Mia Kerick’s Here Without You
I am beyond excited to have Mia Kerick join me today to talk about her latest book, Here Without You. It’s the second book in the One Voice series and is stunning. You really should read the stories in order because you will miss how these three men meet and get together. Mia was kind enough to let me interview her and her responses to my questions are wonderful. After you learn a bit more about the book, read all about it and an excerpt that will make you want to keep reading. At the very bottom enter for a chance to win an ARe giftcard.
Amanda C. Stone: Good morning Mia! I’m so glad you could join me today. So my mind is kind of blown with the idea of a committed throuple in high school, and stays together. How did you come up with this idea?
Mia Kerick: I am constantly challenged to find and write a storyline that hasn’t been written, in one way or another, and that is tough to do. The idea of a YA m/m/m threesome popped into my mind as something that hadn’t been done very much, if at all. And at first I thought it couldn’t, or maybe shouldn’t, be done. But once the concept entered my mind, I couldn’t let it go and I set out to write a pure sweet love story of three. I believe it can happen. Who is society to say it can’t happen? And so I did my best to make it happen-to show that love is love, and it sometimes drops into our laps in ways we don’t expect.
ACS: I have to say you did an amazing job showing how the three boys go from friends to boyfriends and beyond in the books. Did you get any negativity about doing the topic as YA/NA?
MK: Good question, Amanda. I actually thought I would get some criticism for doing a YA threesome, but I didn’t get any at all. Some readers/reviewers actually admitted that they expected to dislike Us Three for it being just too “out there” or too “inappropriate”, and they never thought a YA threesome relationship could be appropriate for teens to read, but when they actually read the book, were pleasantly surprised. Although there are three boys, which is definitely unconventional, it is a true Young Adult love story. Now, in Here Without You, the young men, as college age adults, move into more physical intimacy that I did not consider appropriate for a YA novel. So, as a New Adult novel, I feel it has just the right amount of heat, but still, none of it is contrived. The intimacy increases as the intensity of their bond grows.
ACS: I really enjoyed the way you handled the increase in physical intimacy in Here Without You. Very well done. In the book you deal with some pretty heavy topics. Was it hard writing about the aspects of a relationship that aren’t rainbows and flowers?
MK: It is at times hard to write about the non-rainbow/flower aspects of relationships, especially when I get attached to the characters and I start to really empathize with them. But I want the story to be interesting, and above all to be realistic. Bad things happen and teens must figure out how to deal with them. That is what we want to see, to read about. Teens get bullied in horrific ways. Young adults are abused at home. Parents go to jail and must leave their families behind. Mothers neglect their children. These things happen, and I want to explore how a Young Adult/New Adult love relationship can help in these situations. Or whether the relationship crumbles under the stress. That is what readers want to know.
ACS: I admire the way you handled the topics in both books. With all of the obstacles the three of them faced, do you see Nate, Casey, and Zander lasting in a forever kind of way?
MK: I really do, but I will add that when I dated, back before Mr. Mia came along, I never dated someone who I knew for a fact I couldn’t have a forever with. Doing that, to me, would be pointless. So every story I write is about a couple, or a throuple (Casey’s word for threesome), who has forever in their hearts. And as I write I have their forever in my mind.
ACS: I find that kind of outlook interesting. I’m sure I thought the people I dated in high school had “forever” potential, but my view of forever has changed drastically since then. Now for the last, and most important, question. Will there be more from these three? (Please say yes, please say yes!)
MK: Glad I can oblige, Amanda. Yes! Dreamspinner Press has purchased a gorgeous cover photo taken by the talented Dan Skinner of the same three young men who have been on the first two covers. I hope for it to be released in about a year. This story will be largely focused on Zander, as Casey was the focus of Us Three, and Nate is the focus of Here Without You. And it will move into the topic of their possible forever together. It already has a tentative title, Coming Into the Light.
ACS: HOORAY! I’m so excited there will be a third book. Thank you again for taking the time to be here today. It was such a pleasure having you here.
With all of his scratched and dented heart, Nate DeMarco wants to be two places at once, but he’s been forced to make an unbearable choice. Having barely survived high school, Nate and his boyfriends, Casey Minton and Zander Zane, are ready to move forward in life. Casey and Zander have left home to attend Boston City College. Nate remains in New Hampshire to protect his volatile younger sister from their increasingly violent, alcoholic uncle. Nate suffers with anger, resentment, and loneliness as he battles what he wants against what he feels he must do.
