Hi, I’m JL (Jamie) Merrow, and I’m here today as part of the It’s All Geek to Me blog tour.
Thanks for having me here on The Novel Approach. :-)
Giveaway: all commenters on the blog tour will be entered into a draw to win an ebook of their choice from my backlist, plus a $10 Amazon gift certificate. A winner will be chosen randomly on Monday, 17th February, 2014. Good luck! :-)
Today, I’m interviewing Jez, hero and narrator of It’s All Geek to Me.
Jez walks into the room, looking around curiously. He’s better looking than I expected, based on how he describes himself—I don’t remember him mentioning the broad shoulders, and although his waist may not be male-model trim, he’s definitely solid and chunky, rather than chubby. It’s a rugby player’s build, not a runner’s, that’s all. And his features are classically good-looking, with maybe a slight squareness about the jaw.
But it’s his smile that really draws your eye. Warm and honest, with just a hint of shyness.
JL: Come in, sit down. Would you like a coffee?
Jez: (sitting) Cheers. Um, I could murder a cup of tea, if that’s all right?
Clearly he hasn’t heard of my hard-line stance against the demon leaf. But he’s the guest, so…
JL: No problem. Milk? Sugar?
Jez: Yeah, please. Plenty of milk, two sugars. And give the bag a good squeeze, I like it strong.
Suppressing a shudder, I make the drinks. I use the term “drinks” loosely. If there’s anything worse than a cup of tea, it’s strong, milky, sweet tea. My hand hesitates over the chocolate Hobnobs, but I decide to get out the second-best biscuits. This man clearly has no sense of taste.
I smooth out my frown as I hand him his cup.
Jez: Cheers, love. Um. Sorry. Didn’t mean to sound sexist.
His brow creases, and I can sense he’s genuinely worried he might have upset me.
(He should have considered that before asking me to make him an abomination in a cup.)
JL: That’s fine. Now, tell me about Rhys.
Jez: (face softening) Rhys…Yeah. He’s, well. He’s Rhys, in’t he? (His eyes go misty)
JL: Is he much like your ex, Darrell?
Jez: God, no. I mean… No. Really. No. (His brow furrows adorably.) Well, Darrell was tall, too. Is, I mean. I didn’t murder him or anything. (Jez laughs)
JL: You go for tall men?
Jez: Well, yeah. I mean, who doesn’t? (He pauses.) Well, short people, I s’pose, ‘cos it’d give you a crick in your neck when you had a snog. And lesbians, probably. Yeah. Short lesbians. (Nods)
I decide not to ask him why he thinks a lesbian might be snogging a tall man in the first place.
JL: So it was his height that first attracted you to him?
Jez: (Looking uncomfortable.) Well, you know. Not just his height. It’s the whole package, innit? (He catches himself.) That’s not… I don’t mean, you know, his package. Although don’t get me wrong, no complaints there… (Jez blushes.) I mean, it’s all of him. You know. Personality, and all that guff.
JL: But you can’t have known what his personality was like right from the word go. Can you?
Jez: Well, yeah. I mean, no. I mean, look at me, right? I’m just your average bloke. You don’t have to be Sherlock Bloody Holmes to see that. But Rhys, well. He’s got personality. In his looks, I mean. You know, with the hair, and the earrings, and all that. You can tell he’s a cut above. (He smiles. There’s something very sweet about it.)
JL: If you’re so average, what do you think attracted him to you?
Jez: (Laughs.) Buggered if I know! Nah, we just hit it off. Sometimes you do, yeah?
JL: I guess you do.
Should I try and make him see he’s every bit as attractive as Rhys, in his own way? But it looks like it would take a while, and there’s one question I really need to ask.
JL: Tell me, how important do you think honesty is in a relationship? Particularly at the start?
Jez: (looks at watch; does exaggerated double-take) Bugger me, is that the time? Sorry, gotta go.
Meeting Rhys for a, um. Yeah. Cheers for the tea. I’ll see you, all right?
He flashes me a smile and leaves, not forgetting even in his haste to take his teacup out and put it by the sink.
I smile back. I might have known I wasn’t going to get an answer to that one.
JL Merrow is that rare beast, an English person who refuses to drink tea. She writes across genres, with a preference for contemporary gay romance, and is frequently accused of humour. Her novel Slam! won the 2013 Rainbow Award for Best LGBT Romantic Comedy.
She is a member of the UK GLBTQ Fiction Meet organising team.
Jez is on a mission of mercy: to replace a tragically deceased comic book for his injured best mate, Tel. Venturing into the temple of geekdom itself, the Hidden Asteroid bookstore in London, Jez is bowled over by the guy behind the counter.
Rhys is the poster boy for hot geeks: tall, gorgeous, and totally cool. Jez is desperate to impress Rhys, but lacking in confidence after a bad break-up, so he bluffs his way through the comic book jargon—then dashes back to the hospital to beg Tel to teach him how to speak Geek.
Tel’s happy to oblige, and Jez is over the moon when Rhys asks him out. He’s even more thrilled when they discover a shared love of rugby, something he won’t have to fake for Rhys. The question is, how long can Jez keep up the deception—and what will happen when Rhys realizes he’s going out with Fake Geek Guy?
You can read an excerpt/purchase It’s All Geek to Me at: Riptide Publishing.