Celebrity of the Month – Author – Rupert Smith (James Lear)

Rupert-Smith

About:

Back in the mists of time, I was sitting at dinner with a bunch of friends bemoaning the terrible state of the publishing industry and the miserable lot of the writer. Like you do. One of our number piped up ‘Why don’t you write an erotic novel? I know a publisher who’s crying out for them, and they even pay’. Thus inspired I went home and tossed off The Low Road, a ‘reworking’, shall we say, of RLS’s Kidnapped (which I already consider to be one of the most erotic books ever written). It was published and quickly sold out, and more was wanted. I went on to write loads more novels under the name James Lear. (At the time, I was earning most of my living from the BBC, and I guessed they wouldn’t take too kindly to one of their employers turning literary tricks in this way.)

Over the years, James Lear has taken on a life of his own. The books keep on selling – particularly the ‘Mitch Mitchell’ trilogy (The Back Passage, The Secret Tunnel, A Sticky End), about a sexually robust detective in the 1920s, my homage to the novels of my idol, Agatha Christie. The latest Lear hero is Dan Stagg, who was introduced in 2013’s The Hardest Thing and will be having a second outing in 2015. They’re all very much available in both print and digital form. You can get them all from Amazon UK or Amazon US.

LNL Questionnaire

Your favourite virtue?

Cheerfulness. I’ve had enough moody broody types thank you very much. Life is quite miserable enough without your little contribution.

Your favourite qualities in a man?

Willingness.

Your favourite qualities in a woman?

Wit.

Your main characteristic?

I haven’t the faintest idea, so I suppose the answer to this question would be ‘lack of self-knowledge’.

What draws you most to your friends?

I’ve known my real friends for an awfully long time, so what draws me most to them is a shared history. We’ve been through a lot together, which can be a great source of support, and also when I’m a bit broke it can be quite useful for blackmail.

Given the opportunity what would you most like to change?

I would wipe out all drug dealers at a stroke. It’s probably just as well I’m not Home Secretary because there would be some very controversial new measures introduced to curb the drug trade. Involving death.

Who would you most like to take out for dinner?

John Terry, the former England football captain. I would listen politely as he talked of sport, get him a bit drunk on cocktails and good wine, then whisk him up to my room.

Your idea of happiness?

A holiday in New England with my husband.

What is your favourite way of spending the day?

I’ve recently become a father, so a trip into the countryside with my husband and son is my current favourite. We always have a great time running around and collecting sticks.

Whose life other than yours would you most like to have lived?

The Emperor Tiberius.

Where would you most like to live?

I’ve lived in London all my adult life, so if I stay here I’d like a house with another room or two, in Zone 1. If I could pick anywhere in the world, it would be somewhere around the Vermont/Massachusetts/New Hampshire borders. In the woods with a stream running through it.

Who is your favourite author?

Charles Dickens of course. What a question.

Who is your favourite poet?

I hardly read poetry any more. I can’t stand anything post War. So I’d probably go with something very safe like William Blake.

Your favourite heroes in fiction?

Dracula.

Your favourite heroines in fiction?

Miss Marple.

Your favourite painters?

That’s a tough one, because I usually love whatever most recently impressed me. So I’d say at the moment CRW Nevinson. He’s one of that fantastic generation of early C20th British painters and I love his stuff.

Who is your favourite composer?

Mahler. Closely followed by Messiaen, Sibelius, Wagner and Verdi.

What is your favourite Film?

I’m a sucker for 40s Hollywood stuff. I recently watched The Letter, with Bette Davis, and thought ‘that has to be the best film ever made’, so I’ll go with that.

Your favourite food?

Roast chicken, I suppose. It used to be cheese on toast but I became dairy intolerant in my 40s. A disaster for my appetite but a triumph for my waistline.

Your favourite drink?

A vodka martini, very dry.

Who do you most admire?

Peter Wildeblood. One of the more unsung heroes of gay liberation. I can’t stand the way that the trailblazing history of gay liberation in the UK is overshadowed by American stuff, particularly the Stonewall myth. Wildeblood was an incredible man, a real hero, and we should celebrate his birthday with a national holiday.

What is your present state of mind?

Extremely happy.

For what fault have you most toleration?

Attractive young men who take too long getting dressed in the gym changing rooms. It’s vulgar, it’s attention-seeking, but I find I can tolerate it pretty well.

Your favourite motto?

‘The third martini is always a mistake.’

Links:

Official Site

Celebrities of the month Gays The Word Bookshop Lesbians of North London ,

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