Interview with Susan Mac Nicol

Julie's Book Review would like to introduce Susan Mac Nicol. Welcome to the site. We are all excited to meet and learn more about you.

Let's start with Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I always get tongue tied when people ask me that question. On my last book tour I gave away so much about myself I think the public knew more about me than my own family :)

I was born in the UK and emigrated to South Africa when I was a child. I lived there for thirty years, got married, had kids then twelve years ago we decided to come back to the UK. We live just outside London.

I've been described in a variety of ways not all of them complimentary. I think the best words to describe me are - driven, feisty, obsessive, sarcastic, funny, impatient, single minded, (see the trend here?) occasionally obnoxious (some would say often), loyal, a great friend, a bad enemy. I thrive on creativity, am very open-minded, and love chocolate. I'm a savoury person overall -give me a sausage roll, and I'm happy. I know this is all a little random but hey *shrugs*. I also talk to myself all the time, driving work colleagues to distraction, especially when I do it using different accents. I find it helps me focus. I've always been a very visual person. I was lucky enough not to have study too much at school, as I retained most of what I was taught in class. But when I did revise, I lined my teddies up on the bed, got out a blackboard and a piece of chalk and pretended to teach them what I was learning. It made it so much easier for me.

What genre's do you write? if more than one do you have a favorite? -

I write contemporary romance - both male/female and male/male relationships. I'm torn here though as to the favourite. I adore Bennett and Cassie and their relationship in the Starlight series. I have a real love for both of these characters and their story. But I find I have a deep yen for writing about man love. There's just something about having two sexy, masculine souls battling it out in the love stakes. You have to remember you're talking about two men so they behave differently. Of course, writing about gay sex as a straight woman is a challenge and I love those. But I have plenty of help with gay man friends helping me out with the realism. It's a win- win situation for us both. *chuckles*

What can we expect from your books? Action, sex, adventure, romance?

All of these things. I don't write lovey-dovey Romance. My characters go through a lot, physically and mentally; they get embroiled in situations out of the norm, get hurt, heal and get hurt again. There's a lot of suspense in my books, and I tackle social issues, sometimes controversial ones like the female on male rape scene in Cassandra by Starlight. This has been an extreme talking point in various rape survivor forums and websites and you can find out more about just how my book impacted this here: http://www.susanmacnicol.com/category/rape-posts/

There's some supernatural overtones in Together in Starlight and the third book Starlight and Promises deals with gang warfare in London and cults. I have a book 'queued' up for publication called Saving Alexandria, which deals with Third Reich cults, S and M and
kidnapping. I also have an erotic crime romance thriller called Born Human, which deals with the philosophy of the punishment fitting the crime. So all in all a pretty mixed bag.

Do you have a favorite book or character of yours that is a favorite? Why?

And this is where everyone at my publisher heaves a long suffering sigh and rolls their eyes because they know exactly who he is. My favourite character out of all the ones I've created is Bennett Saville from my Starlight series. He started this all in the first place and without Bennett, I'd be nowhere. That's a given. One of the reasons he's my favourite is not just because he's a sexy, green-eyed, auburn haired, sardonic, sarcastic and witty talented actor on the London scene, but because he's modelled on my very own (dare I say this?) 'wet dream'. Bennett was inspired by the incredibly talented Benedict Cumberbatch, a British actor who is our new 'Sherlock' and the villain John Harrison in the latest Star Trek Into Darkness film. There are definite similarities between the two characters in the book. However I have to say, I wrote Bennett as having a major Hollywood role in a remake of 'Lost Horizon' in my book before the delectable Mr. Cumberbatch got his screen role as John Harrison. I like to think life is imitating art...I am not ashamed to say I have a thing for the man and am a member of many of his fan clubs. I even got to speak about this connection between him and my books on a local radio show. You can listen to the radio interview here on my website.

Can you tell us anything on your newest release?

My newest release will be a first for me in the genre of gay male Romance. We're still deciding on a title but it looks like Stripped Bare is a firm favourite. You can read a little bit about what it's all about below.

When lawyer Matthew Langer is called to the hospital by his boss to deal with a family emergency, he has no idea his life is going to change. While waiting to see how his best friend is recovering from a beating, he comes face to face with the irrepressible and sexy Shane Templar, Carrington Knight escort and master hacker. There is a definite attraction between the two men. Despite Matthew's reluctance to get involved with anyone again, he finds Shane difficult to resist. Shane needs to work hard to get past the barriers of Matthew's past tragedy and get close to a man who controls his own life with focused determination. Shane has also had his share of trauma in his past but he's trying to move on. The two men begin a relationship filled with steamy passion and conflict. But Shane's talents as a hacker one day opens a door Matthew had wanted to keep closed. Feeling betrayed by the man he is falling in love with, Matthew cuts himself off from his lover. Then tragedy strikes and he finds himself wishing that he could turn back the clock. The lovers are reunited, but there are still obstacles to face as their relationship develops into something lasting.
It's pretty hot, emotional and a real 'second chance' story. It has intrigue, deception, blackmail and violence and a man who has to nearly lose everything to find out what he really wants.

