Posted in News and Appearances

Forever in Starlight is live :)

The latest and last book in my M/F Starlight series went live today. Hooray!!!! It’s been a long time coming but I feel that it’s the right time to get this last book out there and finish Bennett and Cassie’s story. They’ve been through a lot and they deserve their idyllic ending. You can read more about the whole series here.

 

The screen pilot I wrote for this series has also been selected by the Oaxaca Film Festival in Mexico to feature in their Global Script Challenge.

https://www.authorsusanmacnicol.com/my-film-tv-pilot-selected-at-oaxaca-film-festival/

It’s awesome to see my picture feature among the many talented and more experienced screen play writers.

 

 

BOROUGHS PUBLISHING

KOBO

ITUNES

SMASHWORDS

AMAZON

GOODREADS

 

There is a book tour taking in place in November for this book, with Xpresso Tours and you sign up at the link in the picture below

 

 

Tour: Forever in Starlight by Susan Mac Nicol

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in News and Appearances

‘Echoes of Innocence’ by Stephen Hill

This is my friend Stephen Hill’s book about his rape at the hands of two men when he was sixteen. It’s an emotional and heart wrenching tale of a man coming to terms with his ordeal and learning to live with his past. I was privileged enough to beta read it when he was writing it and I have to say he’s had one helluva life. If you like reading stories of true survivors, then this one is recommended. Stephen was also interviewed by Survivors in Manchester and you can find the interview at the link below.

http://www.survivorsmanchester.org.uk/interview-stephen-hill-echoes-innocence/

Echoes

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/389480

You all know I’m a big advocate of men’s rights when it comes to sexual abuse as I think they sometimes struggle to be heard. I’ve written posts about it myself and if you’d like to read them you can see them here. It’s something I feel very strongly about and in fact, I depicted a scene of female on male rape in my debut novel, ‘Cassandra by Starlight.’ I used James Landrith’s own account of his ordeal at the hands of a woman rapist for my research and as a result, James sought me out and we are now friends, even from far away. Distance has no barriers when it comes to subjects like this one.

http://www.susanmacnicol.com/category/rape-posts/

The first in the Starlight series of books
The first in the Starlight series of books

Survivors-UK-male-rape-po-0072-300x180

Civil Liberties and Sexual Rights activist James Landrith has been through the same thing. He’s vocal about his support for victims of rape and you can read all about his views -sometimes very strongly worded!- on his website.

http://jameslandrith.com/

Pic1-150x150

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/389480

Echoes

Posted in News and Appearances

Older woman, younger man – May December love affairs

The first in the Starlight series of books
The first in the Starlight series of books
Bear with me on this blog post, and I will come to point of the title in a little while…
It will come as no surprise to anyone that knows me that I started writing ‘Cassandra by Starlight’ because I had the hots for Benedict Cumberbatch and the only way anything was going to happen in that arena was if I cloned him.
I’m no scientist so that was unfortunately not an option. However, the next best thing to having divine Cumberbatch cells cultivating in a petri dish, or the man himself being replicated in some futuristic cloning machine just for my own personal pleasure, was to create a fictional character modelled on him so I could have my evil way with him. *shivers at that thought*
Enter Bennett Devon Saville. (See what I did there –the name?) Thirty seven years old, debonair, sexy, auburn haired, green eyed, laconic, sophisticated, hot as hell London actor and thespian. With loads of money to boot. And a red Jaguar XKR convertible. In short, ladies and gentlemen, my hottest fantasy come true. Now I know there are people who know me out there rolling their eyes and tut-tutting in sheer resignation as I express these base desires. Sorry, chaps. I’ve never kept it a secret and it makes me a little sad but I’m prepared to suffer the consequences.
Now, it’s a little difficult to get down and dirty with a fictional character, however tasty they may be. There’s only one way to do that. You have to create another fictional character to take up the slack you yourself can’t get to grips with. And so Cassie Wallace, age forty seven, was born. Well she had to be my age, didn’t she, so the fantasy could play itself out in the most realistic way possible. And the two characters meet, like the look of each other, go to dinner, have a night of passionate, steaming sex and the rest – you’ll have to read the book to find out.
And now we get to the crux of the matter on the whole ‘older woman, younger man’ affair. There’s a ten year age gap between these two. Bennett is man who needs a little stability in his crazy, show business life. He finds Cassie’s maturity, her outlook on life, her calming presence and her feistiness a real attraction. Cassie finds Bennett sexy, attentive, willing to overlook the age gap, and downright horny for her. What woman in her right mind wouldn’t want this in a man?
I’ve read various posts and articles about the allure for these types of relationships.
The man likes it because
• The woman is self-assured
• She has life and sexual experience
• She has faced her insecurities
• She may have money
• Some men aren’t looking for long term commitment and think this is a way to get that
The woman likes it because
• She has a younger man on her arm, one who may physically be in better shape than an older one
• They have stamina
• They’re in their prime
• He makes her feel younger
• Some women aren’t looking for long term commitment and think this is a way to get that

