Isn’t it great when a website asks to feature you? You might already be familiar with ManyBooks.Net not just for their author interviews and other free content but because of their free downloads of out-of-copyright books. They contacted me recently and offered me the opportunity to be interviewed for Author of the Day.
You can read more about Team Sue Moorcroft here. The street team has its own private Facebook group and as well as getting my news first you’ll have the opportunity to help choose character or place names for my books, share posts and general join the community.
In Summer on a Sunny Island I’ve made heroine Rosa’s mum, Dory, like me. She was born into an army family and lived in Malta for several childhood years. She loves Malta and is thrilled to have the opportunity to rent an apartment there for six months. (I would be, too!)
Rosa doesn’t completely understand her mum’s joy. The sun gives her headaches, there are insects, it’s too hot, too busy and there’s too much building going on. I made her fall in love with Malta eventually but while I was busy burrowing under her skin and trying to understand her, I began to realise that she didn’t particularly understand Dory’s childhood, so different to her own.
Hero Zach’s the son of an army kid too and his grandmother’s Maltese. When he goes to live in Malta he realises that he’s got two sets of roots there. The book was…
My thanks, as ever, to the fab team at Avon Books UK and Blake Friedmann Literary, Flim and TV Agency for their fantastic support.
The idea for Summer on a Sunny Island was sparked by a service kids’ reunion in Malta, where I was brought up for several years. My brothers, my sister-in-law and I managed to convert one lunch into a ten-day holiday so I didn’t see why such a reunion shouldn’t for part of a novel too. It’s about Rosa, who’s supporting her celeb-cook mum Dory in Malta and Zach, who’s looking after his Maltese grandmother’s property. They’ve both left tricky situations behind them in England but, of course, those situations don’t just go away.
I really hope that you enjoy the opportunity to travel to Malta by book, even if you can’t travel in real life during the pandemic. Malta’s a glorious, golden nugget in the blue Mediterranean sea and a part of my heart will always be there.
Thanks to every single blogger who’s signed up to read and review the book. Here’s details of the blog tour for you to follow:
In addition, fab bloggers, including several from Team Sue Moorcroft, are kindly hosting extra posts from me.
If you read Summer on a Sunny Island it would be fantastic if you could pop a review online. Every single one is appreciated.
On the evening of Friday 1st May I’ll be appearing on a screen near you as part of the Avon Book Fest. Bella Osborne, Phillipa Ashley and I will be live at 5.30pm BST and you can send us in your questions using the chat feature. It’s free and you can sign up here.
And no publication day blog post would be complete without buy links – so here they are!
The virtual Avon Book Fest continues with authorly chat between Phillipa Ashley and Bella Osborne, an event for which I’ll be acting as chair, on the screen of your device.
Join us on Friday 1st May, 5.30-6.30 p.m. BST for a conversation about books and writing. Register for this free event here and get ready to type in your questions! We’ll answer as many as we can. Registration ends at 5pm Wednesday 29th April 2020.
The full Avon Book Fest programme can be found here and you can register for any event that takes your fancy.
Summer on a Sunny Island will be hitting shelves and devices in two weeks and the promo looks a little different this time. No physical launch party, radio interviews booked by phone and only virtual events. I have to say I’ve had a great time doing these virtual events with Avon Book Fest, MyVLF and Curl Up With Cathy.
I’ve also recorded a piece about Summer on a Sunny Island for Blake Friedmann, the wonderful agency that represents me, to go out to publishers in other countries. That took me nearly all morning, by the time I’d carried my laptop around the house to find the most flattering light, decided what to say, stood some of my books up in the background and applied make-up. The recording took twelve goes and I wish I’d kept the outtakes now! I swore, flapped my hands, pulled faces, groaned and banged my head on the wall.
I’ve also been invited to take part in Facebook Live events for Tamworth Book Club on May 7th at 10.00 am; with Kim Nash on 5th May at 8.00 pm and, hopefully, I’ll be on BBC Radio Northampton on publication day, 30th April about 10.30 am, even if it has to be by telephone rather than whizzing over there to join lovely Bernie Keith in his studio.
People have been so lovely in inviting me to take part in online or radio events! It gives me a glow that so many take #BeKind to heart. Readers have also asked me how they can support me and other authors while we continue to write the books that earn our livings in tricky times and when some people have diminished disposable income. Here are all the ways I can come up with:
If you know you’re going to buy a book, why not preorder it? There’s no added cost to you but it can help with print runs, selling the books into retailers and, very importantly, chart positions. You can preorder Summer on a Sunny Island here:
Buy new books. There are often a lot of book bargains about, especially ebooks. If you prefer print, some of the supermarkets are doing great work in keeping books on shelves and keeping open. Independent or High Street book shops and online retailers are doing home delivery.
Use a subscription service. Audible or Kindle Unlimited are just two ways to access books for a monthly fee.
Borrow ebooks and audiobooks remotely at your library. Many libraries have relaxed their rules so you can join remotely now. Luckily for authors, ebooks and audiobooks loans have just been included in the Public Lending Right scheme so they’ll earn a few pence for every loan.
Review the books you read … especially if it’s a good review. (My personal rule is that if I don’t enjoy a book I don’t finish it, ergo I don’t review it. But everyone makes her or his own decision.) Authors appreciate every single review. If you want to read books slightly ahead of release you can even join Netgalley and request books in return for a review. You won’t get everything you request but that’s a book bargain if ever I heard of one!
I’ve seen quite a few authors talking on social media about whether they should be writing during the current Coronavirus outbreak. Some feel too anxious, because of what’s going on around them; others feel it’s somehow wrong.
Whether I could or should continue writing hadn’t even occurred to me as a choice so these conversations have made me question myself. Am I insensitive? Or do I bury my head in the sand and hope real life will go away?
Maybe one or both, but I don’t think my willingness to plan my summer 2021 novel while I await edits on this year’s winter novel, A Christmas Wish, is due to either of those things.
Writing and reading are my escapes. Owing to external events, I’m actually working harder than usual. My editor and most of her team are working from home to keep producing my books. If I said I couldn’t write I would be letting them down. Missing deadlines would create timetabling issues for us all in the future, as well as endangering a career it has taken decades to build. Writing’s my job. A whole lot of people are working during the Covid-19 crisis. They don’t have other options and I’m not giving myself any either … especially as my editor is an author too and has written 46k in the lockdown alongside her day job. 😊 Some people have been laid off or put on furlough and must think me fortunate to have a job I can continue.
I admit to wondering about how the publishing landscape is changing but I feel that if I write my books then maybe getting them out to readers will fall into place. It would have been much worse if I’d been writing fifty years ago with no ebook or audio to sell, no social media to allow me to talk to the world, no remote ebook or audiobook borrowing from libraries. Also, the paperback supply chain’s still working! Independent booksellers and High Street chains, as well as internet retailers, are selling online for home delivery.
Friday 3rd April 2020, 5.30-6.30 p.m. BST you can join me, along with Fiona Gibson and Lorna Cook for a virtual author event as part of the Avon Book Fest. Click the link to register for this free event then join us as we chat about books and writing. You’ll be able to ask your own questions and we’ll answer as many as we can. Come along!