Today I’m lucky enough to have my good friend Jay Northcote visiting my site. She’s here to talk about her wonderful new book, but I’ll let her tell you all about it rather than getting in her way.
Thank you, Posy, for hosting me again as part of my mini blog tour to promote my new release, The Little Things.
Today I’d like to talk about love.
As a romance writer, love is obviously a subject that fascinates me. Back when I was a teenager (far too many years ago) and going through the wonderful confusion and excitement of crushes, first kisses, and first boyfriends, love was pretty much all I thought about.
Over years of experimenting and falling in and out of love (sometimes with the same person more than once) I’ve decided that love actually isn’t really that much of a mystery. Not for me anyway—we’re all different of course—but in my life, love works pretty much like this:
Chemistry + Compatibility + Serendipity = Potential for Love
Falling in love is the easy part in my experience, but being brave enough to accept it and let another person into your life on a permanent basis is a whole different challenge. As for making it work in the long term… well, that’s always a work in progress for any couple, and is a topic that Posy is dealing with beautifully in her North Star trilogy.
I enjoy writing about the falling part because that’s the bit that really makes me swoon, but I also like working out the obstacles that can stand in the way of a couple and make it hard for them to be together.
In The Little Things the primary obstacle that Joel, my main character, has to overcome is bad timing. Liam might be Mr Right, but he comes into Joel’s life when Joel is very vulnerable. Joel is dealing with loss and huge upheaval in his life, and that makes it hard for him to accept the happiness that Liam seems to be offering him. Joel pushes Liam away and nearly loses him because of his fears of abandonment.
But sometimes, when you’re at that crisis point—in love but conflicted, and afraid of saying yes to happiness—it can be something seemingly insignificant that makes you realise how important a person is to you. I’ve been exactly where Joel was, although for very different reasons. I nearly threw away a chance at a long term relationship because I was scared and messed up at the time. Luckily for me, I got a second chance and we’ve now been married for fourteen years.
My kids love hearing the story about how we split up, but got back together a few weeks later because of a pair of Wallace and Gromit hankies (it’s a long story but I might share the whole thing one day). The hankies didn’t make it into The Little Things, but Joel does have that lightning bolt moment of realisation triggered by something small and seemingly unimportant. You’ll have to read the book to find out exactly what though, because I don’t want to spoil it!
The Little Things is available at Dreamspinner Press
There are lots of things that brighten Joel’s life. His three-year-old daughter Evie is one. His close relationship with her mother, his best friend from university, is another. Joel’s boyfriend, Dan, adds spice to his child-free nights, and Joel is pretty happy with how things are.
Then one cold and rainy night, everything changes. Joel’s life is turned upside-down when he becomes a full-time dad to Evie, and his previously carefree relationship with Dan cracks under the strain.
Meeting Liam, who acts as if getting hurt isn’t a foregone conclusion, shakes Joel to the core. Their attraction is mutual, and Liam makes no secret of how serious he is about Joel. But Joel is wary. He tells himself he’s keeping Liam at a distance for Evie’s sake, when really he’s protecting his own heart. Taking a chance on this new relationship with Liam may seem a small step—a little thing—but is it one Joel can take after losing so much already?
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.
Jay’s books: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/index.php?cPath=55_953