Interview with Susan Mac Nicol

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was born in the North of England, in the county of Yorkshire, in Headingley, Leeds, home of the famous cricket stadium. When I was eight, my father decided he wanted to get ahead in his career and accepted a job with a construction company in Johannesburg, South Africa. So we all emigrated to South Africa, and I remained there for the next thirty years. I count this as being my 'growing up' period and all my schooling, knowledge and culture was embedded in true SA style. I grew up having a black maid who looked after the house, did the washing, cleaned up after us, did some cooking and generally baby sat is when we were younger. These maids were part of the family, treated well, and did the job of what nowadays you might call an 'au pair'. But there was always the element of apartheid looming over us, and while we didn't like it, it was something we had to acknowledge. As children we didn't understand a lot of what was going on. As adults, we grew to resent it. I started work at age seventeen in Johannesburg City, working in a manufacturing jeweller's shop. I was in the factory looking after the gold allowances, the semi precious stones and the distribution of these items to the craftsmen who created the jewellery. I stayed with my sister and her husband in a house in Hillbrow, one of the (then) most trendy and cosmopolitan areas. She then left to move to Cape Town and I was left in the house with a bunch of gay and straight guys who took it over and used it as a communal house. It was great fun but when they wouldn't stop eating my food, and I survived on gherkins for a week and developed pneumonia, and had to get Mother to fetch me, I knew I needed to do something different. So I moved back to the suburbs and found a job at South African Breweries. From there I took various stepping stones up the employment ladder and finally found myself working for Hertz Rent a Car in Johannesburg again. I'd met my future husband by this time, who was in the army, and when he finally got out after his two year mandatory stint, we set up house together. I worked, got married, had a baby, a son, waited five years, had a daughter and we were pretty settled. Then came 1994, Nelson Mandela's release from prison (long overdue) and for a while things were fine. Then the crime wave started and we decided in 2000 that we'd had enough. So we moved to the UK in December 2000 and we've been here ever since.
I have to say that I don't think living in SA has influenced my writing. It's living here in the UK that's meant the most to me in terms of this.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy of writing is being able to get all the frothing ideas I have in my head out and onto my screen. I constantly have new ideas, come up with complete paragraphs and conversations in my head and have a desperate desire to get them out. Sitting down and creating these new worlds, these new characters and being able to titillate the senses and the imagination is a world of escape for me.
What do your fans mean to you?
Fans are the reason we write. I suppose there are fans and there are readers. Readers are the ones who decide to read your book in the first place, whether it be due to market pressure, peer pressure, curiosity, or simply the fact they find the story line appealing. Fans are the ones who choose to read your second book. My fans are very important and I know a lot of them personally and interact with them constantly. I'm fortunate enough to participate in a role playing game with a lot of my fans and even though this is online, I feel I've come to know more about them.
What are you working on next?
I have a lot on the go at the moment. I've finishing up my current WIP, called 'Worth Keeping' which is my third M/M Romance novel. I have another 30k words to write on that one.
My second one, 'Saving Alexander' is due out in October so there are edits to do on that too. Then I have a number of books in the pipeline which are being 'converted' from M/F to M/M (due to the success of my recent release, 'Stripped Bare') so those will all need revising. I have a book due out inFebruary 2014 called 'Waiting for Rain' with Dreamspinners Press. The next new work I start writing on will be a spin off of my current Starlight series and will also be an M/M book. Then I have another six book series I've contracted for that I'll start working on next year. So it's going to be a very busy time.
Who are your favorite authors?
My all time favourite M/M author is Josh Lanyon. I aspire to write like he does and love the way he manages to make his characters so loveable, sexy and endearing at the same time. Other authors I admire are Sue Brown, Rhys Ford, Rory Ni Coileain, Harper Fox, Kindle Alexander (who's also a good friend), J T Cheyanne (another good friend) although I've never met either of them, Will Parkinson, A J Rose, the list could go on.
Published 2013-09-02.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.