The Author Spotlight will focus on a different author every few weeks – it may feature an experienced writer who has a long history of published books, or a new author who is destined to be a future star. Today our Author Spotlight will be on Mel Bossa. You can keep in touch with Mel at the links following the interview!
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Author Spotlight: Mel Bossa
First off, I want to thank Mel for taking the time to answer these questions for me. Please feel free to leave any questions you may have in the comment section below!
ABOUT THE BOOKS:
What is the title of your newest or upcoming book?
Where you’ll find him
What publisher is this book being published by?
What is the publication date?
Where You’ll Find Him by Mel Bossa
Purchase links: Amazon / Dreamspinner
THE INTERVIEW QUESTIONS:
Tell us a little bit about yourself!
Mel Bossa is the author of Split and In His Secret Life, both Lambda Award finalists, as well as numerous other books and short stories. She lives in Montreal’s gay village where she volunteers for a crisis center. As a queer Franco-Italian feminist raised in a patriarchal family, she’s felt like the Other for a great part of her life and finds peace in dreaming up worlds where grace wins over fear.
Can you give the readers a brief summary of your latest book?
During Pride week in Montreal, Wolfe learns the board is threatening to shut down the YBR queer community center. He can’t let this happen, not while he’s the director and responsible for everyone there. They tell him he’s just a kid, too young to handle these responsibilities, but Wolfe is determined to prove to everyone, including the rich family he left behind, that he’s strong enough to do the job, even if it leaves him with little time for love. But then devastatingly handsome Gaspard walks up to the YBR stand on Pride community day. Freshly divorced and father to two grown children, Gaspard is finally out of the closet as bisexual, and single for the first time in thirty years. Gaspard falls for Wolfe in a way he’s not prepared for. But as relationships unravel, Gaspard resists his passion for a man young enough to be his son. Wolfe has spent his life fighting for what he wants. And what he wants is Gaspard.
What genre does it fall in?
Will you share a few words about your latest book, other than the usual blurb?
In the last fifteen years, I’ve volunteered for different non-profit organizations and I felt compelled to write about those experiences and the people I met in the field of community work. The YBR center is based on an actual place in Montreal I used to volunteer for at the H.I.V. information hot line. I was young and impressionable, and my experience there shaped me in many ways. Where you’ll find him’s story is set against the background of the YBR’s activities and the people who work there. The novel explores the dynamics of the relationships that form and break in the field and the many challenges people in non-profit work face today with all of the funding cuts. However, the main theme is the May/December romance blossoming between Wolfe, the YBR’s young director and Gaspard, a bisexual father, recently divorced and single for the first time in thirty years. Their relationship isn’t insta-love and develops slowly after Malena, Gaspard’s daughter, is hired by Wolfe at the YBR and begins to play matchmaker, trying to get her shy father and her young serious boss together. Wolfe and Gaspard start to date, but they face many challenges and obstacles, the biggest one in the form of Gaspard’s own son Curtis, who is Wolfe’s age and firmly disapproves of his father’s lifestyle. Meanwhile, the YBR is on the verge of being shut down and Wolfe is fighting to keep it open, while trying to keep Gaspard’s doubts from ending their new relationship. I also wanted to write about family dynamics and took great pleasure in developing the relationship between Malena and her father Gaspard. She is so supportive of him and they have such a strong admiration for each other. I thought it was refreshing. Where you’ll fin him will probably please readers who are looking for a sweet romance between two kind and generous men who happened to be from very different backgrounds and generations. Readers curious to learn about the inner workings of a community center and the wonderful people who spend their days trying to make the world a little better. Little insight into the book… The whole thing is closely linked to the Wizard of Oz. There are many references to the Wizard of Oz throughout… Even the epilogue is a wink at the end of the movie. That’s in honor of all the ”Friends of Dorothy”. 🙂
Give us a little insight into your main characters! Who are they?
