Clare London (clarelondon) wrote,
Clare London

Jo Myles and JL Merrow - banter and new releases!


I’ve heard it’s all arse over tit with girls—euphemistically speaking, unless you get lucky and get a real goer—and they expect you to do the talking first, fucking second. Get the important stuff out of the way first; that’s what I always say.

-         Chris, Permanently Legless by JL Merrow

“I’m waiting for someone special.”
[Felix:] “Like me, you mean?”
“No. Just, for when I fall in love.”

-         Andrew, Tailor Made by Josephine Myles


Two very different approaches to that pesky, wonderful process of finding that special someone to share your Happy Ever After. But which is better? Which would you like to see your romantic heroes adopt?

Personally, I’m torn. While I quite like the awkwardness and embarrassment my heroes can be made to suffer after becoming intimate with someone they hardly know, I’m also a fan of the big UST build-up, where the boys become ever more desperate to get their hands on each other. (Yes, I’m evil—I like my heroes to suffer!) What do you think, Jo?

Jo: I’ve got to admit, you’re highly unlikely to find me leaving my characters to stew for too long – I tend to agree with your first quote from Chris: get it out of the way. It’s partly because I love writing long, plotty sex scenes, but also because I enjoy the way you can then show a marked change in the level of intimacy between the two (or three!) as the story progresses.

A “casual” sexual encounter between two near strangers can be awkward and embarrassing, I agree, which is always fun to write. However, it can also be hot as hell and allow an otherwise repressed character to let go of a few inhibitions. What does it matter if they confess a secret desire or fetish to someone they don’t really know and they’re not planning to see again? Then I get to be really cruel and make them fall in love with that person!

I think I just enjoy the kind of dynamic between two characters who don’t have a clue what’s going on inside the other’s head, like Dan and Robin when they first get together in Barging In. Those kind of sex scenes are rich with possibility for the writer. Are you honestly telling me, Jamie, that you prefer your characters to have an old-fashioned courtship before they hop into bed?

Jamie: Old-fashioned courtship? No. But extended period of ratcheting up the sexual tension until they’re practically climbing the walls? Definitely! I just love that feeling of Oh-my-God-I-want-him-but-I-can’t-have-him—particularly if the two are forced into close contact with no, ahem, relief in sight! It can be great fun working out a scenario where they get to look, but not touch; having them come across (no pun intended!) one another in a state of undress. In Pricks and Pragmatism, I had the boys living together but not sleeping together, and in Hard Tail, which will be out in the summer, they work together. In Stroke to His Cox, I had them in the same college rowing eight, with all the attendant flexing of sweaty muscles and getting-off of kit—delicious!

And interestingly, your line about enjoying the dynamic between two characters who don’t have a clue what’s going on inside the other’s head applies equally well here. I get what you’re saying about inhibitions flying out of the window with a stranger and then coming back to bite you in the bum—but don’t you think delayed gratification can be all the sweeter? ;)

Jo: (furrowing brow) What’s this delayed gratification you speak of? I’m not familiar with that concept ;P

Actually, I do enjoy creating a bit of UST in the early chapters but I’m just not mean enough to keep it going all the way through a novel. I think it’s a reflection of me starting out writing primarily erotica as I tend to have a surplus of UST pretty early on, rather than letting it build slowly over time. I enjoy it when characters feel lust at first sight, and I can only string that out until about a third of the way through. That was as far as I could manage in Handle with Care (forthcoming release), as by then the boys were clamoring to tear each other’s clothes off and I couldn’t actually stop them—not that I really wanted to!

I’m a little perplexed by the mindset that prefers delayed gratification romance over steamy erotic romance, although I do enjoy reading them occasionally. However, my muse is a bacchanalian bastard and demands I feed him plenty of scorching hot sex on a regular basis. I take it you’ve managed to tame your muse? Or perhaps she was never such a smut-fiend as mine in the first place?

Jamie: LOL! I now have an image of my muse as a strait-laced Victorian spinster! Probably named something like Agatha or Prudence, she spends her days reading improving books and campaigning for temperance!

