I’m so happy to welcome one of my reading partners and friends, Jay Northcote, to my blog today. Her book Nothing Serious was released a few days ago, and I was one of the lucky early readers. But let me step aside now, because Jay is talking about first times. Oh, the scandal!
My Favourite First Times
Nothing Serious is a story full of first times and new experiences. At twenty-nine, Mark has only recently admitted to himself that he’s gay. We meet him at the point when he’s moving out of the house that he shared with his long-term (now ex) girlfriend and moving to his own flat.
When he meets Jamie and takes him up on his offer of some no-strings sex, Mark agrees despite his nerves and ends up sharing a lot of important firsts with Mark. His first kiss with another man (see excerpt below) is just the start of his journey.
Now, my first kiss was underwhelming (I distinctly remember thinking: Oh my god is this what all the fuss is about?) so I’m not going to share that with you. And don’t worry—I’m definitely not going to share my first time, first time with you, because eww (and also, that was nothing to write home about either). But taking that plunge, leaping into the unknown, is something we are all familiar within our lives in a million different ways. Sometimes first times can be small, seemingly insignificant things, and sometimes they can be huge. Sometimes they can be wonderful, but of course plenty of first experiences can be pretty awful too depending on what they are and how they turn out.
So for this blog post I decided to try and see if I could think of a few of my most memorable (but not necessarily fun) first times.
Skydiving: This was my scariest first (and only) time. It was something I’d always said I wanted to do but never really thought I’d get around to it. So when the opportunity arose I couldn’t say no, especially as it was in one of the most amazing locations possible—over Mission Beach in Queensland, Australia. Falling out of a tin-can plane strapped to a burly guy called Bruce (how perfect?) was insanely awesome and completely terrifying. But I’m glad I did it–not that I had a choice, Bruce was a lot bigger than me.
Singing a Solo: I was in the church choir at my secondary school, and we had to audition for solos in the Carol Service every year, it was quite a big deal. But I really wanted to sing one when I was in my first year there, so I auditioned and got picked. I was incredibly nervous but after I’d done it I was so proud, the buzz was totally worth the fear.
Becoming a parent: The first time I held my own baby, I had all the fuzzy feelings of oh-my-god-wow you’re so small and perfect and you’re here and you’re MINE. But I was also completely overwhelmed by the responsibility of having to care for this little scrap of humanity. That little scrap of humanity is now as tall as me and seems to be doing okay so far.
Being published: So, this is my most recent first. As a newbie author I’ve been riding the rollercoaster of submitting/editing/publishing and it’s been ridiculously exciting and utterly terrifying in equal measures. I still can’t quite believe that I’ve actually got to this point! But Nothing Serious is now out in the world, and my novel, The Little Things, is following hot on its heels on November 22nd.
So there you have it. Most of my memorable first times seem to be terrifying and wonderful in equal proportions. I wonder if this is universal? If you want to share any first time anecdotes with me in the comments I’d love to hear them. Best? Worst? The good, the bad and the ugly—I’ll take them all.
I’ll leave you with Mark’s first kiss with another man. Thank you for reading!
“Mind my bollocks,” Jamie winced, shifting away from Mark’s thigh, which had landed perilously close to his goods. “You might have need of those another day.” He let his voice sound deliberately mischievous, and he didn’t make any attempt to hide the interest which he knew would be showing in his eyes. Mark looked gorgeous like this, leaning over him with his cheeks flushed with confusion. The irises of his golden-brown eyes were nearly eclipsed by the pupils as he stared down at Jamie.
“Yeah.” Mark swallowed hard, and Jamie wanted to lick the bob of his throat. “Yeah… I guess I might.”
“Have you ever kissed another man?” Jamie asked. He realized he really wanted the answer to be no.
Mark shook his head minutely, eyes still fixed on Jamie’s as though he couldn’t look away.
Jamie raised a hand and pushed his fingers into those bright curls of hair, his palm grazing Mark’s cheek as his hand curved around and settled at the back of Mark’s neck. The hair was just as soft as he’d imagined. He pulled gently, encouraging Mark to dip his head until their lips were pressed together. Jamie kissed him, tender and thorough, and Mark gave in to it, licking back into Jamie’s mouth and making a little bitten-off sound that might have been surprise or pleasure or maybe both. It was a good kiss, sweet and hot and full of possibility, and Jamie knew Mark would be able to feel his cock responding, pressing hard against Mark’s thigh. Jamie groaned and brought his other hand up, carefully pushing Mark back and away. Mark moved to lie beside Jamie, flat on his back and staring at the ceiling. His chest rose and fell and the rasp of his breathing was loud in the otherwise silent room.
“Fuck,” Mark said, and his voice was hoarse. “I’ve obviously been missing out.”
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?
Nothing Serious is available at Dreamspinner Press
Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England, with her amazing, occasionally ridiculous husband, two noisy-but-awesome 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.