We’re in an exclusive London eatery, Rebecca Chance and I sit down for a natter about why gay porn turns the girls on, and that was just after one Rosé. Yes it’s just an average Tuesday night chez Chance.
As we start, she drags out her camera and asks me to pose for a selfie, naturally I Zoolander the hell out of the picture… “Even that’s turning me on,” she laughs, “that’s not suppose to happen is it!”
JH: Here I sit with my MacBook, on,
RC: Ooo I say… (visibly quivers with excitement)
JH: Just about to start my first bonk buster. Tell me Rebecca, oh Queen of the bonk buster, how do I start?
RC: Well it’s actually Glamorous Thriller now…
JH: Oh I say. A rebrand…
RC: I have a gay editor now, I’m so happy… and a gay publisher… Can you imagine, I’m just so excited. No offence to where I was before, but this is now Platinum Standard.
JH: You’ve moved it to a new level…
RC: Now, of course, I can never move back, once you’ve gone gay, you’ll never go for a straight publisher again (laughs).
JH: How do you know him?
RC: I’ve known him for ages. We met at Polari (a literary night at Southbank). We bonded over a reading and our tears of laughter mingled.
JH: So my computer is still on, how do I write a Glamorous Thriller?
JH: Might need to fire up the Grindr there!
RC: So the thriller element has really been pushed in Mile High. Bonk Buster sounds like it’s all about sex, but it’s about sex and thrillerness…
JH: Got it: Thriller check, Sex check… anything else for my book?
RC: Well looking like Patrick Swayze helps Jake, that’s who you remind me of…
JH: (starts blushing uncontrollably)
RC: That’s a good thing… ya!
JH: Is the picture on the back important?
RC: Let me put it this way, it certainly doesn’t hurt that I incarnate what people expect of Rebecca Chance, a Bonk Buster / Glamorous Thriller writer to be like. I’m not saying that you absolutely have to wear pale green leopard print Lurex cardigans like this but… If you’re a mousey person from an unglamorous area you might hire me or Cathleen Turner to play you… With crime (writing) you can be anything, but it doesn’t hurt (to look the part). You won’t get hired because you look like a young Patrick Swayze, but they certainly won’t look at you and say that’ll look wrong on the book jacket.
JH: On a side note have you seen the picture of Cliff Richard in a string vest?
RC: No… but now I feel I need to… Is his hair dyed? How old was he? Was he young?
JH: No, it was like last year…
RC: Ooo oh my god, well that will quell the rumours won’t it! (laughs)
JH: And moving on
RC: I was with my mother watching the Oscars with my “gay husband” and as every single closet gay celebrity came down the red carpet we were like “gay, gay, gay” and my mother was getting crosser and crosser. Finally Jodie Foster came down the red carpet and we both went “gay”, and my mother went, “now you two have gone too far…” (both cackle wildly)
JH: You could, like Joan Rivers, Gawd bless her soul, have a TV show, you could do one and read people.
RC: I would love it.
JH: I mean you were reading before RuPaul was reading.
RC: I was reading before RuPaul, although I hear he’s quite mean… Careful with that one… He’s a god, he’s wonderful, yes I love him. I’m definitely Joan Rivers crossed with RuPaul on a bad day aren’t I! I am a pocket drag queen.
JH: What if you had your own Drag Queen parody?
RC: That would be the highest honour in the world.
JH: Going back to the picture on the back of the book – there’s a particular American author, perhaps she’s the most famous of all the Bonk Buster writers, who never seems to age… She’s had a fair bit of work done…
RC: This is the thing. You want to be recognisable when you turn up… People are going to see you… and there’s YouTube.
JH: Is there a pressure to look young?
RC: Yes – and I will have wigs too.
JH: Is that a lot to do with social media?
RC: I love it. But I know people who are still using photos from 25-years-ago.
RC: I can’t… they’re friends… (laughs) That black and white photograph is fooling nobody!
JH: Well especially when there’s a Ford Model T in the background…
RC: Captioned: “the latest thing…”
JH: Is social media making the connection between author and reader closer than ever?
