Interview with Susan Mac Nicol

Published 2018-07-13.
When did you first start writing?
I’ve always written, even as a child. I got my first typewriter when I was nine. I think it was an Olympia, I don’t remember. I still have everything I wrote in a file, and I take it out sometimes and chuckle. I started writing commercially in 2012, when the inspiration for a story hit me, and I haven’t stopped.
What is the story behind your latest book?
There were two characters in my last series, the Men of London, who I thought deserved more written about them. Clay and Tate are featured in Feat of Clay - a story about an established couple trying to overcome the ravages of past traumas. They are investigators, Clay being ex-SAS and Tate a former drug squad cop, so I decided to let their investigative skills grow in a new series I’m writing. I can’t say too much about it, as I’m keeping the over-arcing theme of the stories under wraps until the first book is published. I promise it will be entertaining, a bit of an eye opener, a lot of fun and the stories will have the relationship building and development that I’ve become known for as a writer.
If this is part of a series, how did you come up with the idea for the series?
I was researching something for another book, and entered a world that fascinated me, which drew me in both from a psychological and a lifestyle perspective. I had a think and decided I’d dedicate a series to writing about this particular way of life.
What motivated you to become an author?
After I wrote my first romance, I presented my book to my publisher, and they accepted. It wasn’t a difficult choice, I started out with a small publisher who has grown by leaps and bounds and I’m very happy I’m with them.
What is the greatest joy of writing?
It’s being able to create my own world where anything is possible and develop my characters to a stage where they become a little bit of me with every story.
What is the first book that made you cry?
Watership Down. I sobbed reading that book. I must have been about eleven, and the story was so tragically beautiful it tugged at my heartstrings and made me look at the rabbits in the field in a different light.
Do you have a muse or a “constant reader?”
I don’t have a muse, but I do have a constant reader, someone who isn’t on social media but communicates by email. Her name is Wendy, she constantly delights me with her lovely emails about how much she enjoys my books and gives me the impetus to keep going.
Describe your desk.
I don’t have a study, I live in a two bedroom thatched cottage in the English countryside, so my space is limited. I use my dining room, which is a low, wooden beamed room, with a fireplace, furnished with an old antique wooden table and chairs, various bookcases, a white board, a washing machine (like I said, space is limited) and cupboards to hold all my writing stuff. The room looks out over my huge country garden and the fields beyond, and is a wonderful place to seek inspiration.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was born in the UK and emigrated to Johannesburg, SA, when I was about eight. I grew up there, under the African skies and with the African cultural influence. I can’t say it’s influenced my writing, as when I got back to the UK in 2000, England was in my blood, and I’ve embraced this country. That’s why my books are set here.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
My own mind. I get distracted easily, and find that when I’m writing, I need to focus to get the words out or I go off on a tangent. It never used to be this way. I wrote five books in one year when I first started, because I was a new author who had been rewarded with a book contract, and I was enthusiastic to show the world what I could do. As I developed as a writer, I’ve slowed down and I pay more attention to my craft. The urge to prove myself isn’t what it used to be.
What drives you to keep writing?
The one thing I’ve been privileged to have since I started writing is life experiences. My life has changed so much since I started getting involved in the publishing world, and I can’t imagine not having those experiences now. I’ve made some amazing friends via social media and in person. I’ve done things in the name of research I would never have done otherwise - stayed in a circus, visited a lighthouse, spent time with a blind person to see how they manage everyday life. I’ve been to author cons, both local and abroad, had a book signing in Los Angeles, written a screenplay with a Hollywood actor and producer….it has all enriched my life to the extent that I couldn’t give it up. Who knows what else lies waiting around the corner?
What do you want your readers to know about your books?
I write relationship stories about men falling in love with real problems and successes and I keep it as realistic as possible. Sure, every story has an element of the rose-coloured glasses stuff, that’s what makes it a romance and ends in a HEA. The journey there is what’s fun to write, and I love angst driven tales where the characters need to heal themselves.
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Finish that children’s book you started when you were in your twenties and had a literary agent and everything. Stick your nose to the grindstone so you start the writing journey earlier. Then again, perhaps karma dictated that I’d become published in my late forties, because it was time. Who can tell?
Describe your writing process.
I don’t do much plotting, I have the germ of an idea, the basic premise of the book, then sit down and type. The story goes where it will, the characters develop as they want, and while I have a vague idea of the end game, I’m not limited to anything structural. It works for me.
What do you read for pleasure?
I read MM romance, of course, and I love horror, psychological stories, and thrillers. Steven King is a favourite, Dean Koontz, Phil Rickman and Jonathan Kellerman.
Who is your book boyfriend or secret book crush?
Oh, I have a few, but if you had to pin me down and insist on a name, it would be Adrien English from the Josh Lanyon books. I’ve loved this character since reading his story.
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Edge
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Gin Me Over
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When Birdy’s peacock attacked his bank’s Relationship Manager, his business problems took a turn for the worst, until they sent Jaydon Tyrell, and then everything started to add up just fine.
Cover Me in Chocolate
Series: Fetish Alley. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 52,920. Language: English. Published: October 21, 2019 by Boroughs Publishing Group. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Suspense, Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Gay
When an employee goes missing from the erotic chocolate shop in Fetish Alley, Tate and Clay are called in to solve a mystery that has almost no clues.
Men of London Box Set, Books 6 - 10
Price: $9.99 USD. Words: 267,720. Language: English. Published: October 15, 2019 by Boroughs Publishing Group. Categories: Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Gay, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Just in time for the holidays, enjoy books 6 - 10 in this beloved series of men falling in love in one of the most fabulous cities in the world - London.
Men of London Box Set, Books 1 - 5
Series: Men of London. Price: $9.99 USD. Words: 306,720. Language: English. Published: October 15, 2019 by Boroughs Publishing Group. Categories: Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Gay, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Just in time for the holidays, join your favorite couples as they navigate love and relationships in fabulous London.
Death By C*ck
Series: Fetish Alley. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 58,540. Language: English. Published: June 6, 2019 by Boroughs Publishing Group. Categories: Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Gay, Fiction » Romance » Suspense
Things are getting dicey in Fetish Alley, so much so, the police have asked Tate and Clay to work a murder for them since the denizens of the Alley don’t want outsiders to learn their secrets.
For Fox Sake
Series: Fetish Alley. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 53,350. Language: English. Published: February 5, 2019 by Boroughs Publishing Group. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Psychological thriller
Tate and Clay's newest case has all the earmarks of typical investigative work: lies, deception, collusion, and a dead body - except the body was found in Fetish Alley, and nothing that happens there is typical.
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