“I have a shirt that says ‘Karaoke Champ,’ and I’m not afraid to admit it,” by Nico Jaye

Today’s guest is Nico Jaye, another contributor in y Going for Gold M/M Olympic Anthology. If you’ve never been to London, her story gives a great feel for the city. She won me over with the first scene,  set in a pub where the two main characters meet. Sizzling! Get to know her and how she came to write a story about a diver.

Here’s a blurb for “Into the Deep” and, later, we get to know a little bit about the author:

Sparks fly at the 2012 Olympic Games when platform diver John Sloane meets Blake Gallagher, a local bartender.  After a chance encounter at Blake’s London pub, fate brings them together once again as John prepares for his debut on the Olympic stage.  Will these unlikely lovers realize they’ve found a winner in each other or will the pressures of competition keep them apart?

Warning: Contains wet Speedos, gratuitous toplessness, a cheeky redheaded Brit who might be a tad unsure of himself, and an American sports god who wants him just the way he is.

Intrigued? You just might find an excerpt at the end of this interview. Just sayin’… 😉

Q:  What do you like most about the Olympics? Do you have a favorite sport you like to watch?

NJ:  To me, the Olympics are about two things: unity across nations and people performing to the best of the human body’s ability in a variety of sports.  It’s awe-inspiring to see so many athletes who are, literally, at the top of their game.  I definitely have a case of “admiring that which I cannot do.” I’m totally NOT an athlete in any way. I can’t ride a bike (seriously), am a disaster on skates (of any kind), and can barely tread water.  I can bowl (according to ESPN, bowling’s a sport, I swear!), but um…last time I checked, it’s not an Olympic sport.

I have so much respect for the Olympic athletes who have the discipline, drive, and talent to do what they do at the world-class level that they do it.  My favorite sport to watch would probably be anything water-related.  Whether it’s the swimming relays, diving, or water polo, I’m just fascinated by their ability to thrive so naturally in an environment that, for me, is so foreign.  The viewing opportunity for Speedos doesn’t hurt, either. *winks*

Q:  Have you participated in the sport you wrote about? (If not, what inspired you to choose that sport?)

NJ:  Ha!  I wrote about a 10m platform diver, so no…definitely not.  :)  Before writing this story, I knew next to nothing about diving other than that I thought it was really beautiful and looked insanely difficult.  I chose to write about it because I figured any man who could succeed in such a demanding sport (and look amazing in a Speedo, too!) would make a fantastic romance hero.

 Yay, Speedos! No, the story is not about Tom Daley, but trust me – my diver John has just as many adoring fans.

Q:  How long have you been writing and what inspired you to start?

NJ:  I’ve been writing since the night of February 27, 2012, and all thanks to the Goodreads M/M Romance group.  Sort of on a whim, I took part in their big Love is Always Write writing event, in which members submitted pictures and letter prompts for authors to choose as inspiration for a story.  There was a football picture and prompt that nobody had claimed after a couple of days.  You know what people say about plot bunnies?  Well, yeah…a cute little bunny started twitching its nose in my head and refused to go away!  The group and members were incredibly supportive, so I figured it was the perfect place to give writing a try.  So I just jumped into writing with both feet, and now there’s a freebie out there (and now a sequel, too!) with my name on it that I’m proud to call my own.  After that, I saw a call for submissions for a certain Olympics-themed anthology, and the rest, so they say, is history.

Q:  What books or authors inspire your own work?

NJ:  Almost anything and everything inspires me.  I’ve been a reader all of my life, but I’ve been reading romance since high school, when I happened to pick up my mom’s traditional Regency romance novel.  I was sitting in the car while waiting for my mom to run an errand, and I’d just finished my own book (a bestseller along the lines of John Grisham or Stephen King).  With nothing to read (the horrors!), I started flipping through my mom’s book (The Scandalous Wager by Olivia Fontayne) and was sucked in right away from page one.  Even before that, though, I realize now that I couldn’t help but focus on whom Stacy or Claudia was dating in The Babysitters Club series or what was going on in Elizabeth and Todd’s romance in Sweet Valley High.  So, yeah, romance has always been on my reading radar, and nowadays, romance (of many many varieties) is pretty much all I read.

