Prism Book Alliance would like to thank Posy Roberts for taking the time to talk with us today.
Title: Tangled Minds
Author: Posy Roberts
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Maria Fanning
Genre/Sub-Genre: Contemporary, M/M Romance
For years Beck Lund has taken care of his volatile boyfriend Brady, always putting Brady’s needs above his own and walking on eggshells to keep the peace. After Brady overdoses on heroin, his death devastates Beck. Thankfully his best friend, Timothy Kallis, finds him the help he needs. Beck slowly starts to recover and moves in with Timothy to get back on his feet, but he’s oblivious that Timothy is secretly nursing romantic affection for him.
Beck focuses on his own healing for the first time in his life. After months of challenging his codependent tendencies and learning how to stand up for himself, Beck finally starts to trust his gut and hopes to one day love again. Timothy is patient throughout, taking care of Beck in ways no one ever has. But if Beck can’t recognize Timothy’s affection for him, it might be too late for them to move beyond friendship.
Self Destructive Behaviors:
Can you talk a little about researching self-destructive behaviors or about living with those who do?
Self-destructive behaviors come in a wide range, from pervasive pessimism to suicide with a whole lot in between. People engage in small forms of these behaviors, like over-eating or getting drunk on the weekend. After all, they’re coping mechanisms, but most acts usually don’t venture into the unhealthy, and if they do, they don’t stay there for long. That’s not true for everyone.
Before I delve too deeply into self-destructive behaviors, I need to address depression, since it’s often at the heart of these acts. I’m not talking about the odd blue day or the flippant definition now pervasive in pop culture. I’m referring to Major Depressive Disorder or Dysthymia. In Tangled Mind, Beck Lund lives with his boyfriend Brady, who suffers from chronic depression that doesn’t respond to traditional treatments. That leads Brady to resort to self-medicating.
Over the years, I’ve lived with people who’ve suffered from depression, and at times, I’ve struggled with it as well. It’s not easy seeing a loved one suffering, especially when there’s little you can do to help him or her. In the end, some of my research for this issue was firsthand. Hopefully, the personal experiences allowed me to accurately capture that feeling of hopelessness from both sides: the lived and the perceived.
I certainly cover the self-destruction of addictive behavior through Beck’s long-time boyfriend Brady, who overdoses on heroin at the start of the story. I have addictive tendencies when it comes to reading M/M Romance but not much else, so I had to go hunting. I talked to people who’ve used various drugs in their youth or lived with lovers who did. I also visited forums where I read personal accounts relating to all aspects of drug use. I knew I had to learn in order to make my characters’ experiences realistic.
Excessive self-sacrifice is one of those self-destructive behaviors I didn’t have to go very far to intimately understand; I’m a mother, after all. Most parents give far more than they get back, but there’s a point where it can become unhealthy for all involved—think of the parents who never allow their children to fail. Yet with excessive self-sacrifice, boundaries are easily crossed. Both Brady and Beck do this in Tangled Mind, but Beck hurts himself in the process and doesn’t do Brady any favors either.
This leads right into codependence, which is sometimes referred to as relationship addiction. I’ve seen codependence from the outside, and it’s heartbreaking to watch the same destructive patterns being played out again and again, which was one of the reasons I felt compelled to write this story.
People with codependent tendencies often have low self-esteem and seek out people who need them. These relationships are characterized as being one-sided, emotionally destructive, and far from mutually satisfying. Codependence often occurs alongside substance abuse where maladaptive behaviors are used to survive a crisis. Codependents strive to keep the boat stable and are often miserable because of how often the crisis cycle repeats. Most don’t know how to get out this pattern, and if they do, they often walk right into a similar relationship.
Codependence defines Beck at the start of Tangled Mind, and it’s the crux of his personal battle throughout the story. The unequal relationship, self-sacrifice, grief, and subsequent depression is what Beck must work through and come to grips with in order to be able to ever have a chance at love again. Thankfully Beck’s best friend Timothy Kallis gets him the help he needs, even if Timothy has to bury the love he has for his best friend.
Recovery before love, but that makes it sound easy. It certainly isn’t.
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.
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.
About the Author:
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.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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