Susan Mac Nicol
We are so excited about our guest today. Here to talk about her book Stripped Bare, growing up in South Africa during apartheid, and why purple is a part of who she is. The talented and fascinating Susan Mac Nicol.
1. Is this your first M/M book?
Yes, this is my first attempt at writing an M/M book. I’d written male love scenes before in my
Starlight series but nothing too sexy. Then I started writing an erotic M/F story with a bisexual
serial killer and I needed him to *ahem* have sex with a man. So I read some M/M books, did
some internet research *coughs behind her hand when she says that* and I was absolutely
hooked on the whole genre. It opened my eyes to the wonders of gay male romances and I
haven’t looked back.
2. What made you decide to cross over into the M/M genre?
I found it really drew my interest and my imagination. There is something so sensual and sexy
about writing about two men falling in love- strong, vulnerable and emotional men becoming
lovers and friends and it made such a refreshing change.
3. Do you have a favorite moment in the book? Why?
I think my favourite moment is at the end when Shane gives Matthew the picture. I don’t want to give any spoilers away but this to me was the epitome of what true love is all about. Bringing closure and easing heartache to someone you love. The other moment is when Shane runs all the way to Matthew’s when Matty calls and tells him he needs him.
4. Do you have a favorite character? Why?
I love Shane Templar. He’s one of the most loveable characters I’ve ever written. He’s got a good heart, he’s mischievous, he’s flawed and he’s a total romantic. He’s a man who wears his heart on his sleeve and when you have him on your side, he’ll do anything for you.
5. You have such an interesting personal story, would you like to tell us about growing up in
It was an amazing experience. I lived there for 30 years, going through the apartheid years, seeing Nelson Mandela come out of prison and then slowly seeing the changes that the country made as a result. I built a career there in a very male oriented environment and was proud of this achievement. Life there is very social and outdoors focused. If you heard a knock on the door at midnight, it would probably be a friend who’d been out at a party, was a little merry and popped into to say hello. There was no scheduling of visits-you just pitched up at someone’s house and they’d feed and water you. The thing I miss most is my swimming pool, as I was an avid swimmer.
6. Where do you draw inspiration for your writing?
Stripped Bare came along when my son talked about a friend who was becoming an escort. He was going to be a ‘Knight’ in a UK agency called Cavendish Knights, and the idea for an escort story grew. I’m a geek too so making Shane a hacker was something that sparked my interest. The story itself was not planned until I was writing it. I just knew it would be about two very different men coming together.
7. Do you plan to write any more stories in this world? Will we get to be spend more time with these guys?
I’ve had requests from readers for a follow up story with Matty and Shay and I know this is done in this genre a lot. I’d love to do a second story with them but at the moment I have too much else on the go. All my future books will be M/M, and I have a publishing schedule up to the start of 2015.
8. Would you like to share your writing playlist for this book?
I am SO a rock chick. I listen to Foo Fighters, Kasabian, Incubus, The Killers, Oasis, Plan B, Sneaker Pimps, 30 Seconds to Mars…I love loud, raunchy music when I write.
9. Do you have a favorite author(s)? Favorite book(s)?
Favourite author – Josh Lanyon. Favourite books – his Adrien English series. Other great authors are Kindle Alexander, JT Cheyanne, Jamie Fessenden, A J Rose (Power Exchange and Safeword are two of the most read books on my Kindle, he’s amazing), I love Cameron Dane, Sue Brown,the list could go on.
10. How did you research the issues surrounding parental rejection over homosexuality for this book?
My twenty year old daughter has young gay friends who were quite happy to tell me about their lives and the problems they’d faced in both coming out and living with being gay. I have good gay friends who shared their stories with me, and I found myself on the gay forums too listening to people talk about their parental issues.
11. What is your favorite color? Why?
I love purple, lavender, lilac shades. I’ve no idea why. I read creative people like this colour – you can find a whole lot more about it here
I don’t think all of this personality profile is truly what I’m like, perhaps some of it so I’m not sure how true this is.
12. If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go? How long would you stay?
I want a deserted island somewhere in the warm climes, where there’s running water, plumbing, good shelter and food and drink. It would also HAVE to have internet access and a decent mobile phone signal or I will fade away to nothing. I’d stay there forever, write books, eat well, drink wine and beer and swim in the sea. Only people I wanted would be allowed on the island and I’d rule it like a queen.
13. Where did you get your inspiration for the very intense and hot sex scenes in this story?
*Chuckles* I read close to 100 M/M books before starting mine so I guess some of the inspiration rubbed off from them. It’s a continuous source of amazement to me that people find my sex scenes so hot. I know they are pretty sexy but I never thought I’d hear my work being described in this way. It’s a real compliment in my eyes. But I think it’s because when I set out to write M/M I wanted to write a story with relationship sex, not wall to wall physical descriptions of sex with a bit of a story. I’ve read some like this and while they are hot, I like to have humour, fun and emotion in my sex scenes with interaction and wit between my MC’s.
14. Do you believe in love at first sight?
I don’t. Lust at first sight perhaps leading into love but I’ve never subscribed to the whole ‘eyes across the room’ thing and Bam! You realise you’re in love.
15. Would you say you are you a curious meddler like Shane? Or a private person like Matthew?
Definitely a private person. I don’t do emotion well, and get embarrassed by it.
16. Do you have any hobbies?
I used to before I started writing. I used to make stained glass pictures, do Fimo clay modelling,
make fantasy wood statues combining clay work and bits of driftwood and I used to do stained
glass painting. I like working with textures and colours. Now I simply write, and create worlds
17. Beer, wine, scotch or a big mug of coffee, what is your favorite poison?
I love a cold beer, a food glass of red South African wine or a icy G and T. I’m also quite partial to white rum.
18. As a popular mainstream author what do you find different in the M/M world of publishing?
So far I’m published with a publisher that does both M/F and M/M, and I haven’t noticed anything different between the genres. However with my first book coming out with Dreamspinners, that may change and I’m curious myself to see if it does and if so, how. But I find that this genre has its peculiarities, M/M purists who wouldn’t entertain the idea of M/F interaction in the book. I also see people who believe romance is romance no matter who’s doing it. I imagine the M/M publishing world takes account of things likes this when they decide to publish a piece of fiction to make the book attractive to its niche audience.
19. What is your very favorite thing to do?
I love dressing up and going out to fancy places – movie premieres, concerts, plays and theatre. I love going into London and watching a production like Phantom of the Opera. It is such an atmospheric part of the city, the West End, all glitz and glamour and I just love the vibe.
20. If you could spend a day with anyone from anytime, real or fictitious, who would it be?
I’d like to spend time with Sherlock Holmes. He was a fascinating fictional character with an amazingly keen brain and a bunch of neuroses that would be fascinating to delve into. Chatting with him would be like being on a constant high, just to keep up with his thoughts and the way his mind works.