anne_barwell (anne_barwell) wrote,

Welcome Susan MacNicol - Double Alchemy

A big welcome today to Susan MacNicol as part of her blog tour with Kirsty Vizard for her two year anniversary of Double Alchemy.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your writing?
In a nutshell, and don’t laugh. I started writing because I wanted to develop a romance themed screen play so Benedict Cumberbatch could be asked to star in it because he was looking for a romance lead role at the time. It was also a way of indulging in my inner most fantasies with him as my lead man. Writing a screenplay was tough so I wrote a book instead, intending on adapting it to screen play. When the book was finished, I thought I’d see if I could get it published. I found someone to take it on and voila-the rest is history.
About me- I’m not very interesting, married thirty-two years to a wonderful man, two adult kids who I adore, boring Compliance Officer by day, masked romantic writer by night. I live in Essex in the UK, love London with a passion, and I enjoy Marmite. I have a male pole dancing group on Facebook which gives us all many happy hours, I love men in heels and lingerie, once stayed in a circus as part of my book research and have a Benedict Cumberbatch (and Adam Lambert) obsession.

Can you tell us about your release, and what inspired it?
My latest release is book six in my Men of London series. In Suit Yourself, a previous book, you meet a man called Maxwell Lewis and this was his story. Maxwell is a high flying flight attendant with a dubious track record of male sexcapades, and he decides he wants to settle down. Unfortunately, he meets his wet dream, a man called Gibson Henry who is averse to that idea. So Maxwell needs to convince Gibson to stick around. He does that admirably

Writing goals, working on at present
My writing and personal goals for 2016 and beyond are that I want to complete writing the Men of London series with the last two books -Damaged Goods- Jax and Dare’s story- and Hard Climate- Mango and Ryan’s tale. Here’s an excerpt from Damaged Goods:

Jax had just finished shrugging into his jacket and putting some hair product on his curls to tame them a little when his phone rang. His caller ID announced in soft tones it was Dare. Jax bit his lip, in a quandary as to whether to answer it. It stopped before he could make a decision. For a few seconds there was silence then it rang again. Still Dare.

With an exasperated huff, Jax answered it testily. “Yes?” He sat down on the bed.

There was a chuckle on the other end. “You’re not a morning person then, I take it?” Dare’s voice with its soft lilt was teasing and Jax almost melted but decided to stand firm.
“I don’t mind mornings. Why are you calling?”

“I wanted to find out why you changed your mind about our date. I thought we hit it off quite well.” Dare’s voice was even but there was a trace of something –hurt? –in it.

Jax squirmed. It was one thing sending a text, another thing having the person you’d just fobbed off on the other side of the phone. “Yeah, I just don’t think it’s going to work. I mean, we’re so different, you know?”

Dare was quiet, only the sound of him breathing echoing down the line. “How do you mean, different? I’m a bloke, you’re a bloke, we’re not that different age wise- I’m twenty –five by the way – and we obviously have chemistry from that kiss last night. What’s so different about us?”

Jax cleared his throat. “We just are.” He lay back on the bed, and stared at his booted feet.

Dare snorted. “You mean because you can’t see all that well, and have some facial scarring, you think no-one could find you attractive, don’t you? That you’re no real catch for anyone.”
As that was exactly what Jax thought, he couldn’t refute the statement. His mouth dried up and he didn’t know what to say.

“Do you really think I’m that shallow?” Now there was real hurt in Dare’s voice and an element of disappointment. Dare’s voice softened. “For what it’s worth, I think you are the hottest, sexiest guy I’ve ever laid eyes on. I see beneath that exterior, into what’s beneath. And you are beautiful. I know that without even getting to know you better.”

Jax’s chest ached as he considered Dare’s words. “How can you know that? I mean, look at me. I live in a halfway house, I’m damaged goods...” his voice trailed off. “You can do better for yourself.”

