Today’s guest author is Susan Mac Nicol.  Susan is an equal opportunity romance writer. Her first books were MF Romance, but after writing a MM secondary character pairing, she decided to write a MM Romance – Stripped Bare.  This was my first opportunity to get to know Susan and I think you’ll find – like I did – that she’s a talented and interesting woman.  Below she talks about her new books, her old book, what prompted her to write MM fiction and a few other things.  Read through to the end for an excerpt from Stripped Bare. 

Guest Author: Susan Mac Nicol 

StrippedBare_cover (1)Welcome, Susan. Let’s start by talking about your new release, Stripped Bare. Is this your first M/M story?

Yes, this is my first, but definitely not my last. I took a look at my publishing schedule earlier today and needed a paper bag to breathe in to stop hyperventilating.  It’s not, however, the first time I’ve written about M/M relationships in my books. My Starlight series has a gay couple as main secondary characters in all three books. I also wrote about a bisexual serial killer in an erotic crime romance. I got acquainted with the ins and outs of the gay man’s world by doing research for that book. As a result, I found it fascinated and it titillated me to where I wanted to write my own M/M book. The book trailer is below.

Tell us a bit more about the plot of Stripped Bare.

It’s the story of a man called Matthew Langer who’s been badly hurt by having someone he loved die in terrible circumstances, without being able to say goodbye. Matthew didn’t deal particularly well with his husband Sam’s death and as a result, he ended up losing more than just Sam. When there’s an incident involving a close family friend that means a trip to the hospital, he comes into contact with another man – Shane Templar – who is just so unlike anyone Matthew has met before. Shane wears his heart on his sleeve and he has a real yen for the brooding Matthew. But Shane also has his secrets, and a family history that causes him pain. But it’s when Shane comes to harm that Matthew finally realises he has to let the past go.

Stripped Bare

How much research did you have to do to write about Shane’s abilities?

Quite a bit, although it’s pretty much glossed over in the story. I didn’t want to get too technical for fear of being too detailed. Shane’s abilities were based on someone I chatted with in an online hacking forum I joined and on Twitter. He/she was very helpful in giving me some of the basics. They pointed me in the right direction, told me about ethical hacking and the certification for it, and allowed me to use a real life situation they’d encountered with a client of theirs having security issues with some software. All whilst remaining anonymous of course.

Sounds like these were useful friends – and people you’d not like to make your enemy.

Having now written both MM romance and MF romance which genre do you prefer if either? Is one harder for you to write than the other?

FINAL COVER VERSION

I am definitely gearing towards writing M/M fiction. I have found it more exciting, more in depth and more emotionally satisfyingthan writing M/F. But I loved writing my Starlight series and my novellas and that’s not to say I won’t write M/F again. Love is love no matter who it’s between so as long as the story provides for either one, I’d do both definitely,

Some say romance is romance and readers who read M/F would like M/M romance if they’d only read it.  Have your readers been good about following you to the ‘world’ of M/M romance?

I have made a few converts I have to say, and when I have, these people tell me they really enjoyed the journey into reading M/M Romance and may well read more. I’m not so sure about the other way around though. My sales of previous M/F novels haven’t particularly spiked since Stripped Bare was released indicating that perhaps M/M readers prefer to stay in the known genre. But that’s just a personal opinion, no science behind it.

Tell us something interesting that is not in the blurb? 

Hmm. Shane gets terribly excited when Matthew speaks German and this becomes somewhat of a sexual game between them.  More for Matthew than Shane I have to say. Matthew can be a bit of a tease. *grins* Shane has also had a past relationship with a man called Timmy, whom he used to escort, and Timmy turns out to be a really good friend in the end in a life or death situation.

Have you ever based characters on anyone you know?

Together in Starlight_COVERYes indeed. In Cassandra by Starlight and Together in Starlight, the MC Cassie Wallace was based on – *clears throat* – me. Not my physical attributes as Cassie’s are far nicer, but certainly her outlook of life, her views, and her emotional state.

Then of course there’s the character of Bennett Saville in the same book. I started writing this book purely because I have a huge fan girl crush on a British actor called Benedict Cumberbatch and while I don’t ‘know’ him, I wanted one for myself. And the only way to get that was to create this character in a book I could have fun with. I was even on the radio station talking about this effort to recreate the Cumberbatch in the Starlight series.

