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Meet the Author > Meet Christopher Koehler

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message 1: by Dreamspinner (new)

Dreamspinner Press (dreamspinnerpress) | 2637 comments Mod
Chat with Christopher Koehler, author of the upcoming book "Settling the Score" this Saturday, November 30th from 11am to 2pm Central (12pm to 3pm Eastern).


message 2: by C. (new)

C. Koehler | 109 comments Or 9:00 to noon Pacific time SINCE THAT'S WHERE I LIVE.


message 3: by Koozebane (new)

Koozebane | 113 comments Heh! This Pacific time zone gal thanks you for that...the mental calculations always feel like advanced math before coffee!


message 4: by C. (new)

C. Koehler | 109 comments Koozebane wrote: "Heh! This Pacific time zone gal thanks you for that...the mental calculations always feel like advanced math before coffee!"

Right? I always end up feeling like the red-headed stepchild where these things are concerned. Yeah, hi? Left Coast is best coast. We count too.


message 5: by C. (new)

C. Koehler | 109 comments Anyway, welcome to my meet&greet, Q&A on Dreamspinner's Goodreads group. I'll be here until noon Pacific time.


message 6: by Mtsnow13 (new)

Mtsnow13 | 88 comments And, of course everyone always forgets Mountain.Lol. Since I work across all U.S. timezones, I'm constantly doing math at 6 a.m.!

Hallo Christopher :)


message 7: by C. (new)

C. Koehler | 109 comments Mtsnow13 wrote: "And, of course everyone always forgets Mountain.Lol. Since I work across all U.S. timezones, I'm constantly doing math at 6 a.m.!

Hallo Christopher :)"


(squinty-eyed glare) It's that east-coast chauvinism, that's what it is.


message 8: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 426 comments It was so good to see your new book - love those guys and I'm looking forward to reading this one.


message 9: by Koozebane (new)

Koozebane | 113 comments As a hockey fan, I feel East Coast bias all the time. Most Western Conference teams never get to be in the Winter Classic (even as away teams), and when the sports analysts talk I'm convinced they never stay up for our games. (My team's got a rookie who's #1 in scoring right now, and several hockey writers aren't even mentioning him in the TOP FIVE for Rookie of the Year contention.) Okay, now that I've put 99% of the visitors here to sleep, I shall move on! But the venting helped...

Christopher wrote: "Koozebane wrote: "Heh! This Pacific time zone gal thanks you for that...the mental calculations always feel like advanced math before coffee!"

Right? I always end up feeling like the red-headed st..."



message 10: by C. (new)

C. Koehler | 109 comments Andrea wrote: "It was so good to see your new book - love those guys and I'm looking forward to reading this one."

Aww, thanks :-)

And I appreciate your patience. This one turned out to be the longest of the lot and took the longest to write.


message 11: by C. (new)

C. Koehler | 109 comments Koozebane wrote: "As a hockey fan, I feel East Coast bias all the time. Most Western Conference teams never get to be in the Winter Classic (even as away teams), and when the sports analysts talk I'm convinced they ..."

At least hockey's starting to show up in romances? I've seen stories published by DSP, as well as some published by Loose-ID.


message 12: by C. (new)

C. Koehler | 109 comments Okay everyone, thanks for your patience. I promise not to be quite to laggard with responses. I'm parenting solo today and had to set my son up on the electronic babysitter--his computer and Lego Star Wars.


message 13: by C. (new)

C. Koehler | 109 comments Obviously the point to today's discussion is to introduce Settling the Score, so there'll be excerpts, as well contests and give-aways. But I also want you to feel free to take the discussion in other directions, things like my writing process, or pretty much anything else. My life's an open book. As it were.


message 14: by Koozebane (new)

Koozebane | 113 comments Mmm, Lego! I went to the Lego KidsFest a couple of months ago, and it was quite the spectacle: life-size Lego likenesses of Darth Vader, C3P0, Henry Cavill as Superman...pretty impressive. (I guess you have to go to the fan-run Brickfests to see the really odd Lego mashups, but I didn't know that at the time.) How's the Lego Star Wars TV show? For some reason I haven't tried it. (I should resent Lego because of those stupid blind-bagged minifigures...I can never find the ones I want anymore!)


message 15: by C. (new)

C. Koehler | 109 comments Koozebane wrote: "Mmm, Lego! I went to the Lego KidsFest a couple of months ago, and it was quite the spectacle: life-size Lego likenesses of Darth Vader, C3P0, Henry Cavill as Superman...pretty impressive. (I guess..."

