A warm welcome to author JL Merrow joining us today to talk about her newest release “Wake Up Call”, part of Riptides Porthkennack series.
JL talks about writing in this series and she brought with her a giveaway to participate in!
Welcome JL 🙂
Playing in Someone Else’s Sandbox
Hi, I’m JL Merrow, and I’m delighted to be here today as part of the blog tour to celebrate the release of Wake Up Call, the first of my contemporary MM romances in Riptide’s multi-author Porthkennack series.
Wake Up Call is set in Porthkennack, a fictional Cornish town that serves as a “shared world” for novels by five Riptide authors. Whereas with my usual fiction, I’ll take a location I know well, or am interested in—or I’ll simply make one up—in this case, I used a setting that had been carefully worked out by another author, Alex Beecroft. And not just the locations; she sketched out a thrilling history of the area, including smuggling, cultural diversity and dark goings-on.
No wonder I was keen to be part of the Porthkennack project!
Shared worlds aren’t, of course, new. Riptide also has the Bluewater Bay series, and further back, H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos has been used as a basis by many writers. Indeed, science fiction lends itself particularly well to the shared universe concept, with examples such as Larry Niven’s Known Space ’verse, which he opened up to other writers*. Marvel’s superheroes inhabit a shared universe, in which they turn up in each other’s films, TV shows and comic books. Writers on most long-running TV dramas, such as soap operas, are working in a shared universe—they have to take account of what has gone before and avoid contradicting and/or repeating it (some do this better than others!)
So what was it like working under these constraints? Well, for me at least, it was a lot of fun! Alex’s craggy Cornish location proved truly inspiring, as did her hints as to the nefarious history of the locals. I decided to take one of her long-standing local families, who for centuries have lived in Roscarrock House up on Big Guns Point, and create some modern-day Roscarrocks who can’t escape the influence of their ancestors.
But I wasn’t the only author working in this setting. Cue several rounds of emails between participating authors as we made sure nothing we wrote would clash! For me, this only made the process more enjoyable. Writing can be a solitary business, and it was great to compare notes with other authors involved in the Porthkennack series and to get a sneak preview of their books—purely for reasons of continuity, obviously… 😉
* Using another writer’s setting and/or characters without permission, unless they are in the public domain, is generally to be avoided, as it tends to cause offence, and also copyright lawsuits.
About Wake Up Call
South London mechanic Devan Thompson has gone to Porthkennack to track down someone he’s been waiting all his life to know. But Dev’s distracted from his quest by Kyle, a broodingly handsome local of only a few months, who’s already got a reputation as an alcoholic because of his strange behaviour—including a habit of collapsing in the street.
Kyle Anthony fled to Porthkennack to escape from the ruins of his life. Still raging against his diagnosis of narcolepsy—a condition that’s cost him his job as a barrister, his lover, and all chance of normality—the last thing he wants is another relationship that’s doomed to fail. But Dev’s easy-going acceptance and adaptability, not to mention his good looks, have Kyle breaking all his self-imposed rules.
When disaster strikes Dev’s adored little sister, Kyle steps up to the plate, and Dev sees a side of his lover he wasn’t prepared for: competent, professional—and way out of Dev’s league. With one man determined that they don’t have a future, and the other fearing it, life after Porthkennack is starting to look bleak for both of them.
Now available from:
Welcome to Porthkennack, a charming Cornish seaside town with a long and sometimes sinister history. Legend says King Arthur’s Black Knight built the fort on the headland here, and it’s a certainty that the town was founded on the proceeds of smuggling, piracy on the high seas, and the deliberate wrecking of cargo ships on the rocky shore. Nowadays it draws in the tourists with sunshine and surfing, but locals know that the ghosts of its Gothic past are never far below the surface.
This collaborative story world is brought to you by five award-winning, best-selling British LGBTQ romance authors: Alex Beecroft, Joanna Chambers, Charlie Cochrane, Garrett Leigh, and JL Merrow. Follow Porthkennack and its inhabitants through the centuries and through the full rainbow spectrum with historical and contemporary stand-alone titles.
Check out Porthkennack!
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.
Connect with JL:
- Website: www.jlmerrow.com
- Twitter: @jlmerrow
- Facebook: facebook.com/jl.merrow
- Goodreads: goodreads.com/.J_L_Merrow
To celebrate the release of Wake Up Call, one lucky winner will receive a $20 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on April 22, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!