The Great Gay Reads Interview: James Lear aka Rupert Smith

Here is an interview with the author that I did for Bent Magazine… 

James Lear is one of the biggest selling gay erotic authors of the moment, Simon Savidge caught up with the man behind James Lear (no pun intended) Rupert Smith to talk publishing, porn, Agatha Christie and golden cocks with wings.

 

So where did the idea of writing as an alias come from come from?

It all started after I had written a book as me, Rupert Smith, and I was having some difficulty getting a deal for it which is the usual thing for writers. I was getting so frustrated and was talking to a fellow author who said ‘have you thought of writing porn, I have a friend who is doing a porn imprint and she wants some books’ so I thought ‘hahahaha’ I am game for anything I will give it a go and it worked. I didn’t expect it to be this much of a success.

 

 

What made you decide on the pseudonym James Lear?

At the time I thought it was wise because I was working for the BBC and it might not be the coolest idea to use my real name. The actual name is from my middle name James and the Lear is because I was Amanda Lear’s first husband… well that what I say.

 

 

How would you describe a James Lear novel to anyone who hasn’t read them?

(Laughs) Maybe I should warn them there is a lot of sex in them. I like there to be at least an orgasm a chapter really. So they are full of sex but also full of plot, characterisation and humour. They are proper novels and I think that is why they have done well, they have a literary content plus naked men having a good time. If people want endless scenes of fucking that’s fine but I like something different that also has content.

 

 

Now your latest novel ‘The Secret Tunnel’ is Mitch Mitchell’s second outing, what made you want to bring him back?

The success of The Back Passage pretty much, this is my fifth book and until the fourth they sold well but The Back Passage just flew off the shelves so I thought they like this. I think it’s because it combines Erotica and Crime…

 

 

Like you have said “Agatha Christie with cock”…

(Laughs) I adore Agatha Christie and no disrespect to her as I love her but I think she was a bit short on cock. I absolutely loved her. I read a lot of her when I was younger and Conan Doyle I loved, he is a true genius. Plus there is some serious homo-erotic undertones in Sherlock Holmes, especially if you have a dirty mind.

 

 

How do you research a James Lear novel?

Ha, ha, ha by a lifetime of having sex and lots of it. Not murdering people though, the sex is practical and the murder is all theory. I also enjoy writing both as unlike some books the sex is always part of the plot and so is the murder.

 

 

Will Mitch Mitchell be back like a hunky Miss Marple/Poirot?

I hope so, I already have an idea for a fun vehicle for him in the future, the next James Lear book won’t be a Mitch Mitchell novel, it will be something stand alone which I am not telling anyone about until its written (laughs) because even if I say so myself its just too good. It is based on a very famous precedent from English literature, I will leave you guessing.

 

 

Now obviously you are Rupert Smith, will there be more Rupert Smith books coming in 2009?

Yes I do, I have a new novel called Man’s World which is set in gay London today and also in gay London 50 years ago so I am really excited about that. At the moment its so hard for gay authors, I don’t begrudge the likes of Patrick Gale and Sarah Waters but I do think publishing houses think with those big sellers they have got the gay and lesbian section covered. I don’t think if Alan Hollinghurst wrote the Swimming Pool Library now he would get it published in this current climate which is a shame. How many new fresh gay authors are coming out onto the literary scene and writing about a gay mans life today? If you aren’t connected or famous it’s very hard… and no pun intended cheeky. Gay people read straight books why do publishers think straight people won’t read gay work?

 

 

Well you’re James Lear novels are selling extremely well with the female market aren’t they?

I know I wasn’t expecting that but the genuinely are which is quite nice. I am getting fan mail from women, which is quite a surprise.

 

 

Can you tell us about your huge golden phallus?

I can, it’s an Erotic Award in the shape of a massive penis with beautiful wings. The awards have been going for a number of years and they honour people who have achieved stuff in all areas of erotic arts from filmmakers to prostitutes, writers etc, etc. I was particularly thrilled I won it because they are aimed very much at heterosexual erotica so I felt blessed.

 

So do you think you would ever create another alias or is James more than enough?

Oh now that’s a very interesting question… and I will… erm… yes is the answer but I am not telling you anything more! You have to diversify in this business and I am sticking as many irons in the fire as possible!

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~ by greatgayreads on July 10, 2009.

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