“Don’t talk crap. I want you.” Dare’s voice shook slightly. “What you went through, what you do at that halfway house with the kids…I’ve seen you, remember? You’re like this- hero- they all look up to. You’re so damn strong and brave. And I want a chance to get to know you, even if it doesn’t work out for ever.” He laughed raggedly. “I know that sounds weird and I don’t want to come on too strong and be that crazy stalker guy. If you say not to call you anymore, you have my word I won’t ever do it again. I promise you’ll never see me again.”

That thought panicked Jax more than the thought of a date. “You really think I’m hot and sexy?” he whispered.

“Baby, I do.” The endearment threw Jax and made him all warm inside as his lips lifted in a smile. “Like you can’t believe.”

I’m looking at going self-published towards the end of this year as well, so that’s a tremendous challenge. I need to find an editor, a cover artist and get it all together.

I’m working on a standalone book called Living on Air, which is an angst driven, hard hitting and emotional story of a man called Carey who can’t forgive himself and who punishes himself in many ways, who meets Rhys, who wants to heal him, even though he himself is broken. This was the book that needed the circus experience to write it properly.

I’m also writing a gay themed Victorian, steam punky themed story, based on a famous classic horror tale. More on that when I figure out which way it’s going. I need to do a huge amount of research for this one with the tale I want to tell.

I’ve also got plans for a rock star book at some stage, one with a difference, and not your usual story.

Why M/M?
When I started writing I wrote M/F, because I was writing about Benedict Cumberbatch meeting me – oh crap, did I say that out loud? I meant sexy London actor Bennett Saville meeting older, wiser Cassie Wallace. Sexy scenes ensued and I was able to act out my fantasies there. I originally wrote all my books as M/F – Saving Alexander, Love and Punishment, and the two Double Alchemy books were all written with male/female leads. It changed when I started researching bisexual sex scenes for Love and Punishment. In order to write the few sex scenes I intended in the book, I needed to read other writers ideas about it. I started reading M/M, got completely hooked and thought, I can write one of these myself. I’ll give it a go. So I wrote Stripped Bare, which did very well, and then decided this was the genre for me. There was something about men loving men that was primal, sexy, hot as hell and I wanted to be part of it. In a manner of speaking of course. This meant however that all my M/F books needed changing to M/M. It was a tough job but somebody had to do it 

What book am I reading at the moment?
I’ve just started ‘Out of Nowhere’ by Roan Parrish. I loved the first book, ‘In the Middle of Somewhere’ and am loving the second one so far. Next will be ‘The Mermaid Murders’ by Josh Lanyon.

Are there people in your life that annoy you and you write into your books?
Not people per se. Concepts and ideologies- yes. I tend to incorporate some of my own beliefs and views in my stories. Love and Punishment was the story of a police man who believed in retributive justice- the punishment should fit the crime. I feel the same way, even got some flack about it but I don’t care. Passion to me is something I like to see in a book, so why wouldn’t I use my own in my books? It’s fictional, and I like to invite people to think about things. I believe in white magic, Wicca, so Double Alchemy tackled that belief as well. I don’t suffer fools gladly and I think a lot of my characters share the same trail lol. Cassie Wallace in Cassandra by Starlight (my debut M/F book) was modelled on me. She might not look like me, (being far more attractive) but her views and character were mine.

If I had access to a time machine where would I go?
Oh that’s easy. I’d go back to the 1800’s, to Jack the Ripper time in London. I’d love to be a rich lady of leisure, attending balls in beautiful gowns and having butlers and footmen catering to my every whim. I’d want an indecently rich, gorgeous suitor with dark red hair, a winning smile and the ability to turn my world around in bed. Then at night I’d be a masked crusader, hunting down Jack and saving the city of London.

If you were able to quit your day job and write full time…would you?
Is this a trick question, because, you know, giving up a life of legal and compliance work to write all day and hang out with other writers, focus on bringing more books to market, make a living out of doing something I love, immerse myself in my characters and their worlds – that takes some thinking about. Not. Of course I’d give up the day job in a shot. I’m working towards it, having gone down from a five-day week to a four-day week, and planning ahead to make more money by self-publishing to perhaps meet that dream of one day being a full time writer. It’s going to take time though, unless I win the lottery.