Are you working on anything new? When will it be out and can you give us any details....hints?

I'm working on a second male romance book, which is set in the beautiful town of Stamford in Lincolnshire. It's the story of Toby Prentiss, ex foster kid with a chequered past, who rises above his sordid past to become General Manager of a five star hotel in the town. He's proud of what he's managed to achieve. Then along comes Rain Engel, master carpenter, contracted to build a unique pub in the hotel for its owner, Simon. Rain is a definite alpha male and takes a fancy to Toby. The two begin a passionate affair but Rain has a few demons in his past of his own. He doesn't want commitment. He was hurt before and he doesn't want to face that kind of pain again. Toby has his work cut out for him to make Rain realise exactly what he means to him.

As a teaser let me leave you with these words - a farmer's field, a haystack, sexy dancing, a Gotye song, champagne being put to good albeit unorthodox use, roses and a garden hut. Oh, and a straight surfer dude called Lucas.

What kind of advice would you give new authors or people who are trying to get published?

It's a bit of a cliché actually. Just write what you want to write. If you’re lucky enough to be able to take a few creative writing courses, then I'd recommend that. I had no experience when I first started out and I've learnt the hard way 'on the job'. I have a wonderfully patient and supportive editor called Jill Limber and she's my muse. Write the story you feel, tell the tale you want to tell, and above all, enjoy doing it. Be disciplined. Don't talk about it and whine about not having the time. Make the time. At the same time you're writing your novel, start developing your author platform. Again, I had no social networking skills when I first got published and it's been a large hard slog to get where I am. I should have started earlier but I had no idea about it. Get your name out there, start developing relationships with people who can help you, and get to know them. If anyone has any questions on this I'm happy to answer them and see if I can help. They can contact me via my website.

Let's find out a little more ....How about some FUN stuff!!

Favorite place to travel?

I want to go to Russia. I want to see the Kremlin, St Peter's Square and see all those amazing buildings and scenery. I also have a yen to go to Maine in the U.S. and visit Stephen King.

Favorite foods?

I mentioned before I'm a savoury person. I enjoy sausage rolls, pies, steak and chips. I'd murder for a bacon sandwich. I love salmon but can't eat any fish with bones. If I find a bone that's it. The whole thing is spoiled.

Favorite past time?

I'm a saddo. I'm a geek. My smart phone is my best friend, my laptop is my world and my writing is my passion. I read like crazy and I'm a reviewer for a few well known sites. I love swimming but in the UK that opportunity doesn't come up often and I don't like public, indoor, warm pools. Water is meant to be cold and refreshing not tepid. I enjoy going out to the seaside and walking along our pebbled beaches then stopping for a gin and tonic at the local pub.

Book (not yours but one you can recommend)

I have so many that I truly love. It seems wrong to single out just one. If I had to pick one, it would be the first one in a series of books - 'Fatal Shadows' - the Adrien English Mysteries. I started reading this author's work and got hooked. It was an adventure into male romance that was a definite delight. I've almost completed reading everything he's written and it's all five star good.

Author (one you can recommend)

Said author of the Adrien English Mysteries, the incredible Josh Lanyon. I love his work, and his humour and the fact his characters are flawed, wonderful human beings. I'd definitely recommend this author to anyone. He writes true stories of Romance, relationships and conflict, interspersed with great sex scenes that aren't over the top like many books in this genre can be.

Any pets?

I don't have a pet but my daughter, who lives with us, does. His name is Blu, he's a border collie mix of some sort. He's black and white with one blue eye and one brown hence the name. He's incredibly intelligent and lovely natured. So I have a pet by default, I suppose.

Finally is there any special places we can find you and your books (Links please)

Personal website - www.susanmacnicol.com
Author - http://www.boroughspublishinggroup.com/authors/susan-mac-nicol
Amazon links US http://amzn.to/VyUcyC UK http://amzn.to/1514GHz
All Romance http://bit.ly/ZQgIzq
Smashwords http://bit.ly/YBghLS
Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/1219D0m
Book trailer -Cassandra by Starlight http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ag-OQzQKhxo
Together in Starlight http://animoto.com/play/xbFwI6SAmc8lk7fARus1tA
And http://authoressentials.virtualwritersinc.com/2013/04/on-tour-cassandra-by-starlight-by-susan-mac-nicol/

It has been a pleasure visiting with you. JBR wishes you great success and hopefully you will be back here again with more reviews of your future books.

Julie Ramsey


  1. Fabulous interview ~ I love your funny and candid answers, Susan. Great to see you here! When you do go to Russia... can I come? Good luck with the next release, I'll be looking out for it. Rock on!

  2. Thanks very much Julie for hosting me today. It's a pleasure to be on your wonderful blog. Nicky, I'm glad you like my answers. I tend to take the bull by the horns and tell it like it is. And of course you can come to Russia. We'll drink vodka together :)

  3. Wow - you have been a busy girl, Sue! Nicky's right - great interview here at Julie's blog. I'm a converted Cumberbatch fan thanks to you.

    Best of luck with your new launches.


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