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Interview with E. S. Skipper

Today, I’d like to welcome author and close friend, E. S. Skipper.

 His first short story, ‘No Worries, Mate’, has recently been published in Wayward Ink Publishings Bollocks! anthology.

Congratulations on a fabulous story and for the wonderful reviews you’ve received so far. It was a pleasure to work alongside you as your boys came to life on the screen. I’m glad I helped steer you in the right direction with their story and was there to support you every step of the way on your route to publishing. 

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Oma’s interview at E.S. Skipper’s Bollocks! Release Day Party on Facebook.

Can you tell me how you came to want to write?

I started reading fanfiction a while back and I enjoyed it a lot. There were many great stories out there, but also some really bad ones that were getting heaps of reviews. The authors hadn’t even studied the subject properly. And yes, it is fiction, but some of these people were moving into dangerous topics. People could have gotten hurt if they thought it was all right to try things they were reading. So after moaning at my friend, he said he had enough of my complaining and told me to put up or shut up. So I put up.

My stories can be found on fanfiction as Emmett’s Submissive

When you create your characters do they come strictly from your imagination, people you know in real life, or a mix?

Oh, so not a fair question. Without realising it, I tend to see people I know in my characters. Although my novel I am trying to write at the moment is about two very close friends. I have used them as inspiration. They are whom I imagine in my head when I write. But other than that, they are nothing like the characters and they have become unique in a way but still hold the characteristics of my friends. They love it, so I am happy about that.

 I’ve had the privilege to watch you write. It’s amazing how your process works. How do you develop your writing ideas?

Okay, you’re making me give the secret away. Actually, I have none. I sit down and write. I don’t think my characters talk to me. I don’t pause or make changes until the chapter is done normally. Take Rangi and Jake from ‘No Worries, Mate’. A friend on Facebook said something so small, but made it click in my head. Yep, she had visited New Zealand and commented on how laid back and nothing was a bother. As you know, I say No Worries all the time. It’s a common New Zealand, and yes, I have to admit, Australian saying. So out of her simple comment ‘No Worries, Mate’ was born.

You’ve recently been accepted by Wayward Ink Publishing for an original story. How did you feel once you’d submitted?

Oh, you are so freaking mean. You know how I felt. Scared, worried, regretful, but mainly proud I had actually taken that step. But I wouldn’t have if it wasn’t for my amazing beta and friend Lily G. Blunt aka Bob Loving. She is my mentor and held my hand every step of the way. When I say that I seriously mean she held my hand. Hell, she even set the document up. I basically typed the story and handed it to her. She did the rest. You have seen my writing. I never go back and edit. Oh wait, I do now. *Blushing here. Thanks, hun*

What was your reaction when you learned you had been accepted?

I am not ashamed to say I cried. I was never a scholar at school. Basically told I was a no-hoper. Well, I can’t wait for a school reunion now and go and say, well guess you were wrong. Don’t give up on a dream. Hell, writing was never my dream, but now it is a passion.

Tell me about the publishing process; what you enjoyed most, and liked least.

It’s horrible! It honestly is hard. You have to go through so much. But an author is just a slice in the whole process. EDITS are the bane of my life. I hate them. Normally you go through two edits. I HAD four! As you know, I am new at this game. I handed over a story but got told that in a few places I was telling rather than showing. Thankfully Wayward Ink Publishing saw something in me. I had to fix it after the first submission before it went to the next partner in the business. Then it had to go to my first editor. I ADORE her and can’t thank her enough. But guess what? I didn’t gel with my next one. I didn’t mind her, but her style was not to my liking. She is brilliant at her job, but she didn’t get me as a writer. And best part? I have yet to find one. Although holding your book in your hand is incredible and it makes it all seem worthwhile.

Do you have any plans to publish again?

*hangs head* Yes, as much as I moan about it, I can’t not do it again! Although this time I will be better prepared.

Do you have other stories in the works?

Yep! That is all I am saying at this moment in time. I don’t know what I will be finishing or submitting next.

Name the five biggest distractions from your writing.

Real life.

Family

Facebook (worse one) – Sorry, I know I contribute to this distraction for hours at a time, but we have fun in between the hours of work, don’t we!

Helping others trying to write

Travelling

Where do you hope to see your writing career, say, ten years from now?

Honestly, I can’t think that far ahead. I hope I’m an established author. Or maybe, I give it up and try my hand at other interests I have. All I know is that I have a lot in my head and these buggers won’t keep quiet.

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Excerpt

Jake Bullock stared in embarrassed horror at the sign BOLLOCKS being held aloft by a tall man with skin the color of a good café latte—something Jake felt in dire need of. People sniggered as they walked past the placard held so high and so proudly in the air it looked positively jaunty. After traveling for God knows how many hours, the last thing Jake had was a sense of humor.

