’m alive. I thrive. Don’t you see? I have a responsibility to all those thousands who died, who never lived to see this age of near silver bullets. I’ll live to see a cure.
Michael, if you could change one thing about that time, what would it be?
Turning my back after the Crew Classic just because I was confused.
Some Rapid Fire Questions for you
Coke or Pepsi? M: Coke R: Lattes.
Sweet or Sour? M: Sour R: sweet.
Tea of Coffee? M: Tea as long as it’s Thai and iced R: Lattes.
Vanilla or Chocolate? M: Chocolate. R: Is that a serious question?
Steak or Pizza? M: steak R: pizza
Underwear and socks: folded in the drawer or tossed? M: folded R: jockstraps and sweat socks.
Train or Plane? Both: plane.
Australia or England? Both: England. R: I cannot imagine sitting still long enough to fly to Australia. M [sighes] There’s always hope.
For both of you – What is next for the two of you?
Remy [looks shifty]: rowing at CalPac while I wait for Michael and work in my transfer application to Boston University.
Michael: Finish my senior year in high school and then heading east. It’s time for us both not to be on the West Coast for a while.
The Book Description:
A Harmony Ink Press Young Adult Title
The Lives of Remy and Michael: Book One
Remy Babcock and Mikey Castelreigh are stalwart members of the Capital City Rowing Club’s junior crew, pulling their hardest to earn scholarships to rowing powerhouses like California Pa-cific. Just a couple of all-American boys, they face the usual pressures of life in an academic hothouse and playing a varsity sport. Add to that the stifling confines of the closet, and some-times life isn’t always easy, even in the golden bubble of their accepting community. Because Remy and Mikey have a secret: they’re both gay. While Mikey has never hidden it, Remy is a parka and a pair of mittens away from Narnia.
Mikey has always been open about wanting more than friendship, but Remy is as uncomfortable in his own skin as he is a demon on the water. After their signals cross, and a man mistakes Remy for a college student, Remy takes the plunge and hooks up with him. After a furious Mikey cuts Remy off, Remy falls to the pressure of teenage life, wanting to be more and need-ing it now. In his innocence and naiveté, Remy makes mistakes that have life-long consequenc-es. When Remy falls in the midst of the most important regatta of his life, he can only hope Mikey will be there to catch him when he needs it most.
I am Chris Koehler:
Christopher Koehler learned to read late (or so his teachers thought) but never looked back. It was not, however, until he was nearly done with grad school in the history of science that he realized that he needed to spend his life writing and not on the publish-or-perish treadmill. At risk of being thought frivolous, he found that academic writing sucked all the fun out of putting pen to paper.
Christopher is also something of a hothouse flower. Inside of almost unreal conditions he thrives to set the results of his imagination free, and for most of his life he has been lucky enough to be surrounded by people who encouraged both that tendency and the writing. Chief among them is his long-suffering husband of twenty-two years and counting.
When it comes to writing, Christopher follows Anne Lamott’s advice: “You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they
should have behaved better.” So while he writes fiction, at times he ruthlessly mines his past for character traits and situations. Reality is far stranger than fiction.
Christopher loves many genres of fiction and nonfiction, but he’s especially fond of romances, because it is in them that human emotions and relations, at least most of the ones fit to be dis-cussed publicly, are laid bare.
Writing is his passion and his life, but when Christopher is not doing that, he’s an at-home dad and oarsman with a slightly disturbing interest in manners and other ways people behave badly.
Go to the Christopher Koehler Author Page on GGR-Review
The Tour Stops:
9 Jan – Cody Kennedy
10 Jan – The Novel Approach
14 Jan – JP Barnaby
15 Jan – Love Bytes
19 Jan – GGR Reviews
21 Jan – Hearts on Fire Reviews
22 Jan – MM Good Book Reviews
26 Jan – James Erich
28 Jan – Joyfully Jay
2 Feb – Rainbow Gold Reviews