There are countless reasons these couples may be attracted to each other. It’s not all about the older ‘Cougar’ going out to nab a man so she can showcase him on her arm like eye candy. But it’s a perfectly valid reason for some. And hell, if you can do it, why the heck not.
Bennett simply finds Cassie attractive –she’s a curvy size 16, but goes to gym, is a beautiful, mature woman who takes care of herself and has a sex drive to meet his (which is pretty rampant). He loves the fact she’s a self-made business woman, intelligent, sexy and grounded.
Cassie finds Bennett extremely attractive, attentive, suave, intelligent and funny. He’s a man who has a lot of ambition, the drive to get him there and he can take charge when she needs him to- both in and out the bedroom. He’s also warm and loving and protective.

Below you can find some links with articles to this topic, all giving different point of views. There is no right answer or motivation. The bottom line is that if you like being with someone, it should make no difference what their age, gender, religious views, or colour is. You’re just two people enjoying each other’s company. And to hell with anyone who says differently.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/celebritynews/6240396/Younger-men-dating-older-women-makes-perfect-sense.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/15/fashion/15women.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
Linda Franklin, author of ‘Don’t Ever Call me Ma’am!’ http://www.sheknows.com/love-and-sex/articles/815463/older-woman-younger-man-benefits-and-pitfalls-1/page:2

To buy the books featuring Bennett and Cassie – ‘Cassandra by Starlight’ and ‘Together in Starlight’
http://www.boroughspublishinggroup.com/authors/susan-mac-nicol

Posted in Uncategorized

Character Interview with Bennett Saville from ‘Cassandra by Starlight’.

Bennett Saville is 37 years old. He’s in a relationship with a woman ten years older than him, Cassie Wallace. He’s an actor for stage and screen, living in London. Bennett is from a wealthy background, the eldest son of a businessman. He’s had a fairly traumatic childhood, with a mother who is schizophrenic and a father who is a strict disciplinarian and not averse to causing violence to his older son. He used a trust fund he had to go to Warwick University to study drama then attended LSDA –London School of Dramatic Arts to finish his training, He owns his own theatre on Panton Street in London, called The Val, with his gay best friend, Dylan Donahue. He has his own hit TV series called ‘Gabriel’ on the BBC, about a Cambridge University professor, Gabriel Lockwood, who discovers he’s descended from a long line of wizards.

1.Bennett, tell us. How did you first meet your writer?

Hmm. We first met when she was watching some BBC TV series called ‘Sherlock’ Apparently the young actor that plays the part of Sherlock, Benedict Cumberbatch, really took her fancy and she thought he was a lot like me. So she decided to use him to ‘flesh me out’ so to speak and here we are. (Wry smile) I can’t complain. He seems a nice enough chap.  Although I think I’m better looking than he is *chuckles*

 2.Want to dish about him/her?

God, she’s a complete fan girl about this bugger Cumberbatch.  You’d think she’s eighteen instead of *politely coughs behind his mouth*.  She’s also incredibly focused, has a rather irreverent sense of humour which I like, and has a weakness for scantily clad men, as anyone can tell by looking at her bloody Facebook page.

