Wednesday 11 September 2019

My Life In Books with author Nigel May @Nigel_May #TheGirlUnknown @AustinMacauley #MyLifeInBooks

Luck has never been on Lucie Palmer's side. She feels her life is a cursed one, full of loneliness and cruel blows. How else can she explain being removed from the family she loved as a child? Or being imprisoned for a crime she didn't commit as a young woman? Her life isn't fair... But now it's time to rebuild her life, to start afresh. Lucie attempts to learn the secrets of her family's past, about the people she was never allowed to love. But does a curse shadow her existence even now? A curse ready to strike again? Maybe even destroy her for good? Can she finally piece together the emptiness in her life before it's too late, to no longer be the girl unknown...? With gripping twists, turns and a shocking ending, The Girl Unknown is unputdownable thriller fiction at its most electrifying.

Nigel May has published seven novels. His first six were all glam faction blockbusters, but with his brand new novel, The Girl Unknown, being published by Austin Macauley recently, he has made a change of direction and produced his first electrifying psychological thriller.

We grabbed the man dubbed as “the male Jackie Collins” to ask him about the books that have shaped his life.

My Life in Books -Nigel May 

“This is simply one of the best pieces of writing ever. It is the ultimate blockbuster as far as I am concerned and I remember reading it when I was relatively young and just becoming totally wrapped up in the storyline. It has everything that I adore in a story – death, betrayal, lies, heartache, glamour and enough air miles to circulate the globe twenty times over. It is one woman’s quest to find out who her mother is. I adore it and must have read it countless times. It’s on my Kindle all lined up to read again now. It was one of my first ever inspirations when I decided that I wanted to start writing books.”

“Agatha Christie is the master when it comes to shaping an incredible mystery to keep the reader gripped right until the very last word, And Then There Were None is my favourite Christie story by far. It is a masterpiece. It is so clever and simply brilliant. 10 strangers head to a remote island, invited by U N Owen (Unknown…genius!) and then they are bumped off one by one. There is a connection between each of them but at first they are clueless. I adore a mystery and nobody does it better than Christie. Thrills to the very last page”

“I had the entire set of them when I was a child. I really wanted to be a teenage sleuth like Joe and Frank Hardy. I thought they were the epitome of macho schoolboy cool. And when Nancy Drew popped up as well…well, I was smitten by them all! I loved the fact they could be fighting pirates, swimming with sharks or kidnapped by murderers but they were still high school kids at heart just making sure that good conquered all.”

“This was a book originally published in 1892. It is the story of the most beautiful Zulu woman called Nada. The reason it is so special to me is that it was being read by my granddad when my mum was born back in 1927, so they decided to call her Nada. The name was actually misspelt on the birth certificate though so she was actually christened Naida with an extra i. My mum sadly isn’t alive anymore but I still have a copy of the book and I treasure it. It’s a good story and one that is so dear to my heart.”

“She was and always will be the queen of the bonkbuster. I have probably read more Jackie Collins’ stories than books by any other author. She is the ultimate and my respect for her is huge. Lovers & Players is my favourite book of hers. It’s all about the trials and tribulations of the three Diamond brothers – it has all of the classic Collins ingredients – love, sex, fame, murder. Just fabulous. She is definitely one of the reasons I write the books I do. The day I was compared to her was one of the best of my life. She is a Goddess.”

“There was a series of Christina books, all about the lady herself travelling the world and getting up to all sorts of saucy shenanigans. There was one of them on my bedroom bookshelf when I was a teenager. I think it might have been my dad’s, I never asked, but I read it and just thought it was explosively naughty. It opened my eyes to some things I’d never heard of, but made me realise that writing naughty bedroom scenes isn’t always gratuitous. It was doing it with style before 50 Shades was even a glimmer in its author’s eye.”

“As a series of books that really make you care about the characters and want to follow them throughout the ups and downs of their lives then it gets no better than this series. It’s a tale of life for a group of misfit friends in San Francisco and the action throughout the entire series spans decades. The writing is simple, stylish and beautifully personal. I have wept buckets reading these books as they really do shoot straight to your heart. Wonderful writing and it taught me the importance of bringing characters back in different books. If someone survives one of my novels, then quite possibly they may pop up in another.”

“Belinda is one of my best friends and her debut novel was a huge inspiration to me. Firstly because her becoming published proved that nice things happen to nice people and secondly because one of the characters, Colin, is based on me, which is pretty cool as far as I am concerned. Belinda’s books are always incredibly well written – I have read them all – and she writes as she speaks which for me means I have Belinda’s voice in my mind as I read. She is one of the most inspirational, motivational, beautiful people I know. I adore her.”

“Another massive inspiration for me with my glam fiction. I love her books and modern-day glam fiction novels are always served up with appetising relish by Ms Fox. I have adored all of her books but Power Games was such a clever idea with its ‘seven deadly sinners’ tagline that it’s one of my all-time favourites. I now count Victoria as a friend as I’ve met her on many occasions and I’m thrilled she likes my books as much as I like hers. I’m counting the days till her next release!”

“I love a good autobiography and actor Rupert’s is one of the best. I guess that many celebrities might not actually write every word of their books but I assume Rupert did because his turn of phrase is witty, sardonic and layered with camp and bitchery. Plus his life is an amazing tale to read. It’s a delightful read.” 

Nigel May - September 2019 

You can also follow Nigel on Twitter @Nigel_May and Instagram @nigelmay 


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