Welcome to our blog – SUE MOORCROFT

Reblogging this interview because Lizzie Lamb of the New Romantics Press has done SUCH a great job of it!

New Romantics Press

New Romantics Press is thrilled to welcome  successful author and fellow RNA member Sue Moorcroft to our blog. Lizzie has known Sue for quite a few years now (!) but thought some of our followers would like to learn more about Sue and her books.

Sue MSue, tell us all about yourself – 

I write women’s commercial fiction and my current contract is with Avon Books UK, part of HarperCollins. I also write short stories, columns, courses, serials and novellas, and I’m a creative writing tutor. I love being a full-time writer but in the past I worked for a bank, a digital prepress and Motor Cycle News.

What, for you would be a typical writing day?2016-04-16 20.42.27   I start about 7.30am and finish around 6.00pm, generally Monday to Friday but sometimes weekends. I usually take a couple of hours off for Zumba, FitStep, Yoga or piano. If I can…

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Why should I go to the London Book Fair?

2015-04-14 12.13.44At about this time each year, writers begin to discuss whether they’re going to, or should be going to, the London Book Fair. I’ve been an attendee for years and always enjoy it but if a writer asks if they ‘should’ be going to the Fair I usually say ‘Not unless you want to’.

Here are some of the things that LBF isn’t:

  • a place to pitch to agents and editors (unless you’re an invited finalist a ‘Dragon’s Den’-type competition or an agent or editor has invited you to meet her or him there specifically to pitch. I have never heard of this latter thing happening)
  • a book shop
  • a venue in which to sell copies of your book, unless you’ve paid for a stand in order to do so
  • free to attend (unless you count your publisher/fairy godmother paying for your ticket as ‘free’)
  • a madly comfortable place

So what is it?

  • a trade fair held in massive, noisy, busy halls
  • rows and rows of stands occupied by publishers and representatives of every conceivable angle of the book trade, both print and e
  • a place where business is done
  • areas where attendees can hear interesting talks from those in the book trade including authors but much less so agents and editors. They are usually closeted in the rights centre, conducting business.

It’s a good place to:

  • expand and develop your knowledge of publishing and the book trade
  • learn that the book trade is more than you thought it was
  • and that there are some writers who are MASSIVE
  • meet your writerly mates and hang out
  • make new writerly mates
  • if you’re a published author with overseas contracts, be introduced to the relevant editor, if diaries allow
  • meet interesting delegates, many from other countries
  • get sore feet and a headache
  • stand in queues
  • see imaginative marketing ideas
  • feel sorry for all the agents and editors with back-to-back dawn-till-dusk meetings. I find this particularly rewarding when I’m hanging out with my mates with a glass of wine/cup of tea in my hand
  • 2014-04-10 13.30.58

My recommendations:

  • wear comfy shoes
  • make arrangements ahead of time if you want to hang with mates
  • read up on all the things you might want to attend and note them
  • turn up at such events early if you want a seat
  • take some means of taking notes
  • and paracetamol
  • be prepared to pay London prices for your drinks and food. The Fair is, after all, in London
  • leave the hall and get some fresh air at least twice a day
  • enjoy the buzz!

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Head to Head with Sue Moorcroft

Take Five Authors

Jenny Harper - TFA Jenny: the interviewer

Today on Take Five Authors I’m seizing the chance to interview one of our own members, Sue Moorcroft. Such a treat!

Sue Moorcroft - TFA Sue: the interviewee

Tell us about The Wedding Proposal, Sue.

It’s set on Malta. I’d always wanted to write a reunion book, as I love reading them. Had I realised how much plotting of the backstory I’d have to carry out in order to make the front story work, I might have thought twice! I was brought up for several years in Malta and a part of my heart will always be there so, periodically, I send characters out to the island. I put Elle and Lucas on a small boat together in a yacht marina we used to be able to see from our balcony, when I was a child. Then I sat back and waited for fireworks … because Lucas hates secrets, and Elle has a…

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My new title! Whoop!

Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 18.04.52Things I get very excited about are covers and titles for my books. Maybe it’s the surprise element – something about the book that I don’t create from the ground up.

