One of our favourite authors, Josephine Myles, has shiny new release
I love your beautiful handmade clothes. Is this something you have done since a child? Are you self-taught or have you taken classes? Do you see writing as a natural extension of your creativity?
Thanks, Sue! I’ve been sewing ever since I was a child and learnt to crochet in my teens, but for many years I concentrated on other crafts like mosaic making, only ever getting out needle and thread for minor repairs on my clothes. Then, when I was expecting my daughter I got back into crochet, and the dressmaking and knitting followed a few years later.
I’m largely self-taught from books, but I’ve taken one set of evening classes which helped build my confidence in drafting my own patterns, and I regularly sign up for online sewing classes on Craftsy. The best way to learn though is by your mistakes, so I make sure I get plenty of chances to make those!
I’ve always been an intensely creative person, but have discovered over the years that crafts cease to be fun when I try to do them for a living, perhaps because it becomes less about learning new skills and more about repeating known processes. Writing is different though, because writing a novel is always a new and exciting journey. I’m so relieved I’ve finally found a way of making a living using my creativity!
Does the area you live in influence your work?
Absolutely! I’ve become a real convert to the laidback, West Country way of life and these beautiful surroundings, and I set most of my books in the area I know well: Bath, Bristol and the north-western part of Somerset. One of the things I particularly love about these parts are the way the locals talk. There’s a gentle musical rhythm to their speech and some wonderful expressions. It’s gert lush, my lovers!
Tell me about your current/forthcoming novel.
Merry Gentlemen is a very long novella, so does that count? 😉
It’s out today, and it’s my first try at a longer Christmas story. I’ve only ever written a few shorts before, but this time I really wanted to try writing a holiday release and I had the perfect setting in the Bath Christmas Market. It’s a “one that got away” story, which is another first for me too, but I needed there to be good chemistry and interesting backstory between them at the outset when writing at this length. Also, some of my favourite Christmas romances have used that trope to great advantage. There’s something about giving someone a second chance that fits perfectly with the spirit of the season.
The story is narrated from Riley’s point of view, and he’s the charismatic, confident and rather flamboyant market manager who’s thrust into close proximity with his caveman of an ex who’s one of the stallholders at the market. Stan disappeared five years ago to get back to nature in the woods, and Riley has never got over him. It turns out that Stan hasn’t either, but despite their wonderful chemistry together, they’re both going to have to learn to compromise to have another chance at a relationship.
What got you hooked on vintage porn?
Good question. I’ve always had a love of vintage photographs and studied photography at art college, so I suppose this was just a natural progression. I remember the first time I saw some genuine Victorian erotic photographs online, though. Back when I was on LiveJournal, one of my friends started posting them every few weeks. They were all of heterosexual couples or single females—most vintage erotic pictures are—but I found them so much more fascinating and genuinely erotic than modern porn. The women have more realistic, normal bodies and they look like they’re having fun. Also, I have a thing for those crazy old stockings, bloomers, garters and corsets!
It wasn’t until I discovered my LJ friend posted her first gay vintage find that I really got hooked, though. Since then I’ve sought out vintage gay pics on Tumblr and have been posting a small selection of my favourites on my blog each Sunday. I’m interested in anything from the birth of photography right up to the late seventies/early eighties, and the funnier the haircuts, decor and poses the happier I am 🙂
What are you writing at the moment?
I’m on the finishing stretch of Stuff, the next in the Bristol Collection series which begins with Junk. This time I’m writing Mas’s story, and funnily enough it’s mostly set in a vintage clothing store. Write what you know, I figured, and I know a fair bit about vintage clothes. Also, the town I live in is brimming with quirky little vintage boutiques, so inspiration is everywhere around me.
However, I am slightly concerned my characters have all been showing a bit of a clothing obsession just lately. I think in my next story I’m going to have to write two characters who couldn’t care less what they wear.
Oh wait, I’m planning to write the sequel to Tailor Made next. That’s never going to work: the whole premise is about two men with a major clothing kink!
What plans do you (and the committee) have for the UK Meet.
They’re top secret and if I told you, I’d have to kill you!
Seriously, though, I can’t spill the beans too much until we’ve got the details all ironed out, but you can definitely expect a similar blend of panels, workshops and discussion sessions to this last year in Manchester, along with some fabulous evening entertainment options, and a range of readers, bloggers, writers and publishers there from all over the globe, meeting up to share their love of LGBTQ genre fiction.
We’ll be having a gala dinner at the beautiful Marriott Royal hotel on the Saturday night, complete with musical entertainment (we hope!), and there should be a fun-packed night out nearby on the Friday too (I’m hoping to book a fabulous boylesque act to keep everyone happy).
