Fellow Evernight author Douglas Black has visited to talk about his new book “A Secret Love”.
Nice to meet you, Douglas. Where do your ideas come from?
My ideas come from the world around me, but stories never come to me in one neat, fully formed package. They are a tapestry of ideas and sounds and smells and places and people and experiences, woven together in the writing process. I am an avid-people watcher, and I like to use the little quirks I observe in other people in my writing to add depth to my characters. Equally, I love travelling and interesting locations feature heavily in all of my stories.
What kind of writer are you?
I take a very methodical, linear approach to writing. I’m not a huge planner, but I generally know roughly where I want to get to and I let my characters lead me to those destinations. If a scene comes to me out of sequence, I will write it down, but usually by the time I have completed a draft I can never find anywhere to slot it in so it gets left behind. Often, if I like the scene enough, I can adapt it and use it in another story.
Tell us about one of your own writing quirks.
I use three different word processing programmes to write. One for the first draft, one for the second, and one for a final re-write and edit. Somehow, switching programs keeps the writing process fresh for me.
How do you balance life and writing?
Not very well! In my head I am always writing, and then when I’m writing I am always aware of the hundreds of other things I should be doing, but I’m gradually finding my feet. I hope!
What drives you to write?
Writing is something I have just always done. I enjoy it, and it brings me great pleasure, but if I’m completely truthful, I would like to get a Venetian townhouse out of this one day!
What is your favourite thing about writing?
My favourite thing about writing is also my favourite thing about reading. It provides me with an escape from my own life. I can travel across the world or back in time without ever leaving the comfort of my desk chair. I think that’s a very special thing.
What is your least favourite thing about writing?
The first draft of any story!
Tell us about the experience of writing ‘A Secret Love’.
‘A Secret Love’ took less time to write than any of my other stories. (I accept it is a short story, but still the point stands.) The idea came to me one night almost fully formed and I just jotted it down. I left it for a few weeks and when I finally came back to it, I realized I liked it very much and wanted to show it a bit more love and attention. A second re-write brought in a few more secondary characters and a little bit more humour, and then it was on to the editing process and off to Evernight. All very smooth indeed! Writing isn’t usually like that for me, I assure you!
As an author, what scares you the most?
Showing my work to other people. You can understand why that’s a fear I just have to put up with!
Which authors most influenced your writing?
I love K.A.Mitchell’s style of writing. The ease with which she can spin a complex story is a skill I wish I had. James Lear is probably my biggest influence. I love his work, but more importantly it was reading an article he wrote for The Independent newspaper in the UK about writing adult fiction that got me turned on to the idea of writing erotica. The idea stuck, and never went away!
What’s next for Douglas Black?
Currently, I’m coming to the end of a first draft on a new novel. It’s a story set on a farm on one of the western isles of Scotland and is based loosely on my own experience of working on a flower farm one summer when I was a student. I hope to have my second draft completed by the end of the summer. Finger’s crossed.
Best of luck, and thanks for stopping by!
James is nervous when he pulls into the car park of the secluded and conservative Caledonian Hotel. He slips off his wedding ring, gives a false name at reception and checks into his room.
When Mark finally arrives James expects their time together to conform to the usual pattern, but Mark surprises him. Mark wants candlelit dinners and walks on the beach. James, well, James just wants to make up for lost time. More importantly, he doesn’t want to get caught. They have six months left before they can leave behind everything they know and start a new life together and James is desperate to be discrete. Unfortunately, he never could control himself around Mark. Throw in an interfering old couple and some very public displays of affection and Mark and James’s short hotel stay might just be about to destroy not only the secrecy that has always shrouded their relationship, but also their plans for a future together.
Mark returned the kiss passionately. James trembled in his arms. Tension coursed through his body and he could feel it mirrored in Mark’s. He could almost taste the other man’s nerves in his kiss. James savoured Mark’s strong arms around him. He pushed his hands inside Mark’s suit jacket and clung to the warm, toned body underneath. The body was so familiar despite the amount of time that had passed since their last meeting.
“God I’ve missed you,” James said when he finally pulled away. Mark was breathless and didn’t respond at first, but the sexy, playful smile on his lips told James everything he needed to know. James took his hands and led him further into the room.
It was a large suite with living area and a huge bathroom. Mark swung a new sports bag, bright orange and emblazoned with sponsorship logos, off his shoulder and dumped it onto one of the two couches. He paused momentarily, reaching into his suit pocket.
James watched as Mark pulled out his phone and turned it off without checking for messages. He waited patiently until Mark had tucked it safely into his bag and smiled at him when he had finished. “Difficult getting away this time?” he asked.
Mark nodded. “I left as soon as I could. I was so scared I was going to miss the flight. I’m sorry it had to be mid-week this time. Will you get in trouble at work?”
“I have the flu.”
Mark smirked. “You look perfectly healthy to me.”
“It came on all of a sudden,” James said, closing the space between them. “Unexpected. Probably be gone in a few days. You know how these things are.” Mark nodded and James slipped into his arms once more. With his head on Mark’s shoulder, he turned to whisper against the other man’s neck. “I wouldn’t have been able to stand it if you had missed the flight, if you had cancelled. It’s been so long. It’s always so long.”
Douglas Black was born and raised in bonnie Scotland. He started writing erotica as a means of paying the bills when he was a student at university, but after graduation he found he no longer had the time to write. Over the summer of 2012, Black picked up a pen once more. After a brief, successful flirtation with self-publishing, Black’s novella ‘Business or Pleasure’ was picked up and released in April 2013. It quickly made the publisher’s best-sellers list. Douglas Black’s short story, ‘A Secret Love’, was published in July 2013 by Evernight Publishing.