Happy Hump Day! This week I'd like to welcome JL Merrow to the Hump Day Hot Seat!
What is your favorite childhood book?
I’ve always adored books, so it’s hard to pick just one! I loved Enid Blyton’s Famous Five books & identified strongly with tomboy George—like her, I had short hair and was often mistaken for a boy. The books are, of course, full of horrific attitudes to class, race, gender etc, but as a child all I saw was the adventure. I was also very fond of The Rescuers by Margery Sharp, which is a little more grown up than the Disney film it inspired. I remember the book as having very dense text, and introducing me to brand new words like “anathema”.
What book/s are you reading at present?
I have a 3 month subscription to KU, so would welcome any recommendations! I’ve just started reading Making a Tinderbox by Emma Sterner-Radley, which is described as “Gaslamp romance with a hint of mystery” and appeals to the steampunk in me.
What 5 people, past or present would you have round for dinner?
Stephen Fry; Sue Perkins; Val McDermid; Oscar Wilde; Jane Austen.
Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?
I think the cover of a book is hugely important. The cover, along with the title and author name if it’s a known author, is what catches the buyer’s eye and persuades them to take a closer look. I’d be lying if I said the gorgeous cover of Making a Tinderbox wasn’t one of the factors that influenced me to give it a go.
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
It varies, book to book. For example, before writing Trick of Time I visited the Criterion Theatre in London, where it’s set, and a very nice young man kindly gave me a tour of the place while the actors were rehearsing. Preparing to write To Love a Traitor, I immersed myself in pre-1920 fiction to get a feel for the language of the time, and used the internet to find contemporary photos and newspaper reports (and the weather! I’d like to point out that the weather in the novel is 100% accurate to the year it’s set, including the unusual early December snow.) Sometimes, I don’t realise I’m researching until a story idea comes along—such as the trip to Iceland that inspired Fall Hard.
For your chance to win a backlist ebook from JL Merrow, answer this question….What 5 people, past or present would you have round for dinner?
One Under – A Porthkennack Novel – OUT NOW
London Underground worker Mal Thomas is staying in Porthkennack to recover from a traumatic experience. Getting some more bad news from home is the last straw—until big, blond museum curator Jory Roscarrock steps up to offer some comfort.
A doctor of English Literature, Jory should be in a prestigious post at a top university. But a youthful indiscretion has led him to abandon academia to come back to his home town, Porthkennack, and the controlling family he’s never really felt a part of. He’s delighted to find a kindred spirit in the young Londoner.
But Jory’s family hurt Mal’s best friend deeply, and while Jory’s desperate to repair the damage, his own mistakes threaten to keep them apart. Meanwhile Mal’s torn between his feelings for Jory and his duty to his friend—and his fears that a failed relationship could be more than his shattered confidence can take.
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 mysteries, and is frequently accused of humour. Her novel Slam! won the 2013 Rainbow Award for Best LGBT Romantic Comedy, and her novella Muscling Through and novel Relief Valve were both EPIC Awards finalists.
JL Merrow is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, International Thriller Writers, Verulam Writers’ Circle and the UK GLBTQ Fiction Meet organising team.