Author Interview: Nigel May

Monday 8 June 2015
Today I am very excited to share this Q&A with one of Bookouture's most recent signings, Nigel May (who has been called the male Jackie Collins!) His first book with Bookouture is out very soon and is called Scandalous Lies and they have also repackaged his two self-published books Trinity and Addicted. You can read my review for Addicted here. I hope you enjoy reading the Q&A.

How did it feel when Bookouture offered you a publishing deal? And, more importantly, how did you celebrate? 

To say I was excited would be an understatement. I had been aware of Bookouture for a long time as two of my favourite writers, Victoria Fox and Anna Lou Weatherley, are part of their wealth of authors, so when Claire from Bookouture first emailed me before Christmas last year I was beyond thrilled. I was in the middle of writing Scandalous Lies at the time and when I told them about that they seemed really excited as they love the other books I have written. On the actual day I signed my four book deal I was literally popping with excitement. It’s six years or so since I first started writing my first book Trinity so to actually see them all sparkling and new and part of a book deal has been a dream come true. The day the deal was announced I was actually in bed in a Premier Inn in Hammersmith getting over jet lag as I’d just flown back from Toronto. Glam, eh? But I was at a concert in London that night so I celebrated with a few glasses of something bubbly.

The reaction within the blogosphere was quite exciting and enthusiastic when the signing announcement was made - Bookouture have quite the army of bloggers! - I imagine this gave you a bit of a boost? 

Bloggers rock!!! And from my experience so far they are really upbeat, nice, friendly people. I have met quite a few bloggers through my self-published success and also through the short stories that I wrote for the chick-lit anthologies, Sunlounger and Sunlounger 2, and even though I was completely bowled over by it all to begin with I love interacting with bloggers on Twitter on Facebook. Anyone who gains joy from reading a book is mighty fine with me, especially if it’s one that I’ve written. We live in a blog age and long may it continue. The blogosphere (great word – I may have to use that in a book!) is becoming bigger and bigger.

I am told that you are the male Jackie Collins, can I assume then that you are a fan of the lady herself? And if so, what is/are your favourite books? 

I adore her books. I am of an age where I grew up being titillated by films like The Stud and The Bitch, based on Jackie’s books and starring her sister, Joan. To be called ‘The Male Jackie Collins’ is the ultimate honour and accolade. Her books are always spicy, dark, dripping in glamour, have fabulous locations and contain a good quota of bedroom antics shall we say. I’d like to think that mine have all of those ingredients too. Books should be an escape. My life is excellent but nowhere near as glamorous as the characters in my books. But who would want to read about me buying cat food or putting the bins out! If I was to recommend two Jackie Collins books it would be Lovers & Players (an awesome read) and The Power Trip.

Can you reveal what your first Bookouture title will be about? And introduce Trinity and Addicted to those who are yet to read them? 

My first Bookouture book, out 23rd July, is called Scandalous Lies and I can’t wait for you all to read it. It’s about the mysterious disappearance of two UK dancers, Mitzi and Foster, who witness something rather shocking on a road trip across America and then totally vanish. Mitzi’s best friend, a UK weather girl called Georgia, decides to try and find out what has happened to her friends and uncover the truth. It’s a journey that takes her and her sexy boyfriend Charlie right around the world – everywhere from Mexico to India – as they search for the truth. Will there be a happy ending? Well let’s just say that, as ever with my books, there is a good dose of death, disaster and intrigue along the way! And not everyone will survive.

Trinity was my first book and is the story of the friendship between three young women, Evie (who also turns up in Scandalous Lies), Nush and Regan. They are best friends but events in life and relationships and jealousies cause them to fall out. It’s a classic tale of ‘when friends become your enemies, there are no rules….’. Addicted is about four glamorous women who appear to have everything they need in life, but they want more. They are all governed by addictions – gambling, drink, drugs and sex and for one of them it will cost them their life. One of the ladies is a killer, one is a victim. It’s a classic dark, glamourous whodunit.

