I'm happy to introduce my dear friend & M/M romantic erotica phenom S.A. Meade.
Who the hell are you?
Pond-hopping Brit who’s finally settled on the English side of the pond. I’m a former Town Planner who now works in publishing. I live with my husband, son and two cats in a picturesque Wiltshire village. I’m partial to gin and tonic, good chocolate and like cooking.
So.... How does a proper English lady end up wading in the smutty end of the literary pool? And in M/M no less?
Well, for starters, I’m most definitely not proper! How I found myself writing M/M was a complete accident. I bumbled into it. I belong to a great writers’ forum, Absolute Write. A fellow M/M author posted a challenge where you had to write a piece from a completely different POV than you were used to. I always wrote third person close, from a woman’s POV. So, it seemed sensible to write a scene in first person, from a man’s POV. I wrote a scene about two men who’d known each other since college and one had been secretly in love with the other for years. He confesses and, well, they start doing rude things. I was surprised how much I enjoyed writing it and was even more surprised that people actually liked it. After that, the characters wouldn’t leave me alone, they kept nagging at me. Their story just took off and became my first published novel, ‘Stolen Summer’. I really thought ‘Stolen Summer’ would be a one-off. I genuinely believed I didn’t have another M/M story in me. Four stories later…..
I've heard that the next Black Dagger Brotherhood book will feature a M/M love story... where do you see that taking your genre?
Confession time – I’ve never read any of the Black Dagger Brotherhood books. Having looked at the summaries for the existing books, it seems like a logical progression. Anything that pushes M/M novels closer to the mainstream and closer to being stacked on shelves in bricks and mortar shops is a Very Good Thing. It’s my main gripe about the genre, that its popularity doesn’t necessarily guarantee it space in a shop.
Writer's read. What are some books that have inspired you?
So many books, so little time. I love, love, love those big, thick historical novels that were all the rage back in the seventies and eighties. ‘We Speak no Treason’ by Rosemary Jawley Harman influenced me in so many ways. It is a novel about Richard III, told from by a maiden he seduced, a jester, an archer and a nun. It’s lush, emotionally wrenching and the descriptions are just glorious. Patricia Wright’s story, ‘A Space of the Heart’ is another historical novel, set in Russia in the 19th century. Wright’s prose is sparser and, although it’s a love story, it’s not overly romantic. But, again, her descriptions of the landscape are just amazing. Finally, I have to mention Ernest Hemingway – how to write simple, strong dialogue – Hemingway is the master.
I will admit that I don't read widely in the M/M genre. Can you give us a a top 3 books ( other than your own brilliant works) that are must reads?
‘Promises’ by Marie Sexton. It was the first book I read of hers and I just love it. The sexual tension is just incredible and her style is so effortless.
‘Stray’ by Ash Penn. It’s a very ‘British’ book. Her writing is meticulous, not a word out of place and the narrator, Terry, is a bit of a bastard but so beautifully portrayed that you can’t help but love him.
‘Final Admission’ by Sue Brown. It’s an emotional roller coaster about a very emotive subject. What I love, apart from the snarky humour and the warmth, is the fact that Sue tackles the issues in a way that isn’t black and white. She looks at both sides and it really works.
I have read both Mourning Jack and Biscuits and Bunting and the common thread seems to be wanting something that might not be what you need and the pain associated with letting that want go. (I hate to ask the "Am I right?" question... so I'll just give you space to talk about your stories here)
Yep, that sounds about right. I really did struggle a bit with Mourning Jack. The original ending was going to be much different but, when I started writing in that direction the story just lost its spark so I stirred things up a bit because, in real life, the path to the right, true end isn’t always a straight one, sometimes you meet a fork and have to make up your mind which way to go.
Biscuits and Bunting was, again, looking at what happens in real life. People can be jerks but even jerks need love.
In fact, thinking about it, a fair few of my characters do thoughtless jerky things. I’d like to think that it’s because I like to make them as ‘real’ and flawed as I think I can get away with. I realise that not every reader is going to like that approach but I can’t write any other way.
What is the best thing and the worst thing about being published?
The best thing is when that box of print copies arrives. The poor woman who delivered my copies of Stolen Summer clearly thought I was stark, raving bonkers. I hugged the box and grinned like an eejit.
The worst is the promoting. It would be so easy to just run amok all over the internet screaming ‘BUY MYBOOK NOW’ but I just can’t do it. I try my hardest to not shove my new releases in peoples’ faces but then I sit in a corner and sulk if no one notices!
What is next?
I have a series – The Endersley Papers - in the works. They’re all centred around a fictional house on the Wiltshire Downs. The first book, ‘Lord of Endersley’ is released by Total E-Bound at the end of August. I am slowly clawing my way toward the end of book two, ‘Darkness at Endersley’ and trying to ignore the siren call of the third book. There’ll be five books altogether. I’ve been scribbling down ideas for future books, at least two of which will be contemporary M/M.
You can Find her books at Total-E-bound