We’re also hoping to offer a range of optional extras people can take part in if they’re around during the day on Friday, for instance, I’m going to be hosting a walk around nearby Bath, taking in some of the settings from my books like Merry Gentlemen, The Hot Floor, Tailor Made and Barging In, along with some of the perennially popular tourist attractions like the Royal Crescent. I hope I see some of you there!
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. Jo 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 a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and publishes regularly with Samhain. She’s one of the organising team behind the UK Meet, an annual event celebrating GLBTQ fiction. She has also been known to edit anthologies and self-publish on occasion.
Website and blog: http://josephinemyles.com/
’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.
You could lose yourself in Stan’s eyes. Well, I could. They reminded me of sun-bleached denim, with a deeper indigo ring around the outside. They were the kind of eyes that spoke of hard work in the great outdoors, and if it hadn’t been for the fact they’d been just the same back when he’d slaved away as a housing officer, I’d believe they really had been lightened by the sun. His hair certainly had. I’d always thought of him as a dirty blond rather than a honey one.
I still thought of him as a dirty blond, although not because of the colour of his hair.
Before my brain could get hijacked by thoughts of just how dirty Stan could be, I recovered my manners and stuck my hand out.
“Stan. Fancy seeing you here. I had no idea. Really.”
Stan stared at my hand like I was offering him a slice of mouldy pizza. I was just about to snatch it back when he grabbed it and held on.
“Ri? You look… You haven’t changed. Not one bit.”
Normally I’d preen a little at a comment like that. Make some allusion to Botox—not that I had any desire to freeze the expression out of my forehead, as how would I cope if I couldn’t do my patented single-eyebrow raise?
But right now, with Stan holding my hand in his rough, calloused—oh my God, he had genuine, honest to goodness callouses!—paw, I found it hard to do anything other than fight down my body’s instinctive response to him. I wanted to hit him and I wanted to lick him all over, and I couldn’t bloody well figure out which urge was winning.
Actually, right now I needed to stop paying any attention to my body and concentrate on keeping my cool. Couldn’t have Stan seeing me ruffled.
“Well, you’ve definitely changed,” I said. “You’ve got that whole rugged, outdoorsy vibe working for you now.” I didn’t need to hide the fact I was checking him out, thank Christ, so I took my time drinking in the sight of him. “Going back to nature really does pay off, doesn’t it? Shit, you never bulked up this well in the gym. And you’re tanned in the winter, but not a streak of orange to be seen. It’s a modern day miracle. Hallelujah.”
“I don’t need to fake it,” Stan growled, tilting his head back to look down at me and making the most of his three-inch height advantage. It was his arrogant-bastard pose, and he bloody well knew I was a sucker for it because I’d once made the mistake of telling him. Never, ever let a toppy git know just how much they turn you on, or you’ll spend your whole bloody life in a state of perpetual turned-on-ness. Was that even a word? It was now.
“What happened to your hair?” I said, reaching out for a lock. “Totally hot, but aren’t you getting a bit old for the whole surfer look? And you’re way too landlocked, down in deepest, darkest Somersetshire.”
“Piss off, Ri,” Stan said, but there was no heat in his words. The heat was all in his eyes, beaming out and frying me like a laser beam. They’d find me later, nothing more than a pair of melted boot soles on the cobbles.
Was that angry heat or turned-on heat? Couldn’t figure it out on him either. I had to face it, we both had ample reason to be pissed off with each other, but five years was a long time to hold a grudge.
“Much as I’d love to get on my way, it’s actually my job to check up on you. See if there’s anything you need any help with. Lend a hand, you know.” Jesus, could I have made that sound any more like a come-on? Clearly my mouth was in cahoots with my dick rather than my brain. I bit the inside of my lower lip, just to show it who was boss.
But Stan just carried on staring at me, while the sun-warmed denim of his eyes frosted over.
“Right. Just your job.” Oh, that guttural Slovakian accent! After the best part of a decade of living in the UK, Stan’s had definitely mellowed compared to when we’d first met, but it was still sexy as hell. “I’ll make sure I let you know if there’s anything you can help me with.” He stepped a little closer then, and tucked both thumbs into the waistband of his combats, hands framing his package like I needed any reminding of what was hidden in there. Well, not so hidden. Whereas I was a grower, Stan was most definitely a show-er, meaning his tackle was almost as big flaccid as it was erect. Not that that was a disappointment. More of a relief, really. If he’d got any bigger when hard, I’d have had to make like a snake and dislocate my jaw before giving him a blowjob.
And I really didn’t need to be remembering blowing Stan right now.