Friday, April 15, 2016

Interview with Clare London with Double Scoop #giveaway


Welcome all.
Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Clare London author of Double Scoop.

Thank you for agreeing to this interview, Clare. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

Hi, I’m Clare London, a published author of gay romantic fiction, often erotic, usually contemporary, but sometimes in other worlds entirely. I publish with several publishers, in print and ebook, I also self-publish, and I offer free fiction on my website. It’s a busy life LOL.

What are your ambitions for your writing career?

I want to gain better crafting skills: I want to continue to enjoy the plots fermenting in my imagination: I want to continue to be be excited by publishing books: I want to create characters that readers can love and empathise with: I want to be (a little) more prolific: and I’d LOVE to make more money at it than I am now LOL!

What is the hardest thing about writing?

Sitting down and doing it! I have many ideas, I envisage scenes in my head, I channel character dialogue all the time. But the hardest thing is sitting down and crafting it onto a screen. I type quickly, luckily, and can find quiet time to think it through. But it’s a struggle to push a story *beyond* that initial excitement. And not only telling a story, but telling it in a professional and structured format so it’s not just a stream of consciousness/list of words LOL. I edit as I go, and am continuously tweaking and refining the words I use to create the scene. If *I’m* happy with how a page reads, then I hope another reader would be. That balance of craft and storytelling is, in my opinion, the hardest balance to strike.

If this book is part of a series, tell us a little about it?

Double Scoop is #8 of the With A Kick series. What’s With A Kick? A new and enticing ice cream franchise, with a unique blend of full flavour, mischief and romance. Patrick and Lee are struggling to make a success of their alcoholic ice cream shop in the centre of tourist London. At the same time, their business partnership may take a turn towards the personal – if either of them can find the time and nerve to go for it! Meanwhile, they cater to the wild and wonderful range of customers in the area, many of whom have their own romantic agenda. Will ice cream be the final ingredient they’re all looking for?

This is a joint-authored project with fellow author Sue Brown. Each story has a self-contained romance, but follows the history of the shop throughout. And we have plenty more stories to tell!

Who designed your book cover/s? and Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?

I use several artists for my self-published covers, and of course my publishers have wonderful portfolios to draw on as well. The cover for Double Scoop was done by the marvelous Lou Harper, as were all the covers for this series and also several others of my self-published titles. In my opinion, the cover is a very important #2 in the process of selling your book. #1 is for readers to know your book exists out there in the first place: #2 is to draw their attention i.e. the cover: #3 is for them to love your book, so you write the best one you can: and #4 is for them to tell all their friends about it LOL.

What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?

I enjoy being a hybrid author i.e. with a foot in both camps! I’ve benefitted so much from working with professional publishers – with learning how a book is produced, and all the work that goes into editing, proofing and cover art. I enjoy the benefits of their presence in the industry, and marketing and reputation. It’s a great way to meet #1 of my conditions of selling – of letting readers know I’m there! And now I’m also enjoying self-publishing: the main reasons are the quicker timeframe for getting a book out there, the extra control I have over choosing cover art and formats, and the (slightly) better rate of royalty I earn.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

I’m seeing a lot of new authors arriving in the genre at the moment, and it’s really exciting. I’m also fascinated by the empowerment that e-publishing – and particularly self-publishing – has brought to the market. But if there’s one piece of advice I’d dare to offer, it’d be to look outside your book before you launch. Read (many) other books, see how books are structured and presented, how stories are told. They may not be in your style, but they’re examples of what’s out there: what’s good practice: what *works* for readers. Your prime motivation may not be publishing success, but I’d hope it’s to tell the best story you can, and one that’s rewarding for readers. And if you do move into publishing – do some research on the market. Go Googling, follow self-help websites, ask polite questions if you have friends already in the business. It’ll all add layers of maturity and confidence to your writing. And if/when you decide you want to publish, approach it professionally and respectfully. Always.


