Welcome Nigel May
1)Who are your greatest support – who believes in you?
Support from those around you is so important as sometimes it is hard to keep your spirits high as a self-published author. I am very lucky in that I have a very supportive partner who will listen to me when I am discussing potential storylines and deciding what to do with characters. My best friend Louise is always there for me too as she will be the first one to read the finished first draft of a novel and she will undoubtedly have some words of wisdom to share. Plus I have had some amazing support about my books from already established authors like Victoria Fox, Tasmina Perry and Paul Burston which has been incredible. These people know what they’re talking about.
2) Where do you write from? e.g. Kitchen table? Study? Bedroom? Garden shed?
I write on my laptop in my living room at home. The computer is right next to the patio doors so in the summer I can open them up and feel the air coming in from outside. It does mean I get distracted though. I can spend hours staring at a butterfly fluttering past or seeing how much the wisteria has grown when in fact I should be writing.
3) Do you write at set times e.g. morning, afternoon, evening, very early morning
I am at my best first thing in the morning. I am used to getting up early for my job so even on my days off, when I intend to write, I seem to find myself at the PC by about 6am. My brain is fired up and ready to go. I might not sit there all day but I do tend to write through until lunchtime at least. My trouble is that when I turn the TV on I get sucked into daytime TV!
4) What motivates you to write?
The love of a good story. I have always been a fan of blockbuster authors like Jackie Collins, Shirley Conran and Nicholas Coleridge so for me it’s the opportunity to weave a story where readers can become completely engrossed and can’t wait to find out what happens to character – will they live, die, find love, end up in jail, the choices are endless. It’s all about escapism. Plus from the moment I received a review for my first book TRINITY from someone saying how much they enjoyed it filled me with complete euphoria. Sharing your words is an awesome and deeply satisfying thing to do.
5) What are the biggest distractions to your writing time?
Eating, tea drinking, daytime telly…and Twitter. I am obsessed!
6) What part of the world do you live in?
I live in Peterborough in East Anglia in the UK. I actually live in a sleepy little village just outside of Peterborough and it’s all very Miss Marple and quaint. Everyone knows everybody else and says hello and it really is very British and rural. I love it.
7) Are you from there originally?
No, I was born in Wales, grew up in the Cotswolds in the west of England, moved to London to work as a journalist and then moved to East Anglia for my current job. I go where the work takes me.
8) Have you ever suffered from writers’ block?
I think starting a book is the hardest thing in the world. The opening chapter is so important and sometimes just putting those first few words into action is incredibly difficult. I have a notebook I take everywhere with me that I scribble ideas in and eventually the ideas come together, but I do find that I change my path a few times while writing a novel. Sometimes I will fixate on a certain character and think ‘okay, what shall I do with you?’. That blocks me a bit as I want to make sure I make the right decision. You feel like a parent to your characters.
9) How do you overcome it?
I write a few lines and then see if the old brain juices have started flowing again! If they haven’t, I drink tea!
10) Have you taken any writers’ courses and have they been worthwhile?
No I haven’t but I trained as a journalist working for many UK magazines and newspapers so I studied in writing articles and features when I was at college. I think it’s true to say that whatever you are writing has to interesting to the reader whether it’s a novel full of murder and mystery or an interview with Britney Spears. I was a showbiz journalist which is why my books are normally dripping with celebrity references.
11) Have you ever belonged to a writers’ group? And what value did you gain from it?
No, again I haven’t, but I’d like to. I love reading. I crawl into bed every night with a good book.
12) Is self-publishing satisfying enough for you or would you prefer to be traditionally published.
I fought against self-publishing for a long time as I grew up loving the feel of a book in my hands, bending the spine and flicking the pages. But I have to say self-publishing has been amazing for me. I have had people all over the world read my stories and seeing as I don’t have a traditional publishing deal as yet, if I hadn’t self-published then my stories would still be sitting hidden away on my PC. I would love to see them in print, I’d be lying if I said otherwise. Just to see your name on the spine of a book is a thrilling prospect.
13) Have you ever tried to find an agent?
I have had two agents under three different agencies. All were brilliant in their own ways for getting me where I am today with my writing. I am currently without one which is difficult in the fact that I believe an agent can bring a lot to the table for an aspiring writer, but I’d rather be without one than have one who isn’t right for me. I have been lucky that both of my agents have been very supportive and honest in their dealings with me. I have learn t a lot from them.
14) What would you expect an agent could do for you that you can’t do for yourself?
In a word – negotiate.
15) Do you think you can make a full-time career being an Indie writer?
I would love to. The dream is to keep writing and to see what happens. I would love to retire to a sun-soaked cottage somewhere writing stories and tending to the vegetable patch while listening to ABBA tunes and not having a care in the world.
16) How long have you been writing?
As a journalist over 25 years, as a novelist about six years.
17) What drew you to want to write a book?
I believe everybody has a story inside them. With the first book TRINITY I wanted to write a classic glam fiction blockbuster like my heroine Jackie Collins. Love, lust, deception, betrayal, beauty, fashion, celebrity and glamour like an old-school soap opera. But I wanted it to be modern and fresh too. I think TRINITY has a very sassy feel to it.
18) From where did you get the idea for your latest story
The second book is called ADDICTED (it’s not a follow-on to TRINITY, it’s a completely separate story). It’s about four women who despite seeming to have everything they need in life – money, success, fame – are all addicted to different things that could potentially destroy them. It’s more of a whodunit than TRINITY and has a darker edge. It’s still highly sexy and dipped in glamour though. I loved writing it.
19) How did you go about developing it?
I plotted who would be killed, who would do the killing, wrote the funeral scene and then turned back the clock to see what would happen in the six months leading up to the death. It was a great excuse to create a real murder mystery. Plus the four addictions were pretty gritty stuff – drink, sexual liaisons, gambling…I threw everything at it.
20) What is your next project?
I am currently writing another glam-fiction novel which should be winging your way in 2015. Its working title is called LAST DANCE but we shall see if that stays. Strong female characters, a strange disappearance, death, Hollywood parties, bedroom naughtiness and of course it’s time to grab your passports as we head off to exotic locations again. I’m really enjoying the ride.
21) What is the title of your book/s
So far I have self-published two TRINITY http://myBook.to/TRINITY_
Thank you Nigel May we wish you every success for the future