What’s your favorite place to write?

I belong to an incredible writing group called the Talliston Writer’s Circle. It’s a house that’s being converted to a series of thirteen supernatural rooms and is run by a man who is both a druid and a shaman. His vision has created a place to write that is like something out of Alice in Wonderland, all mystery and quirks. I love writing in the study that is all decked out like a Sam Spade. If you want to see what this place looks like then follow the link. I’m really privileged to be a part of all this.

http://www.talliston.com/

What’s your least favorite part of the writing process?

That would be the part where I get the edits back from my editor and look them over. While I know they are necessary and make my writing tighter and better, I still don’t like them. Not because I disagree either but because I think ‘Hell, why didn’t I see that? Why didn’t I think of that?” And then begins the onerous task of changing things and getting the story to be the best it can be. I have high expectations of myself and I think I should have done it right in the first place.

Since there is always another story to tell, what are you working on now?

I’m currently trying to finish my tenth full length novel, called ‘Worth Keeping’. It’s the story of a man called Nick Mathers who had a horrific childhood and is now a lighthouse keeper on the Norfolk coast. He finds a man washed ashore on the beach during a storm and when Owen Butler decides to push himself into Nick’s life, Nick finds him pretty hard to resist. I’ve also been asked to write a six book series for my publisher Boroughs, entitled ‘Men in London’ so work will start on that soon for publication mid 2014.

Six book series?? Should we order you an oxygen tank, just in case?

*Laughs* I think a strait jacket and another bottle of Kalmettes might be more in order. I hear strait jackets go cheap on Ebay.

What have you read lately that most people haven’t read but should?

I have to say I’m not one of those people who read true literary ‘stuff’ and can make sweeping and intelligent announcements about the true value of writing and how it contributes to society and the universe in general. I’m a pretty simple person really. So all I can tell you is that if you want a few really good reads, head over to my Facebook page on a Friday and a Monday when I do some ‘Reading Recommends’ and perhaps you’ll see something you like. Be warned though – it’s no Dostoyevsky or James Joyce….

Most people have heard of those, so recommending things off the beaten path is probably more useful to your readers, wouldn’t you say?

If you’re looking for something completely different, then I have to say I thoroughly enjoy Arthur Conan Doyle’s ‘Sherlock’. I own the complete collection, and read it when I’m in the mood. I also read Edgar Allan Poe’s works and some wonderful novels by an English writer called Phil Rickman. Phil writes about a female diocese exorcist called Merrily Watkins and brings the Welsh landscape to life with his stories about murder, mayhem and spiritual happenings in obscure Welsh villages. I have such an eclectic reading taste that includes horror, psychological thrillers, contemporary and paranormal romance, but I’m not a fan of anything historical, nonfiction or chick lit for its own sake.

If you could meet any writer, alive or dead, who would it be and why?

I’d have to say Edgar Allan Poe. I love his work, his poetry and I find his background and life story fascinating. His whole writing career, his untimely death, his dark and pretty twisted psyche in producing some of the stories he did – it would be an honour to learn more about him face to face.

As for someone who’s alive – well *whispers* -I have a bit of fan girl thing for a guy called Josh Lanyon, I’m sure everyone’s heard of him. Josh is my all time fave M/M author.  I think he might think I’m stalking him  (honestly Josh, I’m not.) I love his style, his humour and his characters. So one day I’d love to meet the guy and share some stories, and hope that some of that genius rubs off on me.

If genius is contagious, can you bring me with you, please?

We can get a whole bunch of us together and mosey on down to see him. I think he might have enough to go around.

What’s a fun – non-writing – day for you?

I belong to a wonderful institution called the Great Dunmow Supper Club. The club is a one of a kind ‘eaterie’ and is held at Talliston, the house. These are normally murder mystery dinners and lunches or full on sit down themed dinners. I get to meet some of the most interesting people I’ve ever met, across all spectrums of life and industry, eat good food and dine in an atmosphere that’s not of this world. That’s a lot of fun. Others would include a simple trip to a pub on the seaside, perhaps a walk along a pier or simply a day trip to another part of the country. I like forests and woodlands.

Besides reading and writing, what else do you enjoy? 

