Firstly I’d like to start by saying a huge thanks to KD for hosting me here today. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Alice Raine, the author of the Untwisted series, and I’m thrilled to say that I’ve actually managed to grab an interview with Nicholas Jackson today, the lead character in book 1 of my series called The Darkness Within Him.
Any of you who have heard of Nicholas will know that even though he’s a world famous concert pianist he’s also notoriously reclusive when it comes to the spotlight, and pretty much does everything he can to avoid interviews. Needless to say, I was hugely surprised when I received an email from his agent last week saying that he had requested me to do an interview with him, for publication in OK magazine. I don’t work for OK magazine (if I’m truthful I don’t even read it that regularly) but apparently they were desperate for an article on him and after persistent badgering he gave in but with the condition that it was moi doing the questions.
It’s now nine o’clock on Saturday morning and I’m standing on the doorstep to his rather lovely townhouse in Primrose Hill, London. In my hand are the 2 take away coffees in a cardboard tray from the posh deli on the corner that Nicholas requested I bring with me. To be honest I still don’t know why he requested me specifically, but OK magazine are paying me a pretty penny to freelance for them for the day, and I have to say I’m rather excited about seeing Nicholas again, because after spending the time interviewing him for the books I have developed a bit of a soft spot for him.
His rather smart front door is opened by Rebecca, and I can’t help the grin that splits my lips as I see her smiling face and sparkly green eyes. In the time I spent with Nicholas researching the books it was abundantly obvious that they have a special bond, this woman is clearly good for him, and I’m genuinely thrilled to see her again.
After being led up to Nicholas’ piano room Rebecca waves me towards the plush white armchair next to the piano and I set about getting out my Dictaphone and notepad when the door behind me opens again and the man of the hour enters.
Turning to face Nicholas I try to avoid staring at just how attractive he is, but even as a happily married woman it’s almost an impossible task, because as always he looks almost good enough to eat. Today his tall, broad frame is kitted out in a rather lovely pair of dark grey trousers and a black shirt and I only stop myself from drooling by focussing on pulling out my pen and looking down at my questions as he takes a seat on the piano stool.
Now my interview can really begin.
Alice: Good morning Nicholas. It’s been what? Three months since we last met up? How are you?
Nicholas: Hello, Alice. It’s been 4 months actually. And how am I? In need of a decent coffee, that’s how. Is that one for me? [jerks chin at the 2 cups of coffee beside me]
Alice: Oh! Yes. Sorry, here you go. [I hand a cup across to him, trying not to stare at his beautifully long, pianist fingers]
Nicholas: [pulls the lid from his cup, sniffs the brew and then looks at me with a raised eyebrow] You bought the Panama Esmeralda?
Alice: Yes. You said to bring you a good cup of coffee, so I choose the best on the menu. [it cost almost as much as my monthly mortgage payment for these 2 cups, but seeing as I’m handing the bill to OK magazine as expenses, I don’t care.]
Nicholas: [sips his coffee and moans appreciatively, a noise so inherently sexual that it then causes me to moan appreciatively.] Delicious coffee, Alice. Thank you.
[I clear my throat, trying to focus and appear professional before starting my questions]
Alice: Can I start by asking why you requested me for today, I mean I don’t even work for the magazine?
Nicholas: [shrugs] I like to keep my life as private as possible, but they magazine just kept on calling and my agent wanted me to accept. I didn’t want the hassle of explaining my fucked up childhood and dominant sexual tastes to someone new, so I decided if I was going to do an interview with anyone it should be you, at least you know a bit about my history. [he runs a hand through his hair as if embarrassed] Besides, you wrote it all out in a fair account in the books and didn’t judge me, I appreciated that a lot.
Alice: [I nod, a little lost for words] Ok. Well, thanks for thinking of me, and of course I didn’t judge you. We might not be best friends, but I know you’re a good man Nicholas. [A shy smile slips to his lips and I remember fondly just why I had liked him so much when I’d been interviewing him for the books] So, how are things with you?
