JL Merrow

JL Merrow

Tell us about your recent Riptide release. What was the inspiration behind it?

Spun! is the fourth in my Shamwell Tales series of romantic comedies set in a fictional English village, so it was to some extent set up by the previous titles, and in particular Out!, where my main characters David and Rory both first appear—although they don’t actually meet until after the start of Spun! You don’t have to have read Out! to enjoy Spun!, however—the story is self-contained. (Although if you’d like to read both books I’d be fully in support of that too *g*).

After Out! was released, readers asked me if I’d be writing David’s story, and indeed I always intended to—I wonder if they’ll be surprised to find out who his love interest is! ;)

What can readers expect when they read a story from you? What would you like potential readers to know about you and your books?

To paraphrase a recent review: Gor blimey, it’s well British, innit guv? Yes, the reader can expect a *cough* moderate amount of British dialect. I make no apologies for this: that’s just how the voices in my head sound. No, I’m not seeing anyone about the voices in my head. Why do you ask?
I also like to include some humour, where possible. Obviously a more angsty story like Wake Up Call won’t have the same level of funny as, say, one of my Shamwell Tales or Lovers Leap, but I find the humour tends to creep in at odd moments, even so. I blame those voices…

What was the most surprising thing you learned about yourself while writing your latest release?

I’ve been doing this too long to learn anything surprising about myself—but my characters constantly surprise me! 

How long does it take you to write a book? 

Longer than I’d like! ;) 

I usually say around four months for a contemporary romance, six or seven for a mystery (plotting a murder tends to take a little more work than just getting two people together, fictionally speaking, at least. Is it the same in real life? Answers on a postcard from genuine matchmaking murderers only, please).

Describe your workspace.

A mess! ;) More precisely, a corner of the dining table (figuratively speaking, as it is oval and thus sadly corner-free) with shelves behind me on which I keep (at varying times, and among other things) research books, my collection of promo pens, my steampunk goggles and a cat.

Do you ever get writer’s block? What do you do to cure it?

Uh…I got nothing. ;)

What can readers expect from you in the future?

I’m currently working on Plumber’s Mate Mystery #5, which has the working title of Lock Nut. Riptide will be re-releasing all four of my previous Plumber’s Mate Mysteries, together with the new one, at a date yet to be determined. Audiobooks are also planned, which I’m really excited about as Tom’s narrative voice is ideal for audiobook.

There will also be a second Porthkennack novel from me early in 2018, One Under, which tells the story of Wake Up Call’s Dev’s best mate, Mal, who goes to Porthkennack to recover from a traumatic experience. And there may well be a third Porthkennack story from me at some point, although that one’s not written yet. ;)

Do you have a favorite quote?

Lordy, lordy, how to choose? I do have a favourite joke (“What’s brown and sticky? A stick.”) but quotes… There are so many flippin’ good ones out there, and my favourite is subject to change without notice. But how about this one:

“What would men be without women? Scarce, sir...mighty scarce.” ― Mark Twain

JL Merrow is that rare beast, an English person who refuses to drink tea. She read Natural Sciences at Cambridge, where she learned many things, chief amongst which was that she never wanted to see the inside of a lab ever again. Her one regret is that she never mastered the ability of punting one-handed whilst holding a glass of champagne.

She writes across genres, with a preference for contemporary gay romance and the paranormal, and is frequently accused of humour. Her novella Muscling Through is a 2013 EPIC ebook Award finalist. She is a member of the UK GLBTQ Fiction Meet organising team.

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