Welcome Suki , congratulations on your new release, This is Not a Love Story.
Thank you so much for having me on your blog, Jay!
How/when did you start writing?
I’ve written and wanted to be an author for as long as I can remember. I used to tell ghost stories to scare other kids at school, and I wrote mostly horror in the beginning. But I didn’t actually start writing and completing any full length stories until maybe three years ago. And that’s when I started writing gay romances.
What inspired you to write in the m/m romance genre?
Since I was 15 and discovered it, gay romance has been my favourite genre to read. I was a little unsure at first about writing gay romance because it was a big step away from anything I’d written before, but when I did started writing it, I loved it so much, and I knew this was what I should have been writing all along.
What sort of things inspire your stories, does the idea usually start with a character, an event, a situation? or something different?
A lot of the time it’s characters that come to me first and the story follows. Sometimes it’s a title that inspires a story (I love thinking up titles).
Tell me a little more about you aside from your writing – what’s your day job for instance, if you’re happy to tell us?
I have my own business selling fabric. My love of fabric is second only to writing and I love what I do. Liberty of London, Orla Kiely, Cath Kidston. I also make items like handkerchiefs and kindle sleeves, purses etc… and I have been known, on occasion, to make dresses.
And do you have any hobbies/interests that aren’t related to writing?
Running, though it’s not really a hobby, more something I force myself to do because it’s good for me 😛
I love photography too, though I don’t have so much time for it anymore.
So… back to writing. What will we see next from you. Do you have more stories in the pipeline?
I have a contemporary romance novella called Skeleton coming out with Dreamspinner Oct/Nov and I’ve just finished a spin off to This is Not a Love Story called Wild Summer which I’ll hopefully be submitting soon. Then I am going to be working on another YA story that deals with autism and romance.
And finally –Please would you share an excerpt from your recent release, This is Not a Love Story.
It feels like hours later when I walk back down the stairs and out the front door. Julian and Phillippe are sat on the curb sharing a cigarette. Julian looks around when the door behind me bangs shut. He has a black eye, and his top lip is swollen and cut.
No more squat, then, I think apathetically.
But that’s where we head, the three of us, in silence.
I’m so scared Julian is disappointed in me. He’s barely even looked at me since I came out of the house. But before we get to the squat, he mouths something to Phillippe and pulls me into a shady passage between the buildings. The hug he gives me there is so fiercely tender I can hardly breathe. He touches my face, my neck, my hair almost desperately, and it takes all of my willpower not to graze my fingers against his sore lip.
“Fuck,” he says over and over again until it sounds like a sob.
I pull out my pad.
I’m okay, I write. Nobody hurt me or even touched me.
It’s true. So there’s this hollow ache in my chest from what I did do; it doesn’t matter. It’s nothing. I know I got off lightly. They were just pictures.
When he looks at me like this, I feel like he’s looking inside me, seeing so deep he must know every star-bright feeling, every truth, every lie.
“We’ll stay at the squat tonight, and then we’ll leave.”
I know the thought of being on the street again is killing him.
We can stay. It wasn’t so bad.
And now I do touch his bruised face, because I can’t not.
He shakes his head and lets it rest against mine. His hair falls in my eyes.
“They don’t want me,” he says, so close I can feel his breath against my lips.
With slightly shaking hands, he takes my pad and pen and writes in his curvy flowing script, I couldn’t do what they wanted me to do.
What did they want you to do?
I’m actually surprised the conversation has got this far.
He stares at the paper for ages, pen hovering.
Tell me, I will him, sensing this is somehow one of those bridges we’ve never crossed, and he must sense it too.
When fifteen-year-old Romeo’s mother leaves one day and doesn’t return, he finds himself homeless and trying to survive on the streets. Mute and terrified, his silence makes him vulnerable, and one night he is beaten by a gang of other kids, only to be rescued by a boy who pledges to take care of him.
Julian is barely two years older than Romeo. A runaway from an abusive home, he has had to make some difficult choices and sells himself on the street to survive. Taking care of Romeo changes him, gives him a purpose in life, gives him hope, and he tries to be strong and keep his troubles with drugs behind him. But living as they do is slowly destroying him, and he begins to doubt he can be strong enough.
This is the story of their struggle to find a way off the streets and stay together at all costs. But when events threaten to tear them apart, it is Romeo who must find the strength within himself to help Julian (and not let their love story turn into a Shakespearean tragedy).
This is Not a Love Story is now available at Dreamspinner Press
Suki Fleet currently lives in the heart of England. Her childhood was quite unconventional and she spent some time living on a boat and travelling at sea with her family. Since she was very small she has always dreamed of writing for a living, but though she has written original fiction online for years and encouraged many new writers to keep going and follow their author dreams, it is only recently she got the courage to make her own dream a reality and actually send something off to a publisher.
By day she runs her own business selling fabric (her second love) and juggling family commitments, by night she weaves the stories that the characters in her head dictate. These stories often start with pain or longing but always end with love.
Suki is offering an ebook copy of This is Not a Love Story along with a fabulous fabric kindle sleeve (shown here) as a giveaway. Please enter using the link below: