Monday, May 27, 2019

Virtual Book Tour + #Giveaway: The Sparkle King by Patrick A. Roland @unpackedsparkle @GoddessFish

The Sparkle King
by Patrick A. Roland
GENRE: Autobiography / Memoir


In 2014, Patrick lost his partner, Pack, suddenly and without warning. As he struggled to come to terms with this, he was faced with homophobic prejudice from his partner's family. In horrendous emotional pain and feeling desperately lonely and depressed, he started to use recreational drugs heavily and hit rock-bottom whilst on a trip to Las Vegas.

After being diagnosed with bipolar disorder and getting clean from drugs and alcohol, Patrick thought his fight was over. However, this was not the case. Life had many other obstacles in store for him but this time, he knew how to be strong and he knew he had God on his side for support.

This inspiring and emotive true story shows how anyone can overcome the hurdles life presents them with, if they just have faith and focus on their inner strengths.


In the summer between seventh and eighth grade, I lost nearly forty pounds. To go with my svelte new look, I asked my grandmother—a hairdresser—to give me a perm. My dad had always had one so I thought it was something men did. However, when I emerged on campus on the first day of eighth grade at a new school, the reactions were sinister and cruel. Now I was suddenly very gay—the weight loss exaggerated my feminine mannerisms—even though it would be several years before I realized that and boldly claimed it as my sexual identity.
Things got considerably worse in high school. I went to a fancy and pricey all-boys Catholic college preparatory school. I tried desperately to fit in, but my “friends” wanted nothing to do with me. At parties, they held me under water in the pool. Once, they tricked me in to climbing up onto a roof with them only to try and push me off of it. They called me a lot of names, but the one I remember most is ‘The Whipping Boy’. I held on to that name for years. It seemed to always fit, no matter where I went or what I did to try and remove myself from it.

College also started rocky, but got better in time. I had decided to attend the alma mater of my mother in a small town in Iowa. I felt like it was my chance to start over and carve a new life out for myself, and I eventually did. But the first week started out just like everything else had. I was walking down the hallway and I was suddenly grabbed from behind by a crew of three masked men. They pulled me into my room, threw me on the floor and smothered and attacked me, beating my face with long socks that were filled with something that was supposed to make them look like giant penises. I think they were trying to mock me for being gay, but the fact that these men spent so much time stuffing socks to look like penises seemed gayer to me. Maybe something about me made them afraid of their own truth.

Interview with Patrick A. Roland

Can you tell us a little bit about your next books or what you 
have planned for the future?

Before I did it, I never knew I was going to write one book, let alone three in less than 4 years, so the honest answer is that I have no idea what the future will bring as far as books go. Both non-fiction books came about because of very painful things I endured and found my way through. I felt inspired to share the journey with others so they knew they could find their way out of bad times too. My intention has always been to be an example of someone who was dealt a bad card and relied on my personal strengths - and faith - to persevere. I have been going through something bad in the last couple of months, but it’s not completely resolved, and now I’m also knee deep in getting my master’s degree in counseling, working full-time and taking care of two terminally ill parents; plus I have to work a program if I want to remain sober. 

I’d love to see my children’s book become a series because I would love to be able to talk about things that are hard to talk about with children in a fun, light way that helps kids feel like whoever they are - and whatever they are going through - is totally ok. I’d love to see Sparkle get diagnosed with mental illness, or lose a loved one, or experience addiction so that kids could learn about these things.

How long would you say it takes you to write a book? 

I’ve written both of my non-fiction books in less than two weeks each (about 10 days). I got very inspired and it all spilled out of me. In both cases, there were two or three chapters that came a few months later that I felt really rounded out the story and completed them. The editing process on both books, however, took more time, but I am thankful for the process because it allows the work to become what it is really supposed to do.

What is your favorite childhood book?

I always loved stories about misfits or misunderstood people who find love, friendship and acceptance, so there was this book I remember having to read in the sixth grade about an older recluse man who forms an unlikely friendship with two teenagers. It was called The Pigman and it was written by Paul Zindel.

What made you want to become a writer?

I’ve always been a writer but I decided to write books because I got sober at 40 and decided to start living out my dreams. I had this audacious idea I could find beauty in the ugliest things I endured and use my brokenness to inspire people about the truth: that all that bad stuff made me beautiful and that it is why I sparkle so brightly today.

How long have you been writing?

It’s slightly ironic I write predominantly about working through grief because the very first thing I ever wrote was a poem in the sixth grade about my dog who had died. I won a state award because of it and even though I thought I was going to be some kind of psychologist, I guess my ability to write in a way that connected with people fulfilled that need for human connection in me so I became a writer as a career, first as a newspaper report and later in corporate America. 

How did you become involved with the subject or theme of your 

I lived it. I endured several tragedies and personal experiences and I wanted to make sure that people who had similar experiences knew they weren’t alone. Our darkness is what actually creates our brightest light, so if you feel like things are particularly bleak, just have patience, the miracle is coming. You just gotta walk through the fear in it first.

For those interested in exploring the subject or theme of your 
book, where should they start?

Some said my first book, Unpacked Sparkle, was hard to take because some of my story is painful to read. Imagine living it! I’ve matured a lot in sobriety. This new book, The Sparkle King, introduces a more thoughtful, faith-based side of me, and I am so far removed from my painful beginnings that all there is left is the light and joy I have found in the journey. So, I would start with this one and read Unpacked Sparkle next since The Sparkle King shows you who I really am. 

(a Favorite song:
The Greatest Love of All, Whitney Houston 

(b Favorite book:
Beloved, Toni Morrison 

(c Favorite movie:
Boys Don’t Cry

(d Favorite tv show: 
Beverly Hills, 90210

(e Favorite Food:

(f Favorite drink:
Diet Coke. I wish I was drinking one now! 

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Patrick A. Roland is a gay, bipolar, ex-drug addict, widowed abuse survivor and the author of three great books. His first, Unpacked Sparkle: a Story of Grief and Recovery, kicks off his journey of sobriety and self-love following the death of his partner, Pack, in January 2014. This book was published by Az Publishing and is available on Amazon.
His second book is a children’s book called Sparkle On! This book is about a gecko who is constantly constant bullied but chooses to fight this with love.
His new book, The Sparkle King, keeps the sparkle flowing as Patrick finds his way through several fear-inducing experiences by constantly choosing faith to overcome them in long-term sobriety.
Patrick lives in Phoenix, Az. He is a peer support at a mental health clinic, where he helps others just like himself. He’s also earning a Master’s in Addiction Counselling at Grand Canyon University and is taking care of his elderly, terminally ill parents. He wants you to know you can do anything you decide to do if you love yourself. 


Buy Link:


$10 Amazon/BN GC

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning.


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

Teenyluvkins said...

Thank you for the interview and excerpt ^^

James Robert said...

I am enjoying these tours and finding all the terrific books my family is enjoying reading. Thanks for bringing them to us and keep up the good work.

Bernie Wallace said...

Where do you do most of your writing?

Calvin F. said...

Cool, definitely will enjoy treading this

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Testing the comment function, thank you!

Leesa Wallace said...

Testing comments function. Thanks.

djpbone said...

thanks all for your support!

Teenyluvkins said...

Thank you for the interview and the excerpt