I was delighted to win a Gold Literary Titans award for the first book in The Techboys Series, The Refusal. I was even more delighted when they reached out and asked to interview me about some of the thinking behind the series ...
The Refusal follows a young entrepreneur that owns her own security firm as she investigates the source of a tech billionaire’s security problems and in the process finds romance. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?
As a former young entrepreneur myself, I understand the struggles and challenges of running your own business. That's why I created Jo, the protagonist of The Refusal. She embodies the insecurity, worry, and determination that comes with being a business owner, and her character was specifically designed to contrast with Fabian, the drug-taking, experiment-loving hacker at the centre of book 2, The Outcast.
But Jo isn't just any business owner. She's a confident, smart girl geek with a knack for saying the wrong things at the wrong time and sweating about it. In a world filled with cowboys and motorcycle clubs, I wanted to put a different kind of romance on the page. That's why I honed in on the tech industry in my series, drawing on my own experiences working alongside techies to create authentic, multidimensional characters.
Janus turns out to be more than just a billionaire playboy. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?
Janus is the nerdy tech mogul who's flipping the script on typical romance tropes. As the ambitious, organized friend to the chaotic Fabian, Janus is the perfect contrast. But don't let his tech-savvy ways fool you - he's also a bit of a boy at heart, easily flattered by models and swept off his feet by a woman he likes.
In a genre filled with billionaire characters who seem to have it all together, I wanted to bring some realism to the table. Running a company is no easy feat, with constant pressure, competitors attacking at every turn, and the constant threat of failure. That's why I made sure Janus reflected those challenges, showing that being a billionaire isn't always a glamorous, carefree life.
But despite all that, Janus is still the nerdy boy made good, amazed that anyone would want to talk to him. I wanted a romance that would break the mould and showcase a different kind of leading man.
What themes were important for you to explore in this book?
The series is very much about women who hold their own and don't need anyone to complete them. But it's not just about female empowerment - I also wanted to explore the complexities of today's relationships, our insecurities and the pitfalls of comparing ourselves to others, especially on social media. The series reflects women’s roles now: women work, they make their own money, and they have senior roles alongside men.
And as for the men in the story? Forget the typical alpha male stereotypes - these guys are into their women, fun, generous, and genuinely interesting. Everything you’d want in a real boyfriend. It's time for more romantic narratives that showcase the value of men who lift their partners up, not some ridiculous “strongman” or some alphahole who you’d never date in real life (unless you had a hole in your head).
What is the next book in the Techboys series that you are working on and when will it be available?
Welcome to The Outcast and Fabian and Kate! I've just launched the next book and I'm thrilled to share the latest instalment featuring a rebellious hacker with a troubled past. Follow their tumultuous journey as they navigate love, danger, and self-destruction. You can find The Outcast here.
So if you're tired of reading the same romance tropes again and again and want to see something fresh and exciting, give The Refusal a try. You can find it here, and I know you won't be disappointed.
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Until next time,
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