DA tour banner


Title: Double Alchemy

Author: Susan Mac Nicol

Series: Double Alchemy #1

Release Date: March 24th 2014

Genre: Paranormal, MM Romance

21480819 (1)


Powerful yet tormented modern warlock Quinn Fairmont must initiate the silver-eyed Cade Mairston into the world of witchfinders, Withinners, and what can happen when two men fall truly, madly, deeply in love.


In modern London there lurks a warlock, Quinn Fairmont. Dangerous, powerful, tortured, sharing his body with the soul of an ancient Welsh sorcerer, Quinn is never alone—and never wholly himself. He fights against all those who would exploit his kind. He takes pleasure where he can find it.

In the forest of Hampstead Heath, Quinn’s hometown, Cade Mairston appears to him like a waking dream. Lithe, lean and silver-eyed, he evokes feelings in Quinn unlike any other: lust with true affection, immediate and shocking. Cade is clearly more than he seems. And yet, if a man of the world, Cade is innocent. He knows nothing of warlocks, witchfinders or Withinners. He knows nothing of what he is, what he might be, or what he might feel. For him, the story is just beginning. Magyck, peril and passion await.

Links: Boroughs | Amazon | B&N | ARe | Smashwords



Title: Climax

Author: Susan Mac Nicol

Series: Double Alchemy #2

Release Date: May 22nd 2014

Genre: Paranormal, MM Romance



Powerful modern warlock Quinn Fairmont found ecstasy with the silver-eyed and not-quite-human Cade Mairston, but to know true happiness the pair must best both the shadow of a long-ago lover and an ancient enemy who seeks to destroy love, light and all they hold dear.


It begins with a Book of Shadows discovered by a London coven. The grimoire is as dangerous as it is rare, which is why it evokes modern-day warlock Quinn Fairmont’s desire. He collects objects of great power and beauty—like his lover, Cade Mairston.

Against all odds he and Cade found each other, but their perils have just begun. First is the ex-lover who once held Quinn in thrall. And, someone has been killing warlocks. Could it be one of his own kind? There are those too who would challenge Quinn’s power in their quest to overthrow him as Grand Master. Or is the danger something darker, something invoked inadvertently, rising from the shadows, building from the very inside of a man until it brings an end with a quick flash of light? Of the truth, the surface has only been scratched. Now Quinn and Cade must go deeper and find both answers and an end. They must learn what lurks in the hearts of men…and whether it seeks to love or destroy.

Links: Boroughs | Amazon | B&N | ARe | Smashwords


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About the Author


Susan Mac Nicol is a self confessed bookaholic, an avid watcher of videos of sexy pole dancing men, self confessed geek and nerd and in love with her Smartphone. This little treasure is called ‘the boyfriend’ by her long suffering husband, who says if it vibrated, there’d be no need for him. Susan hasn’t had the heart to tell him there’s an app for that…

She is never happier than when sitting in the confines of her living room/study/on a cold station platform scribbling down words and making two men fall in love. She is a romantic at heart and believes that everything happens (for the most part) for a reason. She likes to think of herself as a ‘half full’ kinda gal, although sometimes that philosophy is sorely tested. Lover of walks in the forest, theatre productions, dabbling her toes in the cold North Sea and the vibrant city of London where you can experience all four seasons in a day , she is a hater of pantomime (so please don’t tar and feather her), duplicitous people, bigotry and self righteous idiots.

In an ideal world, Susan Mac Nicol would be Queen of England and banish all the bad people to the Never Never Lands of Wherever -Who Cares. As that’s never going to happen, she contents herself with writing her HEA stories and pretending, that just for a little while, good things happen to good people.

Links: Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter

Tags: author interview, blog tour, boroughs publishing, kirsty vizard, susan macnicol

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