Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Getting to know ... Sue Moorcroft #ww

What genre would you say your novels fall into, or do they defy classification?
They’re romantic fiction. Most readers on Amazon or Goodreads call them chick lit, although a bookseller would say that chick lit books are urban whereas most of mine are not. They contain witticisms but I doubt they’re funny enough to be called rom coms. They’re definitely romantic but I don’t shy away from difficult subjects.

What made you choose that genre?
I love it. It’s what I like to read. I used to write more in the family drama genre as my agent of the time saw that as the area with most potential. However, when I discovered my present publisher, Choc Lit, I found that they published exactly what I like to write most: romantic fiction with a hot hero and part of the book told from the hero’s point of view.

How long does it take you to write a book?
Around a year but I do a lot of other stuff. I teach, appraise manuscripts, run workshops, write columns, short stories and serials. If I didn’t do any of that I’d probably write two books a year.

What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
If I’m working at home, I tend to work with students in the mornings and write in the afternoons. I have a long day, from about 7.30am to 6.00pm, but I often take a long lunch to do a yoga class or a piano class. When I’m running workshops they can come at any time of the week, including weekends or evenings, or even run into an entire week for a residential course. When this happens, I write when I can.

Where do you get your ideas for your books?
Sometimes when I’m thinking about someone I knew in the past, sometimes because I hear of something interesting or funny I want to use, sometimes I just seem to daydream things. Maybe these are all dragged out of the cobwebby recesses of my brain in some way.

When did you write your first book and how old were you?
Not counting the Enid Blyton rip-offs of about five pages that I wrote and illustrated when I was 8, I think my first book was completed in about 1992, when I would have just turned 30. I don’t usually talk about my age. You’re not going to ask about my weight next, are you?

What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Read. It’s my big pleasure. I read when other people are watching TV. My next love (and favourite use for a TV) is watching Formula 1 and I’m officially an F1 bore. I also love to dance (zumba and Fitsteps), practice yoga, hang out with friends and family (preferably with a glass of cold white wine in my hand), and I’m learning the piano.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
How hard it can be to create a cogent, tightly written plot. I feel like one of those guys who have plates spinning on sticks. It’s a big effort to keep them all spinning yet not have any stray plates intrude.

How many books have you written?
I’m going to say thirteen – but not all of those have been published. Two were found a suitable home in the bin, one was rewritten as a serial, one has been shelved forever, one was rewritten as a novella. However, I write serials, too, and they became large print books and then ebooks. It’s hard to know how to categorise them.

Which is your favourite and why?
I can’t have a favourite. It would be like a mother having a favourite child. But the book that gave me most satisfaction was Dream a Little Dream, because the hero has a rare neurological condition, narcolepsy, which causes uncontrolled sleep. Narcolepsy was really hard to research and to understand, then attribute to a character in an authoritative but deft way. But people with narcolepsy have read the book and given good feedback and I was asked to speak at the Narcolepsy UK conference last year.

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
Once I was taught how to read and write I just wanted to do one or the other. Before that, I think I just wanted to own dogs and eat Easter eggs. I believe I flirted with the idea of being a vet but I couldn’t have known how bad I was going to turn out to be at science.

What are you working on now?
Having just finished the proofs for my September 2014 book, The Wedding Proposal, I’m working on The Twelve Dates of Christmas. It’s set in London and the heroine, Ava, doesn’t like Christmas. She’s got money worries and her ex is trying to blackmail her with revenge porn. Sam Jermyn is trying to give his mum, Wendy, and his aunt, Vanessa, a Christmas to remember as Wendy is ill and is waiting for the diagnosis that will tell her whether she’s likely to be around for any more Christmases. Wendy and Vanessa brought Sam up and he’s taken for granted that they have provided him with a great Christmas year after year. Now it’s his turn to do the same for them.

Sue Moorcroft writes romantic novels of dauntless heroines and irresistible heroes. Combining that success with her experience as a creative writing tutor she’s written a ‘how to’ book, Love Writing – How to Make Money From Writing Romantic and Erotic Fiction (Accent Press). Sue also writes short stories, serials, articles and courses and is the head judge for Writers’ Forum. She's a Katie Fforde Bursary Award winner and Love & Freedom won the Best Romantic Read Award 2011.

Twitter: @suemoorcroft
Facebook: sue.moorcroft.3

Published novels:
The Wedding Proposal
Is this Love?
Dream a Little Dream
Love & Freedom
Want to Know a Secret (published in hardback as Family Matters)
All That Mullarkey
Starting Over
Uphill all the Way

A Place to Call Home
Between Two Worlds
Darcie’s Dilemma
Where the Heart is
One Summer in Malta

Collection of short stories:
All About Love


Critique Service for Writers
Flash 500 Home Page: Flash Fiction, Humour Verse
and Novel Opening Chapter and Synopsis Competitions


angela britnell said...

Interesting interview, Sue and I love the sound of the Christmas book!

Laura E. James said...

Excellent interview :-) It made me smile.

Berni Stevens said...

Great interview, made me smile too! I can't wait for the Christmas book. xx

Beverley Eikli aka Beverley Oakley said...

I really enjoyed your interview, Sue. You *do* work hard - but how wonderful to have such variety in your life!

Just Another Bloke said...

Fascinating, Sue.

Looking forward to the next book!!