Walking over to the man, Jake looked up. “Are you from the Department of Conservation?”

“Yep, Kia ora, mate. Welcome to Aotearoa—land of the long white cloud.” The guy grinned, showing perfectly straight white teeth.

“I thought I was in New Zealand.” Jake looked around. He saw flags and silver ferns, just as he’d expected.

“This is New Zealand—but it’s also known as Aotearoa. My name is Rangi Hapakuku. You must be Jake Bollock.” He finally put the sign down and held his large hand out.

Accepting the hand, Jake jerked back when the guy drew close to his face. Rangi tapped his nose to Jake’s once, then paused for a split second before he went in again. Jake could feel heat rising on his cheeks. He should have remembered this was a customary greeting. Holding his breath, he rubbed noses with the man. It only lasted a few seconds, and Jake had to admit it wasn’t as intrusive as he thought it would be. Rangi peered behind Jake, as though looking for something.

“Oh, my travel partner couldn’t make it. She contracted chicken pox from her granddaughter,” Jake said, thinking it was the reason why the sign had an ‘s’ tagged on the end. “I’m Jake Bullock. That’s Bull…ock. Not Bollock!”

“Well, no worries, mate. It’s better there’s only the two of us. You have been given a great honor to visit our island.” He started to take the camera off Jake’s shoulder.

“Please, I’ll carry it.” Jake grabbed hold of the straps and held tightly onto his camera, his livelihood. Hell, truth be told, it was like an extension of his arm. Rangi might as well have asked him to detach his hand.

“No worries, mate! We best get a move on if we want to make it to the island before dark.”

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Purchase links

Wayward Ink Publishing

 

 

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Amazon

Amazon UK

Follow E.S. Skipper here:

Website

FB page

THANK YOU, E!

GIVEAWAY
YOUR CHANCE TO WIN A COPY OF A SIGNED BOLLOCKS ANTHOLOGY
 
To celebrate the release of its first book, Wayward Ink Publishing is having a giveaway.
10 winners will receive a Wayward Ink Pen and Lip Balm,
5 winners will receive a UBS Extension Cord and Fridge Magnet,
3 winners will receive a paperback copy of Bollocks signed by Tabitha McGowan, Anyta Sunday, Taylin Clavelli, Elin Gregory, H Lewis-Foster and Lily Velden;
and 1 winner will receive a $25.00 Amazon gift card.  
 
Twenty Percent (20%) of all sales in the month of June will be donated to an LGBT Charity in the UK.  
 
To Enter
Click on the Rafflecopter link and follow the instructions.
A RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

 

 

 

Guest Author – H Lewis-Foster

A warm welcome to fellow author and new friend courtesy of Wayward Ink Publishing and the UK Meet,

H. Lewis-Foster.

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TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF, H.

The temptation you wish you could resist…

I know it’s a predictable answer, but it has to be chocolate, in any form. Cake, biscuits, anything – if it’s in the house, I’m afraid I’ll eat it!

The book that holds everlasting resonance…

The most significant book for me is The Married Man by Edmund White. It was the first book I read by and about a gay man, and it made a huge impression on me. It’s a beautifully written story of love and loss, and I’m sure if I hadn’t read it, I wouldn’t be where I am now.

The film you can watch time and time again…

That would have to be the British film Weekend. It has no big stars or special effects, but the script and performances are fantastic. As the title suggests, it tells the story of two men who meet and fall in love over the course of a weekend. It’s a wonderfully simple film full of honesty and emotion.

The poem that touches your soul…

The poem which I find the most touching is one I first read when I was a teenager. It’s a French poem (with an English title) called Paris at Night by Jacques Prévert. It’s a very short piece with no flowery words or complex structures. A simple statement of love, it still takes my breath away when I read it.

The figure from history you would most like to buy a pie and a pint…

Weird as it may sound, I think I’d go down the pub with Alexander the Great. I’ve just read the first two books in Mary Renault’s trilogy about his life, and he sounds like a fascinating character, full of astonishing confidence one minute and vulnerability the next. It sounds like he knew how to have a great party too, so I’m sure he’d be good company. And of course he wasn’t afraid to show his love for the men in his life.

So now you know a bit about me, here’s a little about my two new releases.

Out in the Sticks (JMS Books)

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Lawyer Adam Sibden has moved to the charming English village of Sharpley to forget about men. But when he takes his car to the local garage, he can’t help being attracted to the handsome young manager Jim Turley. At the village pub that evening, a misunderstanding leads to a highly embarrassing moment for Adam, but Jim thankfully comes to his rescue and makes him feel more at ease.

As the winter weather takes hold, Adam finds himself stranded with a punctured tyre, following a disastrous meeting with his ex-boyfriend Lucas. Adam calls the garage’s breakdown service, and when Jim ventures into the snow to find him, he offers more help than Adam could have hoped for.

