Nothing Special, Nothing Ventured, The Little Things, Coming Home, Not Just Friends, Cold Feet, Passing Through and more.
In September last year she released The Dating Game, which followed the story of Owen & Nathan. Now, on the 17th of April, she’s released the sequel to this book: The Marrying Kind.
The Marrying Kind (Owen & Nathan #2)
Nathan wants to put a ring on it, but is Owen the marrying kind?
Two years on from their first date, Owen and Nathan are living together and life is good—except they’re not on the same page about marriage.
A traditionalist at heart, Nathan wants it all: the wedding, the vows, and a pair of matching rings. Owen, on the other hand, believes marriage is old-fashioned and unnecessary. They don’t need a wedding to prove their commitment to each other. Love should be enough on its own.
All it takes is one moment of weakness on a night out to force the issue. Owen finds himself engaged after a half-drunk proposal, and Nathan’s enthusiasm sweeps him along. But as the big day approaches, the mounting tension finally combusts.
If he’s going to save their relationship, Owen will need to decide once and for all if he’s truly the marrying kind.
Renae: So welcome Jay!
Jay: Thanks Renae, it’s lovely to be invited to join you :)
Renae: Congratulations on this latest release. Tell me, did you have this sequel in mind when you wrote The Dating Game?
Jay: No, I originally wrote The Dating Game as a standalone and only had the plot bunny for the wedding story a couple of months after The Dating Game was published. I considered writing the idea as another standalone with different characters, but then realised it was perfect for Owen and Nathan so I decided to write it for them.
Jay: Haha. I don’t know. I don’t think so? But I guess I do sometimes put them through the mill a little. My stories tend to be very character driven, so they need to grow in order to move the story along. That often means a bit of soul-searching for them while they work out what they want.
Renae: I know that personally, the wedding and “The Big Day” was a lot of strain and stress on me, and I often look back and ask myself whether it was worth it. In the end I think it was, because I wanted my wedding and vows to mean something that a low-key exchange of words was not going to fulfil. I needed to declare myself and make solemn promises in front of family and friends – something that I wouldn’t forget when we had our first fight.
Do you think that gay weddings need to be big to prove something? Do they need to be big at all?
Jay: I think it depends entirely on the couple. Plenty of gay couples are still choosing not to get married because they don’t need that big day or piece of paper to seal a bond which has already been established for years. But for some couples, that day, those vows, and having an audience there to witness them is very important. I don’t think there’s any right or wrong way to do it, but it’s something that every couple (gay or straight) needs to navigate and sometimes compromises have to be made.
Renae: I hear a lot of news on the Marriage Equality front coming out of America. The UK seems a little more relaxed. Do you bring modern politics into your books?
Jay: Only in a small way, but it’s nice to reflect in my books what’s happening in reality. I had Nathan’s mum mention that she’d written to her MP (as I did myself) to support the bill when parliament was due to vote on marriage equality. Once the bill passed I knew I’d want to write a wedding into a story at some point. Since the law changed, I’ve written two weddings already—one in The Marrying Kind and one in Passing Through.
Renae: I adore books about opposites – the bear and the twink always draw me in, as does the story about the professor and the student. In The Marrying Kind, Nathan is the traditionalist, and Owen not so much. Are they truly opposites? Or is Owen just disillusioned?
Jay: Opposites are always fun in romance stories. Owen and Nathan are definitely different in some ways, but I don’t think they’re polar opposites. Owen doubts himself rather than their relationship, whereas Nathan is very steady and much more sure of what he wants. When he sets his mind on something, that’s it, whereas Owen is much less sure of himself and his ability to commit.
Renae: Do you think there will be a book #3? Nathan and Owen have done the dating, and the marriage. What’s next? The family? The mid-life crisis?
Jay: I don’t think it’s very likely, but I haven’t completely ruled it out. If I did write another story I think them wanting a family would be the obvious next step. There was a little bit of discussion about children in book 2, and I think Owen proved he’d make a brilliant dad because of how supportive he was of his younger sister, Megan in The Marrying Kind. But as I said, I have no immediate plans for more.
Jay: Finding the time isn’t too hard for me, because although I’m not quite a full-time writer (my time is divided about 70% writing to 30% other self employed work) it is my main job now. I struggle more with motivation and confidence than I do finding hours in the day. I try to keep to a schedule. That helps me stay focused. I do most of my writing in the mornings once my kids have left for school, and set myself a weekly goal of at least 10,000 words when I’m in the middle of a story. Some weeks I make it, some weeks I manage more and others I flunk out and try again the next week ;)
Some days it’s easy and the words flow like magic, other days it’s like getting blood out of the proverbial stone.
Renae: Do you think this is a life-long gig for you? I try to think if I will be doing this in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years… Do you think of the future?
Jay: It’s hard to know. If I look back at what I was doing 10 years ago, I would never have imagined in a million years that I would be an author now. So projecting forwards... who knows what I might be doing in another 10 years? But I enjoy writing, and I love the flexibility of writing as a career, so I really hope I will be doing this for some time to come.
Renae: What are you working on now?
Jay: I recently finished a couple of projects that are yet to see the light of day. I have a completed novella called Helping Hand, which is waiting for editing and should be out at the end of June. I also have an untitled short story that I want to get out sometime in June as well. And yesterday I embarked on something new that I’m hoping might end up as a novel. I have a fairly clear idea of what I’m trying to do with it, so I’m hoping I can make it work.
Renae: Thank you for coming along and chatting with me today. It’s been so much fun.
Jay: You’re so welcome. Thank you for having me, it’s been great!
Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England, with her husband, two 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.
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