Please welcome Scarlett Parrish to the blog today. Scarlett is one of the great gifts I’ve received from Twitter. (Seriously, I meet the best people there!) Anyway, she’s got a new book out and has (mostly) cheerfully agreed to answer my nosy interview questions, and she’s also agreed to give away a copy of her brand new story to a lucky commenter! Why? Because she’s awesome.
So, let’s get to know Scarlett a little better and check out Deep Screw.
What’s a typical day like for you?
Because I’m trying to make a go of being a writer full-time my time is pretty much my own. It calls for a lot of self-discipline, not having a boss to answer to. Pyjamas feature heavily, of course. As does caffeine.
What do you consider your greatest accomplishment?
Recovering from a nervous breakdown and writing again. It took a long time for me to feel creative.
Do you have any collections?
Do books count, or is that too obvious? Apart from those, no, as I’m a minimalist. In fact, friends have said my home looks bare, empty, or even sterile. I have the bare minimum of everything I need, apart from books. You can never have too many books.
Do you have any hobbies?
Don’t laugh. Colouring in.
Do you have any bad habits?
Staying up late when I’m trying to regulate my sleep pattern.
Do you have any pet peeves?
People who make a noise in public places, like swearing loudly on a bus. Or having their music turned up so loud everyone can hear it. Just generally existing anywhere near me. Or people who see me reading alone and take pity on me, trying to strike up a conversation.
Are there any skills you’d like to learn?
Playing a musical instrument is probably an obvious answer, but apart from the piano or violin, I’d say I’d like to learn Gaelic. It’s a dying language and I feel it’s my duty as a Scot to master it.
What’s your favorite word?
(What does it mean?)
What’s your least favorite word?
What’s your favorite curse word?
Spunktrumpet. No, shitweasel. Cuntpuffin, maybe? Wait, jizzflute!
Funny you should ask this, though, as chapter 9 of Deep Screw – actually the chapters are titled ‘frames’ to honour the game of snooker – contains an insult created by my Twitter buddy, @MetalOllie, he of ‘cheeto-faced, ferret-wearing shitgibbon’ fame. I’m honoured to have him contribute in such a creative way to my first book in years! But you’ll have to read it to find out exactly how creative he can be.
(I’m utterly delighted and inspired.)
What sound do you love?
There’s an ASMR artist on YouTube called Maria Gentlewhispering; I listen to her every night in bed. Whispering, paper-folding, page-turning sounds are very relaxing.
What sound do you hate?
Loud music coming through to my flat from the neighbours. I could cheerfully bean them in the face with a brick in a sock.
Dog or cat person?
I don’t have any pets but if I had to choose…cats. There’s a saying, “Dogs look up to you and cats look down on you.” I respect that. They just want a place to sleep and someone to feed them.
City or country?
Country, as long as I had shedloads of books and caffeine and chocolate. Glencoe would be ideal for me.
Coffee or tea?
Tea. I hate the taste of coffee, although I love its aroma.
Morning or night person?
I’m naturally an owl, but trying to get in synch with normal daylight hours and larkifying myself. It’s definitely a challenge. If I want writing to be my job I have to treat it like one, though.
Get things done early or procrastinate?
I have a household chores routine for each day of the week (no, really) but when it comes to paperwork, letters, editing…I tend to procrastinate. I’m super-productive the week before a deadline.
Introvert or extravert?
Introvert, I’d say. I don’t hate people; I’m not scared of them. I just prefer peace and quiet, and solitude. Or being in small groups.
What do you like best about writing?
Having no-one to answer to.
What do you like least?
Having no-one to answer to.
Do you have a day job in addition to writing?
I did, but now I don’t, hence my desire to really make a go of things with fiction. However, I’m open to taking another secular job. As well as being good financially, seeing a bit more of other people gives you a wider perspective and, providing I’m not dog-tired when I get home, should add life to my writing.
If you were a book, which book would you be and why?
A puzzle book – they take a lot of working out and are usually full of cross words.
What was your favorite childhood book?
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by CS Lewis, although I’m also fond of Charlotte’s Web by EB White and Tom’s Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce. And just about anything by Roald Dahl.
Questions about the book.
Deep Screw is your first book in quite some time. First off, I’d like to say, we’re so glad you’re publishing again! Has your perspective changed at all between now and then?
Well, I’ve changed my mind on self-publishing. I used to swear against it, but given how many epubs have gone under in recent years and how much work authors are expected to do as regards promo even when working with a publisher, I’ve obviously come round to the idea. When I set out, I was going to set the world on fire and be rich enough to eat diamonds. Now I’m just looking to make enough to support myself and keep a roof over my head. I’m less idealistic these days. I’ve also realised that a strict (though flexible, in times of illness) routine is essential for me if I want to finish anything!
What do you like best about Cameron?
He’s got a fine line in double entendres, which is totally not like me at all. Honest.
He sees the humour in every situation. Also, he’s Scottish.
What do you like best about Ryan?
As the book’s written in first person from Cameron’s point of view, Ryan obviously doesn’t feature as much as the main character but he finds it difficult to stay away from Cam, which is just as well. I wouldn’t have a book otherwise!
Is there anything you hope readers take away from Deep Screw?
Blue balls. There are lots of blue balls in this book.
If you were to cast your book as a movie, who would you choose to play your characters?
Do you know, this question helped me realise Deep Screw is the first book I’ve written without casting the main characters in my head first. I believe the only references made to looks are that Cam has dirty blond hair, and Ryan is darker and an inch or two shorter. So it’s pretty much open to interpretation.
What’s up next for you—care to share a bit?
I have a BDSM-lite novel called Family Jewels nearly finished. It’s M/F, so different from Deep Screw in that respect. I believe erotic romance readers are open-minded enough to cross over from M/M and back again. I read across the board and don’t think I’m alone in that. Family Jewels is actually the book I’m proudest of. It’s not hardcore whips-and-chains, but concentrates on mind-fuckery and the ‘rules’ of a relationship. I like to think it has its funny moments too. I think you always know a Scarlett Parrish book from the sarcasm and humour. It’s the book that reminded me yes, writing’s work, but it can also be fun too.
Deep Screw – Blurb:
Cameron Carmichael used to be on top of the world—literally—as a World Snooker Champion and World Number One. These days, his mood is sinking faster than his ranking. Only thirty-one and barely holding on to his top-16 placement, his automatic pass into all the big tournaments, Cameron’s considering retirement.
It might be time to hang up his snooker cue; the only thing keeping him on the circuit is a taste for the finer things in life and snooker does pay very well. And there’s something else he has to deal with—an unavoidable attraction to Ryan Miller, a cocky young challenger with an eye for the trophies that used to be Cameron’s.
Deep Screw – Excerpt:
Then I become aware of someone slightly off to one side, hovering in the background. The dark brown of a jacket nearing, then jerking back as if shocked. It’s as if the wearer wanted a drink too, then saw something – someone – at the bar which, or who, surprised them.
So I look up. Ryan. Of course. Who else? And I catch his eye. He looks around, nervously, probably wondering if he can make a sharp exit without making it obvious to other people in the bar he’s exiting because of me.
“It’s all right,” I tell him, turning away. “I don’t bite.”
He clears his throat, still hesitant, still lurking near the bar stool at my side like it’s going to hurt him. Maybe sitting down anywhere near me would be an admission of something he doesn’t want to face up to. And to be honest, if I make him so uncomfortable, I’d rather he go drink somewhere else. I don’t want to be reminded of what happened between us any more than he does. Well, not if he’s going to persist in thinking it’s shameful, anyway. Something dirty, to be hidden.
Mind, in the world we occupy, it would have to remain hidden. Secretive. If it got out…our private lives would become more interesting than our respective careers.
I shake my head. Not that there’s anything to remain discreet about. It was a one-night thing. A stoned, drunk one-night thing that he crept away from, telling me all I need to know about his feelings.
“I just didn’t…I don’t know…”
“What to drink?” I wave a ten-pound note at the barman and ask for a random bottled beer, not caring what he brings me. My thirst increased tenfold when I realised it was Ryan beside me. Glancing to one side, I acknowledge his surprise, if the raised eyebrow and nervous look at the barman are anything to go by. He was probably expecting me to offer to buy him a drink. After I’ve pocketed my change and taken my first swig, I say without looking up, “You can buy your own.”
“Oh, I wasn’t…I wasn’t…”
“I hope you’re more articulate on the snooker table than you are in conversation.”
Again, Ryan coughs, and finally, finally, takes the bloody barstool beside me. Not that I was particularly desperate for him to – in fact, I’d feel an awful lot more comfortable if he went to another bar – but for some reason it irritates me, his uncertainty. Shit or get off the pot, as the saying goes. Added to which, his uncertainty, his jitters, they’re annoying. An insult to me. It’s like he thinks I’m going to announce to everyone in this crowded room what we did. I’m not so stupid. I don’t want to damage what remains of my career, and I’m not about to dump a bucket of tabloid gossip all over his, either. I have more honour than he seems to think. I just wish he understood that.
He orders his drink, nothing I pay much attention to. But then, it’s hard to pay attention to the words coming out of his mouth when, now that he’s sitting beside me, I’m increasingly aware of the thereness of him.
Deep Screw – Buy links:
To enter the contest to win an ebook copy of Deep Screw, please leave a comment, and a winner will be chosen at random next Saturday.