Today I have a great interview with Josephine Myles for her m/m erotic romance Tailor Made, which has just been re-released. And there is also a giveaway – read to the bottom of the post for details on how to enter!
How long have you been writing for?
I started writing gay erotica and romance in the autumn of 2009, and had my first short stories published in the spring of 2010, so that’s almost four and half years I’ve been writing—and for the past two and half of them I’ve been writing full time. Before then I hadn’t written anything for a long time, but I did take some creative writing modules back at university, so what I really want to say is I’ve been writing all my life—in one form or another. Shopping lists count too, don’t they?!
Who or what are your influences? Not necessarily other writers, but anything at all (music, art, people you’ve met?).
Anything and everything. I suppose the people around me are my main influences, and they inadvertently give me ideas all the time. But inspiration is everywhere and it’s just a case of keeping my eyes open during everyday life, and being open to new experiences. For example, at the moment I’m writing a book where the main character’s home is based on a little hilltop street where I went to pick up a table I’d bought on eBay. It was a fantastic location, and I’d never have known it was there otherwise.
I would definitely say I find real life more directly inspirational than other people’s creative outpourings, but I love art, literature and music in my life too. I just don’t tend to cannibalise them in the same way as I do overheard conversations.
What is your ideal day? Or rather, what is your ideal sort of day that includes writing as well as everything else you need to get done?
My ideal working day is one when I can just get on with it without interruptions, so I feel I have the luxury to take time off every thousand words or so and get on with some dressmaking. I find if I try to write more than about 3500 words in a day on a regular basis I can start feeling stressed, so I prefer to take a more relaxed pace and have time to potter around the house and get on with sewing when I want to. Of course, what with going for a run in the countryside after dropping my daughter off at school, and then picking her up again later, it’s never a very long working day. I’d categorise it as part-time working, by most people’s standards.
The detail of the work that goes into art and textiles – especially textiles – shows that you know what you’re talking about – and indeed the author notes reveal you did study both art and textiles. How much do you draw on your own life experiences in your fiction?
I definitely draw on some of my past experiences, whether that’s in the form of location, character background, or specific incidents. But it’s always mixed up and fictionalised, so the finished product bears very little resemblance to the things that inspired it. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!
What was the inspiration for the two main characters?
I remember wanting to write a virginal, straitlaced character because I’d never tackled one of those before and it was miles away from my own experiences at college. I can’t quite remember now what inspired Felix, but he needed to be a foil for Andrew and different in almost every way. Actually, I’ve just remembered a chap I met in London one time who had something of Felix in him. Perhaps I borrowed him?
I love the fact that your writing focuses either on Bath or Bristol. What is it that keeps you coming back to these locations?
I know them so well and I’m too lazy to research anywhere else? I am starting to set stories in rural Somerset now, but it does feel scarily close to home. Bath and Bristol are removed enough for me to not feel I’m writing about my own life.
Did you ever encounter a tutor like Saul, or indeed other members of the supporting cast from your time at art college?
Not really, although there was a hint of his arrogance in a few of my tutors at university. I remember one of them being terribly disdainful about anyone being in a conventional monogamous relationship, so I did borrow that for Saul. I didn’t borrow his bow tie and pocket watch, though. Not for Saul, anyway. I have for another character instead!
Did you ever see any of the art performances that Felix does, or have you made these up for the story? Do you have a favourite of them? 😉
I did make all of those up, but they’re really not that far-fetched. When you hear stories about a gay art student in London losing his virginity in front of an audience as a “performance art” piece, then you wonder what there can possibly be left to do? People will cease to be shocked by any kind of performance art, and the trend for conceptual art will melt away. I hope it will, anyway. I’ve had my fill of it, that’s for sure!
That said, I would like to see Felix painted gold in his loin cloth…
This is the second time Tailor Made has been released. What was it like returning to a work, both in terms of editing and then preparing for publication?
I was a little scared to start reading it again in case I discovered it needed a huge overhaul and lots of extra scenes adding. However, although I was picking up on minor edits (grammar and word choice mainly) on every page, I was still really happy with the overall story. It was great to get a chance to polish the prose, though, and I was thrilled to be able to format it as an ebook with its gorgeous new cover art and full control over all the front and end matter. It’s a much nicer looking ebook now than it was before 🙂
What is your next project?
At the moment I’m working on an absolutely filthy BDSM romantic comedy called How to Train Your Dom in Five Easy Steps, which is great fun to write. However, the next book coming out will be Stuff in May (#2 in The Bristol Collection after Junk), and then Custom Fit (the sequel to Tailor Made) will be out in the summer. I do need to find time to write it first, though…
Thanks for inviting me over to chat, Jacqui!
When Mr. Wrong measures up just right!
College tart Felix McAvoy is used to causing a stir with his conceptual art pranks, but for his final show he’s planning something even more outrageous. In a last ditch attempt to seduce his jaded tutor, Felix plans to wear the canvas in a subversive display. However, if he’s going to do this right he’ll need a tailor-made canvas suit. Fortunately, he knows just the tailor to turn to for the favour—and Felix isn’t shy about offering favours of a very different kind in return.
First year fashion student Andrew Wheeler knows Felix by reputation only–and plans to keep things that way. Andrew’s determined to save himself for the man of his dreams, and Felix couldn’t be more different from his ideal Mr Right. There’s only one use Andrew will contemplate for Felix’s body: a model for his end of year project. Trouble is, it’s going to involve a lot of close contact with a nearly naked Felix, and Andrew’s never had temptation quite so close at hand!
For more details, see the page on Josephine’s site: Tailor Made
You can buy Tailor Made from the following places:
If you leave a comment, you can be in the running to win two books for Jo’s back list! You have until Sunday 23 February to comment. We will let you know early next week. 🙂