Yes, those blind bags. My son spends an inordinate amount of time feeling them up to try to find just the right one. But hey, if he finds me the Lego Medusa, I'll pay him double for it.

As for the shows, I don't watch them. If I stick around, I have to listen to the Kid Himself narrate them. As I can see the screen perfectly well, I find this vexing.


message 16: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 426 comments How do you decide on the subject of a book? First Impressions was fantastic but totally different from the CalPac crew series. They're all great. Also, did you intend for CalPac to be a series or did you decide after the first book?


message 17: by C. (new)

C. Koehler | 109 comments I'm not sure when I started listening to music while I write. I probably got into the habit while studying in college. Something playing quietly in the background seems to distract the parts of my mind that get distracted. Usually it's one song on a loop.

I listen to a lot of alt rock and indie music courtesy of Sirius XM. That, and New Wave because hey! I grew up in the 80s. I listen to enough alternative that I don't even know what qualifies as "normal" anymore.

Here's what I'm listening to right now (hopefully the video will show up):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pOF_o...


message 18: by C. (new)

C. Koehler | 109 comments Andrea wrote: "How do you decide on the subject of a book? First Impressions was fantastic but totally different from the CalPac crew series. They're all great. Also, did you intend for CalPac to be a series or d..."

Great question. Inspiration hits from all directions. FI was inspired because I noticed about 12 or so years ago that my life resembled a Jane Austen novel: life was a series of bride-finding balls, society was a shark-tank in which we all knew each other's business and in which one wrong step led to social ruination, and we knew far more than was healthy about each other's mating habits. In some ways, my husband and I were Mr and Mrs Gardner, Elizabeth Bennet's aunt and uncle--established, a bit above the fray, but quite aware of what was going on. Updating P&P to the gay community of a provincial town like Sacramento seemed like a slam dunk.

As for the CalPac Crew, yes, it was originally intended to be a trilogy. The wild card turned out to be Burning It Down. If it seems like "one of these things is not like the others" it's because it wasn't originally part of the plan. Even the scene with Owen Douglas in Tipping the Balance wasn't part of the plot. He and it just jumped out of my subconscious and demanded attention.

As for where the series came from...coach/athlete relationships are a big no-no in sport, but it happens often enough that there are terms for it. Then, too, about the time I was noodling CPC around, a really hot varsity rower from the local uni contacted me through the Gay and Lesbian Rowing Federation, looking for someone to talk to. He encouraged the naughtiest thoughts ;-) but I also knew--besides being married--that it would betray a trust. Voila! Instant conflict for a plot.


message 19: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 426 comments What do you have planned for us next? (type of book)


message 20: by C. (new)

C. Koehler | 109 comments Andrea wrote: "What do you have planned for us next? (type of book)"

Just a word of warning. I can't answer briefly.

I've told the stories I want to tell when it comes to this group of people in the CalPac Crew series. Yes, there are loose ends to play with when I'm ready, but we've all noticed each book gets further and further from CalPac College. I plan to reboot the series and take it back to CalPac College with a new novice crew. One of these rowers has been telling me quite clearly he's HIV+.

Given all the casual blisters and cuts rowers accumulate this could be an issue. (of course, HIV is a notoriously fragile virus...) But I'm first going to start with a YA novel about how he got that way. I'm calling it Poz, and I intended to examine the attitudes some of the younger generations (suddenly I feel old) have about HIV and about transmission...for example, trusting people when they say they're clean, about not crossing the so-called generation gap, about condom use, about viewing HIV as a manageable condition instead of an automatic death sentence.

It's occurred to me that this has to potential to be two series written in parallel, a YA series that focuses on how each character came by his Issue and the adult series that deals with how he overcomes that Issue and finds love, romance, and his HEA. Someone needs to tell me I'm crazy, because this seems a bit ambitious.