4. Tell us about your favorite scene in the book.

*Smiles slyly* I suppose I could say that most of them involve the sex scenes. I had no idea I was such a horny bastard but I like it. And having a beautiful and very sexy woman like Cassie just makes it so much easier.

But joking aside, I really like the scene outside the Val, the night of the opening of our new play, Camden Town. The play went really well, and I was on such a high afterwards. Then that tosser, Adam Brooks from Look Now! had to go and spoil it by asking about what it was like being with an older woman and did I have any bloody ‘mother issues’. *He scowls.” But I showed him. “Smiles in satisfaction* I managed to get the picture of me kissing Cassie in public in every major tabloid the next day. It was a great feeling.

6. What do you like to do when you are not being actively read somewhere?

I’m a great fan of classical music, Shostakovich being one of my favourite composers. I attend some of the concerts at the various places in London where the London Symphony Orchestra play. I have a neighbour who’s a cellist in the ensemble.  I tend to read a fair bit – I have a tendency towards psychological thrillers and crime drama, but I read a fair amount of non-fiction as well- mostly historical stuff. I like getting down to visit the family in Beaconsfield and saying hello to my nephew Sean, who’s five. He lives with my dad and his housekeeper and it’s always nice to see them all. We have a bit of a bad history, dad and I, so building bridges always seems like a good idea for Sean’s sake.

8. Tell the truth. What do you think of your fellow characters?

Well, obviously, I adore Cassie. She’s my world. I knew when I met her she was something special. She’s warm, funny and keeps me on track. She grounds me. Show business can be a tough place to sustain a relationship.

My best friend Dylan- I’ve talked about him later on in the interview so I’ll give him a miss here.

Ian –Ian’s a great chap and a good friend. He’s steady, he’s clever, he is a surgeon after all. He volunteers in far flung places as a doctor with Medicin Sans Frontieres, and I really respect him for that. When I first met him we had a few issues as he was interested in Cassie. He’s also closer to her age and I thought this might be a draw for her. After all, there are ten years between her and I. But I’m glad to see I won her heart first.

Alec- Alec is my publicist and my mentor. He’s the person I rely on to keep me focused in the business and guide me where I need to be. He’s an incredibly supportive person, extremely clever (I seem to be surrounded by them, perhaps some of it will rub off) and very tough. He’s a shark in the great pond of show business and people can underestimate him at their own peril.

Bella- Bella is my ex-girlfriend. She’s pretty drive to succeed in her profession and in fact, she was the one who left me to pursue a dream she had of becoming famous in LA. I don’t blame her for that. She’s beautiful and bright and I hope she finds someone like I have with Cassie.

11. What impression do you make on people when they first meet you? How about after they’ve known you for a while?

Hmm. If you’re anything like Cassie, she thought I was an arrogant, awkward tosser. *Grins* I am, I suppose, well, maybe not a tosser per se, but the other two adjective fit. I do have a tendency to rub some people up the wrong way because I tell it like it is and to be honest, because of my background and the fact I come from money, and like to dress well, a lot of people assume I’m posher than I am.

But I think once you get to know me you’ll find I’m a pretty down to earth type of bloke, who enjoys a beer in the pub as much as the next man. I’d like to think I’m a good friend, and a caring fiancé to Cassie. I was told once I was a true gentleman and someone a person could trust with anything, so I guess that’s a good thing too.

12. What’s the worst thing that’s happened in your life? What did you learn from it?

(Bennett is quiet here as he contemplates talking about something)

I can’t really go into detail here as it was far too personal. Suffice it to say I suffered a really traumatic event, one over which I had no control. It was one of the darkest periods of my life and I’ve had a few, including where Cassie was stabbed by my mother and nearly lost her life.

What did I learn from it? That being in show business, in the public eyes brings its own dangers and you have to manage them and be prepared. While I would never have been prepared for what happened to me, there were warning signs but it was too late. So I’d advise anyone out there in the public eye who feels they’re being stalked as I was – be very careful and take the threat seriously.

