How do my characters talk?

I’m sure there are plenty of men out there with the right skills and equipment to do a fantastic job, the difficulty is finding them. I’m talking about narrators, get your mind out of the gutter!
I know I’m not alone, I’ve chatted to other authors, WE are struggling to find the right narrators for our books if we need a British accent.

If you just want to know what construction workers in southern England sound like, then scroll down to Ricky Gervais near the end of this blog. This is how the SHS men would actually talk. But it’s not the only accent for a narrator.

Actors the world over are taught Received Pronunciation as the standard accent of England, also known as BBC English. It’s a particular accent that hardly anybody actually speaks. Here in southern England, we don’t speak like Hugh Grant.

Don’t get me wrong, RP (or BBC English) is perfect for many things and many characters. And I love listening to it on Radio 4.
BUT it often sounds arrogant, pompous and POSH.

So the vast majority of people do not speak RP, even if they can. It is more commonly heard among older people and rarely heard among young people. I’ll repeat that because it’s important:

Even if they’ve grown up speaking RP, teenagers and young adults RARELY speak RP.

British people call the RP accent POSH.
American friends have told me they don’t know this word posh, so let’s say aristocratic. It implies high social class, wealth, and education and the type of people who drink tea out of cups WITH SAUCERS and not just mugs.

What sort of average-bloke-English accent might authors seek?

You may well have learned RP as standard English so how can we work with what you know?
Please do not speak like heirs to the throne Prince Charles or Prince William, they are far too posh. The son and brother to the future monarchs, however…

Prince Harry (age 32) sounds like a propa English bloke. His accent is classless and ageless. He could be anyone talking to anyone. He doesn’t sound too posh. Here he is (with his posher older brother):

Let’s consider some famous British actors who’s voices and work is so familiar to all the world. I love Martin Freeman as an actor and he’s played great roles:

He’s not a Hobbit, he was the most typical English man in The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. And has played loads of English characters.

His accent is very ordinary South England, listen to him in an interview:

There are of course other WORLD famous English actors who don’t sound too POSH.

Daniel Radcliffe is VERY famous. He’s 27 years old. Only a hint of poshness, he can pass as an ordinary bloke in this interview:

While this blog is turning into a list of MALE BRITISH actors who’s work I admire, I can’t miss out Simon Pegg. I love the (very British) Cornetto trilogy films.

And here’s Simon in an interview (his background isn’t particular posh).

On the other hand,

A good example of UNPOSH English spoken across South East England is Estuary English. It’s something between RP & cockney. It is not Cockney and it is widely spoken.

How do Construction Workers speak in southern England?

Ricky Gervais is perhaps the most famous speaker of Estuary English.

To be honest, the sound of it is what I’d describe as A Bit Common. And I probably shouldn’t say it in public, but I hope my children don’t grow up to speak like this. (Yes, in real life I am an accent snob, but not at all POSH).

This is probably the closest example as to how real construction workers in southern English actual speak.

Here’s Ricky Gervais. This is it. The truest example of SHS Construction Worker accents:

Other speakers of Estuary include: Jamie Oliver, Michael Caine, David Beckham and Tony Blair.

Estuary is NOT cockney.  “However, unlike Cockney, EE does not involve, for example, • h-dropping; or • th-fronting.”

Even though the manual workers in my fiction would (really) speak Estuary, like Ricky Gervais, this accent is not essential for narration. And any normal English bloke accent could work with the right voice.

James Corden’s accent is another example of Estuary. Here’s the example of his character Smithy the plumber with George Michael.

Obviously, there’s far more to listen to than just accent.

I can’t mention Gervais without mentioning another famous British actor/writer who I admire. Stephen Merchant’s accent is typical for the WEST of England, Bristol, West Country.