Nicholas: Good. Really good. [nods briskly, apparently relieved about the topic change] Busy schedule of concerts at the moment, lots of charity events lined up for the next few months.
Alice: Which charity are you raising money for?
Nicholas: Various charities. I’d rather keep their names out of the papers though, the donations will be kept quiet; I just want to raise the money, I don’t want a big fuss. [Knowing a little of his history I suspect it’s a charity for abused children, but I don’t push it further] I’ve nearly raised the target I set now, and I still have 6 more concerts to play, so there should be a fairly hefty donation going across to them all soon.
Alice: That’s fabulous Nicholas. [I feel a sudden urge to hug him, but thankfully resist] You look a little tired today, did you have a concert last night?
Nicholas: No. [he smirks] I was up rather late with Rebecca. [His tone makes his meaning clear – he was up having wild sex with Rebecca – and I blush furiously, looking down at my pad to ease my discomfort]
Nicholas: Am I boring you, Alice?
Alice: [swallowing slightly nervously, I look back up at him] I beg your pardon?
Nicholas: Since you’ve been in here you’ve done nothing but stare at that note pad and doodle on it. [jerks his chin towards my pad] Don’t you know how rude that is? Even someone with the barest of etiquette knows that you should look someone in the eye when you’re speaking to them.
Alice: [I lick my lips nervously, feeling thoroughly chastised and instantly remembering his preference for eye contact] My apologies Nicholas, no disrespect was meant. Some of these questions are from the magazine that’s all. But I tell you what, I’ll just record the rest, no more notes.’[Nicholas nods his approval, sips his coffee and stares at me again. Crikey, I’d forgotten just how intimidating he could be.]
Alice: So…[I keep my eyes firmly on his this time] I’ve seen you in the papers a few times with Rebecca after your charity shows. Things are obviously still going well between the two of you?
Nicholas: They are. Miraculously. [gives a dry laugh] She’s moved in here full time now.
Alice: I’m so pleased for you Nicholas, you two are perfect together.
Nicholas: [fidgets slightly uncomfortably in his chair] Thanks. I think so too.
Alice: So now you’re officially off the eligible Batchelor list and settled in a relationships has your… umm… dominant streak faded at all?
Nicholas: [completely unbothered by my question] It’s still part of me, [shrugs] I suspect it always will be. Rebecca and I have adapted to fit into each other’s lives, but that doesn’t mean that I have intrinsically changed. It just means that instead of wanting a woman in my life for an hour or two for sex, I now only want Rebecca in my life. [shifting in his seat Nicholas leans forwards and rests his elbows on his knees so he can really stare me in the eye] Between you and me, the other things I discussed with you when you were researching your books; the paddles, hand cuffs and toys, are still part of our sex life, just not as central any more.
Alice: Right … and Rebecca’s happy with that too?
Nicholas: I believe she is more than happy with our set up. [looks rather smug] My brother always believed you were curious about our lifestyles Alice, would you like me to tell you her favourite toys? Or perhaps I could get Becky to bring some in for you to look at?
Alice: No! No! [my voice is panicky high pitched squeak] That’s quite all right. [I’m fairly sure he’s winding me up, but my cheeks literally couldn’t be any redder if I tried] Has Rebecca softened you up at all?
Nicholas: Things are still nice and hard where Rebecca is concerned, thank you very much. [I blush again, his face is completely blank, but I see a hint of a smile curl his top lip. He’s definitely toying with me, the bugger.]
Alice: The magazine wanted me to ask … [I pause, nervous of his response] … well, they were wondering if there were any imminent wedding bells in the air?
Nicholas: [sits back, crosses his long legs and gives me a narrow eyed look] Want to be first in with a bid for wedding pictures do they?
Alice: Umm … probably. I don’t really know, they just put it on the list of things to ask.
Nicholas: Tell them it’s none of their own business.
Alice: [I scribble on my pad, desperate to avoid the intense stare he’s giving me] Right. Will do.