Within the m/m subgenre, some of my favorites are Hot Head by Damon Suede, Handyman by Claire Thompson, Discreet Young Gentleman by M.J. Pearson, and my latest finds, free online fictions like Drunk Text by seventhswan (yes, that’s the title!).  I also love J.L. Merrow’s unique and extremely British narrators, especially Al in Muscling Through.

Q:  What interesting thing would readers be surprised to find out about you?

NJ:  I love karaoke. Loooooooooove it. I have an entire iTunes playlist called “Karaoke Jamz.”  To me, karaoke isn’t about being the World’s Most Super Awesome Number One Singer; rather, it’s about loving the stage and having fun.  I have no shame, and I freely admit it. *shameless grin* In recent years, my go-to karaoke song has been Gwen Stefani’s “Hollaback Girl.”  However, I’m also partial to crowd-pleasers such as “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond, “Since U Been Gone” by Kelly Clarkson, “More Than Words” by Extreme, and “Umbrella” by Rihanna.  If you’re in NYC, let me know and you can join our next unofficial Karaoke Club outing. Warning: Be prepared to sing Oasis’s “Wonderwall” loudly and sans microphone with a huge group of people. *evil grin*

Workin’ the microphone like a champ…a Karaoke Champ!

Q:  What are you writing now or what upcoming releases do you have scheduled?

NJ:  I juuuuuust finished up the sequel/follow-up to my Love is Always Write story.  I was super nervous about my LiAW story since I’d never released any writing “into the wild” before.  When some of the folks started asking what happens next, I was incredibly flattered by the interest people took in the characters and figured “hey, I know what happens next, so I may as well write it, too.”

Now that I’m done with that?  Well, so far, I’ve only written about sports and athletes (oh, the irony, since I’m such a non-athlete!), so maybe it’s time to branch out into something different.  That said, I have my eye on a submission call, and a plot bunny started nibbling at my ear that pairs a questioning-his-sexuality college jock with an out-and-proud art student. So, yeah…we’ll see where that inspiration leads me. :)

Nico Jaye thinks reading is awesome and may or may not have a cat named “Nico” from whom she borrowed this pen name.  You can visit them online here:

Website: www.nicojaye.com

Twitter: @nicojaye

Goodreads: Nico Jaye


You can find a sneak peek of Into the Deep, showing us the day John walks into Blake’s life, here on Nico’s blog, and pick up your copy of Going for Gold today on MLR Press, Amazon, or All Romance eBooks!



Word Counts - Today: 0 | September: 8,000 | 2012: 112,800

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2 Responses to ““I have a shirt that says ‘Karaoke Champ,’ and I’m not afraid to admit it,” by Nico Jaye”

  1. You know what they say about plot bunnies… feed them, put them in a dark room, and they well multiply like…well, rabbits! :-)

    I think it’s so cool that you tried writing a story on a whim (I completely understand feeling sorry for the unclaimed photo and then picturing an entire story enfolding around it!) and got drawn into the mad, I mean, fascinating world of writing. It makes your achievements medal worthy even though you say you’re no athlete!

    • Nico Jaye says:

      Thanks, Sarah!

      Writing has been a lot of fun, bringing both challenges and rewards along the way. As long as someone out there is entertained by it, I’m happy. :)

      And that new bunny…well, I wrote a first scene and have an entire set up for how it all goes down. So, yeah, it looks like it’s going to happen. :) And…yup, not branching away from athletes just yet since my narrator is a jock. I swear it’ll happen eventually! I’ll need to write about a mad scientist and his geeky sidekick next time, just to balance out all of those athletes.

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