As I’ve said before, I love going out to dinner and parties, socialising and seeing friends. I am a big movie buff and can watch one film then walk out straight into another one. I’m not a sporty person (no surprises there I’m sure) so the only thing I enjoy doing that’s sporty is swimming and given that I hate public pools with a passion, I don’t do this much. When I lived in South Africa we had our own huge swimming pool and that was heaven. But too much chlorine and warm water really doesn’t do it for me.

Last question is all yours – feel free to talk about anything you want your readers to know about you, your book, anything at all.

My first book was published in August last year and since then I haven’t stopped writing. It’s because I have such a passion for it, and love it so much. It’s made me friends I never thought I’d have, introduced to me to areas I’d never properly considered in my life before, such as LGBT issues, sexual abuse awareness, the BDSM scene, gay man sex, etc.  My research has brought me into contact with interesting and varied topics. I’ve been on the radio, been interviewed by newspapers, been to various events to meet like minded people and actually met some amazing people who I now count as friends. It’s been one helluva roller coaster of a ride. It’s also made me rather anti anti-social as I spend more time in cyber space than with actual human beings. It’s made me obsessive and driven as I strive to meet both personal and publishing deadlines, and it’s made me selfish. I don’t make excuses for this behaviour, (I blame the ‘creative muse’) but I do know that’s it the only way I can get to where I want to be. I’d like to make writing my full time occupation instead of having a day job. So I’ll push myself to get there and I apologise in advance to anyone I might piss off in my journey to get there. It’ll all be worth it in the end, I promise. If someone doesn’t poison my coffee before I get there.

Thanks for being my guest, now it’s time to plug your work –

Blurb:

StrippedBare_cover (1)Though two years past, Matthew Langer is still getting over the death of a loved one. He’s steered clear of serious relationships, but when he meets the irascible, dirty mouthed and tempestuous Shane Templar that decision has never been harder. Shane is sexy, warm and funny, and Matthew finds himself trying like hell not to care about him. Especially when Shane, with his quick wit and hacking skills, is quick to stand up for justice and avenge wrongs. Then Shane strikes at the wrong target, and Matthew realises just how far gone he already is. At the threat of losing for good yet another man who’s broken through his armour, Matthew finds his heart stripped bare. He must face the demons of his soul or a future without love.

 

Buy Links:

Boroughs Publishing Group 

Amazon.com

Amazon.com.UK

All Romance ebooks

Kobo

Smashwords

Find Susan Mac Nicol:

Website –www.susanmacnicol.com

Twitter – @SusanMacnicol7

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/susiemax77

Blog http://susanmacnicol.wordpress.com/  

Excerpt:  

Shane Templar watched the man standing by the bed. Shane had no idea how he’d gotten himself into this situation, but he had to admit that this wasn’t the first time. He’d thought he was cleverer than he used to be. He went through a mental checklist as he ticked off the items that had led him into the predicament he now faced.

Male √

Gay √

Intelligent √

Street wise √

Pretty smoking hot √

Experienced Escort √

Pushover  No- fucking- way.

So, with that all established in his head, he wondered how in hell he was the one with his five ten frame tied spread eagled to a bed in the middle of a client’s very luxurious hotel room in the middle of London while said client, David Debussy, a regular, jerked off in front of him.

Shane’s brain felt woolly and he knew he’d been slipped something. He cursed at his lack of observation and awareness. He never made mistakes like this. Never.

Shane had met Debussy, as requested, at the five-star Baglione Hotel in Kensington and escorted the man through an interminably boring dinner for stock brokers. But while the dinner had made him consider slitting his own throat, the man beside him had made it almost bearable. Shane enjoyed being with David. He’d partnered the man close to half a dozen times over the last year, very much as a companion only.

Not once during the previous ‘engagements’, as Shane’s exclusive escort agency, Carrington Knights, called them , had it turned into anything more than a quick kiss goodbye on the lips and a promise of another date soon. Shane had often left his engagements with David with a raging hard on and had to make his way to the exclusive gay club in the middle of the West End. At Essence, Shane could usually find someone to alleviate his situation and give him some relief.

David was in his mid-twenties, a few years younger than Shane. He was charming, with deep russet hair, a physique like a Greek God and a backside that made Shane’s fantasies take free reign. He had wealth from a trust fund his mother left him that made Konrad Feldman look like a pauper. He also had a domineering father who tried to rule David with an iron fist.