Actually, my muse enjoys scorching hot sex as much as the next Greek nymphette—but haven’t you ever heard of being cruel to be kind? Trust me, the boys will thank me for it later...much later—they’re a little busy right now! ;D

Jo: See, you’re being cruel to be kind by delaying the gratification, and I’m being kind to be cruel by allowing them to have sex early on, but by making things difficult for them by introducing all sorts of emotions they weren’t expecting and aren’t ready for. I love doing that! And if it means I get to write plenty of sizzling and plotty sex scenes, all the better :)

I wonder what other readers and writers think? Is casual sex early on in a story something you enjoy, or would you rather wait to make it all the sweeter?


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 again. Her one regret is that she never mastered the ability of punting one-handed whilst holding a glass of champagne.
She has had over thirty short stories and novellas published by Dreamspinner Press, Torquere Press, and Samhain Publishing, among others. Camwolf, a paranormal romance, is her first novel, and her second, Wight Mischief, a romantic thriller, was published in November 2011.

Find JL Merrow online at:


English through and through, Josephine Myles is addicted to tea and busy cultivating a reputation for eccentricity. She writes gay erotica and romance, but finds the erotica keeps cuddling up to the romance, and the romance keeps corrupting the erotica. Jo blames her rebellious muse but he never listens to her anyway, no matter how much she threatens him with a big stick. She’s beginning to suspect he enjoys it.
Jo once spent two years living on a slowly decaying narrowboat, and was determined that she would one day use the experience as fodder for a novel. It may have taken a few years, but she got there in the end. She usually does. Barging In, her first novel, was released by Samhain Publishing in September 2011.

Find Jo Myles online at


From Clare: Like to stretch your writing fingers after Christmas' excesses? Fancy writing something for the visitors this month? It can be anything from a flashfic 3 sentences to a drabble of 100 or so, or even more. Any genre, any theme, any rating, any character(s). Maybe ones you already love, maybe the chance to try on a new character for size.
I'm holding a FREE FICTION DAY on the 28th, so send me new fiction - links to your existing work also welcome! - to clarelondon11 AT and I'll post it all then :).

FOLLOW the Birthday Blog so far:
Don't forget the PRIZE DRAW for the (in)famous GRL bracelet **OPEN TO JAN 31**

Jan 16: Sasha L. Miller making magic happen.
Jan 17: H. B. Pattskyn shares a free short story.
Jan 17: Becky Black on what can really happen after publishing.
Jan 18: Blaine D. Arden on keeping it close to her heart.
Jan 18: Tam battles with IKEA - and wins!
Jan 19: Toni Anderson shares her love of romance novels.
Jan 19: Poppy Dennison introduces the Boxer Falls m/m serial, plus a PRIZE DRAW for the (in)famous GRL bracelet **OPEN TO JAN 31**
Jan 20: Erastes shows us life from a horse's-eye view.
Jan 21: Anna Martin shares a beautiful and provocative ballet.
Jan 21: Andrea Speed shares snippets from Diary of the Damned.
Jan 22: Anne Barwell introduces her new WW2 m/m romance drama.

Jan 09: Lee Rowan shares her healthy resolution.
Jan 10: Rowena Sudbury and the beauty of a blue moon.
Jan 10: Sandra Lindsay and her WIP characters.
Jan 11: Shelley Munro and a tour of bedrooms through the ages.
Jan 11: Dany Sirene and her love of Goth characters.
Jan 12: Sarah Madison and her decision to stop competing.
Jan 13: Alix Bekins shares her love of kink.
Jan 14: Janis Susan May on writing one word at a time.
Jan 14: Charlie Cochrane watches movies with hankies at hand.
Jan 15: Megan Derr and the inspiration in fairytales.


Jan 01: luscious_words shares some fabulous icons.
Jan 02: Jordan Castillo Price shares her experience of re-releasing books.
Jan 03: Mara Ismine wonders how important is continuity in fiction?
Jan 04: Jen shares her favourite Rom Com movies.
Jan 05: Karenna Colcroft introduces her unusual werewolf.
Jan 06: Stevie Carroll takes us on a pictorial tour of her favourite locations.
Jan 07: Tinnean quotes Jack Benny on age.
Jan 07: Josie makes a brave leap into a scary sport.
Jan 08: Elin Gregory finds inspiration at every turn.


Check up on: Prior years fun HERE
and The 2012 Guest schedule HERE.

Want to join in but missed the original call? Email me at clarelondon11 AT and I'll happily find you a space

NOTE: most pictures chosen by me and credited where known, others may be used without direct permission, please contact me with any queries/concerns.

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Tags: blog month
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