We’re so pleased to welcome author JL Merrow to TNA today on the tour for her newest Riptide Publishing re-release, Spun!, book four in the Shamwell Tales collection. She’s talking characters, cars, and there’s also a giveaway, so be sure to check out those details below.
Characters and Their Cars
They say that clothes maketh the man, but surely it has to be argued that what that man chooses to drive around in is even more of a personal statement. After all, while most of us have a selection of different outfits for different purposes—you wouldn’t wear a three piece suit to clean the drains, for example, or at least I hope you wouldn’t—unless we are very, very rich or have specialised needs related to business or hobbies, our cars tend to be of the one size fits all occasions variety. They have to be something we’re happy to be seen in any day of the week, and wherever we may be.
Fictional characters, I’d argue, have to be even more careful in their choice of conveyance. In a novel, where every bit of dialogue, every word of description has to advance the plot or show character, a car can’t be wasted on merely getting the protagonist from A to B. Think of Inspector Morse’s classic Jaguar, James Bond’s Aston Martin, or Del Boy Trotter’s three-wheeled Reliant Regal van. All of these cars have something to say about their owners: their personal taste, their background, and their aspirations (or, as might be, their tragic failure to realise them).
Which is all something of a problem for an author who is practically car-blind. I literally could not even tell you the colour of most of my neighbours’ cars, let alone the make. When I was a child and used to get lifts quite frequently from my friends’ parents, I found it easier to memorise their number plates than remember what the flipping cars looked like! So coming up with the perfect car for my characters is a constant challenge.
Fortunately, like all writers, I have my sources. I’m indebted to Stevie Carroll for coming up with the perfect car for Robert in the first Shamwell Tale, Caught!—the darling little Nissan Figaro, with its retro styling and air of comfort and luxury. My brother is a fount of information on anything on two wheels (I certainly couldn’t have written Hard Tail without him).
Rory’s car in Spun! is one that I did choose myself: just like its owner his Skoda is practical, modest, good value and slightly apologetic. But David’s car in Spun! was a case of serendipity: I knew he’d have something brand new, a little bit sporty and a little bit flashy—and then I stumbled upon an advert for the MG GS SUV starring Benedict Cumberbatch. What die-hard Sherlock fan could resist a car promoted by the man himself?
Readers, do you drive a car that’s an extension of your personality? Or dream of owning one? I’d love to hear about it!
About the Book
With friends like these . . .
An ill-advised encounter at the office party leaves David Greenlake jobless and homeless in one heady weekend. But he quickly begs work from his ex-boss and takes a room in Shamwell with easygoing postman Rory Deamer. David doesn’t mean to flirt with the recently divorced Rory—just like he doesn’t consciously decide to breathe. After all, Rory’s far too nice for him. And far too straight.
Rory finds his new lodger surprisingly fun to be with, and what’s more, David is a hit with Rory’s troubled children. But while Rory’s world may have turned upside down in the last few years, there’s one thing he’s sure of: he’s straight as a die. So he can’t be falling for David . . . can he?
Their friends and family think they know all the answers, and David’s office party hookup has his own plans for romance. Rory and David need to make up their minds and take a stand for what they really want—or their love could be over before it’s even begun.
Spun! is now available from Riptide Publishing.
About the Shamwell Tales
Welcome to Shamwell! A sleepy rural village in Hertfordshire, England, it’s the perfect place to move to for a little peace and quiet—or at least, you’d think so. But as a succession of newcomers to the village find, there’s more going on in these idyllic surroundings than cricket matches on the common and pints of ale in the local pubs.
As a place where everyone’s connected to everyone else, Shamwell’s rife with mishaps, mayhem, and misunderstandings—and the path of true love is no smoother than the ancient stone walls of the parish church.
Each contemporary romantic comedy in this series stands alone, but all feature a cast of characters drawn from Shamwell and its surroundings.
Check out the Shamwell Tales, available from Riptide Publishing!
About the Author
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.
She writes (mostly) 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 several of her books have been EPIC Awards finalists, including Muscling Through, Relief Valve (the Plumber’s Mate Mysteries) and To Love a Traitor.
JL Merrow is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, International Thriller Writers, Verulam Writers and the UK GLBTQ Fiction Meet organising team.
To celebrate the release of Spun!, 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 July 8, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!