Debussy was intelligent, attentive, and as sexy as hell.

At the end of this evening, David had suggested Shane join him for a drink in his room. Shane had agreed. He had a very firm policy about sleeping with his clients. Contrary to popular belief, he didn’t fuck them all. He was very choosy about whom he went home with. He had to like the person, feel comfortable with them and they had to make him feel horny. But after the second glass of champagne and a lot of hot and heavy kissing and crotch banging, he remembered nothing more. Until now.

Shane pulled at the cords that bound his wrists and ankles to the posts of a four poster bed. There was no way he was getting out of the bindings anytime soon. His naked body was splayed out on a luxurious Matelasse bed spread. The fierce erection that had sprung up when he and David were making out earlier had flagged.

He groaned, hoping to distract the man sitting on the corner of the bed close to him, frantically stroking his dick and looking as if he was going to let loose at any minute. The man’s eyes stared at him with a look of sheer greed, darting from Shane’s hairy chest to the blonde line of hair that ran down to his groin. Shane thought gloomily that at the moment there wasn’t much to see. He blamed it on whatever drug he’d been given.

“Erm, David? Honestly, you didn’t have to go all this trouble to jack off. I would have done it for you, you know that. Maybe if you took these ties off me, I could finish the job? Hand or mouth, I don’t mind either way. If you want to top, that’s fine with me too. I mean, I’m not even that hard either, so maybe we can work on that. Give you something more to look at.” He grinned through gritted teeth. There was no way Shane was getting the bastard off but it didn’t hurt to let him think that. He was more likely to punch the sly bugger in the nose. He disliked being made a fool of.

David moaned but didn’t stop what he was doing. “God, Shane, you are just perfect any way, you know that? You have got the most incredibly sexy body. Not buff but really toned.” His plummy tones, which earlier had been very seductive to Shane’s ears, were now an irritating high class whine in Shane’s brain. “I’m sorry I had to slip you something and tie you up, but I prefer you that way. “

Shane wondered if David had done this before and what the reaction had been from other men. He planned to make an example of the fact that it wasn’t the ‘done thing’ in his book just as soon as David cut him loose.

“I really wanted you tonight, Shane. I liked undressing you while you slept, and then splaying you out like that for me to see.” The man shivered in ecstasy and Shane could see he was close to climaxing, “That’s what gets me off. I mean, I paid for you right, so I should get what I want. The customer’s always right, correct?”

Who the fuck did this guy think he was, treating him like a piece of meat? He might have paid for the evening, but that didn’t give the bastard any right to do this to him.

“I didn’t think you’d mind.”

The whining increased, adding to the slow burn of fury that ebbed and waned through Shane’s chest. He gritted his teeth, needing to talk the other man into letting him go, not blasting him with a tirade of salty swear words Shane had learned from his fisherman grandfather. He had rather a rather profane mouth as a result.

“David, you look pretty close to eruption, so why don’t you let me go and I can help you with that? You like the look of my arse? Well, if you let me up, you can have it. It’s all yours.”

David moved closer to Shane, still tugging himself madly. David’s gasps grew more strident and louder as his body began to jerk uncontrollably.  Shane closed his eyes in resignation. It was too late. The hot, wet, acrid smelling ejaculate shot all over his stomach and groin as David directed it over him and shouted out in release.

Shane was bathed in white spurts of semen that shot across his lower belly like silly string, warming his flesh and leaving sticky snail trails. It wasn’t the first time he’d been bathed in the stuff but it was the first time it had been done without his permission or willing participation. He opened his eyes to see David smiling at him.

“God, Shane, that was incredible,” David blabbered, missing Shane’s narrowed eyes and complete lack of humour as he bobbed around on the bed like a kid at Christmas. “Let me get those bonds off you. Hold on and I’ll untie you.”

A distinct sense of relief flooded Shane’s body that he wasn’t closeted with a psycho about to carve him up or rape him. He knew he’d been lucky tonight and that made him all the more mad. He didn’t like taking risks like this one.

Shane watched as the other man fiddled with the ankle restraints, and when he’d freed Shane’s legs, David moved up over Shane’s body to untie his wrists.  He was oblivious to the stillness of Shane’s body and the tensing of his muscles as he waited to be set free.

As soon as he unties that first one, I am going to fucking deck him right across his pretty face and beat the shit out of him.