I’m really pleased to welcome Jay Northcote to the blog. I adore the cover of her new book, Nothing Serious. Isn’t it gorgeous?
How did you discover the MM/gay romance genre?
Ever since my teens I’ve always been fascinated by books or films with homoerotic content, but I didn’t really seek it out. It wasn’t until I stumbled into slash fan fiction and connected with other readers of gay romance online that I discovered the gay romance genre and began reading original stories.
What made you start writing in the genre?
I started writing fan fiction for fun and the majority of my stories featured male/male pairings. Eventually I got to the stage where I felt brave enough to try and work with some original characters. I like to challenge myself and I really wanted to just try and see whether I could actually do it. I had a lot of encouragement from friends and pre-readers, and finally took the plunge during NaNoWriMo in 2012. I drafted The Little Things during that month. Managing to complete an original novel felt like a huge achievement, and I’m thrilled that Dreamspinner will be publishing it.
Where do you base your books?
Most of my books so far have been based in or near Bristol, which is where I’ve been living for around twenty years now. I’ve also written a short story based in Cornwall which is another part of the UK that I know well, as I have friends and family down that way. I enjoy writing settings that I know. It’s easier and I like using real locations.
Tell me about your current/forthcoming novels
I have three releases due out in the next few months. Nothing Serious (due out on 23 Oct), The Little Things (due out on 22 Nov) and Not Just Friends (due out Feb/Mar 2014) are both novels.
Nothing Serious is set in a fictional town in South Gloucestershire, but it could easily be any of several small market towns in the area. It’s a light-hearted and uncomplicated story of a friends-with-benefits relationship that eventually turns into more.
Nothing Serious is now available for pre-order at Dreamspinner Press:
The Little Things is set in Bristol and the main character, Joel, is a young single dad. It’s much darker than my stories usually tend to be, but the idea came to me and I wanted to explore it. It has themes of bereavement and loss, and tells the story of Joel’s subsequent struggle to take the plunge and risk being hurt again by opening himself up to a new relationship. There are some pretty tough times for Joel to get through during the book before things start to look up for him.
Not Just Friends is also set in Bristol. It’s a university/college romance about a guy called Lewis who falls for one of his flatmates, Max. There’s pining and confusion and hook-ups and eventual resolution. It’s a sweet coming of age story and was a lot of fun to write.
What are you writing at the moment?
I’ve been insanely busy with editing for weeks, but have just started something new. It’s a story that was inspired by a personal ad that I spotted in the free newspaper on the tube when I was in London over the summer. Two strangers are brought together by an ad in the paper and an interfering friend—well, that’s the plan anyway, but my plans tend to be rather fluid and subject to change.
Mark O’Brien is finally being honest with himself. His relationship with Rachel is over and he’s moving out of the home they’ve shared for six years. They get along, but he can’t fix a relationship when the person he’s with is the wrong gender.
Jamie Robertson, one of the removal men, is huge and ridiculously gorgeous, and Mark is smitten at first sight. When a cardboard box splits, revealing items of a personal nature that Mark never wanted anybody to see, he’s mortified. But it sparks the start of a beautiful friendship with benefits.
As Jamie initiates Mark into the joys of gay sex, the two men get increasingly close and “nothing serious” turns into something rather important to both of them. But communication isn’t their strong point. Will either man ever find the courage to be honest about his feelings?
Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England, with her amazing, occasionally ridiculous husband, two noisy-but-awesome children, and two cats.
Jay comes from a family of writers, but she always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed her by. She spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content.
One day, she decided to try and write a short story–just to see if she could–and found it rather addictive. She hasn’t stopped writing since.