[Just then we are interrupted by a knock on the door before Rebecca pops her blond head inside.]
Rebecca: Sorry to interrupt, but Darley is on the phone, he’s being impatient as ever, something to do with the arrangements for the concert on Thursday.
Nicholas: [his face noticeably softens when he sees Rebecca, and I can’t help but smile fondly at just how much he clearly loves her.] OK, thanks babe, tell him I’ll be two minutes. [turns back to me] Alice, I’m sorry, I’m going to have to take that call, as I’m sure you remember, my agent will wait for no man, not even me.
Alice: No problem, I think the magazine just wanted a short piece anyway, and you agreed they could come in tomorrow and take some photographs of your piano room I believe?
Nicholas: I did, I’ll give them five minutes, no more. [nodding reluctantly] I hate bloody journalists.
Alice: It was lovely to see you again Nicholas. If I think of any questions I missed I’ll email you.
Nicholas: Perfect. Thanks for keeping it short, Alice. It was good to see you again too. I really better get my phone before Darley blows a gasket. Show yourself out.
Nicholas leaves the room and I sit in slight shock at the encounter. Even after all the time I’m spent with him in my research he’s still an enigma to me. Mind you, it was good to see him again, even if he still is remarkably intimidating!
Thank you for reading!
Books 1 -3 of the Untwisted series are now available!
Untwisted series blurb:
If you enjoyed Fifty Shades of Grey and Bared to You, you will love the new ‘Untwisted’ series, which follows the highly addictive relationship between devilishly dark Nicholas Jackson and book shop owner Rebecca Langley.
A dizzying, all-consuming affair with famous pianist Nicholas Jackson draws in the timid Rebecca and engulfs her with his passion and dominance, then spits her out heartbroken and bruised.
Now, Rebecca is left trying to move on from the relationship she shared with Nicholas, but just as she starts to clear her head, he reappears in her life determined to win her back.
But seeing as Nicholas has already shown once that the darkness within him is lurking just below the surface, can Rebecca really take that risk again with her heart and body?
As well as the Untwisted series, I also have a festive short story available in ‘Love Under the Mistletoe’, a seasonal anthology from Accent Press including stories from KD Grace, Demelza Hart, Elizabeth Coldwell and me!
Buy Links to Twisted Series:
Thanks again to KD for hosting me today, and I’d like to wish everyone Happy Holiday!
Alice Tells Us about Alice:
Where to start? I’m really a lot more boring and normal than my steamy books might suggest. It may disappoint some to know that I’ve never had an illicit affair with a domineering pianist, nor have I ever met or dated a man who frequented sex clubs in London… I have however, always had an overactive imagination, which may in part explain where my stories come from! My books may be fiction, but the setting of London was a deliberate choice, I was born and raised in London and as such it holds a special place in my heart which I hope comes across in my writing. Some of my best times have been spent with friends wandering the markets of Camden or sipping beers in Covent Garden.
I moved to Manchester to study, where I ended up living for over ten years. Originally I qualified as an archaeologist, but I soon realised that jobs in that sector were minimal and decided to put my enthusiasm to use by becoming a teacher. Now I split my time between teaching, and engaging my wildly over active imagination by writing. Currently I’m living abroad spending my days exploring, teaching and writing. Where ever I find myself I live with my ever suffering, but hugely supportive husband, our dog and a crazy half-wild cat who keeps the whole household on its toes.
Music is a huge influence in my writing, I listen to everything from Snow Patrol and Linkin Park to Evanescence and REM, in fact, those of you with a good memory for lyrics might even spot one or two lines popping up in my writing as you read. I enjoys writing a wide range of genres including comical real life stories and youth paranormal fantasy, but my first published novels are the adult themed trilogy series ‘Untwisted.’
Find Alice Here:
– Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Alice-Raine/1433662383579684
– Twitter: @AliceRaine1
– Pintrest: http://www.pinterest.com/alice3083/