~I am super excited to have Jo Myles on the blog today, it's always such a pleasure when she stops by. Be sure to leave a comment along with your email to win a great prize.~
Hello, my name is Jo Myles, and I’m a series writing virgin.
Oh, okay, I’m not really that innocent when it comes to the wicked allure of series. I already have a series of three short stories (The First Impressions books) and a Screwing the System short to my name, but so far, despite having been writing full-time for over two years, I don’t yet have a proper series of novels or novellas out there. That’s made me feel like a bit of an outcast among other writers in the m/m romance genre, all of whom seem to have at least one series under their belts. That’s all about to change, though, as I publish Junk, the first novel in The Bristol Collection.
First of all, though, I’d like to just make clear the difference between romance sequels and a series, as I’m using them here. To me a true sequel must pick up on the story of the main couple in the first book. In other words, you have to mess with their HEA in order to have enough conflict for another plot. To my mind, this only really works well when the first story left them at a point where their HEA was shaky, or when the romance plot is secondary to another plot, like a murder mystery. Jordan Castillo Price’s PsyCop series is an excellent example of both of these. Vic is still growing as a character, and there’s not only a new mystery in each book, but there’s also a huge amount of mysterious back-story left to unearth.
A romance series, on the other hand, is a simpler prospect. In this the books need to be linked—perhaps by setting like the Riptide Tucker Springs novels—but you can have a new cast of characters in each book. KA Mitchell is a master of this kind of series, picking up minor characters from the first book and giving their story in the next one, and I'm loving the Bad in Baltimore series in particular. I really enjoy the way this kind of series can also give us a glimpse of characters we loved from the earlier books as they now take their turn to be supporting characters in subsequent stories.
So what I’m embarking on is a series in this sense of the word. It’s something I’ve often pondered before, when minor characters have grabbed my attention and suggested they might like to have their own book. For instance, Tristan from Barging In, Dylan from The Hot Floor and Nasher from Screwing the System. So what’s stopped me so far? And just what makes Mas from Junk different?
I think what’s stopped me so far is not only the fact I have so many new ideas clamouring to be written, but it’s that I prefer series to be linked by more than simply a setting—for me the books need to have a similar theme and heat level. Tristan’s story would be a BDSM one, so it wouldn’t sit comfortably in series with Barging In, which isn’t all that kinky. I have the opposite problem when considering a follow-up to Screwing the System, as I’m not sure Nasher would really be into BDSM. And since The Hot Floor is a ménage romance, I’d want the sequel to at least contain one threesome encounter, but I’m just not sure if that would work with the partner I have in mind for Dylan.
Junk, however, doesn’t have any of these issues. Okay, so Mas’s story is turning out to be a little hotter than the first in the series (which is no bad thing, to my mind), but there are no threesomes or serious kink to contend with. And already I have ideas for the third book in the series, and am looking forward to introducing one of the characters from that one as a supporting character in Stuff.
I do find myself wondering if the reason I have the confidence to start this series is because I’d already used two characters from another story as side characters in Junk. Brandon and Jos, Lewis’s friends, first appeared in a very kinky short story in the Winter Warmers anthology. I hadn’t planned to use them in Junk, but when I began writing a scene where Lewis went to meet his friends I realised I’d have to come up with someone both interesting and plausible as a friend of the very straight-laced Lewis. It would have to be someone idealistic with a strong social conscience, and Brandon instantly sprang to mind. What’s more, he already lived in Bristol so it wasn’t like I even had to relocate him. Perfect!
It’s more than just characters and setting linking the stories in The Bristol Collection, though. All books will deal to some degree with our attitude towards possessions, and what happens when we accumulate so many of them they start to cause problems. Not all the heroes will be major hoarders like Jasper, but they’ll all have cluttered homes, as it’s a topic I find fascinating. Of course, the exact nature of the sorts of things they collect and the impact this has on their lives will differ with each book. In Stuff, Mas’s love interest is a collector of vintage clothing and machinery, and I’m thoroughly enjoying immersing myself in his fictional shop of curios. The rest of you will have to wait till May 2014 to take a visit there, though!
Readers, do you enjoy a good series or are you more into standalone stories? Any favourite series you want to share with the rest of us?
Prize giveaway: In addition to the grand prize of a sexy book tote (entry details on Jo's website) there will be a $5 ebook gift voucher awarded to one commenter from every post during the tour, up to Monday 9th September, 9am GMT (full details also on Jo's website, including the blog tour itinerary)
Letting go is the first step to healing…or bringing it all crashing down.
When an avalanche of books cuts off access to his living room, university librarian Jasper Richardson can no longer ignore the truth. His ever-growing piles of books, magazines and newspapers can no longer be classified as a “collection”. It’s a hoard, and he needs professional help.
Professional clutter clearer and counselor Lewis Miller thinks he’s seen it all, but even he has to admit he’s shocked. Not so much by the state of Jasper’s house, but by the level of attraction he still feels for the sexy bookworm he remembers from school.
What a shame that Lewis’s ethical code forbids relationships with clients. As Jasper makes slow but steady progress, though, the magnetic pull between them is so strong even Lewis is having trouble convincing himself it’s a temporary emotional attachment arising from the therapeutic process.
Jasper longs to prove to Lewis that this is the real deal. But first he’ll have to lay bare the root of his hoarding problem…and reveal the dark secret hidden behind his walls of books.
Warning: Contains a level-headed counselor with a secret addiction, a bespectacled geek with a sweet tooth, a killer “to-be-read” pile, embarrassing parents, a van called Alice, and deliciously British slang.
Junk is out now, available from the following retailers: Kindle US | Kindle UK | Nook | Samhain
About the author:
English through and through, Josephine Myles is addicted to tea and busy cultivating a reputation for eccentricity. She writes gay erotica and romance, but finds the erotica keeps cuddling up to the romance, and the romance keeps corrupting the erotica. Jo blames her rebellious muse but he never listens to her anyway, no matter how much she threatens him with a big stick. She’s beginning to suspect he enjoys it.
For more information about Jo’s published stories, regular blog posts and saucy free reads, visit JosephineMyles.com Facebook:http://www.facebook.com/josephine.myles.authorpage Twitter:http://twitter.com/JosephineMyles
Newsletter signup: http://eepurl.com/hrQ4s