Publisher Link

In the Blue Moonlight (Part of the BOLLOCKS! anthology)

Bollocks Bookmark

Simon has a good job and a nice house, and according to his best friend Chris, he’s turning into a boring old fart. So it’s totally out of character when Simon bares his bum to the local constabulary on a night out with his brother’s student mates. He hopes he’s put the incident behind him, when Simon bumps into one of the officers. Simon fears he’s in trouble, then thinks he’s in luck when PC Mark Timmis buys him a drink – but life in a rural English town is never as simple as it seems.

Publisher Link

Author Bio

H. Lewis-Foster has always worked with books, in one form or another. As a keen reader of gay fiction, she decided to try writing herself, and is now the proud author of several short stories and a debut novel.

H. has lived in various parts of the UK and has recently moved to the north of England, where she’s enjoying city life, especially the theatres and cinemas. She tries not to watch too much television, but is a big fan of Downton Abbey, and while she’s writing, she loves listening to Test Match Special (where they spend far more time talking about cakes than cricket!)

H. has also ventured into playwriting and was thrilled to see her first play performed at the Southend Playwriting Festival earlier this year.

Website

Twitter

 

GIVEAWAY
YOUR CHANCE TO WIN A COPY OF A SIGNED BOLLOCKS ANTHOLOGY
 
To celebrate the release of its first book, Wayward Ink Publishing is having a giveaway.
10 winners will receive a Wayward Ink Pen and Lip Balm,
5 winners will receive a UBS Extension Cord and Fridge Magnet,
3 winners will receive a paperback copy of Bollocks signed by Tabitha McGowan, Anyta Sunday, Taylin Clavelli, Elin Gregory, H Lewis-Foster and Lily Velden;
and 1 winner will receive a $25.00 Amazon gift card.  
 
Twenty Percent (20%) of all sales in the month of June will be donated to an LGBT Charity in the UK.  
 
To Enter
Click on the Rafflecopter link and follow the instructions.
A RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

 

Bollocks! Anthology Giveaway

THE BOLLOCKS! ANTHOLOGY IS AVAILABLE NOW.
SEE BELOW FOR A CHANCE TO ENTER
THE WAYWARD INK PUBLISHING GIVEAWAY
Bollocks Bookmark

BOLLOCKS!
Bollocks as a word is a little naughty. It’s a little cheeky. It’s a little rude.

And it’s the tongue-in-cheek theme for this collection of short stories celebrating all things English.

You’ll discover a bonk is not a typo for somewhere to keep your money.

A shag isn’t something thick and plush under your feet to keep them warm, though it is guaranteed to heat you up!

And as for a snog, the boys of Bollocks! can assure you it’s worth finding out what that Brit term means.

The stories will make you laugh.

They’ll make you snort.

They’ll make you blush.

Sigh—they’ll probably make you shake your head.

They may even make you want to catch the next flight to England to find something a little British of your own!

It’s not just cricket, or jolly hockey sticks, it’s more… it’s the very British, Bollocks!

HEALING

Tabitha McGowan

Werewolf meets human healer, and snuggling ensues…

but not till the danger that’s threatening them both has been dealt with…

SHEEP’S CLOTHING

Elin Gregory

Meet Darren Murchison: self-employed plumber and reluctant werewolf…

NO WORRIES, MATE

E.S. Skipper

 “Who needs a partner when I have this?” Rangi said, opening his arms out as if to encompass the entire island and surrounding ocean.

Who indeed…

IT COULD BE YOU

Anyta Sunday

 Ted has just won 15 million quid.

Or at least, he would have won 15 million quid if he could find his bloody lotto ticket…

JUST LIKE PULLING TEETH

L.J. Harris

A trip to the dentist has never been so… interesting…

DIY DELIGHTS

Taylin Clavelli

While renovating his first house with his partner, Mike, Duncan discovers a plethora of reasons to use his favourite word… Bollocks!

IN THE BLUE MOONLIGHT

H. Lewis-Foster

A bottom bared to a local bobby means a night out Simon will never forget.

IT’S WRITTEN IN THE STARS

Lily Velden

Who needs a holiday when your destiny is Written in the Stars?

 

GIVEAWAY
 
To celebrate the release of its first book, Wayward Ink Publishing is having a giveaway.
10 winners will receive a Wayward Ink Pen and Lip Balm,
5 winners will receive a UBS Extension Cord and Fridge Magnet,
3 winners will receive a paperback copy of Bollocks signed by Tabitha McGowan, Anyta Sunday, Taylin Clavelli, Elin Gregory, H Lewis-Foster and Lily Velden;
and 1 winner will receive a $25.00 Amazon gift card.  
 
Twenty Percent (20%) of all sales in the month of June will be donated to an LGBT Charity in the UK.  
 
To Enter
Click on the Rafflecopter link and follow the instructions.
A RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY
BUY LINKS

 

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Four questions and a tag or two!