TITLE: Double Scoop 

SERIES: With a Kick #8 

AUTHOR: Clare London 

PUBLISHER: Jocular Press 


LENGTH: 45,000 words 

RELEASE DATE: April 07, 2016

BLURB: A sudden disaster strikes everyone’s favourite ice cream shop, With A Kick. Not only does it threaten the livelihood of its owner, Patrick, but also his loyal assistant Lee. The last thing in the world Patrick would ever want to do is hurt Lee, either physically or emotionally. Why would he? He’s been falling in love with Lee since the day Lee invited himself into the shop’s business and Patrick’s life. But familiar and deeply-held insecurities hold Patrick back – he’s too gruff for Lee, too old, and his labour-of-love business is never going to make him rich.

Lee is weary of trying to make Patrick see how much he admires and cares for him. To Lee, it’s a very straightforward situation. Patrick is sexy, Patrick is smart, Patrick needs Lee’s help – and Lee needs Patrick in his life as more than a boss. All the characteristics Patrick finds inhibiting, Lee finds attractive. However, if Patrick’s apparently never going to make a move on Lee, how long should Lee wait to make his own move? Maybe Patrick thinks Lee is too clingy, too immature. Maybe Lee should give up his romantic hopes completely. If, that is, he can bear to do it.

The disaster at the shop brings them a whole new opportunity to work – and love – together to make a go of things. They’ve both got to look at each other in a whole new way. With the help of all their With A Kick friends, this could be make or break for the reluctant couple!


Patrick liked this time of morning in London. It was still too cold in February to do without a jacket and scarf, but otherwise he savoured the onset of spring and the pale, bright sun that glistened off the pavements. He took deep, regular breaths, measuring a circular route around Shaftesbury Avenue and Charing Cross Road, pacing himself slower than he would have done when he was younger. It allowed him to take proper note of life happening around him. His friends preferred to travel to St James Park or Green Park, and run around a greener space, but Patrick lived and belonged here in Soho, and never sought anywhere else. He absorbed the exotic mixture of a new day’s aroma: diesel taxi fumes, the crinkled pages of old books, grocery store spices, lingering pub beer, and fried food being cooked at the fast food venues already awake and serving breakfast. He wasn’t a man to wax lyrical at the best of times, but he loved London with a passion.

Sufficiently exercised and with his appetite now fully awake and clamouring for coffee and food, he cut through the streets towards home. Turning the final corner, he slowed to a brisk walk, then stopped. He leaned on a street lamp, regaining his breath and easing his muscles. The front window of With A Kick was already in view with its stylish red paintwork and matching awning. Patrick took a moment longer just to stand and look at it. Every day was the same: the feelings of pride and excitement just as strong. Only a few years ago, he’d been a teacher, aiming for Assistant Head, and planning out the twenty-odd years to early retirement. Good grief. What a boring life in comparison to now!

He laughed wryly to himself. Amazing how ambition could be kickstarted by the end of a lacklustre romance and a previously secure job slipping away. Eighteen months ago, he’d been saddened but not surprised by his boyfriend Rafe moving on—they’d been drifting more out than into each other’s life for months. He’d also seen the writing on the wall about his school having to make redundancies. It had still surprised him how willingly he accepted his when it was offered. He’d always thought of himself as a man who planned and relied on a steady routine, yet in the space of a couple of months, he found himself single again, out of work and slightly depressed from the culture shock. It was as if the whole bloody world had crashed, as opposed to… what? ‘An opportunity for new adventures and new challenges’, his late dad would have said. His dad had always been a glass-half-full man. Patrick remembered him fondly.

Then things had slowly but steadily fallen into place for him. Now he was an entrepreneur of sorts and, look, his latest ice cream creations were displayed in the window of his own shop, on one of Lee’s brightly coloured posters!


That was another thing that never changed: the small lurch of excitement in his gut when he thought of his friend and assistant in With A Kick. Patrick sighed, not at the overall thought of Lee—and Lee’s youth, and good looks, and energy, and cheeky jokes, and slim hips that he swayed outrageously when he was showing off in the shop, and that sexy, sexy grin… anyway, not all that, which Patrick had to admit never ceased to cheer him up every morning in the shop. No, the sigh was for the thoughts that inevitably followed. The ones that reminded him he hadn’t found much success with romance, that he was much older than Lee, much less good looking in a very bear-y type of way, much more tired of life, and with a grin that he couldn’t ever remember anyone saying was sexy

Good God. Enough self-pity for the morning! Lee had plenty of attention from other guys, he didn’t need his nearly-forty year old boss coming onto him as well like some besotted, horny teenager. Besides, Patrick had his commitment to the business to keep him busy, and that was no hardship now that they were starting to make proper money. Yes, when he thought of With A Kick, he did think of “they”. Lee and he were together in running the shop, at least.

