Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Author Spotlight - Sue Moorcroft

1. Where were you in your writing career 5 years ago?

My first book, Uphill All the Way (Transita), had been out for a few months. I was selling a lot of short stories and writing my second magazine serial. Also, I was working as a creative writing tutor for various institutions. I was writing another novel and had begun it about four times because it didn’t want to behave itself.

2. Where did you get the idea from for this particular book?

Want to Know a Secret? is about money and family and which is most important (and to whom). I’m always surprised when people put money before people. It happened within my extended family and I thought, ‘It’s only money!’ So, Want to Know a Secret? explores how necessary money is for happiness. Diane, my heroine, has decided views (on this and everything else). James has pots of money but finds happiness elusive until he meets Diane and finds it moving enticingly closer. But then the unexpected happens.

3. Where do you hope to be in 5 years time?

I want to continue writing romantic novels and achieve sufficient sales to concentrate on them rather than all the other writing-related stuff I do. Whether I actually like this reality when I achieve it or find I miss the variety of my current workload, is a whole other question …

4. Which was the last book you read that you wish you'd written?

Gosh. There are sooooooo many – I read about three books a week. Dream Man by Linda Howard.

5. Was there any particular author or book that made you want to be a writer?

Yes, Nevil Shute’s A Town Like Alice. It was the first adult novel I read, when I was nine. I loved it for the excitement and adventure and for the romance between Jean and Joe. I was blown away by the way in which Nevil Shute made it appear that all hope was gone – but then it wasn’t. Nevil Shute was a favourite of my father’s, too, and I used to enjoy discussing NS’s work with dad. I have everything NS ever published, I believe, even the posthumous stuff, which, I’m sure, he had good reason not to have submitted for publication.

6. Do you find writing love scenes giggle-worthy or cringe-worthy?

No, of course not – wash out your mouth! They’re the best bits! I look forward to writing them. They’re the culmination of all the tension and plotting.

I have to say that not all the members of my family feel the same about reading them. My mum is embarrassed, my brother says it’s icky reading love scenes written by your sister and my son gives the book to his female flatmate to read to herself and then summarise for him.

7. What's the most romantic moment of your life so far?

I’ve been looking at the screen for a while, trying to summon up the archetypal romantic moment – and I’ve failed. The things that stick in my mind always include humour or they’re x-rated. Or both. My husband standing me on a step to propose to me, because I’m much shorter than he is … that’s the kind of things that I remember. For me, it’s much more memorable than if he’d gone down on one knee, which, I’m sure, would have made me feel ridiculous.

8. What do you wish you'd known about being an author before you were pubbed?

About continuing education. I don’t mean taking a creative writing degree but about going to conferences and talks, not just to learn about the craft of writing but about current opportunities and to network with interesting and useful people. Joining the Romantic Novelists’ Association was the first step in this process – there are so many great, published, writers, that they gave me a can-do attitude. (If they can do it, I can …)

9. What's the best writing advice you've ever been given?

Don’t make enemies [in the publishing business].

10. Tell us about your latest release, Want to Know a Secret?

Diane Jenner finds her life turned upside down when her husband, Gareth, is in a helicopter crash and, in the aftermath, his double life is revealed. It’s not the normal kind of double life and Diane’s astounded at how easily and thoroughly he’s pulled the wool over her eyes, mostly because they live in a tiny, remote village in The Fens and Diane is isolated.

James, the one with the dosh, has become so used to the twin millstones of wife and fragile daughter around his neck that he’s almost forgotten how to grab his own happiness. Or maybe he just hasn’t wanted anything enough for a while? That changes when he finds himself part of the secrets so diligently kept for so long.

And, in the back of his Mercedes, he connects with Diane is a way that makes him want … well, you have to read the book.

I really enjoyed plotting this novel and was delighted with the result. I decided, in the end, that Diane did want to know the secrets. But, for a long time, I wondered.

11. What’s next for you?

I’m writing a book that, for now, is called Love and Freedom. It’s about Honor, an American woman who comes to England to track down her English mother who left her when she was a baby. This is another book where the plotting is going like a dream and all kinds of things are happening that I didn’t anticipate. I love unfurling a story slowly, never letting the reader see too far ahead into the journey but making it worth it when they get there.

After that I’m going to write Liza’s story. Liza is the sister of Cleo from All That Mullarkey and I really liked her. Cleo was a bit naughty and so is Liza.

And, after that (yes I really am planning this far ahead) I’m hoping to write a book set in the glittering world of Formula 1 racing. I love F1 but need to do quite a lot of research – there’s more to it than what I see on my TV. I’ve begun writing a column for, wich I hope will help.

Available now here

Visit Sue's website here

Check out Sue's blog

Follow Sue on Facebook and Twitter @suemoorcroft


Sally Clements said...

Great interview, Sue! Thanks for going minxy for the day. Love all the ideas you've got percolating, and looking forward to reading them.

Unknown said...

You've sold 'Want to Know a Secret' to me, will have to go and see if it's made it into IBooks yet :-)

Thanks for being on the blog Sue

Joanne Coles said...

So many ideas, so little time! Absolutely love the sound of 'Want to Know a Secret', it's going straight onto my Amazon wish list :-)

Sutton Fox said...

Enjoyed the interview, Sue. You've captured my interest. I'm off to get a copy.

Looking forward to seeing the remainder of your ideas come to fruition. From another girl racer, especially the F1 story. Thanks!

Maya Blake said...

So great to have you here today, Sue. I read about your input with Stylist magazine barely 20 minutes ago and I screamed to my colelague, "She's on the Minxes blog today!"

I looooove F1 too! Who're you rooting for this year? Jensen's almost out (shame), but if Lewis doesn't win, I'm praying Mark takes the title. He so deserves it :)

Sue, you should also speak to Sutton. She lives in the world of racing in real life and writes about it in her Circus series!

Romy Sommer said...

I'm a big fan of F1 too, and I'm heading off to check out Girlracer right now.

As a half-German I'm proud to admit that I support the German driver who is the best F1 racing driver of all time (no need to mention names - you all know who I mean!). I'm a little sad he's made a comeback with a team that aren't contenders, but with so many Germans dominating F1 right now I'm flying the flag proudly (and ducking behind it before all the English supporters here on the blog throw rotten tomatoes at me!)

Joanne Coles said...

Am hijacking the comments to reassure you, Romy. I'll cheer for whoever you want me to in F1--they don't get their thighs out so I don't watch! Shallow, me? Never ;-)

Maya Blake said...

Romy, I think the young German will get his chance one day, but he needs to be a little patient ;-). That said, I won't be surprised if he wins this year!

As for the older one, well after 7 championships, seriously, it's time to pass the baton to someone else. But I like him all the same :)

Lacey Devlin said...

LOL! I love that Sue's son gives her books to his flatmate and gets a summary. I bet his flatmate's not complaining :) I also love that proposal story! He gets big points for originality!

Want to Know a Secret sounds fabulous and what a gorgeous cover too! Thanks for a great interview Sue!