Susan Mac Nicol joins The Author’s Journal to chat about her Starlight Series and Benedict Cumberbatch

Susan Mac Nicol
Susan Mac Nicol

Welcome to The Author’s Journal, Susan Mac Nicol! We’re super-excited to learn all about you and your stories in your Starlight Series. Let’s share your good news with the world.

  1. Who the hell are you and what do you write?

My name is Susan Mac Nicol and I’ve written a couple of books in something I call my Starlight series. The first book is called Cassandra by Starlight. The second is Together in Starlight. The third is due out later this year. It’s the tale of a younger man, successful, and  rich, an actor called Bennett Saville meeting an older, professional woman called Cassandra Wallace. It’s contemporary Romance suspense with a lot of action in both meanings of the word. I also write gay male romance fiction.

~ Very cool, Sue! I understand you’ve written a screenplay along with a few other things as well. Readers can find your books at your website, HERE.

  1. Tell us what you love about your story.

Ahh *chuckles* I was lyrical about that for ever as Paula well knows. What I love about my story is that it was written as a vehicle for me to express my desires for a certain British actor called Benedict Cumberbatch. I couldn’t have him so I created my own in Bennett. The story grew and eventually I had three books taking Bennett and Cassie from their initial meeting after a tragedy to an event on a desert island in Fiji which hopefully will conclude their story on a very happy note.

~ I must admit, I had a difficult time understanding the fixation at first, but now I totally get it. I’m loving watching Cumberbatch through your eyes, Sue. I always think of you when I see him. Wouldn’t it be amazing to see him play Bennett in the screen version of your stories?

  1. A Tweet is a short sentence ~  #140 characters. Describe your Antagonist in a Tweet:

Psychotic, Spanish, female stalker with delusions, who wants Bennett Saville for her own.

  1. Why does your Hero/ine have to deal with your Antagonist?

Bennett has no option – Laura is a celebrity stalker who believes she has a right to him. She sends him presents, leaves him messages and finally takes things to a terrifying level.

~ :Shudders: Terrifying, really. The best antagonists do see themselves as the protagonists in their stories (did Tom Hiddleston say that first?)

  1. What specifically does your Hero/ine learn from your Antagonist?

Bennett learns he’s strong, able to deal with what happened to him, and that he has the ability to play an acting role like never before as lives depend on it. Cassie learns that her strength is supporting her lover through his ordeal and never giving in.

~ Sounds like Bennett and Cassie make a great couple, Sue.

  1. What is your Protagonist’s FLAW in this story?

Bennett can be arrogant, used to getting his own way and he also has a very nasty temper. He has learned to control it but his childhood led him to be defensive and independent.

  1. Do you prefer to read fiction or non-fiction?

Definitely fiction. I like to be absorbed into make believe scenarios and worlds. The real world is tough enough to face each day so losing myself in other people’s lives, especially when there is a HEA (as I won’t read it if not) is an escape for me.

~ I agree – gotta have my happily ever afters too, Sue.

  1. Romance/Thrillers/Historical/Horror/Paranormal/Contemporary…? What’s your favorite genre to read? Any recommendations for the crowd?

Well, you know me, Paula, I love my gay male Romances. But I also love psychological thrillers like Jonathan Kellerman, horror like Stephen King and Phil Rickman and I’m not averse to some good fantasy or science fiction.

~ I enjoyed reading your short stories, too.

  1. Any Pet Peeves about Romance?

Other than I don’t have any in my life ?  I think the one thing I don’t quite get is insta-love. People see each other across a crowded room, spent a few hours together and know they are meant to be together and move heaven and earth to stay a couple/threesome whatever -I’m not a believer in love at first sight. Perhaps I’m a little jaded.

~ Maybe that’s why we love to read fiction, ey?

  1. Quick – Name the last movie you saw, and did you love it? If so, WHY? If not, WHY NOT?

Star Trek, and the reason I loved it was of course Benedict Cumberbatch as Khan. But then I know you feel the same way.

~ Good Lord, Benedict Cumberbatch tore up the skies as Khan in this movie. I simply LOVED it, and watching him recreate Khan in this particular role converted me into an official Cumberbitch – thanks, Sue!

  1. Favorite music to write by?

I’m an Indie Rock chick  -Kasabian, Foo Fighters, 30 Seconds to Mars, White Lies, IAMX, Sneaker Pimps, Oasis, Muse, Wombats  -anything that’s loud, lots of action and I can understand the words. My pet peeve is singers where I don’t have a bloody clue what they’re singing about.

  1. Any advice for new writers?

Be prepared to roll your sleeves up and remember whatever else you do –  writing the story is the easy part. I kid you not. Building an audience to read your books, developing your ‘author platform’ and  keeping your readers involved and invested in you and your books -that’s the hard part. It’s why I work so hard across many social networking and website platforms to keep up continued interest in my writing. I also try and help authors who find this a problem and if you want to find out more then look at my website www.theravencrestagency.com.

~ Sue, your new agency sounds exciting. Helping other authors through what you’ve learned is a remarkable contribution to the field. Best wishes for a successful endeavor!!