I’m not celebrating the disgrace of Milo Yiannopoulos

British teenagers can consent to sex from age 13, did you know that? There are a whole lot of things most Americans might not know about British teenagers, 13+: eg. they can consent to sex from at 13 years of age. They can consent to or decline medical treatment regardless of parental opinion. And they can be prescribed contraceptives without the knowledge or consent of their parents. And they can legally drink alcohol at any age, but can’t buy it until they are 18.

Wait a minute: the age of consent in the UK is 16, you might say. True; some people are prosecuted for having sex with people who are 15, not just obvious rape but “grooming” and being a general creepy bastard come in to consideration. However, there is not automatic prosecution of people who have sex with those who are over 13 if both parties CONSENT.

The same in (some) other European countries. ANd in many other countries of the world.

Confidential sexual information and services including access to contraception are provided to teenagers of ALL ages through schools and our FREE national health service. There is an assumption and acceptance in the UK that many young people under the age of 16 will have consensual sex. Our schools and health service do not attempt to STOP young people from having sex but support them with information to be safe both emotionally & physically.

And I know what’s going on in British schools now because my oldest son will be 15 soon. BTW, This week parents of kids aged 14/15 received letters about the Meningitis inoculation of part of the national programme: we were reminded it was ultimately the teenager’s decision whether to have the vaccination regardless of parental wishes.

About half of people start their sex lives at age 15 or 16 and initiate sexual relationships:  this isn’t shocking news in the UK.. Mostly teenagers have relationships with people close in age to themselves but a 5-8 year age gap is not uncommon and, from what I’ve seen, parents accept the older boy/girlfriend regardless of age.

I’m not talking about my personal experience. My relationships have alawys been with people close in age to me. But as I’m almost 50 now, I’ve seen a lot of young people enter relationships with older people. Some of those relationships have lasted years (decades) and were accepted, tolerated or welcomed by the parents.

Why should it be OK for straight teenagers to be sexually active but not gay teenagers of the same age?

It is VERY relevant that the Milo “pedo” interview was edited – the edited interview presented his words in a very different way. For example, missing out:

  • that he thought the (16) age of consent was right
  • and the gross homophobic reaction of the interviewers.


I had no problem listening to Milo in the UNedited interview. In the full interview, from a British perspective, Milo didn’t say anything outlandish or shocking (which is rare for him).

NOTE: I had NOT heard/read any edited versions until AFTER I heard the full/unedited5.30 minutes. The edited versions change things A LOT.

I felt any gay teenager was being mocked by the interviewers who didn’t want to listen to what Milo had to say about his own experience.

Sadly, still, talking about the real life experience of being a gay teenager (or often just an LGBT person of any age) is so far different from the experience of cisgender straight people they so often reinterpret and can’t begin to comprehend. 

And don’t want to listen.

I heard Milo talking about relationships from the perspective of a teenage boy

  • (you know he went to a Boy’s school right? Not a mixed school.
  • His knowledge of teenage girls is very limited or non-existent).

He wasn’t talking about adults who are interested in teenagers. He was talking about teenagers who are in their earliest years of being sexually attracted to  others. We know this happens between the age of 13-15, i.e. a couple of years before people become sexually active.

As soon as the very idea of teenage boys having sexual desires is mentioned it seems many straight people only think:

Yuk, how disgusting, how is it even possible that a teenage boy could think such things, he must need saving from adult homosexual predators.

Because that’s what the two guys said (and I’ve put it nicely, their words were worse).

Milo obviously makes it worse by his language and British shock humour (that joke is well used in the UK, I’ve heard it many times – that kind of humour is very popular here).

Actually, no matter how that conversation was handled it wasn’t going to go well. If other people are disgusted by the thought of “underage” boys (by which I mean young men under 18) thinking about other guys naked that’s the time to end the conversation.

  • At that point I thought – walk away Milo.

Why can’t people accept that gay teenagers fancy men? Just as straight teenager girls have posters of young men on their bedroom walls and straight teenage boys fancy women.

