Today I am so pleased to welcome Jackson Marsh to Joyfully Jay. Jackson has come to talk to us about his latest release, The Students of Barrenmoor Ridge. He has also brought along a great tour wide giveaway. Please join me in giving him a big welcome!


Who is Jackson Marsh?

Hi, thanks for having me here. I am Jackson Marsh; except I am not. Jackson is the pen name I use for my MM novels, and my real name is James Collins. Why the pen name? I’ll explain…

At the age of 39, I gave up life in the UK and moved to Greece. After being here for a couple of years, I decided to release a book about my experience, and it did so well, I published a second, and later a third and fourth, along with several novels under my real name. I built up quite a readership for my travel books, comedy and thriller novels, but something was holding me back.

I realised the last four novels as James Collins were leaning more and more towards being ‘gay’ novels. I started a series with a mystery thriller called ‘The Saddling’ during which the main character comes to accept that he has fallen in love with another man. As the second and third books came along, this relationship turned to a love story which was the backbone of the on-going mystery. I also released a gay/straight body-swap comedy, ‘Remotely’ which is more gay than it is straight, and by the time that was done, I knew what was holding me back and what I wanted to write.

So, not wanting to confuse my existing readership, I decided to use a pen name, and that’s how Jackson Marsh came about.

I find it easier to separate the two styles by author. On one side I have the travel books and ‘straight’ novels (though all bar one have gay characters, either main or subplot), and on the other, I have the ones where just about every character is gay, and, tbh, those are the ones I prefer writing.

As Jackson, I found I was able to be freer with my writing, because anyone who reads a Jackson Marsh knows they are going to get an entertaining story, solid gay characters (both heroes and villains) and, usually, a few tears of happiness at some point. I guess being Jackson helped me get over my inhibitions — the fear of what my established readership might think — but word soon got out that I was both people, and many of my James Collins readership now also read and enjoy Jackson books. I live on a small island in Greece that sees many returning tourists year after year, and as my husband and I work at a village bar, we meet many of them. Mainly, these are retired people who soaked up the books about living in Greece and follow my daily blog on the subject, so I was surprised when they started asking me when the next Jackson Marsh was coming out.

That inhibiting hurdle over, I have written 14 books as Jackson and ‘The Students of Barrenmoor Ridge’ is number 15. Becoming Jackson was a little like coming out of the closet. All these stories and themes, characters and situations poured out unbridled, and I was able to let my imagination run wild with the euphoria of finally being able to write as myself – albeit under a pen name.

Now, I realise, that within most of the Jackson Marsh, MM romance, adventure and mystery books, there is a theme which I have always wanted to explore, and that’s the theme of male/male platonic love vs erotic love. It goes back to my difficult teenage years (in the late 70s, early 80s when ‘gay’ wasn’t discussed in my part of the world) and the conflict I suffered between having male friends and wanting them to be more. This is the theme behind ‘The Students of Barrenmoor Ridge.’

I would put all my Jackson books under the banner of ‘MM Romance’ because they are romantic, if not always 100% love stories, and although ‘The Students’ is not necessarily a classic love story, it is about love. The love of one 18-year-old for his best friend and the pain he’s suffering because he wishes that friendship could be deeper and yet is unable to say so for fear of losing what he already has.

The novel isn’t exactly a follow-on and isn’t quite a sequel to the first in the series, ‘The Mentor of Barrenmoor Ridge’ as that is a May to September, older/younger romance, but the two main characters from book one appear as the mentors to the boys in the second book, the setting is the same as is the background of mountain rescue, mountaineering and coming out. You don’t have to read the first book to enjoy the second, but if they sound like your kind of read, then you will get more from them if you read them in order.

And so, that’s who Jackson Marsh is: a male author of male-male friendship and love stories who likes to weave an adventure plot (in the case of this series) around a developing relationship between two men. Which is exactly what ‘The Students of Barrenmoor Ridge’ is.


Book two in ‘The Barrenmoor Series’ of MM romance stories with a mountain rescue theme.

Liam has set himself a goal. To come out to his best friend, Casper, before his 18th birthday while hiking at Fellborough in the Yorkshire Dales.

Things don’t go according to plan, and when a violent storm hits, the camping trip takes a potentially fatal turn. Local mountaineers, John Hamilton and his husband Gary are called to help, but it soon becomes apparent that the rescue is more than physical. Liam and Casper both have secrets that when known, have the potential break or mend their hearts.

A mix of YA, romance and adventure, ‘The Students of Barrenmoor Ridge’ brings back popular characters from the first Barrenmoor book in a familiar setting with love, mountaineering and the dangers of both.

‘The Mentor of Barrenmoor Ridge’ is the first book in the Barrenmoor Series of MM romances with a mountain rescue theme. ‘The Students’ takes place two years later, and it is better, but not vital, to read the stories in order.

From the series reviews:

“No usual tried tropes here. Great story, natural dialogue, well-developed characters, and unpredictable plot.”

“I loved reading the entire “mentor” series. Such great escapism. I Love the Pacing of the story, the twist and turns, the suspense, conflict, romance. The whole series is wonderful to read.”

Buy Links:

Also available on KU


Jackson Marsh is a British born author of novels and screenplays.

Jackson has a background of theatre, cabaret and music and yet holds a social policy degree. He was born on the Romney Marshes in Kent, UK, but now lives on a mountainous Greek island. During the 1980s in London he campaigned for gay rights and performed political satire cabaret, writing song and reviews, appearing at Pride events, national venues and on television.

He moved to Greece in 2002 and married his partner there in 2017. He has won awards for his gay erotic writing, and in 2007, won a European-wide award for short stories. In 2017, he won awards for his screenplay writing.

Jackson is the author of ‘The Clearwater Mysteries’, and also writes fiction under the name James Collins.


Jackson has brought a $20 Amazon gift card to one lucky reader on her tour. Follow the Rafflecopter below to enter. 

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