Sunday, January 22, 2012

Guest: Josephine Myles

I have the fabulous Jo Myles here today, stopping by on her whirlwind blog tour. Her latest novella, Tailor Made, is available from Amber Allure today.

Here is the blurb:

"College tart Felix McAvoy is used to causing a stir with his conceptual art pranks, but for his final show he's planning something even more outrageous. In a last ditch attempt to seduce his jaded tutor, Felix plans to wear the canvas in a subversive display. However, if he's going to do this right he'll need a tailor-made canvas suit. Fortunately, he knows just the tailor to turn to for the favour—and Felix isn't shy about offering favours of a very different kind in return.

First year fashion student Andrew Wheeler knows Felix by reputation only—and plans to keep things that way. Andrew's determined to save himself for the man of his dreams, and Felix couldn't be more different from his ideal Mr. Right. There's only one use Andrew will contemplate for Felix's body: a model for his end of year project. Trouble is, it's going to involve a lot of close contact with a nearly naked Felix, and Andrew's never had temptation quite so close at hand..."

On to the interview!

Jo, you have a wealth of stories under your belt, but Tailor Made is the first one taking place at a college campus (or "uni," as you crazy Brits like to call it). Why so?

That’s a direct result of the Amber Allure submissions call! I harked back to my own days on an art foundation course at an institution that idealized the conceptual Brit Art movement. Felix’s frustrations are very much based on my own irritation at having spent a year at art college in which no one so much as gave me the smallest hint at how to improve my painting and drawing.

The muse can be stubborn at times. Was it easy or hard to come up with the characters and story in this case?

Initially I wasn’t sure about answering this submissions call as writing about younger characters doesn’t generally appeal all that much to me. Not only do they not have much life experience, but there’s a certain mindset characteristic to young adults that I find frustrating: that idealistic, black and white thinking. You get older and you realize the world is made up of shades of grey instead.

Initially I thought I’d write something about a mature student having a relationship with his tutor, but my muse just didn’t want to bite. After a couple of months of nothing more coming, I thought I’d have to abandon the idea of writing a college story.

However, I then got to thinking about how I could use a character’s youth to my advantage when crafting a plot. It can be a challenge to write a credible virgin character in his late twenties, but it seemed quite plausible that a nineteen-year-old would still be idealistically holding out for his imaginary Mr. Right, and that a twenty-one year old would believe himself to be in love with his bastard of a tutor. Once I had those two elements in place, the rest of the story flowed quickly.

One of your protagonists, Felix, is…well, let's be honest, a bit of a slut. You have fondness for these type of characters. What is the attraction?

Umm, if I said it’s because I’m a slut at heart, would you hold it against me? ;D

What I like writing is the unapologetic sluts. They’re not putting it about because they’re psychologically damaged. They just happen to enjoy sex and meeting new people, and don’t see any reason why these two activities shouldn’t be combined! I suppose it’s partly a reaction to growing up being told that promiscuity was bad—something I’ve always instinctively disagreed with.

What I particularly enjoy about writing slutty characters, though, is getting to make them fall in love. Having them feel all those uncomfortable feelings and realizing that they now have to change their lifestyle is fun to work through in a story.

I don’t plan on having slutty characters in every story I write, but you can probably expect them to turn up in a fair few!

In general, what is your creative process? Where does the story start? Is it the characters, a plot idea, or maybe a song you heard on the radio?

I often have a vague plot premise first, but inspiration can come from so many different sources. Sometimes it’s a reaction to something I’ve read that I want to explore further. What I do know is I can’t start writing until I know a reasonable amount about the characters. Once I have their voices sorted out in my head, then the plot tends to follow. And then it heads off in a completely different direction when I start writing and the characters tell me there’s no way they’re doing that just because I’m telling them to, thank you very much. I’ve learnt to trust them now, even if it’s scary at times.

Do you ever get writer's block? How do you deal with it?

I’ve never had severe writer’s block, but I certainly get days where the words come so slowly it’s like typing through treacle. Sometimes I give up and go and do something completely different, and sometimes I power on through until things start picking up again.