You might not like the approach towards teenage sex in the UK/Europe. You might think that sex under 18 should be always be a crime that society and parents should aim to prevent. And indeed, some British parents do treat their under 18-year-old offspring as children who require permission to do anything other than go to school. Or even advocate abstaining from sex before marriage. But not many.

The fact is:

  • In the UK, and much of the world, the idea of 15 and 16-year-olds having sex with people close in age or up to 10 years older is common place.
  • For 13 and 14 year olds consensual sex-activity is rare, but does happen and the law accepts that people of this age can initiate and consent to sex.
  • It isn’t a question of whether Milo approves, or whether I approve, or you approve: he simply stated that it happens. And he’s correct. It does. Perhaps not in USA but definitely here in Europe. Even if it’s wrong and harmful, it does happen and it’s accepted in our society.


I think Milo’s fall from grace as a serious speaker was inevitable. He offends everyone (left, right and moderate) with outrageous arguments that are unsubstantiated by fact.

He might do well as comedian.

I can’t celebrate this incident because it was purely the triumph of homophobia and ignorance.

IMHO don’t call yourself a liberal ally of LGBT people if you can’t stomach LGBT people talking frankly about what it’s like to be an LGBT person.

Especially a LGBT teenager – i.e. part of an extremely vulnerable group.

Note: attempted suicide rate among all teenagers is about 6%, among lgbt teenagers almost 50%. Anyone thinking about speaking to straight people about their experience as a gay teenager would listen to that (unedited) recording and think again.

The interview is embedded here if you want to listen to it.

It’s 5 and a half minutes. Please note: I actually have very little sympathy or common ground with Milo. I dislike his views and the way he presents them. I’m not Milo supporter and I’m not an advocate for underage sex either.


On another topic: There will be more British construction worker gay fiction from me in about 6 weeks or so.


A Secret Boyfriend

We know construction workers are romantic by the truckload. Scroll down to read an excerpt from A Secret Boyfriend by H J Perry 


He knows the truth: Kevin is bisexual. He’s had girlfriends and craves experience with men. He’d never tell anyone his sexy or romantic fantasies. And could never imagine coming out to his dad and mates. They are all macho construction workers.

Opposites attract.

Out, loud, and proud: Perry is at a stage in his life when he doesn’t need a boyfriend just casual fun. He avoids hookup apps. There are only so many times a guy can read “no femmes” before it messes with his self-esteem. Luckily, there are plenty of other ways to meet guys. Some of those are not things you’d admit to your coworkers in the supermarket.

Unlikely circumstances keep bringing Kevin and Perry together.

Kevin & Perry’s story is (book 4) another low angst, feel-good, gay romance in the Sky High Scaffolders (Our Secret Wedding) series.


A Secret Boyfriend

by H J Perry



Cupping and squeezing, firm, warm hands glided over oiled skin. They traveled up his legs, squeezing and rubbing his quadriceps before the flat palms stroked down toward his knees.

Only the towel prevented Kevin’s already hard cock from bobbing freely. It tapped against the fluffy terry fibers as it strained and bounced.

The masseur’s hands returned, as Kevin knew they would, working up the inside, then between Kevin’s thighs.

Knowing what would come next, it was time for Kevin to open his eyes and watch Michael at work. They both knew how the discussion would go, the same conversation they had every time Kevin visited this therapist, which he had been doing for almost two years.

Michael’s voice sounded low and hushed, in harmony with the sounds of nature that streamed through the speakers.

“Is there anything else I can do for you?”

Kevin gave a subtle nod and let his eyes fall on the tenting white linen.

Michael removed the towel and licked his lips. Was he aware that he did that? He took hold with a confident grip, engaging the unselfconscious erection with firm but slow movements. The stretchy fabric of the black tracksuit bottoms did nothing to conceal a growing bulge that wasn’t there earlier. He liked earning a little extra money this way, apparently.

Whether the masseur was hard or not made no difference. Like the rest of the massage, the interaction was a one-way street. Michael worked. Kevin lay back, enjoyed, and asked for nothing more.

