Wednesday, November 18, 2015

M/M Veteran's Day Scavenger Hunt, Interview With Mark from Sinfully Sexy Book Reviews

Welcome to the MM Veterans Day Scavenger Hunt

Today I am hosting Mark from Sinfully Sexy Book Reviews. Mark graciously answered some questions for me. <3 <3 Enjoy!

What did you do in the Air Force?

Well, I didn't fly planes for sure - lol! Although I did fly in enough planes. I was actually a musician, clarinettist to be precise, in the RAF Music Services. So apart from the usual military side, my days mostly consisted of playing my clarinet on parade for ceremonial occasions in the UK and overseas. So yes, I did all the usual stuff like The Changing of the Guard outside of Buckingham Palace, etc. We got to travel a lot and I definitely saw some places that would never have been possible if not for the RAF. It was a great life and enjoyed the ten years I did but alas one thing led to another and decisions has to made so left the RAF in 1996.

How popular is English for students in Germany?

English is very popular in Germany, for the blog it is actually the third largest country on our our blog statistics with readers and followers, coming in behind the USA at no. 1 and the UK at no.2. So the Germans have no problem with English, either reading it, listening to it or speaking it. As Germany is also one of the world's largest export countries English is also important for business as a means of communicating internationally. They are perfectionists *lol - sweeping statement I know* which is a very admirable quality most have and this means that they are always looking for ways to improve their English, this is where I come in as an English teacher. So there is a big potential market for M/M romance in Germany too. My husband also reads M/M romance although he likes to read in his native language which is German. I can understand this as you still get a lot more from a book or film when reading or listening in your native language but more and more books are now being translated in German thanks to such publishers as Dreamspinner Press, just to mention just one among many great publishers.

What was your favorite thing about being in the military?

Definitely the comradeship. You make friends in the military that last a lifetime, friendships that are very difficult to find outside. Team work is always the name of the game and you breathe supporting each other, helping each other and putting others first and being there for your comrades. That's the only way the military can work really. You all have different personalities, backgrounds and you won't get on with everyone just like in real life but when the chips are down you know you can depend on everyone.

Would you have stayed in the military longer, made a career in the military if they had been more accepting?

Difficult question to answer really. When I was in the military homosexuality was against military law and that was only from 1986 - 1996. If caught you'd be thrown out on your ear with a dishonourable discharge. That doesn't mean I was alone, definitely not, it was like belonging to a secret underground organisation - lol! You just had to be very careful, always cover your tracks and basically remain permanently in the closet. Of course I did have my fun ;-) and met "the one" while being stationed in Germany for five years- HA! Just after I left the military the ban on homosexuality was lifted and now the UK military is an equal opportunities employer. You can get married, have a house on base with your spouse and there's no problem. A friend of mine even got a letter of congratulations from the Station Commander when he married his husband awhile ago - amazing. I would never have seen that coming when I was in and that is why I left. However, I have no regrets. We make these decisions in our lives, depending on the circumstances at the time, time goes by and things change but it was for me one of the better decisions for sure. Maybe I would have stayed as I really enjoyed it or maybe not, can't really say.

What do you like most about living in Germany?

My husband! <3 Love him to pieces! Seriously, there are many factors though. I think mainly the friends I have made here. It takes a while before Germans open up to you but when they do they have been among my longest, most loyal and truest of friends. So first the people. Secondly, I love my job. It's great to teach something, especially connected with communication, it opens up doors and I just love seeing the faces on my students when they have that light-bulb moment and understand something that they didn't before. I suppose last but not least, the beer!!! Yes, Germany has the best beer thanks to their purity laws which stops them from putting nothing else in it apart from natural ingredients. No additives, preservatives or any other chemicals. There are so many varieties with each region having it's own brewing tradition. It is a great country to live in.

What do you miss about England? People? Food? Weather?

Definitely not the weather - lol! I've been in Germany for so long now it's my home. I actually feel a little alien when I go back to the UK to be honest. However, there are times I do miss not being nearer my family, my mother, my brother and sister-in-law and of course the apple of my eye my gorgeous niece who is now six. Would be nice to have them nearer but the German side of the family are great and love them dearly too as they do me so it's all fine. Coming from Cornwall I miss being near the coast sometimes, it would be nice to have it on the doorstep so to speak as it is in Cornwall. Coming from Cornwall I sometimes get cravings for pasties and clotted cream. If you're not sure what that is then Google will provide the answer - lol!

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