Today I am so pleased to welcome Jude Tresswell to Joyfully Jay. Jude has come to talk to us about a new release, The Refuge Bid. Please join me in giving Jude a big welcome!


Who is My Favourite County Durham Quad Character?

(Excluding special friend, Nick, as he enters the tales in Book 3)


Mike, Ross, Raith and Phil… you would think that, as I created them, I could mould them any way I wished, but it isn’t as simple as that. I have changed them—they’re not quite the people that they were in the first of the tales, Badge of Loyalty—but I’ve only done so ‘consciously’ to develop their separate voices. (Four men living together and all around the same age: perhaps, at first, they were too similar.) It’s truer to say that they’ve changed themselves, organically, as they have reacted to events and been shaped by what their fictional lives have thrown at them. They’ve grown the way that most of us grow, products both of how we are and of what we experience. So, in a very real sense, the Quad tales are character driven. I set the basic plot up and then let the boys take over. Their reactions drive the stories onward and, for me, there are rarely surprises: I know, by now, how each of the Quad will react. I know what each of the Quad is like, but… which of them do I like best?

I like all four. I wouldn’t write about them if I didn’t. I love the care and affection that they are capable of. I love the trust they share, the knowledge that they will be there for each other. I know that, despite the (many!) threats to their stability, by the story’s end their relationships will be strong. Strengthened even. They are a unit, a set of musketeers. As individuals, though… I’m very, very fond of Raith. His trust in Mike and in Ross and, especially, in Phil is almost childlike in its simplicity. And Phil himself is such a kind, thoughtful person. He’s lovely. To me, Ross is admirable, not so much because of the way he time and time again holds everyone and everything together, but because he let his love of Mike dictate his lifestyle. A ‘monogamistic polyamorist’ is how he sometimes describes himself: Mike’s needs first; his own needs second. And Mike himself? Flawed, intense, dynamic… he’s my kind of hero. That doesn’t mean that he’s my kind of person. In a sense, none of the Quad are.

Mike is too intense at times. I sometimes want to tie him down. (Not erotically, you understand! I’m ace. Such delights are not my thing.) Phil’s the opposite: too cautious. I sometimes want to kick him into action but if he behaved as Mike does, he’d be acting out of character. Raith is too unstable. A week (a day!) of Raith and I’d be as off the planet as he is. And Ross is too much of a businessman with his eye on financial success. That might be a plus for some people. Not me, though. So, a favourite? I don’t really have one. If you’ve read the books, perhaps you do. Who?

Thank you for the opportunity to chat and ask. Jude.


refuge bid coverThe Refuge Bid is a gay mystery and relationships tale set in fictional Tunhead, northeast England.

Is there a link between a woman who has been missing for ten years and the people bidding to buy and redevelop Tunhead’s decommissioned church and graveyard?  Can the County Durham Quad and their special friend, Nick, find out and stop the sale—one grave is special—and can they raise the cash to counter the bids with an offer of their own?  Success involves drawing on Tunhead’s quarrying industry past and on employing their very different skills but, also, they must acknowledge what it is that they really want from their unusual liaison.

(Involves asexual/ sexual relationships and contains references to a teenager’s suicide and conversion therapy.)

Purchase at Amazon –

Discover the entire series!

Tales that track the exploits of Mike, Ross, Raith and Phil, four men who live and love in County Durham, North-East England. Together with, from Book 3 onward, their friend, Nick Seabrooke, the Quad solve crimes, are accused of crimes and, occasionally, commit crimes. Their actions jeopardise their relationships. Sometimes, the biggest threat they face is staying together. Each tale comes with its own plot, and background is included to aid new readers. Feel free to jump in anywhere.

Available from Amazon –


Just released Book 8 in the County Durham Quad series. I think it might be the final one. There’s a piece of non-fiction that I want to write (still focusing on County Durham!) and I know that the research alone will take up much of my time. I do love the north of England. It’s where I was born and grew up and northern England is the setting for all my work. I always ‘heard’ the stories as I wrote them and I wanted to read extracts over visual footage of County Durham (the Quad tales) and Yorkshire (Scar Ghyll Levels). It’s a project that became became a reality.

Six videos are now on YouTube. To see all the videos in full, plus the photographs I took for Scar Ghyll Levels, visit my YouTube channel –

Find my blog here – It really is a poly all sorts of a blog but there’s a books and an LGBTQ focus.

I hope that you like the new book. Last one or not, it has a happy ending.