Michael’s hands were big, strong, and totally masculine. Watching them work, wrapped around his dick, Kevin was well aware of the strength in the hands and fingers that previously kneaded the muscles of his back and shoulders with such force.

Kevin could have booked a female masseuse, but every couple of months, he’d see Michael instead. It was the excellent massage that kept Kevin returning to the same therapist, not the happy ending. At least, that was what he told himself. It wasn’t because he liked a man touching his dick or seeing the signs of Michael’s arousal too.

A hand was just a hand. It was just a hand job. Anyone could do it, and it would feel the same.

That was what he would have told people if it were the sort of thing he talked about, which it wasn’t.

Kevin could have imagined it was a woman’s hand, although if he wanted to do that, it might have been easier with his eyes shut.

He always watched.

At technique, Michael was an expert. He knew how to handle cocks because he had one of his own—one of his own that was bulging in his work clothes at that moment. Kevin told himself that he liked what men did to him because men knew what they were doing.

Michael had never offered to take his clothes off, and Kevin never asked. Kevin had a limited experience of naturist massage, which he’d never forget and often remembered at times like this. When Michael’s hand brought a special kind of pleasure to Kevin’s day, he often thought of the nude masseur.

Once he had traveled a long way from home, by train, after finding the place on the internet. A naturist resort not far out of London.

On arrival, he booked a massage and was asked whether he’d prefer a male or female therapist without any hint from the receptionist that there was a correct answer. She didn’t bat an eyelid when he asked for the man, as if it were perfectly usual.

He assumed the male masseuse was straight because it wasn’t a gay venue and the guy didn’t look gay. As if as any man could look gay when completely naked. He was fit, obviously worked out, and the lack of pale skin indicated he regularly sunbathed nude. He was an older guy, probably late forties, old enough to be Kevin’s father.

There was nothing on the website or at the studio to suggest anything other than massage took place, so Kevin assumed that was all there was.

Naked massage.

No towels for modesty.

No clothes or uniform for the therapist.

And Kevin wondered how he’d plucked up the courage to visit this place and why. He had an inkling about why, but he buried that thought extremely deeply.

The back massage was most relaxing while he lay on his stomach. Kevin could’ve almost dozed off and drooled onto the sheets beneath him.

When the naked masseur worked on Kevin’s calves, he lifted the legs and replaced them in a position that left him wide open. When he worked up the back of Kevin’s legs, he went right up to the very top, skimming over Kevin’s balls.

By the time Kevin turned over, he was half hard. It was a natural, automatic response. It didn’t mean anything. There was no hiding it; he hadn’t been offered a towel to cover any embarrassment.

Respectfully, the masseur didn’t stare, comment, or seem embarrassed in any way.

On that occasion, when lying on his back, Kevin watched with fascination while the masseur worked, his exposed cock growing from flaccid to erect.

When the nude masseur offered to finish him off, Kevin drew on a reservoir of courage to suggest something he didn’t think he could say. Being far from home and in a place where he wasn’t known allowed Kevin the freedom to boldly experiment. He asked if mutual touching was acceptable.

It was.

Kevin sat up and swung his legs around so he was perched on the edge of the massage couch. The masseur stood in front of him, between his legs; so close their dicks almost touched. Almost.

A faint hint of coffee expelled from the man’s breath as they squared up and reached for each other’s dicks. Kevin knew he was as good as done as soon as they started. The entire one hour’s massage had been foreplay for that moment.


Stuff Kevin didn’t want to think about.

There was no thinking. No drawing this out. No holding back.

Kevin put his left hand behind him for support to stop himself from recoiling backward. He shot his load with force, like a fountain, splattering both of them.

Kevin didn’t release the man’s cock from the grasp of his right hand. He kept up his part of the bargain, working at a steady pace. White globules of cum clung to the hairs on the masseur’s chest. On his own body, Kevin felt it turn cold and start to dribble and stream down his body. Only a minute later, with less force, more of a gushing waterfall than a geyser, the naturist came over Kevin’s hand and leg.

