After reading both Nathan and Owen books, well listened to one and read the other, I had a few questions. Especially with attitudes regarding dating and marriage so read on to find out how I put Jay through her paces and don’t forget to enter the giveaway.
An Interview with Jay
Mark: In the first book, The Dating Game, I just loved the novel idea of Nathan getting Owen, who is essentially a tart, to go out on a number of dates with him before having sex. Do you think the whole idea of dating is rather Victorian like Owen does or is there still a place for such traditional values in today's society?
Jay: I’m not sure I see dating as a Victorian thing, but I’ve always viewed it as an American thing. I have to confess that I’ve never really been on a date. When I was a teen/young adult in the late 80s, early 90s dating wasn’t something that people really did in the UK. I met my husband through mutual friends and we were always part of a group when we socialised. I met my previous boyfriend in a similar way. But that was in the days before online dating. I would say that these days, dating seems to actually be coming into fashion in the UK rather than the other way around. I can certainly see the advantage of getting to know someone that way, although I think the social awkwardness of the situation might ruin my chances of making a good impression!
Mark: Owen changes his mind about the whole thing and discovers something more valuable than he had known before. Do you think that dating someone cements a relationship better before jumping in the sack?
Jay: I would imagine so? Again – see my reply above about never having dated anyone. With both of the serious relationships in my life we went from friends to lovers. But I think if I was getting to know someone new with a view to having a relationship, I would probably want to get to know them a little before leaping into bed. Then again... fuck-buddies to lovers can be fun too and I’m not sure I’d want to wait five dates before sampling the goods.
Mark: Why did you choose to publish The Dating Game as an audio book?
Jay: Because I think audio is a really exciting and fast-growing part of the m/m market. It’s still fairly niche, many of the smaller publishers aren’t making audiobooks yet and I liked the idea of getting in relatively early. Dreamspinner were putting some of my other titles into audio, and I was really keen to get my self-published stuff into audiobook format too. ACX (the audiobook creation exchange) makes it very easy for indie authors to record audiobooks, although there was a significant financial outlay for me in paying my (excellent) narrator, Matthew Lloyd-Davies. But I thought it was a risk worth taking.
Mark: Do you listen to audio books yourself?
Jay: Yes. I’m a recent convert and I really enjoy them. They’re great when I’m driving, running or cleaning the house.
Mark: In the second book the whole issue of marriage comes up. Is your idea of marriage more Owen's or Nathan's?
Jay: Haha! I was definitely Owen in that scenario. I never wanted to get married, but my (now) husband is more traditional than me and I knew he was keen... but I think he was scared to ask because he knew my opinion. Just like Owen, I got myself engaged in a moment of enthusiasm/drunkenness after a night at the pub and then had terrible cold feet before the wedding. But after almost sixteen years of marriage we’re still going strong so I have no regrets!
Mark: The stress about getting married with the planning, everything that needs to be taken into consideration, etc. how was it for you? Did everything go OK or would you care to share any funny anecdotes that happened?
Jay: Things mostly went pretty smoothly for us. We did all our own wedding planning and it was a fairly simple day. We had a small civil wedding at the registry office in the morning, then lunch with close family. Then in the evening we had a big party for all our friends and family. We hired a hall, booked a band and had a ceilidh/barn dance. It was a really great day.
There is a tragic lack of funny anecdotes, but I have a good one for a different wedding that I went to a few years later if that counts?
My three-year-old son was obsessed with animals at the time and he was bored and wriggling on my knee. I thought he’d zoned out during the service, but when the officiant made the speech asking if anyone knew of any ‘just impediments’ his little ears perked up and he said (very loudly and clearly) – “Did someone say something about elephants?”
Everyone fell about laughing (including the bride and groom) and my husband and I nearly died of embarrassment.
Mark: What do you think about meddling mums when it comes to wedding arrangements? More hindrance than help?
Jay: I imagine they can be rather nightmarish. Thankfully neither my mother nor my mother-in-law got involved with ours at all. They were quite happy to leave it up to us and just turn up on the day.
Mark: In the Marrying Kind Owen's mum and dad are divorced, his dad not being a likable person and Nathan's parents / family are all still happily together. Do you think that Owen and Nathan's different perceptions have been influenced by their childhood experiences? If so how far would go in saying that is the case generally and not only in fiction?
Jay: In my story Owen was definitely affected by his family background when it came to his views on marriage and his beliefs about himself. He had to realise that he wasn’t the same as his dad, and learn to trust his ability to make a commitment and keep it. I’m sure our childhood experiences always affect us on some levels, but exactly how that influence manifests itself is totally individual. While for some people, coming from a broken home like Owen might make them doubt their ability to commit; for another person it might make them all the more determined to do things differently.
Mark: So the boys are now hitched? Where is there to go now with the both of them? Hopefully not the `D` word.
Jay: I’m confident that Owen will make the distance, so I can safely say their ending is a happily-ever-after one. If I were to revisit the characters, I think it would be to see them as parents. Nathan’s a little broody, and in The Marrying Kind, Owen showed his potential as a parent when he supported his sister through a difficult time. I like to imagine a future where Owen and Nathan have a child together somehow, but I’m not sure whether I’ll actually write it. But I never say never.
Thank you, Sinfully Addicted, for hosting me and for the great questions.
Purchase Links & Reading Order
1) The Dating Game (Nathan & Owen #1)
:: MARK’S REVIEW ::
2) The Marrying Kind (Nathan & Owen #2)
:: MARK’S REVIEW ::
Meet Jay Northcote
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.
Jay writes contemporary gay romance, usually set in or near her home town of Bristol. She enjoys the challenge of bringing the men in her head to life through her words
Jay is offering the chance for one lucky winner to choose any book from her backlist. Just enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below.
Good Luck XX