(Updated December 2022)

What’s new/coming soon in our Lads’ world?

Glad you asked!

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.

Here is the chronological order of the series (a few are concurrent but follow different characters):

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-free, 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. Make it easy on yourself by getting the “box set” Glasgow Lads Books 1-3, which includes “Play It Safe.”

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 (or years, in Duncan and Brodie’s case) 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 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.

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.

Basically, I went indie so I could write what I wanted, how I wanted, when 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*

OK, so why, after four years with a secret pen name did you decide to reveal it in March 2018?

When I wrote Throwing Stones with a main character who had ADHD like me, I decided I wanted that book to have a greater reach to help raise awareness of the disorder. Since Jeri Smith-Ready (so weird referring to myself in the third person) has a wider network, I figured she/I could help.

This is also the reason why Throwing Stones is less steamy than the regular Glasgow Lads books—I hoped my family and friends would be reading it, and not all of them are into the bow-chicka-bow.

Also, it just felt like the right time. I tend to follow my instincts, for better or for worse, rather than come up with a master plan and carefully execute it. Life’s too short and unpredictable for that stuff.