With his brand new novel, Scandalous Lies, being published by Bookouture this month, we grabbed the man dubbed as “the male Jackie Collins”, Nigel May, to ask him about the books that have shaped his life.
Lace by Shirley Conran
“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.”
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
“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 And Then There Were None is my favourite Christie story by far. 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.”
The Hardy Boys mysteries by Franklin W Dixon
“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.”
Nada The Lily by H Rider Haggard
“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.”
Lovers & Players by Jackie Collins
“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.”
Christina’s World by Blakeley St James
“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 erotic writing isn’t always gratuitous. It was doing it with style before 50 Shades was even a glimmer in its author’s eye.”
The Tales Of The City series by Armistead Maupin
“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.”
Divas Las Vegas by Belinda Jones
“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.”
Power Games by Victoria Fox
“Another massive inspiration for me. I love her books and modern-day bonkbusters 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 til her next release!”
Red Carpets And Other Banana Skins by Rupert Everett
“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.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nigel May has been described as “the UK’s male Jackie Collins” and is an author, TV host and journalist. His three fiction novels have all been published by Bookouture.
His first glam fiction novel was TRINITY, an action-packed blockbuster (or bonkbuster) about the lives of the rich and famous. Glamour, beauty, fame and celebrity mix with murder, intrigue and danger to create an explosive novel which gained incredible reviews and fans across the globe. His follow-up was the glitz-meets-grit whodunit ADDICTED which was also a huge success and once again dived into the diamond-dipped world of the mega-rich but showed that all of the money and fame in the world do not always make for a happy ending. His third novel SCANDALOUS LIES is steeped in secrets, sin, sex and scandal and takes readers around the world as a mysterious celebrity disappearance is investigated. His books have been Amazon best sellers, read by celebrities and fellow authors alike, and have proved that a man can successfully write in a ‘bonkbuster world’ that has always been a strongly female domain.
Nigel was the only male writer amongst 44 authors featured in the chart-topping, beach-read anthology of short-stories SUNLOUNGER. He also contributed a short story to SUNLOUNGER 2.
On television he regularly presents on UK shopping channels where he has built up a substantial following. He has also featured on Channel 4, C5, ITV and broadcast live from America. He is also one of the UK’s most popular craft personalities, having launched his own successful range, A-May-Zing.
As a writer he has written for many of the UK’s most successful magazines and newspapers, specialising in showbiz and celebrity, as well as writing on subjects ranging from relationships through to exotic travel.