Jen: Today we welcome Susan Mac Nicol to Romancing the Book. Susan, will you share a short bio with us?
Susan: Susan Mac Nicol is a self confessed bookaholic, an avid watcher of videos of sexy pole dancing men, self confessed geek and nerd and in love with her Smartphone. This little treasure is called ‘the boyfriend’ by her long suffering husband, who says if it vibrated, there’d be no need for him. Susan hasn’t had the heart to tell him there’s an app for that…
She is never happier than when sitting in the confines of her living room/study/on a cold station platform scribbling down words and making two men fall in love. She is a romantic at heart and believes that everything happens (for the most part) for a reason. She likes to think of herself as a ‘half full’ kinda gal, although sometimes that philosophy is sorely tested.
Lover of walks in the forest, theatre productions, dabbling her toes in the cold North Sea and the vibrant city of London where you can experience all four seasons in a day , she is a hater of pantomime (so please don’t tar and feather her), duplicitous people, bigotry and self righteous idiots.
In an ideal world, Susan Mac Nicol would be Queen of England and banish all the bad people to the Never Never Lands of Wherever -Who Cares. As that’s never going to happen, she contents herself with writing her HEA stories and pretending, that just for a little while, good things happen to good people.
Jen: Please tell us about your newest release and where the idea came from.
Susan: My newest release at the time of writing this is called Love and Punishment. This is the short blurb. I write M/M Romance or gay fiction if you prefer. I have written some M/F novels though.
Someone is leaving a trail of bodies throughout London, and Detective Anthony Parglietto is determined to end the violence. Then he’ll return to the man he loves.Tough, street-savvy, and used to dealing with lowlifes, Flynn Parker is the last person Anthony thinks he has to protect. Then the Bow-Tie Killer strikes close to home and the world turns upside down. Right is wrong, black is white, and a policeman might become a monster. But in the name of love, justice must be served. In the name of love, pain can be endured. In the name of love, a man can taste the very essence that defines him.
I’ve always been fascinated with the premise of a man who has sworn to uphold the law and the justice system having his own rather specific ideas on how to make the punishment fit the crime and the whole ‘eye for an eye’ scenario. And that’s what the premise of this book is about.
Susan: I had to research a little about the UK Police force and the different ranks and responsibilities. I watch CSI and the like so the whole crime scene thing was easy enough, (although in real life I’m sure it’s nothing like the TV series) I tried to keep it quite high level and not get into too much detail. I also researched the psychology of serial killers and found that really, yes, there may be a pattern to some people but for others, it’s really a case of what is going on their head and anything goes. I did a lot of investigation into the thoughts of retributivism, and the whole concept and beliefs behind it. It’s fascinating study.
Jen: What’s the most challenging aspect of writing? Easiest? Most rewarding?
Susan: The most challenging aspect for me is getting to the writing part. I used to have a lot of time to do this and now I work longer hours than I used to, it’s quite a chore to find time and write. So I do it whenever I can -on the train into work, which gives me about two hours, at lunchtime at work and in the evenings when I get home. Weekends are the best times.
The easiest part for me is the actual writing itself. I tend to get lost in the zone, block everything out and just write until it’s time to go to bed , or eat , or socialise with the family. The most rewarding time is when that book is finished, the cover is done and you see it as a whole for the first time.
Jen: If this book was made into a movie, who do you see playing the main characters?
Susan: Great question! For Anthony, I’d say my first choice is the gorgeous Italian actor, Raoul Bova. He was the original inspiration for this character and fits Anthony to a tee. For Flynn- the lovely, enticing Will Chalker, British model extraordinaire was the one who inspired me. He might not be an actor (yet) but he’d be my first choice.
Jen: If you were able to travel in time, where would you go and what 3 things would you take with you?
Susan: I’ve always wanted to go back to the late 1800’s in Britain, around the time of the Jack the Ripper murders. I‘m sure I could figure out who he was. And I’d take with me all the material ever written on the murders as a guide, a torch with lots of spare batteries and a Taser. To shock The Ripper of course when I find him and drag him to the nearest police station.
Jen: What’s the most interesting comment you’ve received about your books?
Susan: I was very pleased by someone (a psychologist/therapist) who contacted me after reading Saving Alexander. They told me I’d really got the whole BDSM aspect down to a tee and they were pleased I’d treated it with respect. They also liked the way I’d dealt with Alex’s sexual abuse in captivity and wanted to use my book to show to other abuse victims. I thought that was a huge compliment.
Jen: What’s next for you?
Susan: My current project is working on Book 2 of my Men of London series. It’s called Sight and Sinners and carries on with Taylor’s story where Book 1 left off. I’m hoping to have this finished in a couple of months, if not sooner. I’m also working on edits for the third book in my Starlight series, which is the final chapter in this whole story. I’ve also got plans to write a really epic story once I can slot it in, which I don’t want to say much about at the moment. It will be called Living On Air and is about survivor’s guilt and the consequences of being the only person to survive a really horrific family event. It’s going to be very emotional, full of angst and relationship ups and downs and of course, romance and love –and sex.