Now separated, the young men fight to stay in contact. However, they’re each faced with their own separate issues. Casey must cope with residual fear from having been bullied in high school. Zander obsesses over the establishment of One Voice, the new gay-straight alliance at Boston City College. Nate fights for his sister’s very survival. Meanwhile, the intensity of the boys’ relationship increases, both sexually and emotionally, as happens in long distance relationships.
Nate’s futile effort to live two lives leads to tragedy, which blasts Nate, Casey, and Zander apart. Can the three young men find their way back to a united path before it’s too late?
August 23 (they only been gone about half a week now)
SO MAYBE this is a bit fucked up, but I’m gonna put it down on paper in black and white, and maybe when I read it back to myself, it’ll seem more normal.
Here’s the thing. Like Casey says, us three is a throuple. Three dudes in love. Whatever. Cuz I sure as shit love them guys, and nothin’s gonna change that. So, yeah. There’s two dudes in place A and one dude, alone, in place B. I just figured them two would be gettin’ busy in bed in their fancy dorm room whenever they had a chance—cuz that’s what guys do, right?
Well, apparently not so much. Last night they Skyped me. There them two were, sittin’ all cozy on Casey’s rainbow-colored bedspread. The floppy stuffed unicorn that me and Zander gave him for Christmas junior year was propped up behind ’em, starin’ at the computer, like it was lookin’ right at yours truly. I felt real alone and a little like a loser (fucked-up fact is they only been gone a couple days), but I leaned back on my bed and acted like I didn’t give a shit.
Casey said, in this adorable proper voice, “Nate, there’s a topic Zander and I feel it’s imperative we discuss. It’s a matter of great importance.” He already sounds like a doctor, and he’s only a freshman in college.
Zander was just starin’ into the computer at me, sorta studyin’ my I-don’t-give-a-shit-about-nothin’ expression.
“What’s such a big friggin’ deal, babe? Lay it on me.” That was pretty cool soundin’, I thought.
“Well, Zander and I want to have a discussion about…. Nate, we want to discuss physical intimacy. In that….”
Even on Skype I could see that two spots on Casey’s cheeks had turned bright pink. Looked like he was having trouble spittin’ this out. And he was the talker in our throuple.
“Zander and I are here together, without you, and we’ve talked about this—”
“I expect you two’ve been goin’ to town on each other every night since you got to college and are prob’ly itchin’ to strip each other down right now.” Both of my guys’ eyes popped open wide when I said that.
“Actually, Nate.” Zander spoke up cuz it seemed that Casey was suddenly at a loss for words. “We haven’t, and we’re not gonna.”
“Huh?” That just kinda flew outta my mouth. “Come again, guy?”
Casey found his voice. “We aren’t going to sleep together unless you’re with us. We discussed it, and neither of us think it would feel right.” He glanced at Zander, and them two nodded at each other. “We aren’t going to do anything in bed together until you’re here for a visit.”
Mia Kerick is the mother of four exceptional children—all named after saints—and five nonpedigreed cats—all named after the next best thing to saints, Boston Red Sox players. Her husband of twenty-two years has been told by many that he has the patience of Job, but don’t ask Mia about that, as it is a sensitive subject.
Mia focuses her stories on the emotional growth of troubled young people and their relationships, and she believes that physical intimacy has a place in a love story, but not until it is firmly established as a love story. As a teen, Mia filled spiral-bound notebooks with romantic tales of tortured heroes (most of whom happened to strongly resemble lead vocalists of 1980s big-hair bands) and stuffed them under her mattress for safekeeping. She is thankful to Dreamspinner Press, Harmony Ink Press, and CreateSpace for providing her with alternate places to stash her stories.
Mia is a social liberal and cheers for each and every victory made in the name of human rights, especially marital equality. Her only major regret: never having taken typing or computer class in school, destining her to a life consumed with two-fingered pecking and constant prayer to the Gods of Technology.
Dreamspinner Author Arcade: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/AuthorArcade/mia-kerick/bio/
Dreamspinner Press eBook: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6035
Dreamspinner Press Paperback: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6036
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