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Now, let’s have a look at the Starlight books:

Cassandra by Starlight
Cassandra by Starlight

Book Buy Links: Amazon |Amazon.co.uk |All Romance ebooksBarnes and Noble | Boroughs Publishing Group

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Cassandra By Starlight

A London woman is swept off her feet into the glamorous yet surprisingly dangerous world of an up-and-coming star of stage and screen.

TO CATCH A RISING STAR

Unconventional though she may be, Cassandra Wallace leads the life of an average Londoner, from blind dates to rush hour traffic. Then, along comes Bennett Saville. Charming, erudite, the up-and-coming actor is like the hero of a romantic movie. He sets Cassie afire like he has the stage and screen, and defies the tragedy that brought them together. From the tips of his Armani loafers to their scorching hot first kiss, he’s perfect. Only, he’s ten years younger and from the upper class, and those emerald eyes invite dangerous secrets. The world is full of hungry leading ladies, and every show must have its villain. Yet a true romance will always find its happy ending.

These are a few short excerpts of different parts of the story to whet the appetite

Cassie reached out and took his hand. Bennett felt a spark as he clasped her hand back.

“You can’t feel guilty about what he did. He made his own decisions and choices. ‘Life does not ask what we want. It presents us with options.’ It’s one of my mantras.”

 

She stopped and swallowed. Time to take the plunge she told herself and hope she wouldn’t make a fool of herself.

God, she wanted him so badly. Who said a woman couldn’t have a decent one night stand if this was all it was destined to turn into?

It was a male mannequin, dressed in the suit, with a dark wig on its head. But what really made the tableau very surreal was that a tabloid picture of Bennett’s face had been placed over the blank face of the model and the mannequin was suspended from a beam by a rope, slowly twisting in the breeze from the street.

 

He kept his own eyes closed, not wanting to see her above him, thinking of dead people, the man he had just seen die, his brother’s mangled body in the morgue, the beatings he had ensured at the hands of his father, Cassie covered in blood after being stabbed by his mother, anything to escape the ultimate sacrifice he might make and hopefully give her less satisfaction.

 

The wet room was full of steam, dripping from the mirrors around the bathroom, off the basin and even off the back of the door. It was like a tropical monsoon in a room, hot and steamy. The bandages Cassie had just put on his wrists were lying in the basin. He heard the bathroom door open and Cassie came in. She didn’t hesitate. She stepped into the shower fully clothed and whispered his name.

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Together in Starlight
Together in Starlight

 Together in Starlight

After overcoming the rather life changing yet dangerous events of their first year together, Cassie Wallace thinks life might get back to normal with her fiancé, Bennett Saville. But this proves to be fairly wishful thinking on her part.

Fresh from a sojourn in Tibet, where Bennett was filming his first major Hollywood film, she tries to adjust to her new lifestyle of show business and glamour. Cassie faces constant challenges in her efforts to develop her relationship with a man who is very visible to the outside world as well as being mercurial, temperamental and sometimes downright bloody difficult.

It doesn’t help when they are drawn into a friend’s drama and Cassie once more ends up in the wrong place at the wrong time. Bennett is under pressure to complete his hectic filming schedule and at the same time cope with long absences from Cassie, something he isn’t partial to at all. This, together with a family bereavement, makes the strain on their relationship even more difficult to manage.

Things heat up and both Cassie and Bennett are once again threatened by people and circumstances outside of their control, including something supernatural and other events neither of them could have foreseen. They bond together with their usual fortitude to make short work of the dangers they face and once again, triumph together.

Book Buy Links:  Amazon | Boroughs Publishing Group |

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Image of Susan Mac Nicol

Susan’s BIO

Sue Mac Nicol was born in Leeds, Yorkshire, in the United Kingdom. At the age of eight, her family moved to Johannesburg, South Africa, where she stayed for nearly thirty years before arriving back in the UK in December 2000.  The first year Sue was back in the UK, it snowed on her birthday, as it did the day she was born in 19*coughs* and she swears this was England welcoming her back.

Sue’s career has mostly been in the financial services area and she specialises in what she calls ‘boring’ compliance and regulatory work. That’s why she escapes into the world of writing and fantasy where she chats to her characters ad nauseum and is overjoyed when they reply. It beats the monotony of legalese, contracts and legislation and let’s face it, writing hot scenes between men can only be rewarding.

Sue is a PAN member of Romance Writers of America and is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association in the UK. She is also a member of a rather unique writing group called the Talliston Writers Circle, whose ‘creator’ is a man who is both a Bard and a Shaman. It makes for a really interesting evening and dinner conversation.  She lives in the quaint village of Bocking in Essex, set in the countryside and not far from the sea should she get the yen to eat oysters.

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 Find Susan Mac Nicol, and check out ALL her published titles.

Social Media Links:  Website  |  My Blog  |  Facebook  | Boroughs Publishing Group  | Twitter | Dreamspinners Press LLC |

Like! Read! Share! Review! Thanks!

Author: Paula Millhouse

Author Paula Millhouse http://www.paulamillhouse.com Where Fantasy, Romance, and Suspense collide.

2 thoughts on “Susan Mac Nicol joins The Author’s Journal to chat about her Starlight Series and Benedict Cumberbatch”

  1. Paula thanks so much for showcasing me and the Starlight series of books on your blog. It was a wonderful opportunity to discuss these books with you and fan a little bit about the wonderfully sexy Benedict Cumberbatch 🙂

    Like

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