Thursday 27 September 2012


Summer is over, autumn is with us and the curtain has risen on The Sex Cabaret. I can't quite believe how quickly 2012 has gone so far. It's been a busy one for me; writing The Sex Cabaret, self-publishing my short story collections, getting to grips with on-line promotion etc; it's been a real whirl so far.

Thank you to everyone who has bought and downloaded the new novel. It's a thrill to have that instant connection with readers. The publishing industry has changed so much since the publication of my last novel The Chain back in 2003. There is a lot more work involved as an author these days, especially if we chose to go down the self-publishing route, but the rewards are exceptional.

I'm taking a short break over the next month; doing Best Man duties at my brother’s wedding and taking a very late summer holiday. When I come back its full steam ahead with the next book - a M/M romance novella and then in 2013 I'll be writing the first of a trilogy of books set around the 1960s music scene. I can't wait to get started.

Below you will find a short Q&A relating to The Sex Cabaret.


Your last novel was in 2003. What made you return to novel writing after almost 10 years?

I didn't intend to leave to so long between The Chain and The Sex Cabaret but there were many different reasons. Firstly the publishing house who committed to my third novel went bust in 2004. I spent a year or so trying different publishers with no success. This was before the boom in ebooks and erotica and for a long period it looked like erotic fiction was a dead genre, existing only on free forums. Then I decided to do some study and spent three years working on a diploma in creative writing. After the diploma I took a little time out to recharge my batteries, by which time the digital boom had taken off. I had a lot of unpublished stories in files and decided to collect some of them together in a couple of ebooks; mainly this was an experiment to see how the ebook process worked and whether I was capable of editing, designing and publishing a book myself. I was very happy with the results and am immensely proud of both Bedtime Stories and Body Language.

So it was late in 2011 when I started to think seriously about writing a new novel.  Once I had the idea and the story I went into lockdown until the book was finished.

How would you describe The Sex Cabaret?

I think it's a fun, sexy page turner, full of intriguing characters and situations. I'm not really sure where The Sex Cabaret sits in the current market or trends for gay erotica. It couldn't really be classed as a M/M romance, though there is a strong M/M relationship between the characters of Clive and Alfie. It has an ensemble of characters with Daniel and Dietrich and I think the sex scenes are more explicit than any of the current books I've read. If anyone has read any of my short stories they'll know the strength of my sex scenes.  I like it to get pretty hot.  Maybe too much for some readers?  I hope not but we’ll see.

What is your writing process and where do you work?

I like to write at the kitchen table with music playing. I recently redecorated my study but find it difficult to get creative in there. The study is a place of business - emails, taxes, blogging etc, so I like to write in the kitchen, preferably with something tasty cooking in the oven. The Sex Cabaret took longer than either of my other novels to write. The first draft took about six months. I don't work on anything else when I'm completely a first draft. I like to focus on one project and work straight through to completion. I spend a couple of evenings a week writing and try to complete 2000 words across them, then I spend one full day at the weekend writing, aiming for around 3000 to 4000 words. There's no real secret to it - just sitting down and completing the book word by word, page by page.

I like to have a pretty detailed outline of the novel prepared in advance, around 5 to 6 pages. I don't always stick to the outline but find it much easier to finish a book when I know what I'm aiming for.  This book changed considerably from the outline, especially in the second half, but I still like to have that outline to hand for those moments I get lost.

It took about four weeks to heavily revise the manuscript for my second draft and then the third draft took about two weeks. It's an intense process. A writer also has to learn when to stop and let go. I could continue through 10 drafts, constantly revising if I didn't enforce a cut-off point.

What have you been reading?

Josh Lanyon's Adrian English series, Sylvia Day's Bared to You, some old James Herbert and Stephen King novels. I've been rereading some of the original James Bond novels and have a whole load of other goodies on my kindle ready for my holiday next month. Like most other people I did start reading the Fifty Shades trilogy but gave up early into the second book.

What can we expect next?

Well there won't be another 9 year wait for my next book. I've already completed a short novelette and am about to start writing a M/M novella called Feel The Benefit. My plan for 2013 is to start a new novel in January - the first in a 3 part saga set during the 1960s and 70s. Researching that project has been so much fun.  I can’t wait to get started.  I've written some horror/ghosts stories that I hope to publish under a new pseudonym at some point next year.  I’ve also got a few new stories in my folder, so there will definitely be a third volume of shorts in the next year or two.


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