Please welcome Jay Northcote to the blog today, chatting with Ele and Lili about Watching and Wanting and the 4 part Housemates series.
Q. Are you planning more books in the Housemates series?
A. I’m currently writing book 5 (Starting from Scratch) but after that I’m not sure. I’ll have to see if any of the other side characters start talking to me. I hope they will as I love writing the Housemates stories.
Q. Self-discovery/exploration and self-acceptance is the running theme of the Housemates series so far. Does Watching and Wanting follow the same trope?
A. Definitely. Watching and Wanting is all about Shawn facing up to his bisexuality and allowing himself to explore that with Jude, a new housemate.
Q. I think it’s safe to assume that most readers that have read the previous books in the series, are not very fond of Shawn. Will he redeem himself in this book?
A. I think that will be up to the individual reader to decide. When I started writing WAW I wasn’t sure Shawn would redeem himself even to me, but once I got inside his head and could see where his insecurity and shitty behaviour were coming from I learned to love him. I hope my readers will too.
Q. Jude is a cam boy! I believe readers will love it. Use 5 words to describe him.
A. Sweet, sexy, honest, confident, unashamed.
Q. The setting of your stories is deliciously British. Do you think you ‘ll ever write a story in a different setting?
A. I doubt it, or even if the setting were different, at least one of the main characters would still be British. I used to write American characters in fanfiction, but writing British ones always feels a little more authentic, and is therefore easier and more enjoyable for me.
Q. Which one of your characters in the Housemates series carries a little bit of Jay? With whom can you relate the most, or is closer to your heart?
A. I think a lot of the Housemates guys have aspects that I relate to, especially the ones who are going through that self-discovery and self-acceptance. I recently came out as transgender, so that whole process of coming out of denial, and finding your true self under the layers is something that is very real to me. Writing Shawn in Watching and Wanting was quite easy for that reason. Even though his struggle is different to mine, there were a lot of parallels.
Q. Your writing covers a vast range of subgenres. Which one do you prefer writing; NA (like Housemates), stories with older characters (like The Law of Attraction), or closer to YA (like Into You)?
A. I think I enjoy writing the younger guys best. They’re usually less sure of who they are, and writing self-discovery is one of my favourite things. Even with some of my older characters, like Alec in The Law of Attraction, they’re still at a point in their life when they haven’t figured everything out yet, or are maybe still in the closet for some reason. I always enjoy writing coming out stories.
Q. Originally I remember you said you had no plans for Shawn getting his own book. What changed your mind?
A. My readers. I had several people ask me when Shawn was going to get a story, which surprised me. I never intended on making him a main character, he was supposed to be the shitty side character who just pissed everyone off. I chose a name I dislike (sorry to all the Shawns out there), and I deliberately tried to make Shawn very unlikeable. But then all my readers assumed he must be in denial. At first I was like, “No. He’s really not. He’s just a twat.” But the seed of the idea had been sown. As soon as I went down that mental path of: But what if Shawn really is in denial? I knew I had to write him.
Q. So far, which has been the easiest and hardest book in the Housemates Series to write?
A. The easiest was probably Watching and Wanting because I had a pretty clear vision of where the story was going. Plus as I said above, I identified with Shawn and his denial, so it was easy to get inside his head.
The hardest one was Helping Hand, because I wasn’t in a very good place mentally at the time, so my inner critic was yelling in my ear for the entire six weeks that I wrote the first draft: “It’s just porn without plot. There’s way too much sex. Everyone is going to hate it.”
Well, luckily my inner critic was wrong, because the response to Helping Hand was mostly very good. Sure, there isn’t a lot of plot outside the relationship arc, and that’s true for all the Housemates stories (and most of my other books too). But as a reader I like character-driven, relationship-focused books, and it seems plenty of other readers out there feel the same.
Q. Did you watch any live webcam shows to help you write the scenes in Watching and Wanting? Because- wowzer. I felt like I was on the other side of the webcam. I felt like I was watching a webcam show.
A. I didn’t watch any complete shows, but I dipped into a couple of sites to check how they worked regarding membership/watching for free, and how the payment to the performers is organised.
The scene where Shawn is tied up and edged was based on some videos posted by a guy on X-Tube. If anyone wants to look him up, the name you need to search for is CumControl101. You’re welcome 😉
Q. Can you tell us who is coming next in the Housemates series?
A. Coming next? That made me snigger. Sorry. *Puts on sensible author face again*
I’m currently writing Starting from Scratch (Housemates 5), which tells Ben’s story. Ben is a minor character in book 4, and he’s paired with Sid—who we also meet in book 4. Starting from Scratch is very close to my heart, because Ben is a trans guy. Writing it is proving quite cathartic for me, but is also a challenge. I hope that m/m readers will give it a chance, even if it’s not their usual thing.
Watching Jude’s cam show stirs desires Shawn’s always denied…
Shawn is adrift. Recently graduated, he’s stuck in a dead-end job that barely pays the bills. His girlfriend dumped him, his friends have moved on, and he’s still in Plymouth—going nowhere.
Jude is a student living in the same shared house. Out and proud, he’s everything Shawn’s been running from since he hit puberty. When Shawn discovers Jude works as a cam boy, he can’t resist the urge to watch one of his shows. It makes Shawn want things that scare him, yet his fascination forces him to confront his attraction.
Keen to explore his bicurious side, Shawn suggests they do a show together. Jude agrees, and things get complicated—and kinky—fast. But Jude isn’t looking to get involved with someone so deep in the closet. If Shawn’s going to get what he wants, he needs to find the courage to stop hiding from himself and be honest about who he is.
Length: 52,000 words approx.
Although this book is part of the Housemates series, it has new main characters, a satisfying happy ending, and can be read as a standalone.
Buy LinksBuy Link Amazon Global GoodReads
Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England. He comes from a family of writers, but always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed him by. He spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content.
One day, Jay decided to try and write a short story—just to see if he could—and found it rather addictive. He hasn’t stopped writing since.
Jay writes contemporary romance about men who fall in love with other men. He has five books published by Dreamspinner Press, and also self-publishes under the imprint Jaybird Press. Many of his books are now available as audiobooks.
Jay is transgender and was formerly known as she/her.Website Twitter FB Profile FB Author Page Jay’s Books GoodReads More Reviews