S.A.- My upcoming release, Stolen Summer came about as a challenge on Absolute Write, a brilliant forum for writers. The challenge was to write an erotic scene in a completely different point of view from your normal one. I wrote a scene told from a man’s perspective, in first person. I had great fun writing it and afterwards the characters wouldn’t let me go. I had to tell their whole story. The first draft was churned out in a month but it took a long time to get it right. All in all, 14 months from writing those first words to getting an offer.
The main character, Evan, is a British journalist. When he comes back from covering the war in Afghanistan, his best friend Colin confesses he’s in love with him. After he gets over the shock, Evan decides that he quite likes being with Colin. It’s a learning experience for him, but it’s also a happy and passionate one. They do quite a lot of shagging, bless ‘em.
Unfortunately, Evan has one last overseas assignment in Pakistan. He’s kidnapped and held hostage by insurgents. He’s freed after 4 months but he and Colin soon learn that being free doesn’t mean the ordeal is over. I put them through a lot, I’m afraid.
Do you have any advice for new writers starting out?
S.A.- I’m one of those writers who started writing as soon as I could hold a pencil. I had several tries, over the years, at actually finishing a novel. My first serious attempt at trying to get published was two years ago. I didn’t get very far and the poor thing was consigned to the trunk. I kept writing and will keep writing until my fingers drop off.
My advice to new writers is to read, read and read. Don’t expect things to happen overnight, learn patience and grow a thick skin. Find beta readers you respect and trust and cherish them. I would never be at this stage if it wasn’t for the terrific fellow writers who told me what worked and what stunk.
X- What other things interest you besides writing?
S.A.- There’s other things?
I love horses and horse racing (if it’s British). Cooking – we’ve been living on a tight budget ever since we returned to England and I love turning out great food for next to nothing. It goes without saying that I’m also very interested in eating.
X- What are you currently reading and what books can be found in your to-be-read pile?
S.A.- I recently finished reading Promises by Marie Sexton. It’s wonderful and so effortlessly written. At present I’m tracking down material on flying Spitfires and P-51s, because I’m revising a historical novel set in England during WW2. Some of the new bits will be told from a fighter pilot’s point of view, so I need to know how to fly these things.
X- If you could relive one moment in time, which one would it be?
S.A.- Eeeeee…tough one. Probably the moment I accepted the job in Arizona. If I could go back, I’d turn it down and held out for a job somewhere more … green and less dusty. It wasn’t all bad. My parents lived close by so we did see them a lot more than we did before.
X- Name one item you cannot do without in life and why.
S.A.- My lap top – it’s my link to the outside world and the repository of all my writing! *hugs shiny black lap top*
X- What’s your favourite flower?
S.A.- A variety of old-fashioned rose, the Rosa Mundi. It’s a beautiful old rose, it smells gorgeous and looks beautiful.
X- What’s your ultimate indulgence?
S.A.- It’s a toss-up between Godiva chocolates or a pepperoni and sausage pizza from Vincent’s Pizza in Pittsburgh. Sadly, I have access to neither at the moment.
X- What can we expect to see from you in the future?
S.A.- I have a m/m novella that needs a bit of polishing. When it’s all tidied up and making sense, I’m sending it to my editor at Total-E-Bound. I’m also hoping that the WW2 novel may be the one that attracts an agent.
X- Sounds good! Thanks you for being on Write Outside the Box, and best of luck with your writing career.
S.A.- Thanks for letting me spout drivel all over your blog, which is an excellent one btw.
I have a blog here, and email.
S.A. Meade's Stolen Summer will release from Total-E-Bound on August 29th, 2011.