Today, I have author Rob Browatzke in the interview chair. We talk about his latest release A Fluid State, a m/m contemporary romance.
Hello, Rob. I interviewed you last time for your release Last Call in Wonderland. So I came up with a whole new batch of questions for your latest novel A Fluid State. Here we go!
Rob Browatzke on writing:
1. First, what’s your favourite scene in A Fluid State? Not in regards to writing, but reading, and why?
I think my favorite scene happens when they’re out for lunch after Patrick buying his son some nail polish. A customer at a nearby table doesn’t like seeing a boy in nail polish and says something pretty harsh. Patrick’s support of his son here made ME fall a little in love, so imagine what it does to poor Andrew!
2. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in A Fluid State?
I don’t know if I’d have Patrick in the military. It didn’t add as much as originally planned, and at times I felt it painted me into a corner. Still, I don’t know what else he’d have done.
3. Do you have any “side stories” about the characters?
This is set in the same city as Last Call in Wonderland so some of those characters make cameos. I had lots of backstory for Andrew that just didn’t feel needed; maybe some other novel! And there’s brief appearances from the leads from a future romance. Can you guess who?
4. If you could spend time with one character from the novel, who would it be? And what would you do during that day?
Seeing as I probably shouldn’t want to have sex with my own characters, I’ll go with Andrew. I’d book him to perform at the club since he’s a super talented performer. With Drag Race US, UK, Thailand, and Canada now, maybe one day there’ll be a Drag Race Imaginary Land and she can win it.
5. Did the characters hijack the story or did you feel like you had control of A Fluid State?
I never have control. Oh, I have some idea where things will go, but the characters really controlled themselves. This time especially perhaps. I kept wanting to insert obstacles and grief and trauma and they were like “no, we just want a happy little romance, thanks”. I keep my plans, pun intended, fluid.
6. I love the name. How did you come up with it?
I wanted to build off Peter’s gender-fluidity so I just googled phrases with fluid, and when I saw that, lightning struck.
7. If A Fluid State was made into a film, who would you like to play the leads?
I think Nebraska Thunderfuck would be a good Andrew – hot as a guy and a queen. Liam Hemsworth would be a good Patrick – and not just because I want to see those sex scenes. Well, maybe because of that.
8. If A Fluid State was a candle, what scent would it be and why?
I think it would be some kind of pine. The scenes in the backyard around the firepit are really important to Patrick and Andrew’s relationship so I think a nice pine would capture that.
9. If A Fluid State had a theme song, what would it be and why?
Maybe EBTG: I Didn’t Know I Was Looking For Love. Neither guy start this book off with love on their radar at all.
10. If A Fluid State was a colour, what would it be and why?
I think purple maybe? It’s two colours mixed together perfectly to make something different but still beautiful.
11. What did you edit out of the book?
Patrick and Andrew edited this out themselves, actually, but there was going to be a bit more of a homophobic reaction from some of the people who learn about their new relationship. It just didn’t feel right for this book.
12. What can we expect from you in the future?
The Wonderland books had so much darkness, so this was a huge change for me, and I found myself really liking the happiness of it. The world is pretty ugly right now, and so maybe just maybe, we need more books where that ugliness doesn’t happen.
All about Rob Browatzke:
1. What is something unique/quirky about you?
I think one of best quirks is my ability to make people laugh when their world is shattered. Not always appropriate but usually very needed.
2. What are some of your pet peeves?
Being late. Not replying to messages. Basically anything that disrespects my time, because I don’t have any!
3. How do you find time to write when you run a gay bar full-time?
Certainly hard! The words need to come out though so I find it somehow (often multi-tasking even at the club!)
4. Describe yourself in 5 words or less!
Cranky if mostly loveable curmudgeon.
5. What is your favourite social media site? You can only choose one.
Instagram, for the thirst traps.
Rob Browatzke on reading:
1. What book do you think everyone should read?
There are honestly so many! One of my favorite books of 2019 is The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai, one of the best reads I’ve found about gay men at the height of AIDS. My all time favorite series is Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin.
2. What do you think about the current publishing market?
I think it’s great that so many writers, myself included, are able to get stories into print that traditional publishing wouldn’t have touched, but sometimes I feel this means we end up with a lot of stuff, and some of mine is included, that’s out before it’s ready. And the sheer volume of stories out there makes it harder to get people to choose yours!
