I wrote the Brad trilogy first. It began as a story called The Intruder. This was published in Mister magazine. I then sent it to the US where it was again published. The editor thought it would make a good novella. He also thought some sex wouldn't go amiss. There was no sex in Intruder. And so began my journey into erotica. The first of the Brad trilogy novella was a hit. The other two soon followed.
I'd been discharged from the RN for being gay and there was nothing I could do about it. I then thought that maybe there was. I could write about gay sailors having lots of sex on ships. And boy would they have lots of sex. So, that is why Brad became a sailor. And the satisfying part, the RN could do nothing about it. Yes, sailors did have sex with each other and the Navy would have to live with it.
Next came Virgin Sailors, my first published novel. It did well very quickly and another was asked for. I hadn't anything to give and had not really thought about it. I could only think that the Brad trilogy would make a good novel and suggested this. Publisher agreed and so Brad was born. It still remains my bestselling novel and 13 years on still sells.
Writing a novel is hard work. Writing the next one is even harder. You just wonder if you can do it, if you really want to do it. A blank page is a very intimidating thing. A blank page every day, because that's what you start with, is even more so.
We all write in different ways. Some need to have a plan, right down to how many words and chapters, setting, all the characters and the rest. I, right from the start, have no idea what I am about to write. Yes, I might have an idea of an ending or the start, or something in the middle, and oddly even a title, but usually I've not a clue where the story will go. And so it was with Going Down.
I'd hitched a lot in the navy to save money, it was common back then, and thought there might be a story there. You meet a lot of weird and wonderful people if you are lucky when hitching. You meet some scary ones too if you are not. And so Luke stepped onto my blank page and set off down the road. I've always found it exciting wondering where I'd be taken and, just as in real life, which path will be taken when the mind creates a crossroad of ideas. Before I knew it he'd hitched from Scotland to Dorset and met some very interesting people on his journey.
I grew up in my beloved countryside and only ever spent a year of my childhood living in a dreadful town. Not quite true because I was born in London's East End and lived there until I was three. Thankfully, I recall little of it. Because of this my novels are set between on board ship and countryside romps. Another constant in my writing is humour. If my story has not made you laugh then I've only done half the job. Fun and laughter is the lifeblood of a ship's crew. When you have two hundred sailors living in the same tin can for months you will understand why. The other constant is sex. One of my favourite reviews was a guy who said he'd never laughed so much while sporting a boner and didn't know it was possible.
With three novels selling well, I began to believe I might have the makings of a writer. I was certainly enjoying writing and amazed myself that I could write about sex so readily. And write about it I did in Riding the Big One, when I sent Sandy to sea. Wall to wall, or bulkhead to bulkhead, sex, it has been called the hottest gay novel ever. Not sure about that but I did have to stop a few times when writing it.
BRAD had done a couple of reprints and was selling well. He has always been special to me. I decided he needed another adventure. I would do a sequel. I called it Run Naked, Run Free. I brought Brad home and away from sailor buddies. He soon found himself in the company of his favourite sexy farmhand, Liam. What Brad did not know, love was just around the corner by way of a delightful boy band singer. Before he knew it, he was smitten and in love once more.
I've often been asked if I have done all the things in my books. A good deal of them, is the truthful answer. It's good to have hands-on knowledge if you are going to write about something I always think. I was lucky to find plenty of sailors to help me with my research.
Names are important in my books. It might not seem so but I think hard about names. A writer has to live with the names when he's telling the story. If a name doesn't feel right each time you hear it, then it must be wrong and has to go.
Taddy was the name I gave my next sailor. I sent him off to a training base in Skin. Skin is the term used to describe pretty sailors. Loosely based on the notorious HMS Ganges base for trainee sailors., there would be plenty of 'skin' for Taddy to admire there. A sailor's life is not all fun and frolics Taddy was soon to discover.
I knew from an early age I was destined to become a sailor. I had no idea I was to be a writer, too. In three years I'd written six novels and now had 'followers' who liked my writing. Things were just great, especially after having my life turned upside down after getting tossed out of the navy. But my Navy life had taught me one good lesson - when things are going really well and life is just wonderful, be on your guard, be very much on your guard. As sure as eggs is eggs, the day approacheth when your legs will be swept from under you.
I was just toying with ideas of my next novel when out of the blue Prowler told me they were pulling out of publishing and no more copies of my books would be printed. I was stunned, It took almost two years to get the publishing rights back. I did own the copyright. All attempts to find a publisher failed. I had thought that the US publisher would snap them up but they were only into short story anthologies It seemed all was lost. I was sure my books still had plenty of life in them.
Then one day a glimmer of hope, I discovered a thing called ebooks. Not knowing anything about websites, or the internet, and never having been online, I bought a modem, got online and began to look into this amazing world of ebooks. I did have one bit of good fortune, Prowler agreed to me using the covers of my novels.
Slowly, I began to build a website in preparation to start again, but with me as author/publisher this time. The Phoenix rises!
My novel COWBOYS CAN FLY to become a film. Stay informed.