I'm expecting lots of divas, bitches, cat fights, sex and DRAMA. Who are some of your favourite bitches from the world of TV, film and books? 

I love a bitch! One of my favourite TV treats when I was younger was watching the mini-series of Shirley Conran's Lace which has that immortal line ‘which one of you bitches is my mother?’ as the heroine of the story searches for her true identity. I think that is where I became hooked on bitches. Retro US soaps like Dynasty, The Colbys and Dallas are my idea of heaven. Alexis in Dynasty is the ultimate bitch (Montana Phoenix in Trinity is my homage to her). And I adored Caress in Dynasty too and Sable in The Colbys. Bitches are strong women on the surface but often have a good few insecurities hidden away which is what makes them so interesting to write. I love UK soap bitches too like Tracy Barlow from Coronation Street when she is being beyond nasty. And I do have a soft spot for Liz McDonald who can strike a bitchy pose when she needs too. My favourite bitch at the moment is the glorious Evelyn Powell from the campy, vampy Devious Maids. It’s my favourite TV show. She is glorious. Her tongue is sharper than razor blades.

And glamour of course! How do you inject glamour into your own life? Without wanting to sound stalkerish your personality really comes across even on Twitter so I can imagine you to be a lot of fun! 

I worked as a showbiz journalist for many years which was incredibly glamorous on occasion. I travelled the world interviewing celebrities for newspapers and magazines. One night I’d be having dinner with them, the next I’d be arranging photo shoots when them. I have met everyone from Britney through to BeyoncĂ©. My life now is slightly less sparkly (although I do surround myself in glitter with my TV shopping job) but I love partying when I can, travelling to exotic locations when I can and I’m never happier than when I have a cocktail in one hand and a restaurant food menu in the other! And you don’t sound stalkerish. I adore Twitter. It’s a great way of socialising with people! Keep at it!

Are any of your characters based on real people? No names required, of course... 

Yes they are. Not their actions as such (although some of the events in my books are based on things that have occurred in my own life) but quite often I use names of people I work with or of friends. Not a direct copy but I like to play around with them as an homage. Most of my friends know that they will pop up in a novel somewhere. There is a character in Trinity called Stafford James who is loosely based on my best friend who just happens to be called James Stafford. And Georgia the weathergirl in Scandalous Lies is kind of named after a friend who just happens to be a weathergirl.

I think one of the most enjoyable aspects of books like yours are the exotic locations we are often whisked away to. Where's the best place you have visited on your travels? 

I loved India, which is why it features in Scandalous Lies. Such a rich, colourful, visually alive place. I wasn’t really sure what to expect but I absolutely adored it. The food, the vibrancy, the Taj Mahal. The whole mystery and majesty of it was amazing. Everywhere I go I tend to jot things down and make a kind of scrapbook about cities and countries and experiences that could feature in future books. It’s always a great excuse to book another holiday. My passport is kept busy shall we say…

Apart from the usual, what can we expect from your books - if anything - that we might not get from your typical bonkbuster? I have never read any by a male author before and so I am excited to get reading!

People tend to think of bonkbusters as just being wall-to-wall sex and bordering on erotica. They are not. My bonkbusters are glam-fiction stories which actually deal with pretty serious issues – deceit, betrayal, heartache, loss, murder, death, addiction. They all have a huge base in mystery. I want them to be glamorous and take the reader on a colourful, exciting adventure, but I want readers to think too, to try and work out who is behind the killings, or who is going to be the person to unravel the mystery. I like to think that my books are both glamorous and gritty with a good dose of whodunit thrown in too. And yes, maybe a touch of naughtiness here and there too. I love writing them. I hope you enjoy reading them too. As for me being a man….well, who says glamour has to just be for the ladies? I think we’re all entitled to a bit of filthy rich pampering now and again. As long as I put out the bins and buy the cat food first!

About Nigel May

Nigel May is a true all-rounder in the media world, working as a TV presenter, author, journalist and craft personality. He has written two glam-fiction books, Trinity and Addicted, as well as featuring in Sunlounger – a chart-topping anthology of short stories.

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