I write ‘Romance’. In case you haven’t noticed, there aren’t that many males writing (nor for that matter, reading) this genre. I didn’t set out to be a romantic fiction author, I just got placed there because I explore relationships, particularly second-chance ones. I use humour to describe my protagonists’ tragi-heroic journeys in search of love while carrying cartloads of baggage. My characters, some highly eccentric and others initially appearing to be plain ordinary, struggle to balance the pressures of work, friends and families as they search for new romance.
My main characters are sometimes ageing baby-boomers who refuse to be regarded as old or to behave according to previous norms and expectations. Although well beyond the pubbing, clubbing and young mothers set, they aren’t hanging around waiting for dementia to set in or for their children to place them in a warden-controlled flat. And it’s their children who are often the ones getting in the way as they seek a new relationship.
In writing Jack & Jill Went Downhill I did things the other way around. In this novel it is the children who are centre-stage and it’s the parents who create the tensions and obstacles. The story starts with Jack and Jill meeting at university on Freshers Big Party Night. It’s love at first sight, but the relationship is soon challenged when it’s time to meet the parents.
My choice of title came soon after deciding on the theme. There are crises for both protagonists, first the man and then the woman. In effect, he falls down and she comes tumbling after, so choice of names was obvious. Jack and Jill share the joke that theirs match those of the nursery rhyme but fail to recognise that their lives are about to play out the plot.
I’m delighted that this novel has been published by Endeavour Media. If you decide to read it, I hope you enjoy the male perspective on relationships which, I’m often told, provides a refreshingly original viewpoint.
Finally, two confessions.
Confession Number One. I’m uncomfortable with the typical Romance novel cover – the ChickLit cartoony type and the hunky man/swooning woman one – so was particularly pleased when the Endeavour Media design team came up with such clean lines for Jack & Jill went Downhill.
Confession Number Two: My name is Richard and I’m a coward. An agent suggested I use a female pseudonym to increase readership. “No way!” I declared with bold pride, “people are going to have to accept me for who I am.” That evening I considered Rebecca, Rosemary, Rachel and Rita before opting for the cowardly compromise of using RJ instead of Richard.
Get your copy of Jack and Jill Went Downhill HERE!