We caught up with best-selling Xcite author Elizabeth Coldwell to find out more about her latest series of books and learn about writing male-male romance.
Xcite: Tell us a little about Steel City Seductions?
Steel City Seductions is the first in a trilogy of books based around the fictional Steel City nightclub in Sheffield. Each of the books features a relationship between one of the male staff members at the club and a man they come into contact with during the course of their work. In this story, the main character is Danny Rowan, who works as the chauffeur for the club’s owner, Scott Beresford. He’s asked to go down to Sheffield station and pick up that evening’s performer, female impersonator Crystal Devine. Until that point, Danny’s always thought of himself as 100% straight, but when he sees Crystal, who looks like a very convincing woman, he’s intrigued by the thought that she’s a he under the surface.
Xcite: What was the inspiration behind the book?
Elizabeth: I’m a sucker for some of the celebrity documentaries and reality series on channels like Channel 5 and Sky Living, and I saw a show where women were trying to lose weight so they could win a job as a professional lookalike of their favourite celebrity. The idea of someone having sex with someone who spent their life pretending to be somebody else intrigued me, and my original idea was to write about a female lookalike. But the more I thought about it, the more I knew I wanted to cast a drag queen in that role, because then you also have the extra layer of impersonation with someone who’s living their life as the opposite sex.
Xcite: You’ve written erotic fiction in various different genres, but what appeals to you about male/male fiction in particular?
Elizabeth: The only thing better than having one hot guy in a sex scene is having two hot guys, and I like the challenge of writing about sex and relationships from a male perspective. Of course, it helps that it’s a really popular genre with readers, so I know there’s an audience for my stories.
Xcite: Of all the characters you’ve written, who is your favourite?
Elizabeth: I love Jamie Desmond, the hero of Ridden Hard. He’s an up-and-coming actor, of the type you see cast a lot in British low-budget gangster films and know the face but can never remember the name. I suppose he’s the type of bloke I’d like to be if I were male, and I enjoy seeing life through his eyes. One of the books on my to-write list is a sequel to Ridden Hard, in which Jamie goes to film a TV series in the States and finds himself the object of attention of two very different men.
Xcite: What are you reading at the moment?
Elizabeth: I’ve got a Mary Higgins Clark thriller on the go. One of my other ambitions is to write a romantic suspense novel – it’s a genre I’ve only dabbled in before now– so I’m seeing how one of the experts does it.