Just two horny guys giving each other a hand.

Kevin thought about that handjob frequently, including when he lay on Michael’s massage couch.

At the end of the day, it was just a hand.

want more? It’s available at Amazon and in KU

The gay romance christmas story that isn’t

Where did it all go wrong? The book has stuck to the plot outline. The actual words did their own thing. I never envisaged this book to be so vastly different to any other book that has Christmas in the title ever.

** unlike any other Xmas story **
* there’s no mulled wine, no tree, and no log fire.
* there’s no decorations, no big dinner, and no snow.
* but there is snowballing, strippers, and sexy times a plenty.
And don’t expect Chrismas in this book, either.

And it didn’t start out like that!

Our Secret Christmas is available to buy and thankfully the reviews are good. I’m relieved. I wanted to do right by these lovely characters.


Here’s the blurb:

A feel-good, heartwarming, sexy story unlike any other story that you’ve read with Christmas in the title: be warned.
Christmas is a really big deal in Britain. The parties and preparations begin in November, at the latest.
In the construction industry, Christmas means two weeks off work for Connor and Lee.
Yes, two weeks.
They’ve only been dating since September.
In secret.
They just want to spend the holiday time together, like any other gay guys in love.
Alone and mostly naked.
And we all know the true meaning of Christmas is explaining and justifying to friends and family how you are spending the holiday and who with.

This is another Sky High Scaffolders story, written mostly in British but with American spelling.
An M/M story of 44,000 words. A long novella, not quite long enough to be a novel when size matters.

Our Secret Christmas is a companion to Our Secret Wedding.






LGBT Christmas Adverts

As I’m working on a gay Christmas story today, I’m thrilled to see Sainsbury has queer families in its 2016 Christmas advert. And other families that reflect our diverse community in the UK.

Readers from around the world might not understand the importance of Christmas advertising. In the UK Christmas is a big deal. Companies shut dow for days – typically TWO WEEKS in construction! And there is big competition among top retailers to produce the best advert of the season.

In 2015 Sainsbury gave us a gay couple in an ad but it wasn’t THE MAIN Christmas advert. Called The Pact, you can watch it here:

The card company Hallmark have also joined the club producing a Christmas ad featuring a gay couple:

The Robert Dyas Christmas advert is a very special example of British humour. I laughed out loud until my stomach hurt when I first saw it, yet I know some people are just confused by it. In that respect, it’s a lot like reading one of my books!

On the subject of advertising, I suppose it’s only right that I tell you I have a new book out in two weeks.


Tread the Boards what’s it all about?

Ben considered himself straight. Hadn’t given a lot of thought to the other options until a few things came together to force him to evaluate his own desires.

He’s a construction worker, a scaffolder with Connor & Lee at Sky High Scaffolds.

I’ve read plenty of reviews for other books and seen comments on articles to tell me that many people believe sexuality is fixed.

  • We were born this way.
  • For some people, that may be true.

There are plenty of other people who’s life follows a different path. They have a sexual awakening, perhaps they change, and sexuality is fluid for some people.

We don’t know why but Ben falls for Tom. Whether Ben is bi, or fluid, or was always gay but didn’t realize until he met the right man, or something else. It does happen.

The stories I write are realistic, based on my experience or the people around me.

Here’s the blurb for Tread the Boards by H J Perry

A feel-good, out-for-you, straight-to-gay romance. Love, at first sight, leads to lots of man-to-man kissing and no angst.

He’s liberal-minded & modern-thinking, but underneath it, all Ben’s shook up when his work colleagues come out. Macho construction workers and gay loving do not go together in his brain. So of course, he can’t stop thinking about it.

Tom is slowly getting over the heartache of his past when he’s swept away by a straight-acting but flirty scaffolder. With enough baggage of his own, should Tom spend time with Ben when he discovers Ben wasn’t acting?