So I’m really thrilled to announce that I now have the title for my next book, to be published September/October 2016!

It’s to be:

THE CHRISTMAS PROMISE

I’ve been excited about this book from the first. It’s about Ava, who hates Christmas, has to admit that her couture millinery business has run into trouble, and is being threatened with revenge porn; and what happens to Sam who’s giving his mum Christmas because she’s between surgery and chemotherapy.

I don’t have the cover, yet … but it’s not far away. Can’t wait to share it! (I promise that it will be an improvement on the above!)

 

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Delivering My First Writing Workshop!

Great blog from Nikki Moore, speaking about our workshop at Purbeck Literary Festival last week. We were lucky to get such a lovely and responsive group, as well as the wonderful venue.:-)

Writing, Work and Wine

PurbeckLitFest

Hello my lovelies,

I was very excited (and yes, I’ll admit a little nervous too) to deliver my first writing workshop recently. I was lucky enough to be joined by award winning multi-published author Sue Moorcroft, who (again, luckily for me) also happens to be my aunt, and has been a writing tutor for many years.

I’ve delivered training in the HR day job since almost the beginning of my career, but this was the first time that my audience was a group of lovely (mostly aspiring) authors rather than a roomful of managers. It was also very different because I was talking  about writing and selling a novel rather than explaining absence management, or how to handle disciplinary issues or  conduct safer recruitment.

The course was held as part of Purbeck Literary Festival at The Limes Hotel in Swanage, which was fab and had a gorgeous view of the…

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Should I enter a writing competition?

blog post 1I’m asked this question a lot, particularly when I’m running a course.

Yes, I do believe that competitions are a good way to progress. They not only give you writing practice and focus but they form part of the writer’s learning curve. Competitions often have deadlines and themes, too, which echoes the process of writing for a publication, which will almost certainly have deadlines and expect you to write to the brief given.

Not everybody can win or be shortlisted. I’m afraid that rejection is part of a writer’s life and learning not to let it stop you writing is a step forward in itself. If you’re placed in a competition you have something to put on your writing CV, you have validation, you may well have prize money and/or publication.* I have friends who have contracts with traditional publishers for their novels as a result of entering competitions.

Although I write the actual chapters on a computer, each book gets its own new notebook. Coloured pencils and post-it notes are essential too. More about that in a later blog.*NB A word about rights: If you’re offered publication as a result of a competition win, make certain that you retain the copyright, ie the right to sell your story again. If you sell ‘all rights’ then the competition’s organisers can use your story for profit in the future and you will receive no further fee. The word ‘first’ is important in rights, for example ‘First British Serial Rights’, which would mean the publication would have the right to publish once, for the first time, in Britain. No more. Websites are more complex and will usually ask for world electronic rights. If that’s the case, try to limit the licence timewise.

 

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Literary heroes we’d hate to date

Last Friday, I led a workshop on behalf of Writing East Midlands, ‘Writing Romantic Fiction’. The course went well and I had a lovely group. At the end of the lunch break, some of us talked about literary heroes – that we’d hate to date (whatever the rest of the world might think!)

In honour of St Valentine’s Day, I’m posting some of the results here.

HeartBeryl – and this may not be a popular point of view – would hate to date Mr Darcy from Pride and Prejudice: “Too good to be true; a cardboard cut-out of a man.”

HeartFiona would hate to date James Bond (a few aghast glances met this pronouncement). “He’s promiscuous. Even though his being tortured is responsible for his not finding it easy to get close to people, I wouldn’t want to date a man I’d need to repair.”

HeartClaire’s choice met with nods of recognition. She’d hate to date Christian Grey of Fifty Shades of Grey fame, because “He doesn’t let Ana be herself.”

HeartCat, in similar vein, finds Edward from Twilight “Way too controlling.” As Christian Grey is said to be based on Edward, Claire and Cat obviously think the same way!

HeartStephanie’s ‘hate to date’ was Max de Winter from Rebecca. “A liar, domineering, and made no effort to help the narrator settle into her role as his wife.”