I also learnt that I had an incredible circle of friends and family who supported me through what could have been a much more traumatic event than it was.

13. Tell us about your best friend.

Oh dear God. Really? You want to hear about Dylan? Fine, but don’t say I didn’t warn you *Grins widely*

Dylan and I have been friends since our university days in Warwick. He won’t mind me telling you he’s five years older than me, as he doesn’t think he looks it. He’s a bit of a narcissus that way. He’s a gay Irishman, absolutely irrepressible and incredibly talented as a writer and producer of plays. He manages the theatre we own together, The Val, and writes and directs the plays that I appear in. He’s an absolute card, sometimes a little over the top and he certainly isn’t politically correct.  We’ve travelled the world together, had our fair few adventures but if there’s one person I know I can always rely on, it’s him.

15. What’s the best trait your author has given you? What’s the worst?

I suppose my best trait is the fact that I have acting talent. It’s been a long hard slog and it’s taken years of studying and actually performing to fine tune it, but it needed to be there in the first place. I love acting –beside Cass, it’s my passion and I can’t imagine doing anything else as a living. The fact I get to do what I love and earn a living is a complete turn on.

My worst trait has to be my bloody temper. “sighs gloomily*  I take after my Dad in that respect. I have learned to control it but it used to get Dylan and I into a few scrapes when we were younger. It’s a bit like a red tide that just wells up inside and I have to suppress the urge to get violent or it could turn nasty. Cassie tends to be able to calm me down better than most people.

19. If your story were a movie, who would play you?

*Chuckles loudly* I’d like to say Victor Webster, he from Mutant X fame, as he’s a great guy and I know him quite well. But Sue would kill me. Of course it can only be the infamous Benedict Cumberbatch that could play me. *Coughs politely* In fact, I think she might have written this book in the hope it would be turned into a TV series and that would be exactly what she’d do. But that’s just my humble opinion. Don’t quote me on that one.

20. Describe the town where you live.

The city of London is where I live. I have an apartment in Westminster which overlooks Trafalgar Square. It’s an incredibly diverse place, and I can’t imagine living anywhere else.  I love the sounds and the sights of London, the fact you can get anything you feel like eating food wise within a couple of city blocks. Indian, Chinese, Thai, Korean, Vietnamese- it’s all there. I’m a bit of a fast food junkie I’m afraid. The theatre is within walking distance, our favourite watering hole, De Hems Dutch Bar, isn’t too far either and the tubes make travelling a breeze.  Why would I live anywhere else.

22. Will you encourage your author to write a sequel?

She’s already been hard at working two other books in this series, which she calls her Starlight Series. The second book in the trilogy is already out- Together in Starlight- and the third one is with her editor now. That one’s called Starlight and Promises.  I won’t tell you too much about that one and spoil her surprise but there is a pretty romantic ending to that one, and one which I personally love for obvious reasons when you get to read it.

Bennett, thanks so much for being with me today and sharing your thoughts. Anyone wanting to read more about Bennett and Cassie and their friends, visit Sue’s website www.susanmacnicol.com

Posted in News and Appearances

Devoted fan or crazy stalker?

Devoted Fan or Crazy stalker- Where does ‘celebrity’ end and ‘privacy’ begin?
In my book, Cassandra by Starlight, the hero, Bennett Saville, finds himself eerily stalked by someone as he travels around the world in his profession as an actor. He encounters them at the theatre he owns, outside the film studios he works in, in the garage basement where he parks his car, in his hotel room in Paris when he’s there for an Awards ceremony, and when he’s with Cassie in Venice. The result of this is a very violent and intrusive sexual abuse event that leaves him vulnerable and traumatised. The man is forcibly restrained and raped by a woman.
(I’m not getting into this old chestnut here though, that’s not what this blog post is about. If you want to see my views on this, check out the Rape Posts on my other blog at http://www.susanmacnicol.com)
As a celebrity you are used to a certain amount of public adoration, curiosity and downright nosiness. It’s the price one pays for being in the public eye. But lately, things appear to have been spiralling out of control with people thinking they have a right to ‘own’ celebrities and broadcast anything they do to all and sundry.
Take this case below for example. Actor Benedict Cumberbatch was ‘cyber stalked’ a while ago with a close neighbour tweeting about everything he was doing in the comfort of his own home.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/9925578/Sherlock-star-Benedict-Cumberbatch-is-cyberstalked.html
Now as a Cumberbatch fan girl myself, I can understand the interest in the man; but this is just downright creepy and dangerous. The man is in his home, for God’s sake. He has every right to expect privacy. God forbid he was doing something he shouldn’t, like having a Roman orgy. While I’m sure there are plenty of fans who’d like to be a fly on the wall for that one, even participate in it, that’s not really how things work. What someone does in their own home is entirely their business and shouldn’t be subject to public consumption.
There are even apps you can get like Gawker Stalker that track celebrities movements on a map. I’m not promoting the use of these in any way, but they are out there and if you are a serious fan or stalker, you’d know more about them already than I do.
http://gawker.com/160338/introducing-gawker-stalker-maps
There’s one called Starspotter that ‘is perfectly designed to find your much loved celebrities, events and gossip in real-time, closer to your location or anywhere you travel in the world. StarSpotter captures your favorite celebrities, politicians, musicians, athletes and models on the go in your pocket
http://www.mediabistro.com/appnewser/starspotter-app-takes-celebrity-stalking-to-the-next-level_b33250
A property website in New York , Rentenna, has a new ‘feature’ for their site – “Find Your Celebrity Neighbor.” You register/login, type in your address, and a list of nearby celebs pops up, with links to their Wikipedia bios.
Here in the UK we even have our first-ever National Stalking Clinic, based at Chase Farm Hospital in Enfield, north London. It rehabilitates stalkers and tries to get them out of the mindset they find themselves in by fixating on another person and causing ruin not only to their own lives as a stalker, but to the ‘stalkee’ as well.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2013/feb/17/how-to-rehabilitate-a-stalker
And new legislation has even had to be passed to manage this ever growing threat. As of 25th November 2012 amendments to the Protection from Harassment Act have been made that makes stalking a specific offence in England and Wales for the first time.
http://www.stalkinghelpline.org/faq/about-the-law/
With all of this going on, how are celebrities supposed to protect themselves against the ever present threat of not only a physical stalker, but a cyber-stalker? I can assure you cyber-stalking is an easy pit to fall into. I see it every day when I’m online. I see tweets and information passing cyber hands and I sometimes wonder, “Has this one maybe crossed the line or am I just being too bloody hardnosed? Give the man/woman a break and leave them alone, just for a moment.”
Most fandoms and fan bases are very protective of their chosen celebrities. They would never step over the line and infringe on the person’s privacy. They tend to get extremely upset with people when they do, as is the case with the Cumberbatch fandom. They cut people off if they feel uncomfortable; send them to ‘virtual’ Coventry. But there are still unscrupulous people out there who don’t see what they do as an invasion of privacy but more of a right.
I suppose there are two schools of thought –
He/She is a celebrity. They chose to be famous so they should just shut up and live with it. If they don’t like it, they shouldn’t have got famous in the first place. They whinge when we don’t talk about them, they whinge when we do. What the hell do they want? They are a public figure – they have no rights to privacy and if it means I sit in a tree overlooking their front yard and snap pictures, or spy on them through the window, that’s fine. If I want to tell the world where they are, what they’re doing, who they’re with, how many times they picked their nose and where they’re going next – let me.
He/She is a celebrity. They worked hard to be famous (most anyway, some are just undeservedly catapulted into it by the advent of cheesy reality TV shows but that’s another blog post and I expect a lot of hate mail when I put that one up) and they expect a certain amount of public acknowledgement and recognition. But they are also private human beings and deserve their privacy when in a private environment, a place where they have a reasonable expectation of privacy like with a partner or family member in a quiet restaurant, or in the gym, or quietly watching a film in a cinema.
The question is – which one are you?