I have the delightful Josephine Myles here to talk to me today. She’s here to talk about writing, Christmas, and her new release Merry Gentlemen. She’s also giving away a copy of something on her backlist to one lucky reader, so make sure you comment below to be in with a chance of winning.
Hi Jay—thanks for inviting me over to your place. It’s nice and roomy. Mind if I put my feet up on the coffee table? 🙂
Describe a typical day when you’re in story writing mode:
First I have to get my daughter ready for school, then walk her the half mile up the hill to get there. I often go for a run after this, and take a route from the school back home that covers a couple of miles. I find the ideas come while I’m running, and it’s a really energising way to start the day.
Once I’m stretched, showered, dressed and caffeinated, I’m usually ready to start writing at about ten o’clock. I write for just over an hour or so (however long it takes me to write 1250 words), then take a couple of hours off for lunch, housework and hobbies like dressmaking. I don’t tend to write effectively after lunch anyway, so it makes more sense to do something else during that time. I’ll start writing again at about 1.30, and rack up another 1250 words. Then it’s time to collect Daisy from school!
Some days when I don’t take a run I manage to cram in another writing session, but I rarely manage more than about 3000 words in a day—on average I seem to write about 12,000 -13,000 words a week. I find it exhausts me to do more, and since I’m in this for the long haul, I want to write at a pace that’s both sustainable and enjoyable.
What do you love about writing?
No two days are the same. Plus, I get paid for sitting around, making shit up. I don’t do it in my pyjamas, though. I believe in dressing for work, even when you do work in your bedroom!
Do you have a personal favourite out of the books you’ve written so far?
That’s the impossible question, but I would say the story I’m most proud of is probably First Impressions. It’s only a short, but I think it’s perfect. I redrafted it pretty obsessively for the best part of a year, and I learnt a huge amount in the process.
At the moment, though, my favourite is Stuff—the one I’m currently writing. Although that said, I’ve hit a bit of a tricky point so maybe I’ll go with Merry Gentlemen instead 😉
As this is a Christmas themed novella, can you tell me about some of your favourite Christmas traditions?
Decorating the tree is ALWAYS my favourite part, because I just adore the collection of handmade ornaments I’ve managed to collect over the years. I used to decorate a contorted hazel plant when I lived in a smaller house, but last year I went for a 6 foot spruce tree and I’ll be doing the same again this year. The way it makes the house smell is just wonderful!
My other favourite Christmas traditions are all food based. I love making mince pies and gingerbread with my daughter, and mulled wine is always a favourite. I also take the chance to stock up the drinks cabinet and make cocktails like Brandy Alexanders. Yum!
What’s the worst/most embarrassing Christmas present you’ve ever received?
When I was a teenager my aunt always used to take great delight in giving me frilly knickers at Christmas, because she knew how embarrassed I’d be having to unwrap them in front of everyone. Of course, these days I’d probably be very happy with frilly knickers, but no one ever gives me them anymore!
What’s the best Christmas present you’ve ever received?
My favourite as a child was definitely the Lego space set I had, which I’ve just looked up and discovered was called the Galaxy Commander (thank you, Brickipedia!) I loved Lego and I loved space, so this was the perfect combination. I had many happy hours playing with that spaceship. Dolls really weren’t my thing.
Tell me more about your forthcoming release:
Merry Gentlemen is available from the following retailers:
’Tis the season of goodwill to all men…even the one who dumped you.
Riley MacDermott’s ambitions are simple. Managing the annual Bath Christmas Market—which involves long hours in the cold and a whole lot of hassle—will secure the promotion he needs to afford to move out of his noisy, top-floor flat. Where not even his balcony is safe from an aggressive herring gull.
The last stallholder he expects to see is his ex. Riley never recovered from their break up, and five years on the old chemistry still sparkles. So does their habitual head butting.
Stan never wanted to leave the love of his life, but the pull of the woods was too strong—and Riley was firmly planted in the city. Reconnecting is painful, but Stan still jumps at the chance to stay with his old flame during the Market. And damn the consequences.
As the weeks pass, the two grow closer than ever. But despite scorching sex and cozy intimacy, they both know they face a cold and lonely future. Unless one of them can compromise.
Warning: Contains sex in a shed, a seagull with a grudge, glamping, awful Secret Santa underwear, misuse of an Abba song, and as many wood-related puns as the author thought she could get away with.
English through and through, Josephine Myles is addicted to tea and busy cultivating a reputation for eccentricity. She writes gay erotica and romance, but finds the erotica keeps cuddling up to the romance, and the romance keeps corrupting the erotica. She blames her rebellious muse but he never listens to her anyway, no matter how much she threatens him with a big stick. She’s beginning to suspect he enjoys it.
Jo is also one of the organising team behind the UK Meet, an annual event celebrating GLBTQ fiction. She publishes regularly with Samhain, and has also been known to edit anthologies and self-publish on occasion, although she prefers to leave the “boring bits” of the book creation process to someone else.
Website and blog: http://josephinemyles.com/
Jo is giving away a title from her backlist to one lucky commenter. Comment here by Thursday 21st Nov to be in with a chance of winning.