"Patrick! Good morning."

Patrick turned and recognised Mr Amsel from the German café across the way, waving at him. Next to the elderly shopkeeper, a wiry young man straightened up from where he’d been crouching beside a pile of boxes. He was also smiling. Patrick waved back at them both. The community spirit among his fellow traders was one of the best things in his life nowadays. The young man, Curtis, was a regular supplier and odd-job man for all of the businesses around here, and Patrick made a mental note to chat to him about replacement tablecloths. Lee had suggested a funkier design, to match a range of ice cream flavours based on musical styles that Patrick was working on at the moment. And if anyone could get something new and unusual for the shop at a good price, it’d be Curtis. Patrick wasn’t in the mood for negotiation before his morning coffee, but he was sure Curtis would call into With A Kick later on for a mug of tea and a ‘Pluck and Play’, his favourite ice. He’d talk to him then.

He glanced back down the road, where the With A Kick shop-front light had just flickered on. Lee must be in early today. Patrick thought he’d declared it was his turn to open up, but he had to admit the thought of Lee bustling around inside the shop had Patrick happily quickening his step.

An alleyway ran down the side of the shop to the kitchen exit, and by the time he reached it, he’d decided they should talk to Curtis about getting some new shot glasses too. Bookings for adults-only, night time parties at With A Kick were really taking off. Out of the corner of his eye, he registered the kitchen light snapping on as well, and the thought of a hot, strong cup of coffee warmed his thoughts. Maybe Mr A would like to quote Patrick for some hot party snacks as well—

The sudden boom took his breath away: a burst of deep, throaty noise, gusting the air past Patrick’s head like the kick back from a jet. A mini tornado, belching without warning from the kitchen door, and bursting up the alleyway and onto the street.

Rubbish bags, stacked against With A Kick’s outside wall, tumbled and rolled as if tossed by giant hands. Loose packaging swirled up in a murky maelstrom, spinning and spiralling into the sky. A pavement display clattered to the ground across the road, and a passing bicycle swerved sharply in front of Patrick with a screech of brakes. A dog started barking furiously.

Patrick had been thrown backwards into the street, and staggered, trying to keep his balance. Someone behind him screamed; he watched the shocked cyclist’s mouth make the shape of “What the fuck was that?” His eyes stung; his hearing was muffled.  A youngster began to wail loudly. Stunned for those few seconds, Patrick was unable to move, unable to think clearly. Voices reached him, but all the words were garbled.




Clare took the pen name London from the city where she lives, loves, and writes. A lone, brave female in a frenetic, testosterone-fuelled family home, she juggles her writing with the weekly wash, waiting for the far distant day when she can afford to give up her day job as an accountant. She’s written in many genres and across many settings, with novels and short stories published both online and in print. She says she likes variety in her writing while friends say she’s just fickle, but as long as both theories spawn good fiction, she’s happy.  Most of her work features male/male romance and drama with a healthy serving of physical passion, as she enjoys both reading and writing about strong, sympathetic and sexy characters.

Clare currently has several novels sulking at that tricky chapter 3 stage and plenty of other projects in mind . . . she just has to find out where she left them in that frenetic, testosterone-fuelled family home.

All the details and free fiction are available at her website. Visit her today and say hello!


Winner’s Prize: 5 e-copies of Double Scoop


April 12: RJ Scott :: Diverse Reader

April 18: Joyfully Jay

April 22: Rick R. Reed :: TTC Books and More :: The Novel Approach

Thank you for stopping by and reading!!


  1. Many thanks for inviting me over - the interview was fun!

  2. I'm just waiting for that piece of tech that will take the ideas and thoughts directly from my brain and write them down for me. :-)

    Love this series.