Today we’d like to welcome Jay Northcote to the blog. Welcome Jay!
Hi there! Thanks for having me today. It’s lovely to visit.
Rach: Congratulations on the release of Nothing Ventured. You’ve recently completed the Monster Race, which is similar to the Mad Mucker you have Aiden and Matt do in the book, what on earth possessed you to do that? Did it help with your research?
Jay: Sadly, it was far too late to be any use for research. I did the race on the 1st of November and even the edits were completely finished by then. But it was the research I did for Nothing Ventured that inspired me to enter. I’ve often done a bit of running for fitness, but when I started writing the book I hadn’t run for several months because of a knee injury. Writing about Aiden’s training made me miss running, so I started again. And when I read about the Tough Mudder and the Monster Race and looked at photos, it got me wondering whether I could handle doing something like that. My husband talked me into entering with him. Here we are, wading through The Bog of Eternal Stench (aptly named).
It was incredibly tough—physically as well as mentally, but I really enjoyed it and might be persuaded to do something similar in the future. I also managed to raise over £200 for the Albert Kennedy Trust, which I was really pleased about. If anyone reading would still like to sponsor me you can do it here. And there is a full account of the race on my blog.
Rach: You self published The Dating Game (which I loved btw) how did you find that experience compared to going through a publisher?
Jay: Aw thank you! I’m glad you liked it. My experience of self-publishing has been very positive so far. I found it sold comparably to my other titles and there wasn’t too much extra work involved. The formatting was a bit of a pain and I put quite a lot of extra effort in with promo, but overall it was definitely worth the time.
Rach: Who is your auto-buy author?
Jay: If I have to pick just one then it would be Eli Easton. I think I’ve read all her books now and I’ve enjoyed every one of them. You know how some authors just hit that sweet spot for you? Eli’s books always have just the right blend of sweetness, angst and sexiness, and her pacing suits me too. It’s a match made in reader/writer heaven.
Rach: What is your favourite genre to read?
Jay: Predictably—perhaps—it’s M/M romance. Since I started reading M/M, I don’t often read outside the genre. I will sometimes read literary fiction (usually for my book group), or dabble in YA, but M/M is my happy place.
Rach: Which of your characters would you invite to dinner and why?
Jay: Can I have all of them? I guess that would be quite a lot of people to feed now, but we could always get takeaway. I would honestly like to meet all of them in the flesh. I could invite all the nice secondary characters too and we could have a party!
Rach: It’s been a year since your first book, Nothing Serious, was released and you’ve had five books out since then, what’s next? Can we expect another six books in the next year?
Jay: It was actually five books in my first year of publishing (I’m not counting short stories), because Nothing Ventured is coming out after my publishing anniversary.
I’m not sure if I’ll manage five in year two, but that’s what I’m aiming for. I have a Christmas novella that should be out in early December, then I have one other manuscript that’s completed and scheduled for editing in January—so that one is likely to be out in February sometime. So that will make three. After that it’s a blank slate but I have an idea for a sequel to The Dating Game which will probably be my next project once I’ve got this Christmas story finished. So maybe I’ll manage to make it another year of five if all goes well.
Rach: Thanks for taking time out of your busy release week schedule to chat!
Nothing Ventured is out tomorrow, 12th November and you’re in for a real treat, I’ve been lucky enough to read it already.
When Aiden agrees to run the Mad Mucker—a twelve-mile muddy slog over an obstacle course—he’s expecting it to be a bit of a laugh. The training will be tough, but Aiden could use the motivation to regain some fitness.
Matt is the sexy cousin of one of Aiden’s coworkers and a last-minute addition to the team. When he agrees to train with Aiden, Aiden suddenly finds the prospect of regular workouts a lot more appealing.
Soon attraction flares, and they embark on an intense physical relationship. Matt doesn’t want to fall in love with a man, and Aiden doesn’t want to fall in love at all, but despite their insistence on no strings, they grow closer. As the day of the race approaches, time is running out for them to work out how they feel about each other.
They moved on to discuss training more specifically. Liv, of course, had already planned out her schedule and suggested the rest of them do the same.
“It helps me focus if I make a plan and stick to it,” she was saying. “I’ll be running four days a week and going to the gym for weight training twice. That gives me one day of complete rest a week.”
“One whole day!” Aiden shook his head as he picked up his now nearly empty pint. “Careful, your muscles might atrophy or something.”
He drained the last dregs and wiped the foam from his lip with the back of his hand. He caught Matt watching him as he did it, and he licked his lips deliberately. He couldn’t resist flirting with the man even though his interest was completely unreciprocated. The bloke looked as though he had a stick up his arse, and Aiden couldn’t imagine he’d like anything more interesting up there. Shame. Aiden wouldn’t have minded trying.
Liv’s voice snapped him out of daydreams about Matt’s arse and back to the here and now. “So how many times a week will you be aiming to run, Aiden?”
“Oh… um, yeah. Three or four, I guess,” he said vaguely. “That sounds about right. And I’ve got some weights at home, so I can use those if I don’t make it to the gym.” They were at the back of a cupboard, gathering dust.
“Matt lives near you. Maybe you could train together?” Liv had a wicked glint in her eye. “It’s always motivating training with someone else. It’s so easy to wimp out on a rainy day if you’re not answering to anyone, isn’t it?”
“I suppose,” Aiden replied warily. “But I don’t think it’s necessary. I wouldn’t want to slow Matt down.”
He expected Matt to agree. Why the hell would Matt want to train with him? Aiden hadn’t exactly made a great first impression. There was no way he’d want Aiden tagging along behind him and cramping his style.
But surprisingly, Matt grinned at him. The evil, slightly too knowing look in his eye was familiar, and for the first time Aiden could see the family resemblance between him and Liv. “I think that’s a great idea.”
Aiden opened his mouth, but for once he was at a loss for words. He closed it again and swallowed.
“Brilliant,” said Liv. “Make sure you swap numbers, then, so you can arrange something.”
Matt got out his phone. “We can start tomorrow after work. What’s your number?”
Aiden knew when he was beaten. It seemed he’d acquired a training partner. An annoying, bossy, sexy but tragically straight training partner. But at least the view of Matt’s arse would be nice while Aiden was trying to keep up with him.
Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England, with her husband, two children, and two cats.
She 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.
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