Friday, 16 May 2014

Think I'm "Addicted" to Nigel May's writing!


Today I am delighted to be joined by author Nigel May whose book Trinity blew me away! It could quite easily have been written by Jackie Collins and was a really fabulous read.
I caught up with Nigel this week, as he has launched his second book called Addicted about his writing journey, his inspiration and the future.  I cannot wait to read it and here's our chat. Enjoy!

Trinity was your debut book and a fabulous book it was too! What made you decide to write a book?


I have always been somebody who loves to write. When I was at school I remember writing a short story in my exercise book about being stranded on a desert island and reading it to the class. They seemed to like it so I guess it started there. I was a journalist and showbiz writer for many years working for a lot of young women's magazines like the late, great more! magazine, Inside Soap, New Woman and loads of other poppy ones like Live & Kicking, Top Of The Pops and the official East 17 magazine so I used to write for a living. I was the Showbiz Editor on more! magazine which I absolutely loved. I'd be interviewing the stars all the time, everyone from Britney through to Richard & Judy - I grilled them all. I've always had the urge to write a book and a few years ago I just sat at my computer and started weaving a storyline for Trinity. About six months later it was finished. I was thrilled when people said they liked it.


So tell us about your new novel Addicted

Addicted is another glam-fiction tale about four women who are all facing demons in their otherwise seemingly perfect lives. They're all different but they all have their addictions. There's Nancy the faded pop-star who's now forced to make low-budget straight-to-DVD movies to try and make ends meet. Portia, the diva opera star who longs to meet the right man but her love life is seriously out of tune. Lauren is a politician's wife and former model whose life is boring her senseless and finally there's Martha, the wine-heiress from South Africa who hates the expectations put upon by her father. The four women's lives end up intertwined and they all have serious addictions they have to face. The story starts with one of their funerals, but you don't know who's been killed and who the killer is until the end. It's a gritty but glamorous romp! A real whodunit.


How do you fit your writing in around your telly presenting job?

I love my TV job but my life as a shopping telly host and my life as a self-published author are completely separate. I love them both. My shift pattern allows me to work on the books on my days off from the TV. Although occasionally I will be sat in my dressing room and ideas for plotlines start bouncing around my brain.


Where do you write?

At home in front of the computer, normally with my dog or my cat or both curled up at my feet. I am at my most creative in the morning so I tend to write first thing. As soon as my partner gets home from work I become too distracted and end up talking about something else. I have a notebook (as in a paper one, not the technological one!) which I take everywhere with me too and I jot down ideas if something springs to mind. 

Where do you get your ideas/inspiration?

Anywhere and everywhere really. I love to travel and most of places I have been pop up in my stories somewhere. I love soaking up all of the surroundings when I'm on holiday. I am just back from India so I suspect that a forthcoming story might have a brightly-coloured taste of Bollywood somewhere in it. I went to South Africa on holiday and fell in love with the winelands so that's why one of the Addicted ladies, Martha, is from there. On the same trip I stopped off in Dubai so again that features in Addicted when Portia performs a concert there. As for the characters, I am fascinated by celebrity so I always have an idea of who a character might resemble in the 'real world' when I write them. It helps me visualise their story.


Are you a reader too? If so, what sort of books/authors do you like to read?

I read every day. I always have. I love books, which is why I dream of being a published author on the bookshelves of my local supermarket I suppose. My bookcase is rammed! Ever since I've had my Kindle I seem to buy even more than ever as I just line them up ready to read. I love glam fiction and strong female characters so I could read Jackie Collins all day. My favourite novel growing up was Lace by Shirley Conran. Such incredibly skilled storytelling. I am lucky that quite of few of friends are authors too - Belinda Jones, Victoria Fox, Tasmina Perry, Jo Carnegie - so I love their books too. I also love Armistead Maupin and the Tales Of The City series.


You were the only male author to feature in the Sunlounger anthology.  Why do you think you were chosen and how did it make you feel?

I was honoured to be the only man in such a huge pool of female writing talent. Who wouldn't be? I was tickled pink! I guess I was asked initially because Belinda Jones, the brains behind Sunlounger 1 and 2, has been a friend of mine for about two decades and she likes my writing too, which helps. In fact she's championed me all the way which I adore her for. But having said that, if my stories didn't fit into the Sunlounger 'perfect-beach-read' genre then I guess I wouldn't be in them! But thankfully the Sunlounger readers seemed to like my first story, set in Brazil, and I have everything crossed that they'll like the next one too, which is set in New Orleans at Mardi Gras. I love being a Sunlounger Guy! It's a brilliant concept - like a bite-size selection box of great stories.


Did you find it difficult to write a short story compared to a novel?

It's harder in some ways to get going as I have to make sure every bit of it is waffle-free so that I fit the word count given to me. Starting is the hardest thing. With Waterfalling In Love in Sunlounger I knew exactly what I wanted to write about from the moment Belinda mentioned the book to me. With A Lost Night In Louisiana in Sunlounger 2 I had to think for a few weeks before deciding on my storyline. I'll be watching TV or in the shower at the gym and suddenly the right idea will hit me from out of nowhere. With the novels, I can chop and change a bit as I write but with a short story I have to be a bit stricter I think.


What tips would you give to an aspiring novelist?

Just keep at it. Never ever give up. I've had two agents (right now I'm without one, but fingers crossed!), nearly been signed to a major publishing house and have had more knock-backs than I care to mention but I love writing and the joy of reading reviews from people who love your stories is incredible. I never planned to self-publish my novels but doing so has been great for me. If somebody had said to me that Trinity would have been new! magazine's Book Of the Week, been given a glowing review in The Sun, seen me hailed as the 'male Jackie Collins' and would receive hundreds of five star reviews a few years back I would have laughed them into next week. Plus I know so many fabulous booky people now as well which is amazing. It doesn't matter how you reach the destination, just make sure you enjoy the journey you take to get there. No matter what happens!


What’s next for Nigel May? Do you have more books up your sleeve?

I'm in the process of trying to secure an agent again and I have already written another book which will be, in principal, coming out online next year. It's another glam fiction story but a bit more of a psychological thriller. It's set in the UK and back in the 1980s so it's a bit different to Addicted and Trinity yet still in the same bracket of featuring strong female leads, if that makes sense! Plus, I've been writing something completely different which may surface at some point too. Next up is making sure that everyone knows that Addicted is out there for everyone to enjoy on their eReaders and also plotting with the Sunlounger 2 ladies for the launch of this year's collection. As long as people like my stories I will keep writing.

You can buy Addicted by clicking here.   
You can buy Trinity by clicking here.

You can find Nigel on his Facebook page and also tweeting away on Twitter and you can find out lots more about him at www.nigelmay.net.

 

2 comments:

Caroline James said...

Lovely interview Kim - such an interesting life Nigel! Loved Trinity and have just downloaded Addicted - saving for my 'holiday read'... if I can wait that long :-)

Dizzy C said...

Brilliant. Loved Trinity and I dont know how, but Addicted just landed in my Amazon basket ;)

carol