Heart And me? I’d hate to date Heathcliff of Wuthering Heights. I think he’s a troll, meanminded and self-centred. His only redeeming feature is his love for Catherine Earnshaw – and that doesn’t go well! If I dated Heathcliff I can image glancing often at my watch and hoping the evening would soon be over. That’s if Cathy at the window hadn’t put me off by then.

Which literary hero would you hate to date? Does he appear above? If not, feel free to add him in the comments.:-)

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In praise of book bloggers (and parties)

Blog:auth meet Brum 15 1

L to R: Louise Styles (street team), self, Bookaholic Holly (blogger), Mick Arnold (street team)

When my first book, Uphill All the Way, came out, in 2004, I don’t think I knew what a book blogger was.

Now, twelve years and nine books later, I consider a blogger/author meet up in a cellar bar in Birmingham city centre a fantastic place to spend a Saturday afternoon, not just for fun, but for the networking. I knew a lot of the bloggers personally, a lot more I’d only met online till the event (but I’m very happy to ‘make it real’), and some were completely new to me.

Book bloggers have a huge appetite for books, they read widely, they’re enthusiastic about authors, they make contacts with publishers, and they spend a lot of hours reviewing books and maintaining fabulous, interesting, well-read blogs. They also network with other book bloggers and utilise social media to get news of reviews, interviews and giveaways out there. It’s a real labour of love.

WebUphill All The Way2When Uphill was published, the publicist was chasing a few coveted review spots in newspapers and magazines. Now, there are enough book bloggers to go around, ‘blog tours’ can be organised to reach as many readers as possible. NetGalley is a conduit to make review copies available. The electronic world has opened these opportunities up.

What’s not to love?

But what do book bloggers get out of the deal? They get to read a lot of great books, either pre-publication or early in a book’s life, they get invited to launch parties and to events at big publishing houses, they get access to their favourite authors, they join authors’ street teams.

It’s a lovely symbiotic relationship. And, for me, a reason to spend Saturday afternoon in a bar talking about books. (As if I needed one.)

Blog:Auth meet Brum Jan 15

Team Sue Moorcroft members, L to R: Louise Styles, self, Mick Arnold, Kim Nash (who’s also blogger Kim the Bookworm and organiser of the meet up) and Mark West (also an author and blogger).

 

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Getting started

A great post from Janet Gover on the Take Five Authors blog.

Take Five Authors

I thought I’d start 2016 and my part of this great new blog space with an attempt to respond to the words I hear so often – ‘I don’t know where to get started writing a book’.

The timing of this new blog is great because I’m setting out on a new journey myself. That is to say, I’m starting to write a new book and I thought I might share some if that with you here.

For those of you who want to write, getting started is surprisingly simple… just sit down with whatever writing implement you prefer and write something down. It really doesn’t matter what you write. Just write something.

Although I write the actual chapters on a computer, each book gets its own new notebook. Coloured pencils and post-it notes are essential too. More about that in a later blog. Although I write the actual chapters on a computer, each book gets its own new notebook. Coloured pencils and post-it notes are essential too. More about that in a later blog.

A blank page can be quite…

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Writing Together – How Does It Work?

Fascinating post on collaborative writing by Lorraine and Pam, who, together, make up fab author Ellie Campbell. I’ve always wondered how and why it’s done!

Take Five Authors

Hi, my name’s Lorraine Campbell and together with my sister Pam Burks, I write women’s fiction under the name of Ellie Campbell, blending contemporary themes with humor, drama, romance and mystery.  As introduction I want to answer the question everyone seems to ask us:

blog post 1

How the hell do you manage writing together?

Well, we can’t answer for other writing teams but perhaps it’s no coincidence that they’re often intimately connected — husband and wife (Nicci French, Dick Francis), father and son (Dick Francis again), mother and daughter (Lily Herne, P.J. Tracy), mother and son (Charles Todd). Even Ellery Queen’s famous mysteries were written by two cousins.

Pam and Lorraine 3 and 5

You might say Pam and I started collaborating since we were 3 and 5. Poor Pam, as youngest was coerced to play Robin to my Batman, Tonto to my Lone Ranger, Will Scarlett to my Robin Hood, as we rampaged around Edinburgh, sharing fantasy adventures and…

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