On the other hand, YA is hot these days and not everything I write has to be sexually explicit.


message 21: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 426 comments Christopher wrote: "Andrea wrote: "What do you have planned for us next? (type of book)"

Just a word of warning. I can't answer briefly.

I've told the stories I want to tell when it comes to this group of people in ..."


Sounds like I'm going to be reading some YA books.


message 22: by C. (new)

C. Koehler | 109 comments Okay, excerpt time! I hinted quite strongly in Tipping the Balance that Stuart would end up with Jonathan Poisonwood, and he did. For a while. As it turned out, Jonathan was not his HEA. Here's how Stuart came to that conclusion.


Stuart Cochrane raised his head from his boyfriend’s chest, brushing his hair away from his eyes. For long moments all he did was stare at Jonathan as he dozed in post-coital bliss. They made quite a pair, the taller Jonathan with his café-au-lait skin and moss-colored eyes, he with his pale skin and fiery hair and jade-green eyes, tall and short, dark and light. Lately Stuart thought the only part of them that matched was their eyes, and sometimes not even that.

He was grateful Jonathan was the “pass out after ejaculating” sort. It gave Stuart time to think. He thought a lot, maybe too much. Jonathan always said so. Stuart never understood how that was a bad thing. Morgan Estrada, his former roommate and definitely still close friend, had never said it was a bad thing, but he and Morgan weren’t dating, had never dated, never would date, regardless of how Stuart had once felt. Morgan was taken…really taken. So there he was with Jonathan.

They were in Jonathan’s room. It had once been Morgan’s old room. Stuart was only grateful it no long bore any resemblance to where Morgan used to sleep, or he’d be totally weirded out. He sighed. They were always in Jonathan’s room, in his queen-size bed. The inevitable joke had been old and stale before they’d been living together a week. Stuart had to admit it was more comfortable for Jonathan, particularly when they had finished, but his own twin bed suited him just fine. It was all he could afford when he’d started at California Pacific College five years ago, and it still sufficed, although not for the tall rower who’d fallen for him from the time they’d first met.

Stuart shifter closer to Jonathan. The larger bed certainly fitted Jonathan, but Stuart always felt small and alone in it, like a castaway at sea, with Jonathan the only driftwood to latch onto. Such a flattering metaphor for the man everyone expected him to love.

Stuart sighed. He really didn’t want to go there, even as he feared Jonathan was stumbling toward it. On paper, as it were, they should’ve been a perfect match, but in real life, the only place where the calculus of attraction mattered, things didn’t add up. He knew what to do on paper, but when it came to living, breathing people? He solved other people’s problems fine. His own he found quite baffling.

Jonathan opened his eyes and smiled. “Hey, beautiful,” he said, pulling Stuart close for a kiss.

Stuart had to smile as their lips touched. Jonathan was never stingy with his affection, even if he didn’t always—or often—think things through, like the differences in their backgrounds. “Hey.”

Jonathan kissed him for a while, and Stuart allowed the gentle pleasure to carry him away. They worked well in bed. The only problem afflicting them was that sooner or later, they had to leave it.

“Congratulations, Mr. CalPac Graduate,” Jonathan proclaimed grandly when they stopped kissing long enough to breathe. “So tell me, what’re your summer plans? It’s only mid-May, so you’ve got lots of time to play.”

“Work,” Stuart said, again resting his head on Jonathan’s muscular chest. He might wish otherwise, but with no help forthcoming from his family, there really wasn’t an option.

“I’ve got a much better idea.”

“Oh?” Stuart said, freighting the one word with a load of meaning.
Jonathan turned to look at him. “Yes. Come back to the UK with me. I’ve got one year of school left, so this is my last summer to drink, play, be utterly irresponsible, and drink.” When Stuart stared at him, he added, “My parents would love to see you.”

“We both know that’s not true,” Stuart said with a laugh.

“All right, my dad would love to see you,” Jonathan admitted. “Anyway, come back with me. I’ll graduate next year, then it’ll be my gap year and I’ll probably have to do something horribly ennobling like bathe lepers when what I really want to do is sleep for a month and then spend the rest of the time drunk.”

