Nigel May is the UK’s male version of Jackie Collins. After self-publishing his first two successful glam fiction novels, Trinity and Addicted, he was snapped up by top online publishers Book Outure who release his brand new novel, Scandalous Lies, at the end of July. It you love your books dripping in glamour, travel, celebrity and some seriously hot murderous action then you’ll love his novels.
1.What got you into writing / what made you sit down and actually start something? I was a showbiz journalist for many years interviewing celebrities around the world so I guess you could say that I have always written. I was lucky enough to grill everyone from pop stars to supermodels. I now work in TV and missed the writing so I decided to start writing glam fiction romps on my days off, bonkbusters to give them their literary name, and once I started on my first book Trinity I couldn’t stop. It was the urge to bring the characters in my head to life. I was hooked to writing again straight away.
2.What is a usual writing day like for you, how is it structured? I write best in the morning so I am normally up early and at my PC by 6am (this is when I am not doing my day to day telly job). I tend to check the day’s news, grab a green tea and then reread the last piece of novel I’ve written to refresh the writing grey cells. Then, once I start I tend to keep writing until the mojo runs out. Some days that can be hours and thousands of words later, and some days it can literally be two paragraphs in and I’m thinking ‘just where is this going?’. Thankfully it’s mostly the first situation, not the second one.
3.Do you get writers block? If so, how do you overcome it? All the time. How do I banish that? Well, because all of my books feature the world of celebrity I tend to see back and chill for half an hour with a gossip magazine or watch a bit of TV to try and get my brain back into gear for continuing with the novel. I think the hardest thing to write is always the first chapter as you normally have a million different ideas running through your head and you want to make sure that the opening chapter is dynamite in its pace, action and intrigue and not too confusing. A great introduction into your novel is so important.
4.Are you a plotter or panster when it comes to writing a story? I tend to plot a lot more now than I used to. With Trinity it was ‘let’s just see where this goes’ whereas with Scandalous Lies I was a lot more structured and had a general idea of what was going to happen to each and every character. Having said that I do change things mid-flow if it feels right. In Scandalous Lies I killed somebody off that I had no intention of doing when I started on a total whim and it turned out to be a really pivotal point in the plot. I also had another character who was originally going to be a major bad apple turn out to be a real sweetie. Things change in books just as they do in real life.
5.Are you traditionally or self-published, and what was the publishing process like for you? Any advice to aspiring authors? I self-published Trinity and Addicted and they were both hugely popular. I fought against it for a long time as it didn’t feel real to me, but it turned out to be the best thing I could have done because Book Outure saw how successful my first two books had been and signed me to a four book deal. They repackaged Trinity and Addicted perfectly and now they have been brilliant at helping me with Scandalous Lies. Gaining a book deal is a dream come true and my advice to anyone who aspires to write is that you should never give up. Paperbacks of the books are now available through Book Outure as well as them pushing me digitally into America and Canada. So even though I loved self-publishing they are taking me to places I could never have managed on my own.
6.What has been your highlight since becoming a published author? Being called ‘the male Jackie Collins’. What an honour. She is a multi-million selling authoress whose books I adore so to be compared to her fills me with a ridiculous sense of pride. I have spent my life reading her novels and savouring every sinfully fabulous moment. I would love her to read one of mine. I would be beyond humbled. She is legendary!
7.Can you share a little of your most recent book with us? And any other books of yours, if you wish. My latest glam fiction book is called Scandalous Lies and is published at the end of July. It’s another action-packed romp around the world and takes the reader to Hollywood, India, Milan, Moscow, Barbados and the Canary Islands. It about two celebrity dancers, Mitzi Bidgood and Foster Hampton, who go missing during a trip of a lifetime across America. Mitzi’s best friend, UK weathergirl Georgia Bellamy, is determined to find out what has happened to them and her quest to do so sees her risking her own life on countless occasions. It is jam-packed with my usual dose of murder, mystery, backstabbing and bitchery of the highest order. It’s a glamorous whodunit spiced with many a colourful character. Trinity and Addicted were in the same vein, both dealing with seedy shenanigans in a seemingly glamorous world.
8.What audience is your book targeted for, and what genre does it come under? All of my books are perfect poolside reads. They are pure escapism. You will either love or hate the characters (which I always aim for when writing) and hopefully want to turn every page at great speed to see what happens next. They all feature strong female lead characters and I would definitely say I write for women of every age (and a few guys too!). If you’re a fan of a great mystery and love the fickle, fascinating world of the rich and famous then you’ll love my books. Think Desperate Housewives, Revenge, Empire, Devious Maids and classic soap opera then you get the idea. They are glamorous women’s fiction with a gritty edge. Gritz meets glitz if you like.
9.Apart from writing, what do you do in your spare time? I love to travel. I feature a lot of foreign destinations in my books and I see it as my duty to research places out if I intend to write about them. It makes everything more real when I write. So if two weeks in the sunshine of the Caribbean is called for then it would be rude not to, don’t you think..? My passport is very well thumbed.
10.What tip would you give to new authors when trying to build a fan-base / get followers and market their books? (What to do and what not to do.) Social media is an absolute Godsend. Twitter and Facebook are your new best friends as are the wonderful world of bloggers. I have met some seriously cool people through my writing and there is nothing nicer than a person who loves reading saying how much they love your writing.
11. Who are your favourite characters from your books and why? In Trinity I adored the photographer Stafford James as he was camp, acidic and very naughty, yet he had a heart of gold. He was always true to himself. I also loved the sweet pure innocence of Evie Merchant, the Hollywood actress, which is why I have brought her back in Scandalous Lies. In Addicted I loved the opera diva Portia Safari as she could strike a person down with one tongue lashing but again she was a decent warm fluffy soul underneath her vicious exterior. In Scandalous Lies I am a huge fan of Aaron Rose, the ruggedly handsome gardener, as he is very ‘what you see is what you get’. Plus Nova Chevalier, the reality star of one of the biggest TV shows in the world. She is brash, flash and a little bit trash. And a huge amount of fun. Just how I like my characters.
To try Nigel’s books head to
TRINITY (add link for Amazon page)
ADDICTED (add link for Amazon page)
SCANDALOUS LIES (add link for Amazon page)
Or order paperbacks through www.bookouture.com