What’s coming up next for our Lads?

Glad you asked! Here’s the release schedule for the next few books. Titles and dates are current as of May 2017.

  • “Play Dead” (Book 3.5, Colin & Lord Andrew novella), 24 March 2017
  • Playing in the Dark (Book 4, Evan & Ben novel), late 2017 (tentative)

In mid-2018 I’ll be introducing a VERY exciting new character who will get together with one of the Warriors we know but haven’t seen much of yet, a Warrior who will have a prominent role in Evan & Ben’s novel. But first, I’m planning a wee Glasgow Lads spinoff, featuring the sport of curling, in time for the Winter Games in February 2018.

In which order should I read the Glasgow Lads series?

It’s up to you! Each book in the series stands alone and has a happy ending with no cliffhanger.

That said, there is an overall arc to the series as we follow the ups and downs of the Woodstoun Warriors Amateur Football Club. Most of the main characters are friends or teammates, so they make frequent and significant appearances in one another’s books.

I personally recommend reading the series in the order in which it was written. (Also, to be honest, I think my novels are better than my short fiction, so I’d rather you read one of those first :-):

  • Playing for Keeps (Book 1, Fergus & John)
  • “Play On” (Book 0.5, prequel novella, Duncan and Brodie)
  • Playing to Win (Book 2, Colin & Andrew)
  • “Play It Safe” (Book 2.5, Fergus & John short story)
  • Playing With Fire (Book 3, Liam and Robert)
  • “Play Dead” (Book 3.5, Colin & Andrew short story)

But if you’re a sticker for chronology, then read “Play On” first and go from there. If you’re new to male/male romance, “Play On” is a good place to start, as it has a slightly lower heat level than the rest of the series.

Some readers have told me they started with Playing for Keeps, then stuck with Fergus & John for their short story, “Play It Safe,” before reading the rest of the series. That sounds fun! It’s also spoiler-safe, as “Play It Safe” makes no mention of the events of Playing to Win.

I wouldn’t recommend skipping “Play It Safe” before reading Playing With Fire. Something HUGE happens at the end of “Play It Safe,” and if you read about it after the fact in PWF, it’ll spoil the surprise. You can get “Play It Safe,” “Play On,” and all future short fiction for free by signing up for my monthly newsletter.

Do these followup shorts mean the novels don’t have true HEAs?

Not at all! The novels provide Happy Ever Afters, and the shorts provide HAPPIER Ever Afters.

Given the ages of my books’ protagonists (18-25) and the obstacles they overcome to be together, it made sense to revisit each couple a few months later to see how they were getting on. The followups show how the love between these lads grows deeper, stronger, and more genuine as their weeks together turn into months (and one day, years).

What’s with the name?

Avery Cockburn (rhymes with Savory Slow Churn) is a pseudonym or pen name. I know it looks porny, but Cockburn is actually a Scottish surname originally meaning “wild bird (or possibly hill) by the stream” (burn = stream in Scots). I chose it because I wanted a unique, eye-catching name that made me happy when I saw it.

Cockburn coat of arms

Only later did it strike me that Avery Cockburn creates the world’s greatest celebrity nickname: A-Cock.

How long will the Glasgow Lads series continue?

Until the sun refuses to shine and mountains crumble to the sea.

Seriously: as long as I enjoy writing it and readers enjoy reading it! There’s so much to explore, in every aspect of this series—the football, the social issues, the characters themselves. My goal is to eventually write stories for the female characters—the lesbian, trans, and bi lasses on the team—and expand the series’ diversity in other respects. The Warriors themselves are so much more than a bunch of white gay and bi guys, so the books should be too.

Why, after a decade with big publishers, did you decide to self-publish this series under a pen name?

To answer that properly would take an entire novel in itself. While I loved my publishing house editors and got a thrill out of seeing my books on the shelves of Barnes & Noble, Borders, etc., I always longed to have more control over things like release schedules, covers, and price. Then I became frustrated—to put it mildly—by restrictive contracts limiting my ability to continue making a living as an author.

So basically, I went indie so I could write what I wanted, how I wanted.

It was the second-best decision I’ve ever made (the very best was saying “Yes!” to my husband’s marriage proposal). I’m eternally grateful to readers for giving me a chance to start over as Avery Cockburn, Cheeky Wee Thing. *kisses all of you*