3. If you could have been the author of any of your fave books that you’ve read, which book would you choose and why?
I’d probably say the last book of the Wheel of Time series, because I felt it got butchered and wasn’t at all true to the thirteen previous novels. I am angry again even just thinking about it!
4. Share your favourite character from a book that you’ve read, and why they are your fave.
Michael Tolliver from the Tales of the City series. I think it’s because he really is every gay man, and keeps his humour through sickness, grief, and aging. And he’s just a genuinely decent person.
5. On average, how much do you read every week?
I typically read every day, even though the amount varies a lot. I’m currently at 95 books for 2019.
Title: A Fluid State
Author: Rob Browatzke
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: January 3, 2020
Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Romance
Heat Rating: 5 flames
Length: 70 000 words/272 pages
Patrick and Andrew find themselves faced with a chemistry they cannot deny
Blurb: Patrick returns from a tour of duty to find his son very different. Peter is dressing in girl’s clothes, and his hair is too long, and he’s obsessed with drag queens. None of that sits well with Patrick. Patrick then meets the drag queen Ann Moore, and starts to hang out with them.
Andrew is one of River City’s best drag queens. As Ann Moore, he dazzles adults and children alike. When one of those children’s fathers wants to find out more about what his son is enjoying, Andrew is happy to guide him. It doesn’t hurt that Patrick is ridiculously hot. Hot and straight though.
The friendship that forms is unlikely, and even more unlikely, Patrick and Andrew find themselves faced with a chemistry they cannot deny.
This is a standalone book.
“So,” Andrew said, when they were relocated back to the couch, sitting facing each other, beers in hand.
“First off, let me, well, set you straight on something. Kent and I aren’t dating, so don’t feel bad about that.”
“Good,” Patrick said. “I’d hate to have some gay guy come at me for hitting on his boyfriend.”
“Is that what it was? You hitting on me?”
Patrick looked away. “Honestly, I don’t know.”
“Well, what’s going on in that head of yours?”
“You,” he said. “You’re going on in my head. You and only you. Ever since we met. I thought it was all about Peter, but no, it’s about me. You’ve gotten under my skin, Andrew, and I don’t know how to get you out of me.” Their eyes locked. “And honestly, I’m not sure I want you gone.”
“But you’re straight.”
“I’ve always thought that. I’ve never been attracted to a guy before this.”
“Never? Not even in school? Some guys experiment, you know.”
“Never. I’ve looked back and there’s never been anything to make me think I’d ever be into a guy.”
“So you’re into me?”
Patrick’s face turned pink and he looked away. “I don’t know. Yes. Yes, I am.” He swallowed hard and looked back at Andrew. “Look, I know this is out of the blue, and I know what you said at the pool, and-”
“What did I say at the pool?”
“That, you know, that you’re not attracted to me.”
It was Andrew’s turn to blush and look away. “Well, since you’re being honest, I guess I should be too. Patrick, of course I’m attracted to you. You… well, look at you. I just said that to set your mind at ease. I was enjoying hanging out. I am enjoying it. I didn’t want you to freak out thinking I found you attractive or worried that I was going to try to jump you.”
“And it ended up being me that jumped at you.”
Andrew looked at him and grinned. “Seems that way.”
“Here we are then, both attracted to each other. What do we do now?”
Rob Browatzke has been writing for as long as he can remember, and is pretty darn excited for someone else to be reading his stuff finally! When it comes to gay bars and booze and drugs and drama, he knows what he’s talking about. He came out in the mid-90s, and liquor and drama went hand in hand. He has 20+ years of experience working in gay clubs in Edmonton, Alberta, and his current Wonderlounge is every bit as amazing as Alex’s Wonderland. Rob is now 8+ years clean and sober, although there’s still a bit of drama once in a while, for old times’ sake.
Rob loves the growing market for gay fiction and m/m romance. There are some incredible authors out there, and it’s important to be able to see in print (or on the screen) stories about people just like us. Coming out, our relationships, the issues we face, we all have stories to tell. And this book is just one of the stories coming out of Wonderland.