“Charming,” Stuart said. He’d never really understood or approved of the tendency of some rowers to drink like fish when they got the chance. Sure, they worked hard and deserved to let off steam, but why not do something good for the body? Because the very next practice, Stuart and the coach were going to do something god-awful to them, so nutrition and rest might’ve made sense, no?

“You know I need to work,” Stuart said.

Jonathan groaned and flopped back on his pillow. “You. Work, work, work. You know, all work and no play makes Stuart a very dull boyfriend.”

“Sorry.” Stuart said, and they both knew he was anything but. “I need everything I can earn before I start med school this fall.”

“You know,” Jonathan said, sitting up, “it really doesn’t matter how much you earn at that grocery store, because it’s going to be a drop in the bucket compared to what medical school costs, even a public one and even with your scholarships. You’re going to end up taking out loans sooner or later, so you might as well come with me this summer and make it sooner. No one ever said as he lay on his deathbed, ‘Gee, I wish I’d worked longer’.”

Stuart’s mouth hung open. That fucking hurt, and he’d really thought Jonathan—of all people—understood why it mattered to him that he pay his way as much as he could, as long as he could.

“What?” Jonathan protested. “You know I’m right. So what’d you say? Give ’em your two weeks’ notice while I book our tickets. Then I’ll call my dad to tell my mom to take a damn chill pill.”

Stuart felt icy all over. The offhand way in which his so-called boyfriend dismissed his ideals and fucked over his future blew him away. Was everything that mattered to him nothing more than a joke to Jonathan? Stuart had always believed that the harder you worked for something, the more you valued it. The corollary to that sat right in front of him. If you had piles of money and never had to work for anything, then that’s how much you valued what you had. When what was given to you mattered little, then what wore out would be thrown away, not repaired. So Jonathan apparently cared little for Stuart’s work ethic because he had none of his own.

Jonathan waited for an answer. “So what’d you say?”

Stuart inhaled to rip Jonathan to ribbons, but then realized it didn’t matter. It was the culmination of too many things to count, too many assumptions and attitudes that marked Jonathan as nothing more than a rich jackass who ignored the realities of his boyfriend’s circumstances in life. Stuart couldn’t imagine how he’d missed it all. He glanced at Jonathan where the sheet had fallen away from him. Oh yeah. Dickmatized.

“Look, if it’s about the money, I can pay for your ticket—”

“It’s not about the money,” Stuart said. He got out of bed and got dressed. Suddenly he was reminded of an old Monty Python sketch, “The Upper Class Twit of the Year.” He’d been dating him.

Jonathan brushed absently at the dried cum on his chest. “It’s going pear-shaped, isn’t it? Right at this very moment. I can see it in your eyes.”

“I have no idea what that means.” Stuart sighed. “I have to leave for work soon.”

He turned as he left Jonathan’s room. “I hope we can be civil about this.”

“It doesn’t really matter. I’ll be leaving for home soon,” Jonathan said. “We can sort out the rest this fall, but I think a change in roommates by one of us is in order.”


message 23: by C. (new)

C. Koehler | 109 comments Andrea wrote: "Christopher wrote: "Andrea wrote: "What do you have planned for us next? (type of book)"

Just a word of warning. I can't answer briefly.

I've told the stories I want to tell when it comes to this..."


I hope it works out. I've been reading books from DSP's Harmony Ink imprimatur, as well as Gail Carriger's Finishing School books and beta-reading other YA novels. But there's a big jump from those to putting yourself into the mind of a teenager, or so I think. Oh well, into the breach, you know?


message 24: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 426 comments I wondered what you'd done with poor Jonathan.


message 25: by C. (new)

C. Koehler | 109 comments Andrea wrote: "I wondered what you'd done with poor Jonathan."

Ruthlessly shuffled him offstage. I spent an inordinate amount of time trying to make those two work together and failed miserably. I probably still wouldn't have finished the book were I still beating my head against that wall.


message 26: by C. (new)

C. Koehler | 109 comments First give-away goes to Andrea, because she's the one who's keeping me from talking to myself. So, Andrea, if you DM me the address you use for your Dreamspinner account, they'll put a copy of Settling the Score on your bookshelf when it's released.


message 27: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 426 comments Thank you! Now for the big confession - I have absolutely no idea how one DMs. Could I just put my email address here?


message 28: by C. (new)

C. Koehler | 109 comments Go for it. I'll make sure it gets to our promotions person.


message 29: by Joe (new)

Joe | 10 comments Andrea wrote: "Thank you! Now for the big confession - I have absolutely no idea how one DMs. Could I just put my email address here?"