RC: There’s nothing to say that if you are an author that you are to be an out-going, social and gregarious person. I’m just lucky. As you can see I’m forcing myself out of my shell for you…
JH: It’s almost painful. Okay moving on. So gay sex. You have gay sex in your book…
RC: Oh my god, I feel sorry for authors who can’t write about gay sex in their books. It took me four books to get in gay sex. I started with the lesbian because I knew my publisher (at the time) would be better with that, she was a woman, she basically said, “Can you make it a bit delicate.” I knew she meant, “No fisting”. In the next book, after the world didn’t fall apart I thought you know what there wasn’t a single complaint or anything. Not a single amazon complaint… I was doing an LGBT conference in New Orleans this May, as you do and this lovely young girl came up to me and said that she bought the book because it looked like a good read. She was reading it on a plane and got to the bit with the gay sex, and she said she started crying because she had never read it in a mainstream book before. It really moved me. We had a little cry. In the fifth book I said to my editor, “Look nobody gives a sh*t,” so I was like… “gay male sex…”. She looked at me, and I said, “I know what you’re going to say… No fisting!” It was an interracial love affair and not a single complaint was made.
JH: Positive comments?
RC: Lots. I just think it’s perfectly normal.
JH: Women do seem to like the old gay porn too…
RC: I like to watch gay porn… I want to see cocks…
JH: Indeed… Okay I suppose we should talk about Mile High (laughs) a lot of research went into this book, it’s very thorough…
RC: I have a ton of gay flight attendant friends and they would sit and tell stories and it was really obvious, very quickly, that there’s a whole book in this. I wanted the whole thing to take place on board. I took the idea of it being a maiden flight and that it was going from London to Los Angeles, two days before the Oscars… and there’s a stalker on board.
JH: Da da da…
RC: I think I’m the first author ever to have an accidental lesbian bondage scene!
JH: On a ten hour flight, how and where did the ropes come from on a transatlantic Boeing?
RC: Not on the flight! In a flashback. Even I couldn’t quite pull that off. It is genuinely an accidental bondage scene. I put it on Facebook and lots of lesbians said, “Rebecca you intrigue me, tell us more” I said you’ll have to buy it!
JH: Do you plan the number of sex scenes before you start to write?
RC: Well I know I have to have a certain amount… I really screwed myself in Bad Sister because there was an anonymous pool boy sex scene on page 9, he just smouldered. My editor said that was great,”can you do it on page nine every time?” I was like no – there are plot demands, I can’t just knock one off
for you, but my old editor, who was great, did always say you have to have it by page 100.
JH This book feels very very well researched…
RC: So I got my gay flight attendants drunk and said tell me all your wild stories and then tell me about what you hate, how does it work, what happens when airlines merge? I got them drunk and talking and actually shut up, which is the hardest thing for me. I structured the book around that.
JH: At the beginning of the book you talk about the stalker being a “them” and “their” you don’t give the gender…
RC: Because I want to extent the pull… You’re on a plane and there’s only a limited amount of people. If it was a man or a woman then you can cut out fifty per cent of the people on board. Or is that the answer… Well that’s the answer I’m giving you…
JH: So not non-binary – trans villain?
RC: In this current climate I am not touching transgender criminals with anything in my life. I mean I’ve always thought being glitter bombed sounds quite nice, but no no it isn’t. It’s quite annoying. I can be a confetti queen…
JH: It can be done well though can’t it?
RC: Well there was Silence of the Lambs, to me it didn’t seem offensive but it’s not my area. A lot of people did get offended and I think why offend people. I still know people who say, “Oh I can’t say gay in a funny way anymore”, or “I can’t say the ‘n’ word”, and I think, why would you when there are so many other words you can use. Have you not a large enough vocabulary that you can’t afford a few words you can’t chuck out that other people find offensive?
JH: You’re a bit of a wordsmith, do you have a good thesaurus next to you?
RC: All in my head…
JH: What is the best way to get some nookie on an airplane?
RC: Bribe or charm a steward to let you into the crew rest area on a long-haul flight. They have very big crew areas and they have beds. Or have a lot of money and go on Emirates. They have full flat double beds and it’s unbelievable.
JH: What if you’re in a Ryanair?
RC: Nip into the loo. You’d have to be desperate. Thing is you can open the doors from the outside, so be nice to your cabin crew, because if you haven’t been nice to them, they can open the door while you’re in the middle of it. And they will.
by Jake Hook