Working on a couple of different projects at any one time is a strategy that works for me. If one’s not flowing, the other usually is so I don’t end up feeling guilty and unproductive.

One last question. Inquiring minds must know: Do Brits really drink as much tea as PBS would make us believe? How many times a day do you break for "a cuppa?"

There are a few weird Brits who insist they don’t drink any tea (JL Merrow, for example), but the rest of us do tend to guzzle it pretty much constantly. I’ve had five cups so far this morning, and I’m contemplating making another right now…

Thanks, Jo.

And now an excerpt:

“I’ll need to tie pieces of string around your waist and neck,” Andrew said.
“Getting into bondage already, are we? I dunno, you Catholics are always a bit kinky, aren’t you?”
“Shut up. It’s to get accurate measurements.”
“Yeah, yeah, that’s what they all say.”
But Felix kept quiet as Andrew tied the length of string around his neck. The second one was harder to tie, though, as Andrew’s hands were so close to Felix’s crotch. He could see the bulge of Felix’s cock, scant inches from his hands. His fingers kept brushing against those taut abs and he couldn’t seem to make his hands cooperate.
“Here, let me help.”
Felix’s long fingers were deft, fast, and Andrew couldn’t help but wonder what they’d feel like on his own body. Why did the more experienced, promiscuous men always have to be so bloody tempting? Would it be too much to ask for a nice, safe, virginal man to drop out of the sky and onto Andrew’s lap? Instead, he had here the male equivalent of the Whore of Babylon.
“Well, you gonna get going on those measurements or are you gonna stare at my dick all day?”
“Jesus Christ. I was staring at your hands.”
“Yeah, well now you can stare at both,” Felix said, cupping his groin through the fabric of his jockstrap. He pulled it tight and Andrew could see the outline of a thick cock straining at the cotton, and what looked like a heavy pair of balls below. Felix’s body hair was dark, and Andrew could just imagine how it would curl in a thick bush around his dick.
Was it wrong that his mouth was watering right now? “Turn around,” he ordered. “I need to measure your back.”
But that was worse. Felix’s crown jewels might be out of the way, but now Andrew had a perfect view of two muscular buttocks. The V of the white straps drew Andrew’s gaze down the dark cleft. He had to swallow back a sound that threatened to erupt. Needy and turned-on. It was a bloody good thing Felix was facing away from him so he couldn’t see the pronounced bulge in Andrew’s jeans. He adjusted himself, then looked up to discover Felix watching him in the mirror.
Felix leered and winked, and Andrew was mortified to feel a blush creeping up his neck. He lost himself in his tape measure instead, taking a measurement from the neck string down to Felix’s waist, and then around his waist, his hips, all the time trying his best to ignore that naked arse Felix had all but offered up to him. In fact, come to think of it, he had offered it, hadn’t he?
Andrew groaned as he sank to his knees. “I need an inside leg measurement. You’ll have to spread them a little. No, not like that!” He shut his eyes tight, trying to will away that glimpse he’d just had between those buttocks as Felix had pulled his cheeks apart.
“Sorry, force of habit when a guy tells me to spread ’em,” Felix said, sounding excessively pleased with himself.
“Turn around, please,” Andrew said, his eyes still clamped shut. He was dimly aware of motion beside him, and eventually risked a quick peek.
“Holy Mary, Mother of God,” Andrew muttered under his breath. There was a clear damp patch at the front of Felix’s jockstrap, right where the tip of his erection was tenting the cotton. He could smell the arousal, Felix’s musk tickling his nostrils and heating his body. To take his mind off it, he pressed the metal tip of the measuring tape into the hot skin of Felix’s inner thigh.
“Ooh, that’s cold!”
Felix’s legs clamped tight, trapping Andrew’s hand in a humid embrace. Oh Christ, that was Felix’s balls pressing against his thumb. If Andrew moved his hand, he’d be giving them a massage.
Andrew’s thumb twitched.
“Mmm, does this mean we’ve finished with the foreplay?” Felix teased...