::Delurking::
Just click on his name to get to his profile page. Under his picture on his profile page, click "Send Message."
::Relurking::


message 30: by C. (new)

C. Koehler | 109 comments Andrea wrote: "Thank you! Now for the big confession - I have absolutely no idea how one DMs. Could I just put my email address here?"

Also, I keep clicking on the mail icon at the top of my dashboard and it accomplishes nothing. So there's that.


message 31: by Koozebane (new)

Koozebane | 113 comments dAndrea wrote: "Thank you! Now for the big confession - I have absolutely no idea how one DMs. Could I just put my email address here?"

I think you can check your mailbox and send it from there...there's an envelope icon on the top right corner,I think.


message 32: by C. (new)

C. Koehler | 109 comments Joe wrote: "Andrea wrote: "Thank you! Now for the big confession - I have absolutely no idea how one DMs. Could I just put my email address here?"

::Delurking::
Just click on his name to get to his profile pa..."


I'll go do that, but why not stick around?


message 33: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 426 comments I think I just DM'd for the first time! however, if it didn't work, my email address is

andreams2013 at gmail.com


message 34: by C. (new)

C. Koehler | 109 comments Andrea wrote: "I think I just DM'd for the first time! however, if it didn't work, my email address is

andreams2013 at gmail.com"


I just replied, and yes, it worked. Wow! Technology. Who knew.


message 35: by Joe (new)

Joe | 10 comments Christopher wrote: "Joe wrote: "Andrea wrote: "Thank you! Now for the big confession - I have absolutely no idea how one DMs. Could I just put my email address here?"

::Delurking::
Just click on his name to get to hi..."


Oh, I'm still here... Just all quiet-like. :)


message 36: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 426 comments Regarding your earlier comment about HIV and current misconceptions about it not being a big deal - I wonder how many of those who believe that realize that without good health insurance, they don't get any treatment - or at least, no state of the art treatment.


message 37: by C. (new)

C. Koehler | 109 comments Joe wrote: "Christopher wrote: "Joe wrote: "Andrea wrote: "Thank you! Now for the big confession - I have absolutely no idea how one DMs. Could I just put my email address here?"

::Delurking::
Just click on h..."


Hehe! Quiet-like is better than not at all.


message 38: by Joleen (new)

Joleen | 8 comments Since folks are confessing or delurking, I'll come clean, too. I've been quietly following along too. :D

Hi everyone! Hi Christopher! I just added your book to my TBR list. I'm excited; this will be my first of yours.


message 39: by C. (new)

C. Koehler | 109 comments Andrea wrote: "Regarding your earlier comment about HIV and current misconceptions about it not being a big deal - I wonder how many of those who believe that realize that without good health insurance, they don'..."

That's a good question and one I don't have an answer for. I find some of the new attitudes utterly baffling, but then again, I'm a child of the 80s. I came to realize I was gay at the same time that some mysterious "gay plague" first arrived on the scene. I remember them blaming redwood hot tubs for a time. Good grief, why not just blame the water in the Russian River and have done with it? The kind of sex I knew I wanted really did kill back then and there was no treatment. That kind of thing marks a boy. So this shrug and eye-roll leaves me gobsmacked. Health insurance I'd imagine is the furthest thing from people's minds.


message 40: by Mtsnow13 (last edited Nov 30, 2013 10:48AM) (new)

Mtsnow13 | 88 comments Christopher wrote: "Andrea wrote: "What do you have planned for us next? (type of book)"

Just a word of warning. I can't answer briefly.

I've told the stories I want to tell when it comes to this group of people in ..."


Christopher, I was looking at where you mentioned doing a YA series and an Adult series with the same characters, if I understand you correctly... if so, I do not think it is overly ambitious at all!