Wolfe Byrne, the young director at the YBR center, is loosely based on a young gay man I worked with a long time ago. He was responsible for a whole team of volunteers and I admired him greatly. So when I was thinking about this story, I decided to honor him in it. Wolfe is from a rich West Coast family and was being groomed by his father to follow in the family tradition to become an architect and play golf all weekend. But ever since Wolfe was a teenager, he wanted to be a social worker. His family has always called him Bleeding-Heart. Wolfe left the West Coast and accepted a job in Montreal, leaving his friends, ex-boyfriend and family behind. But now his days are filled with challenges, drama, and it seems he’s always begging for funds. He has no time for love, but he misses being with someone. Wolfe is a little guarded.Always watchful and careful of how close he lets people to him. He’s not had the best support and love from his parents and often feels like he doesn’t do enough, though people are blown away by his diligence and commitment. Wolfe is loved by many at his work, but he craves for someone special to hold. Gaspard has always known he was bisexual. His wife and him were honest about it and had a wonderful marriage that ended when Meredith, Gaspard’s wife, fell in love with someone else. Now, Gaspard is semi-retired and living with his daughter downtown. He has no real clue how to go back into the dating world, but he is ready to meet someone else. After he summons the nerve to go up to Wolfe at the YBR stand on Pride Day in the city, Gaspard can’t get the young man with the serious smile out of his head. He tells himself he’s too old for Wolfe, that it would never work, but when Malena announces she’s fond a job at the YBR and that her young boss is Wolfe, Gaspard knows he’s going to be seeing a lot more of the young man and this turns his boring life upside down. Gapsard has always had fantasies about being with a man, but never really acted on them. What I love about these two men, is that though they think they’re very different because of their age and background, they’re not at all. Both are generous, always thinking of others, and dedicated to their family and friends. Wolfe and Gaspard’s problems stem from them always putting others first, not from their bad choices. I enjoyed writing about such decent men and it made me feel more positive about the world. Men like Wolfe and Gaspard exist, but we rarely celebrate them in MM romance because kindness isn’t as exciting! Well, they got their moment of spotlight in this book! 🙂
Will we be seeing these characters again any time soon? Is this book part of a series?
Tell us a little bit about your writing style. When and where is your favorite time/place to write?
I have an office, but I usually move my lap top to the dining room where the light is natural. I write from nine in the morning to about four in the afternoon.
What sort of book do you enjoy reading in your free time? What was the last book you read? Did you enjoy it?
The last book I read was Paul Monette’s Borrowed Time. It was heart wrenching and inspiring. He spent two years taking care of his lover who died of AIDS. Paul died in 1995.
Did you always know you wanted to be a writer? Have you held any interesting jobs while you worked on your books?
I didn’t know I wanted to be a writer because I didn’t know it was possible to become one. I always thought writers were men like Stephen King or very educated women who somehow had the connections to publish books. I told stories from the time I was five or six years old and I won every writing contest at school. Then later, I went to college and chose a literature program. I read fifty books a year. And yet, I still didn’t know I was a writer!!!! Until I went back to school at age thirty-two to become a chef. Weirdly enough, it was during that crazy time of being in Culinary School and raising three small kids, that I started writing Split, my first my novel. Back then, I didn’t even know MM romance existed. As you can see, I’m pretty clueless about things.:-) I wrote the book and it’s when I started to look around for a publisher, while finishing up my degree in Pro Cooking, that I stumbled upon and discovered MM romance. I worked as a head cook in a fancy restaurant while I was submitting my first novel. It was a mad time. Working in the kitchen until one in the morning, getting up to help my boyfriend get the kids ready and then spending the morning writing query letters and blurbs! It worked out in the end.
What does your writing process look like?
I write about two thousand to three thousand words a day, and then edit the words the next day and write new ones. Sometimes I have insomnia and will write at night, but mostly I write during the day when my kids are out of the house.
Why did you choose to write GLBTQ romance? Why not another genre?
I’m bisexual and share my life with a bisexual man. We’re both very very queer.:-)
One last questions…totally unrelated to books! I am a passionate foodie. Is there one thing in your pantry that you would be horrified for people to know that you eat?
I don’t think there’s anything I eat that would horrify anyone. 🙂 I cook a lot. But if there’s no one around and I can just eat whatever… I’ll stand over a jar of natural peanut butter going in there with a banana. And that’ll be lunch.
Thankyou so much for answering my questions. I think my readers will enjoy learning more about you! Good luck in your future writing!