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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…


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.


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.


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.


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.”


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.


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.


                                   Bollocks Thumbnail

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.


 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.


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.


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