Is it time for Tom to ditch the low paid work, pick up the threads of his life and resume his professional career?

Ben may have always considered himself straight, but his feelings for Tom are very real. How could he tell his family, his friends and his son? Will Ben be forced to choose between the important people in his life? His son and Tom?

A romance story in which people learn more about labels and identities.
A standalone romance novel. Overlapping characters with Our Secret Wedding.
55,000 words.
Set in Britain with (mostly) American spelling.




My Goal another bisexual MM romance

I’m enjoying the theme of bisexual men who are confident in their sexuality. the bi character in my forthcoming book My Goal is a lot like Connor of Our Secret Wedding.

My Goal is published later in the week by LoveLight Press (Fri 30th Sept).

Here’s the blurb and cover:


A story of first love. A friends-to-lovers romance between two closeted soccer players.

He’s cocky, he’s arrogant, he’s entitled to his big ego. He an International footballer and a multimillionaire. Carlos Garcia’s a huge success on and off the pitch, and he’s got it all. Joining a new football club, he wants his teammates to like him, especially the one man who sets his pulse racing.

As the quietest guy on the football team, Harry Carter avoids attention. He’s so scared of people finding out he’s gay that he’s made sure there are just clothes in his closet. He has nothing to hide, there’s no history, no past, no secret boyfriend, not even a one-night stand. Ever.

Things are changing. Outside of work, Harry’s best friends are a discreet gay couple, but how is Harry going to keep all the secrets when the new guy on the football team keeps hanging around? Why exactly does Carlos sit next to Harry at every opportunity?

A standalone story with a happy ending and no cliffhanger.


  • A secret wedding

  • Workplace romance

  • Millionaire sportsmen

  • A bisexual man who meets his dream man

  • First time love and sex

  • Two hot guys in love

  • 40,000 words




Our Secret Wedding Gay Construction workers Friends to Lovers MM

OSW is available now on amazon & free to read in kindle unlimited

Here’s what they say in the amzn reviews:

“So heartwarming you couldn’t help but be entertained.”

“They fall into an affair so sweet I felt I needed to see a dentist.”

“we can watch them fall in love and experiment in bedroom. There is a lot of sex scenes so ppl looking for some hot times should be delighted… they hide their feelings because “construction workers are not gay”. They are both afraid of the consequences since they both can lose their jobs and their friends. I liked that they both had this type of job and that they both looked all masculine. I think it is important since this type of characters are not very popular in M/M books and this prejudice about connection between job type and sexuality is really strong. Contrary to MCs’ fear we get a very happy ending here and I have a feeling we’ll have not only another Connor and Lee’s story but also Tom and Ben’s.” [she could be correct about Tom & Ben :)]

“I knew this would be s good read because I enjoy this author’s work. What I didn’t expect was for it to be so good I not only didn’t want to put it down, I also wanted more. Conner and Lee are great characters.”

And here’s the blurb:

A friends-to-lovers, feel-good gay romance. Contains a whole lot of man-on-man love action, and an elopement to Gretna Green for a secret wedding.

Impulsive and romantic, Connor is set to take over the family business, Sky High Scaffolds, with his siblings. But he might be ruled out as possible CEO, because even though he’s almost thirty, he’s still single.
Connor makes a life-changing chance discovery about a member of his construction team. Lee is gay, but no one at work knows. The macho scaffolding crew aren’t known for their gay-friendliness.

At twenty-nine years of age, sexy scaffolder Lee is looking for love and commitment. He’s not about to hook up with any straight guy who’s going through a gay experimental phase. Especially not his work colleague, Connor.

Lee fears rejection if and when Connor wakes up and realizes he’s not bisexual and not into guys.
Connor fears losing the love of his life if he can’t prove he’s serious about him and win Lee’s heart.

Standalone novel with a happy ending.

55,000 words.