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1. When did you decide to become an author and what impact has this had on your life?
Goodness, I’ve stalled on the very first question. When did I decide to become an author? I don’t think that I ever actually decided. Just that there was an idea that refused to go away, and I started writing, about ten years ago now.

2. Tell us about your latest work and what motivated you to write it:
My latest two books were published on the same day – two stories about a Boys’ Home. They are light-hearted in nature, though for many of the boys, there is a background of abuse. The stories are not about abuse, but about the boys – their characters, their scheming, mishaps and mischief, and their aspirations.
Those are my latest books. The first was very different, and has generated some controversy for its subject and for its content. ‘Not a Man’ has its fans, loving it because they love its hero, Shuki. It has also had a lot of criticism – ten-year-old Shuki was a ‘bed-boy,’ which means that his ‘job’ involved sex with the Master. This means there are accounts of sex where relevant. And then there was the event that changed him – the castration operation. This was a defining event in his life. It had to be included. To omit it would have been cowardice.
‘Not a Man’ was on the Writers’ site, Authonomy, before I had the offer to publish. On Authonomy, there were enough fans that it achieved the prize of the ‘Editors’ Desk,’ but there were also some reviews that accused me of writing pornography. ‘Not a Man’ does contain adult content. In no way is it pornography or even erotica.
There is now a sequel published called ‘The King’s Favourite,’ and I’m working on the third in the series now. ‘To Love and To Protect’ is to be released in April this year. The fourth and last in the series has been part written. I expect that to be released around April, 2014. Its working title, ‘The Unauthorised Biography.’

3. What are your future aspirations as an author?
As I never actually decided to become an author, so I don’t really consider aspirations. I simply like to write – to make a world and to people it with interesting characters. If people enjoy my books, I am happy. And naturally, I would like them to become more widely known.
There will be more Penwinnard Stories (The Boys’ Home) and there is the germ of a plot that came with a dream – the Death-Mother. It is far too early to talk about that – just something that is maybe brewing.

4. Where do your ideas come from? What experiences or aspects of your life influence your writing?
I don’t think I would have been able to write the books I do when I was young. Not just that older people have accumulated more factual knowledge, but they have more experience of life – raising children, births, deaths – the cycle of life. Books by young writers often seem a little shallow, though they can certainly be exciting, imaginative and well written.

5. What do you do to improve yourself as a writer?
From the time I could read, I have been an avid reader. The skill of writing is a natural result of that – the accumulated knowledge absorbed from the writings of thousands of authors. And yet, I was not instantly an accomplshed writer. I’ve heard it said that you need to write a million words before you are ready to publish. I must have written two million words before I wrote the first book that I considered worthy of publishing.

Links to web-page and for the purchase of books?
Web-page: http://mamcrae-author.blogspot.com.au/
To buy the books, https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/Samray
or look for them on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/M.-A.-McRae/e/B008BYWRQ2/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1340847276&sr=1-1
They are available as ebooks or as paperbacks.
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The books mentioned:
The Penwinnard Stories: ‘Angel No More.’
He calls himself Robert Kelly, known as Bob. They call him the mystery boy.
A boy is discovered walking on a country road. He is injured, exhausted, lost and alone. He refuses to tell what happened to him, and the name he gives matches no records. But he tells a story, a story of routine kidnaps, murders, and abuse. It wasn’t him, though – he was never there. ‘Someone’ had told him about it.
This is the story of Bob, who would never again be called Angel.
A typical review:
A compelling read., 3 Jan 2013
By
janice donnelly “janice” (Ireland) –
Set in Penwinnard Boys’ Home, Cornwall, the central character is the beautiful boy, Angel, now known as Bob. As Angel, he has been made to work as a boy prostitute in a mystery place referred to only as the ‘farm’, a place frequented by rich and powerful men from all over Europe. He has escaped and changed his identity and age, answering only to the name Bob as he takes refuge in the safe confines of Penwinnard. He flatly refuses to talk about his ordeal, even to the French police who have pursued him – telling a story of kidnap, murder and abuse, he insists this is not his story, ‘someone’ has simply told him about it.

The subject matter is dark and disturbing, but this is not a depressing read. The characterisation is good, I believed in this beautiful boy and felt for him, his vulnerability and humanity shone through and I wanted everything to work out well for him in the end, even though at times the odds are so firmly stacked against him. Likewise the other characters who form the backdrop to the tale, the steadfast manager, Ian, his kindly wife, Helen, and the other boys who live in the home, their burdens and personality traits are all believable and make for a compelling read. I highly recommend this novel.

Nam and KF small
The Shuki Series: ‘Not a Man’
“Not a Man’ is set in an unnamed country of Arabia. Shuki is aged ten, and a ‘bed-boy.’ His master wants his beautiful boy to stay beautiful, so arranges for him to have ‘a small operation.’ This traumatic event changed forever the life of a clever, determined boy.

Shuki learns to manipulate his master. He learns to read and write, he gets his master into the habit of giving him large sums of money, and he makes friends with the master’s sons.

Shuki becomes more beautiful with every passing year. His master becomes more possessive, more jealous, and Shuki is guarded. When his master takes him to England, he escapes and starts a new life with the money he’s saved. He is fifteen.

A typical review:
Couldn’t put this down, 7 May 2012
By DELE –
Trawling through the free and cheaper Kindle books I just shut my eyes and clicked on this one Not a Man – to try something different. This book is incredible, you read it thinking, the person that wrote this must be writing from personal experience – the detail and scene setting is so real it makes you seem a voyeur… we in the west don’t know we are born…terrific stuff, hope it doesn’t take too many years of research for the next book to come. Not a man covers such a “taboo” subject, reading this you want to save Shuki from this awful existence and then “Shuki” knocks you into reality by explaining it is better than starving to death in a slum! However much I hate this word, but it is “Awesome”. Cant recommend this highly enough

Thank you for dropping by on Stitch Says! Best of luck.
Until next time keep writing, keep reading!

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