I am delighted to be interviewing best selling author Sue Moorcroft, a long time favourite of mine.
Good morning Sue, it is lovely to meet you. I will pour the tea out, please help yourself to a shortbread biscuit or two and we can begin.
Thank you, Jan! Lovely to meet you, too. I’ll take the chocolate-covered shortbread, please, and I drink my tea black with no sugar.
I have been a fan of your books for many years and enjoy your style of writing very much. Many congratulations on the huge success of your latest best seller, The Christmas Promise.
Thank you again! It’s lovely of you to say so. The Christmas Promise surpassed even my most optimistic expectations when it went to #1 in the Kindle chart. It was a euphoric experience.
Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Yes, since the final year of primary school. I had a very scary teacher but when he wasn’t hurling chalk around and screaming he told me that one day there would be books with ‘Sue Moorcroft’ on the spine. As I read voraciously, I could conceive of no more joyful a career! I did look into journalism at the end of senior school but that didn’t work out, partly because of bad information and partly because I didn’t push for what I wanted. This has proved a good thing, though. I much prefer fiction.
What was your favourite subject at school?
English. I loved English Language and English Literature. I loved writing stories (though I hated planning them) and studying the stories of others. I wasn’t as keen on plays and poetry – it was all books and short stories for me, even then. I got off to a shaky start so far as literacy was concerned, as my education was a little interrupted, but once someone had showed me how to read and write I discovered I could get good marks for making stuff up.
What was your first job?
I had a Saturday job working on the cooked meat counter of a butcher’s shop from age 13 to 17, then I went into the Midland Bank as a typist.
Please can you describe a typical writing day. Are you a morning or an evening person?
I’m a bit of an all-day person. I’m usually at my desk at 7.15am with a cuppa. I work on emails and social media, then get my porridge and eat that at my desk, too. I work until around 6.00pm but I usually have a break during the day. Monday brings piano class, Tuesday Zumba, Wednesday yoga, Thursday FitStep, Friday Zumba again. These breaks see to my mental health as well as physical as I sometimes shoe-horn in a cuppa with my gym buddies.
Do you always know the ending of a new book as you start to write it?
Elements of it, yes. I’m more interested in the conflicts and goals of the hero and heroine and how one will impact upon another. Solving these conflicts or attaining the goals provides a framework for the ending.
How do you choose your central characters and do they reappear in any future novels?
They just sort of come to me. Sometimes, in my imagination, they have some visual likeness to someone I’ve seen, either in real life, a magazine or on-screen. When I first begin to work with a central character I write about them in longhand, giving them a backstory and learning where they fit in their family, friendship groups and careers. As already mentioned, I focus on what they want and what’s stopping them from attaining it. I look at them from the perspectives of other characters, which I believe makes them many faceted. Yes, characters do reappear in my linked books set in ‘my’ village of Middledip. A few reviewers commented favourably on the fact that Ratty from Starting Over made it briefly into The Christmas Promise for example. He was in All That Mullarkey, too. He seems to touch a chord with readers.
As a blogger myself, I am in awe of how authors write a full length novel. I see you have also written anthologies and short stories. Which type of book is the hardest to write?
Usually, the one I’m halfway through.
Do you have any pets?
Only pond fish. I borrow my son’s dog, sometimes.
What are your plans for the rest of 2017?
Just for the Holidays comes out on May 18th. I have a work-in-progress underway, but it needs a lot of work. I’ve cut back on teaching creative writing but I’m letting it take me to Dubai and Italy, amongst other places.
Please can I have five one word answers to the following?
Favourite hobby indoors or outside?
Seaside or countryside?
Pop music or classical?
Smart or casual?
Dining in or going to a restaurant?
Many thanks for your time Sue. I would like to wish you and your family and friends a very happy and healthy 2017. I shall add this interview to my Leisure/Authors Publications section on the website where I am sure it will be widely read!
Thanks again for inviting me. It has been a pleasure.
Sue has very kindly offered a signed copy of The Christmas Promise as a future raffle prize. My thanks to Sue. I will announce the competition on the website soon.
Best-selling author Sue Moorcroft writes contemporary women’s fiction with occasionally unexpected themes. A past vice chair of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and editor of its two anthologies, Sue also writes short stories, serials, articles, writing ‘how to’ and is a creative writing tutor. She’s won a Readers’ Best Romantic Read Award and the Katie Fforde Bursary.
Sue’s most recent book, The Christmas Promise (Avon Books UK, HarperCollins), went to #1 in the Kindle charts.
Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/SueMoorcroftAuthor