In fact, I think it may be necessary for authors to consider the need in the YA community while keeping their faithful adult audience in mind. I believe the YA books may be an intro into the local libraries, and may help LGBT topics become more mainstream.


message 41: by C. (new)

C. Koehler | 109 comments Joleen wrote: "Since folks are confessing or delurking, I'll come clean, too. I've been quietly following along too. :D

Hi everyone! Hi Christopher! I just added your book to my TBR list. I'm excited; this will ..."


Yay! I try to make each one able to stand on its own, so hopefully you won't be lost.


message 42: by Mtsnow13 (new)

Mtsnow13 | 88 comments And I admit to being a 'quiet lurker' also. *grins mischieviously*


message 43: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 426 comments Christopher wrote: "Andrea wrote: "Regarding your earlier comment about HIV and current misconceptions about it not being a big deal - I wonder how many of those who believe that realize that without good health insur..."

I agree. It scares me to death when I think about a new generation killing themselves and others through ignorance but how in the world do you get through to them?


message 44: by C. (new)

C. Koehler | 109 comments Mtsnow13 wrote: "Christopher wrote: "Andrea wrote: "What do you have planned for us next? (type of book)"

Just a word of warning. I can't answer briefly.

I've told the stories I want to tell when it comes to this..."


It's funny that you mentioned libraries. That's exactly what I was thinking. I don't see my grown-up books ending up in libraries save for the most liberal of communities, but maybe YA novels, since I already plan to have the sex happen off stage.

My debate with myself right now is whether or not to use a pen name to provide a firewall between the YA and the adult line. I'm leaning toward a pseudonym at this point. Since I'm writing Poz in the first person, I may just use the protagonist's name as my pen name.


message 45: by C. (new)

C. Koehler | 109 comments Andrea wrote: "Christopher wrote: "Andrea wrote: "Regarding your earlier comment about HIV and current misconceptions about it not being a big deal - I wonder how many of those who believe that realize that witho..."

I wish I knew. I know a couple of people involved in PrEP and they don't have any good answers, either (Pre Exposure Prophylaxis). I'll do what I can to work some education in, hopefully without being heavy-handed, and just as Burning It Down addressed themes of domestic violence and included a preface about DV and included resources, Poz will, too.


message 46: by C. (new)

C. Koehler | 109 comments Okay, what do people want next, another excerpt or nosy info about me?


message 47: by Mtsnow13 (last edited Nov 30, 2013 11:11AM) (new)

Mtsnow13 | 88 comments Christopher wrote: "Mtsnow13 wrote: "Christopher wrote: "Andrea wrote: "What do you have planned for us next? (type of book)"

Just a word of warning. I can't answer briefly.

I've told the stories I want to tell when..."


Yes, I agree with the pen name. Would also help if you had a separate blog and FB page for the YA follower, as well. I've seen it work fairly well for another author that way...and you can even elaborate on 'Poz's' backstory to give a reason why he feels 'he' needs to write his books :)


message 48: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 426 comments I agree about the pen name but please be sure to publicize that it's you. J.P. Barnaby writes both and always mentions the name she uses for YA. Also, from what you said, it sounds like the first part of the character's story will be YA and the the adult part will be a regular book. Is that what you said or am I misunderstanding? I'm very good at misunderstanding.


message 49: by Mtsnow13 (new)

Mtsnow13 | 88 comments Andrea wrote: "I agree about the pen name but please be sure to publicize that it's you. J.P. Barnaby writes both and always mentions the name she uses for YA. Also, from what you said, it sounds like the first p..."

Yep, she's one of the authors I was thinking of, Andrea :)


message 50: by C. (new)

C. Koehler | 109 comments Mtsnow13 wrote: "Christopher wrote: "Mtsnow13 wrote: "Christopher wrote: "Andrea wrote: "What do you have planned for us next? (type of book)"

Just a word of warning. I can't answer briefly.

I've told the stories..."


Of course, I can barely keep up with social media under my own name, let alone someone else's...

But yes, that'll be necessary, and I'm pretty sure I can even set up a new domain on my current one with a different name.

Great idea about Jeremy needing to tell his backstory.


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