Here we go with the first author interview of the roster from the Not Quite Shakespeare anthology of British themed stories from Dreamspinner [cover and buy links to follow when available!] And our first brave interogatee iiiiis Becky Black.
Have you always lived in the UK? If not what drew you back?
I’ve always lived here, and in fact I’ve never travelled far away from the place. I live in the north east now, which is where I was brought up. I did live in London for a few years as a student. But the north is much nicer!
Is there any place that is a must-see for any visitor to the uk? In how many counties have you lived? Cosmopolitan or rural?
London is the most obvious must see of course. But I think the best part of the UK is our amazing coastline. And it’s especially beautiful up here on the north east coast, with our golden sands and sights like Bamburgh Castle.
I think I’ve lived in six counties over my lifetime, all of them urban. I am a city girl at heart.
What inspired you to write your story for the anthology?
I’ve always wanted to write a story about rival ice cream sellers – right back to the days when I wrote fan fiction. When this anthology came along, called “Not Quite Shakespeare” then it seemed to fit perfectly to do a story about star crossed lovers of rival Italian families – who happen to sell ice cream. The fact there are a couple of famous Italian family owned ice cream firms in the seaside towns near to where I grew up and where my mother was from was in influence too, I must admit.
Could you tell me a little about it?
It’s called 99 Problems and is about two young men who have taken over the running of their family ice cream businesses, one of them very reluctantly. With their families having been rivals for years them having a romance would be a really tricky situation for them – so of course they fancy each other at once… It’s a story of forbidden romance and family rivalry, but nobody is going to stab or poison themselves at the end – because hey, it’s only ice cream!
Could you please tell me about your other work?
Mostly I write science fiction m/m erotic romance novels. I currently have eight published with Loose Id. I’ve also got another short contemporary published with JMS books. I’ve also self published a couple of non-romance science fiction stories, which are available free.
What are you working on at the moment?
Right now I’m drafting the third in my Red Dragon space-opera series. It’s planned to be the final book, but I do have a possible spin off in mind. And I can never leave characters alone, so who knows if more ideas for those guys might come up? But I’ve got lots of other plans on the go – including possibly a f/f story, which would be a departure for me.
Please could we have an excerpt?
Here’s a snippet from the first scene of my anthology story 99 Problems.
“Chez?” he said, approaching them, holding out his hand. “Is that you?”
“Rob?” Chez said.
A briefly startled expression crossed his face. His frankly gorgeous face. He had not been this pretty when Rob saw him last, almost a decade ago when they were both sixteen, and Chez had gone off to one sixth-form college and Rob to another. His skin had cleared up, for one thing.
“Mrs Bianchi,” Rob said to Liliana. “We have met before. Rob Catteneo.”
“Oh,” she said, eyebrows raised. “From the new firm.”
The new firm, yes, since the Catteneo family had only been selling ice creams in this town since 1973, a mere forty years. Unlike the old firm, the Bianchi family, who’d come over from Italy in the early 1950s.
“I was at school with Chez,” Rob reminded her.
“Chez?” She looked up at her great-grandson. “What is this ‘Chez’ he calls you, Cesare?”
“It’s what my friends call me, Nana.” Chez swept wavy black hair out of his eyes as the strong wind off the sea blew it across his face. “They called me that at school.”
“School? This is not school. This is church.” She looked at Rob again with recognition in her dark eyes. “Ah yes. Roberto. The cheeky one.”
Rob grinned. “You do remember me.”
“It’s Robert, Nana,” Chez said. “Not Roberto.”
Her snort told Rob what she thought of that. The Bianchis hung onto the old ways, the old names, and, whenever they could, the old genetics. His last name might give him away, but since his dad had married a local girl, Rob looked as Anglo-Saxon as most other men in this town. Chez looked like he’d just stepped off his Vespa in Milan to go buy a cappuccino.
Many thanks, Becky for answering my questions.
Readers – don’t forget to comment for a chance to win a copy of Not Quite Shakespeare.
You can follow Becky at the links below: