Guess who's hanging out at my blog today?
Yep, it's my chum, Jo Myles and she's here to chat about Tailor Made, art, sewing and a sequel.
Hi Lillian, thanks for having me over to answer some questions today. Always a pleasure to hang out with you!
There is no mistaking you as a British author, it is reflected in every word that you write, whether it be in language, attitude or the area. In Tailor Made, much like Merry Gentlemen, Bath is a real and interesting backdrop to the story. Do you ever worry that your wholly British style might alienate some readers?
I’ve always known that could be an issue as so many other writers told me I had to Americanise if I wanted to get anywhere in m/m. However, I decided to make my Britishness a selling point, as at the time it was something so unusual in our genre, with most of the other British writers setting their stories in the States. I don’t really worry about it anymore, even though I know from occasionally browsing Amazon reviews of my titles that some readers are indeed put off. The thing is, I’m just not willing to compromise and Americanise my spelling and vocabulary. I do try to make sure any puzzling words can be understood in the context, but I don’t agree that my Britishness should be dumbed down so that people in other countries aren’t exposed to the unfamiliar.
I also know that there are readers who adore my British voice and plead with me to never give in and change it!
Modern conceptual art takes a battering in Tailor Made. Is this a case of author’s opinion creeping into the story or are you a fan of the ‘pile of bricks’ style of artistic expression?
Guilty of the former! I had to spend time studying conceptual art at college, and visited many Turner Prize exhibitions. Most of it leaves me cold, although it is often fascinating. Give me a more traditional painting, any day. I’m a big fan of Van Gogh, Emil Nolde, Marc Chagall, etc. Colour is my thing.
Felix is, well, let’s face it, he’s a tart. He’s quite blatant about the fact that he is willing to use sex to get what he wants. Is it a risk to use a character that at first glance might come across as unsympathetic, especially since readers apparently make up their mind about a book within the first twenty percent?
It probably is a risk, but I’d soon get bored with writing romance if I didn’t take some risks. That’s me, a compulsive risk taker. I’ve written both a hoarder and a man on dialysis as romantic heroes before. People told me I shouldn’t and that people wouldn’t want to read about them, but what do you know? Those books sold very well indeed ;)
And anyway, I LIKE unrepentant tarts. I’m not a fan of the idea that monogamy is the only way. Human sexuality is too varied and free to be crammed into little boxes like that.
You are quite an accomplished seamstress. I vaguely recall talk of a steampunk style corset and skirt combo. What is your favourite item of clothing that you have made?
Ooh, tough call! The corset is probably the item of clothing I’m most proud of as I learnt so many new skills while making it, but I also have a real fondness for my purple hairpin lace crocheted dress and my red, 50s style halter dress. I favour making quite complex vintage-style patterns and enjoy getting garments to fit me perfectly.
Crocheting and knitting too? I understand there are some crocheted cocks knocking about somewhere. I’m hoping for a display of your handiwork at the UK Meet if you still have them.
The crocheted cocks are all Anne Tenino’s doing, but I do plan on making some kind of textile cock for the Cockwalk at GRL this year. I might go for a patchwork one, though...
And I’ll be wearing some of my handmade frocks at the Meet, I promise!
The dedication in this book had me grinning like a loon for days. You have no idea how happy it made me. I’m overwhelmed that my fangirling you via email got me a dedication rather than a restraining order. Not only that, but it got me that sequel that I’d been begging for. Can you tell us a little of what we can expect in the sequel? And when
The sequel, Custom Fit, will pick up a couple of months after Tailor Made ends. Andrew and Felix have just moved into their own flat, and Felix has taken on a summer job roaming the streets dressed as a Roman Soldier, advertising a city centre business. He discovers he’s rather fond of wearing a skirt... but daring to wear women’s clothing in public is a line he’s very scared to cross.
Andrew, meanwhile, is mostly happy with their life together, and is busy making Felix a glamorous dress all of his own. The only problem in his life is figuring out how to get over his embarrassment over asking Felix if they can switch things up in bed.
It should be a fun, sexy novella, and I’m really looking forward to finding the time to write it next month. It should be out at the beginning of July, but I will be getting it professionally content edited so if there are significant issues, it might end up taking longer.
Thanks for having me round to chat, and I hope that isn’t too long for you to wait for more Andrew and Felix!