 I’ve been tagged in a rolling meme blog post by Facebook friend and fellow writer Anna Butler. The idea is that I answer four questions about my writing and tag three more fellow writers who pass on the torch in their turn. As Anna said in her post, “You have to be brave to venture onto Facebook these days!”

A native of Durham, England, Anna worked for many years as a communications specialist in the UK government. She now spends her time combining her love for science fiction with that for m/m romance.

Flashwired was Anna’s first published book. She is currently working on a series of five science fiction/gay romance novels, Taking Shield. The first will be published shortly. Anna is also the author of several short stories in Dreamspinner anthologies.

Written for the 2013 UK GLBTQ Fiction Meet, Candlelight (around 1,700 words) is available as a free downloadable .pdf on her blog. Join Jack Lincoln as he plans to romance lover Adam Hollister, and share the moment when Jack is entranced by how Adam looks by candlelight…

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She also has a delightful M/M romance called Gilded Scarab on her blog. Each of her short vignettes from The Gilded Scarab is also available as a free downloadable .pdf that you will be able to transfer to any e-reading device.

See Anna’s blog for the links to both downloads. LINK HERE.

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I met Anna at the UK Meet last year and am looking forward to chatting to her again in June.

So without further ado, here are the questions and my answers.

What am I working on? 

My main focus since last November  has been my novel, Paint the Sky. I wrote most of it for NaNo and have been slowly working through each chapter before sending it to my pre-readers. After they had their say, I reconsidered various aspects of the plot and even the personality of the main character before going over the chapters several times and editing again. I’m almost done now. Just got the last three chapters to complete before I send  it off to the publisher.

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Inspired by Van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night‘ painting and Don McLean’s ‘Vincent‘, my story tells of the developing love between artist, Vincent (Vinnie), and would-be writer, Ben. Each chapter is titled after one of Vinnie’s paintings, and part of the storyline within each chapter includes reference to that painting.

Watch the video here.  STARRY, STARRY NIGHT BY DON MCLEAN

How does my work differ from others in my genre?

I currently write contemporary romance and erotica with a bit of angst thrown in. I don’t think I especially differ much from others in the genre except the first two short stories I published come with a tissue warning. Most m/m romances are expected  to be HEA or at least HFN. All my other stories since have happy endings.

Why do I write what I do?

I’m often asked this by members of my family. I tell them it’s the only thing I read these days. Het stories offer no appeal to me anymore. In my writing, I enjoy exploring the love and relationship between two men and focus on the intensity of their physical and emotional attraction. All my stories contain explicit sex scenes. As much as I put them off until last, I love writing them really.

How does my writing process work?

The initial inspiration for a story can be anything from lyrics in a song to a random thought while I’m ironing. It may inspire a whole scene or just a short scenario that takes hold in my mind. In fact, the very beginnings of Paint the Sky came from a line in Empty Chairs.

“I wonder if you know

that I never understood

that although you said you’d go

until you did I never thought you would.”

EMPTY CHAIRS VIDEO WITH LYRICS

Once I’ve got my initial ideas, I usually write a rough overview in my note book or on my computer. I’ve used various frameworks for each of my stories to help me organize my thoughts on character sketches, settings and the basic outline of the story. I don’t like to begin with a blank screen. A few author friends have recommended Scrivener, so I might give that a go for my next story.

For my current story, before I started NaNo, I wrote detailed  notes for all the main characters and then listed chapter headings. I wrote the key points I wanted to cover under each section and used these notes to write the chapters during November.  Since then, I have edited each chapter  several times and changed or re-written a few scenes before sending them to my first scrupulous pre-reader, who in turn added her own thoughts, questions and suggestions within the text. I edited again and currently have another reader going through and discussing points with me as I do the “final” edits.

I will do another read through and probably more edits before it is ready for submission.

~O~

Now to hand on the baton to three other authors in the M/M romance world. I can’t wait to read their answers to the above questions and to find out a little more about what makes them tick. Although, to be honest, I have a good idea what the first one will say because I know him so well.

E.S. Skipper is a dear friend and a budding new author. I have worked alongside him over the past four months and encouraged his writing talent as I’ve edited his work. As a result, his first short story is being published in Wayward Ink Publishing‘s first anthology, Bollocks! His story, No Worries, Mate, will be an undoubted success, so make sure you check it out when it is published on June 5th.

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L.J. Harris is also a friend made though my writing connections. Her story, Just Like Pulling Teeth, will also be published in the Bollocks! anthology.

Check out her wonderful novella Heart of  Glass.

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 Cindy Sutherland is another Facebook friend and a successful writer of m/m fiction. Her latest story, Wrapped Up In Chains, became a #1 best seller.

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All three will post their responses to the questions on 26th May. Tune in to see what they have to say about how they approach their craft.

~O~

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