Saturday, June 09, 2012


It's my pleasure to welcome fellow member of the Romantic Novelists' Association, Sue Moorcroft as my guest today.

Sue has written a handful of novels, including All That Mullarkey, at present on my Kindle tbr list. She is also a creative writing tutor and has written Love Writing, everything you need to know about writing romantic and erotic fiction (perfect for anyone with ambitions to follow 50 Shades of Grey into the bestseller charts, and is head judge for Writers' Forum Fiction Competitions. 

Here's Sue to tell you about her writing life:

Many readers are convinced that being a writer is fun.

And I think it is, too.

OK, I do spend most of my time sweating over my books, creating characters and plotting their lives, giving them conflicting goals, hurling them together, wrenching them apart. I polish, I research, I write blogs, Twitter and Facebook posts, I e-mail and do my accounts. I wear shapeless jeans and faded fleeces. Not all of this is fun.

But also ... I go to parties. Conferences. Meetings. I go onto radio shows, and journalists and bloggers interview me. Sometimes, I have my photo taken. (A double-edged sword - I like being made to feel like a star, but often I discover that the photographer hasn't quite got the idea of outrageous flattery.)

Recently, I went to the Romantic Novelists' Association's Summer Party, in the Royal Over-Seas League in London.

A party is a networking opportunity. It allows me to meet my publisher and the publisher's publicist, catch up on news from industry professionals, and, this time, to thank a friend who helped me with the research for my next book, Dream a Little Dream , by taking him as my guest. It meant champagne and canap├ęs and applauding madly when fellow Choc Lit writers took both the New Writers' Award and the Romantic Novel of the Year Award. (A bit difficult to clap with a drink in each hand, but I whooped, hollered and whistled.) The next day, I joined the Choc Lit team for pizza and fizz. One has to refill the creative well and writerly lunches feed the inner woman at the same time as feeding the physical one.

Research means more fun.

I set Love and Freedom in Brighton, on the south coast of England, and in Connecticut, America. Happily, my son lives in Brighton and my brother lives in Connecticut. My son walked all my heroine Honor's walks and rode her bus rides with me (he was hungover so I decided the roller coaster was a bad idea).

Like Honor and hero Martyn Mayfair, I spent hours on the Undercliff Walk between Rottingdean and Eastingdean (don’t look for the latter on a map but it exists in my head). I took hundreds of photos. I made notes on my phone’s voice recorder, because nobody thinks you're mad if you talk into a phone, even about imaginary people.

In Connecticut, my brother and sister-in-law drove me around the state so that I could chat to people and take photos and ride trains and boats and think and plot …

I think that’s fun. Don’t you?

Sue Moorcroft writes about dauntless heroines and irresistible heroes and her book Love and Freedom won the Best Romantic Read Award 2011. 

Find out more about Sue and her books on her website, friend her on Facebook or follow her on twitter @suemoorcroft


Chris Stovell said...

I think Sue's interview demonstrates that you're always 'on duty' as a writer, even when you're at a party (in fact, I can see myself enjoying another aspect of the work in the photo!). It's always fascinating to me to read about how other writer's novels evolve... even enlisting their hungover family members in the name of research!

Charlotte Betts said...

The great thing about being a writer is that you can always escape into the world of your imagination and no experience is ever wasted, even the sad or bad ones. I agree that you are always 'on duty' as a writer but isn't it great to live the the life you want to lead? Artists, photographers, poets and actors all use life's experiences in their work.

Sue Moorcroft said...

Absolutely. It's a job that's a way of life.

Thanks, Liz, for welcoming me onto your blog.

Vince said...

Hi Sue:

Sontag is a famous name. Are there any shades of Susan Sontag in your Honor character?

With all that research, you can’t write four books a year, can you?

Do you mention the Seagulls in your book? My Foxes split with them last season.

What is Choc Lit? In the USA that would be books about African Americans.

Do you think having the name ‘Moorcroft’ has effected your writing? I think it is the most serious sounding name of any romance writer.


P.S. Love and Freedom in available on Kindle in the USA. I used to live in Connecticut. I’d love to see what your research has wrought.

Liz Fielding said...

Lovely to have you here, Sue. I've just bought my own smart phone and discovered the "talk to yourself" button. Looking forward to using this for making research notes.

Sue Moorcroft said...

Hi Vince,

Thanks for your comments. No, I don't write four books a year. I usually write one, plus maybe a serial or a novella, then a couple of columns a month for a writing magazine and one after most Formula 1 races.

In spare time, I teach. And judge competitions.

No, I'm afraid the Seagulls didn't get a mention. I hope you enjoy Love & Freedom. My brother lives in Stamford so Honor lives in the west of the state, too. I did do some research over in Mystic, but the characters didn't go there in the end.

I never thought about Moorcroft being a serious name. It's the one I was born with, so I used it.

Have a nice week.

Vince said...

Hi Sue:

I’ve just read the first few chapters of “Love & Freedom” and it’s absolutely delightful!

I haven’t encountered a more sympathetic heroine, developed in so few pages, since Betty Neels. It only took a few pages for me to really, really, care what happens to, Honor, your heroine.

In my book, the best ‘hook’ is not a cliffhanger; it’s quickly creating characters that the reader really cares about. Brava!


Charmaine Clancy said...

What a great interview. I agree, research, plotting, writing and compiling are all very fun jobs. Line edits balance that out.

Sue Moorcroft said...

Thank you, everybody, for your comments. Especial thanks to Vince for enjoying Love & Freedom and Liz for inviting me here.

Sue x