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Don’t forget, you can sign up for my newsletter for news of my books, special offers, events, and – probably – trivia.

Newsletter sign up buttonI’d love to tell you that my newsletter comes out monthly or six-weekly or something. The truth is it comes out when I have time to send it out and I have some reason to send it!

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What do I do when I finish writing a book?

Finishing writing a book is an odd feeling. DSCF9022For one thing, I know the book isn’t actually finished. I’ve completed the major edits and returned the book to my agent but I know it needs at least one more polish and probably tweaks. And that’s before a publisher has even got hold of it …

Still, it’s a milestone, a feeling of accomplishment and lightness that it’s off my hands for a week or two. I’m not the kind of writer to grab the opportunity for loads of time off (not sure why) and I am the kind of writer to have left a lot of other jobs while I got my edits done. So here are the post-edit headlines:

  • I tidy my study. To be honest, there’s not that much difference to be seen, except the timeline is no longer lounging seductively across a drawer while I obsess about it and there are no longer any notes hanging in the copyholder beside my monitor. There’s a little less on the floor.
  • I do my annual accounts. I hate doing my accounts. Seriously hate it. I hate it so much that I had to eat two packs of Quavers in one afternoon to get me through. At least I didn’t cry, this year. (It’s not that I can’t do them – I used to keep other people’s books. I. Just. Hate. Them.)
  • I understand why people who have jobs they hate hang out on Facebook.
  • I work through my ‘to do’ list, which includes booking two holidays to Malta. Yes, two! For me! In one year! Whoop! I did this before I’d got to the bottom line in the annual accounts, but I’m not cancelling.
  • I look at booking a ticket to the London Book Fair.
  • I add some more things to my To Do list while I think of them.
  • I relax. It’s a nice feeling to know that a huge project is coming to the end. Two, if you consider the hideous accounts.
  • I go on with the course I’m adapting from Love Writing and think about the novella I’m to adapt for My Weekly. (Oh look – two more big projects!)
  • I look forward to a complete weekend off.
  • I begin to wonder about whether my agent will like my revisions. I feel slightly anxious, and not so relaxed.
  • I think about the next book. I think I want it to be set in summer. Writing a Christmas novel and a Christmas serial this year has fried whatever Christmas spirit I have. (Not a great deal.)
  • I consider having lunch with my gym friends and don’t feel guilty, even though I’m having dinner with them this evening.
  • I hang out on Facebook and Twitter more than usual, mainly to whine about having to do my accounts.
  • I read a lot of articles and watch podcasts about writing/publishing that have been stacking up. This is helpful but not, you know, actual work …
  • I look at my website and decide what needs updating.
  • I feel good.

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Author Interview – Sue Moorcroft

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From the blog of Shelley Wilson:

Originally posted on Shelley Wilson:

Today I am joined by award winning romance novelist Sue Moorcroft as we chat about Malta, frizzy hair and irresistible heroes.

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The Fun Five

1.  What part of the world do you come from?

That’s a surprisingly hard question to answer!  I was born near Monchengladbach in a British Army Hospital so I’m British, not German.  I left Germany when I was six weeks old and went to Cyprus until I was one and a half years old.  Then followed two tours in Malta and two in the UK.  When we left the army I was nearly ten and we settled in Northamptonshire, where I still live.  So I’m a citizen of the world.

2.  What did you want to be when you grew up?

For a brief time it was a vet but I’m rubbish at science so I don’t think that would have worked.  By the time I was…

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What do I think about the Hobbit films? What are the messages?

I love the Hobbit films. I love all the Lord of the Rings films, too. They’re high in escapism, adventure, humour and effects. As the final part of the Hobbit came out in December I watched the first two again at home so that I was happily submerged in Middle Earth before I turned up at my local Odeon.

I wasn’t disappointed. I loved The Battle of the Five Armies just as much as I’d loved An Unexpected Journey and The Desolation of Smaug. Casting Billy Connolly as Dain II Ironfoot was inspired, riding on a pig and sticking the nut on his enemies while roaring, ‘Oh c’mON!’ (I have to say that a lot exists in the films that Tolkien somehow left out of the books.)

Reflecting on what the films were telling me, I came to some conclusions.

The Hobbit according to Sue:

Good will triumph over evil. Small, ordinary folk, given sufficient motivation, will become heroes, especially when accompanied by stirring music and super slo mo.

Evil apparently exists for its own sake but good is always explored and justified.

Good lives are more important than bad lives. Every lost good life will be mourned as of massive importance. Lost bad lives will be tossed away by the dozen marked only with roars of pain or, for some reason, endearing squeaks.

Good folk can beat enormous odds if the motivation is sufficient.

Loyalty, friendship and love are strong motivators.

Good folk will constantly risk or sacrifice their own lives if for the common good.

Few can overcome the many but it helps if the few are elves.

Sadly, in real life, much of the above is not true. In real life murderers sometimes walk free and thieves prosper, good people suffer at the hands of bad people and good and bad are not black and white. Huge Eagles don’t often swoop in to save us and wizards don’t guide our quests. Our swords don’t even glow blue to warn us of approaching enemies.

Real life, unlike fiction, doesn’t need to make sense.

Maybe that’s why fantastical adventures grip us and transport us? We want to be reassured that good can triumph. We can escape.

And another thought came to me as I watched. All this came from the imagination of one man, J R R Tolkien. His books have been transformed, expanded, extrapolated, developed and interpreted by the imaginations of many into multi-million-dollar success.

It all begins with the writer.

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Sue’s blog – 2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 6,600 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Out now! EBook 2, #LoveLondon Series; New Year at The Ritz by Nikki Moore

NYaTRNumber 2 in Nikki Moore’s #LoveLondon Series is out already. Just in time for me to add it to my ereader for the run up to New Year.

Here’s the blurb:

New Year, New Love… or Old Love, New Start?

Everyone keeps telling Frankie Taylor that a new year is a time for new beginnings. She’s not so sure. Single for just over twelve months, she’s been more than happy on her own, thanks very much!

At least, that’s what she thinks until she receives a note on New Year’s Eve inviting her to follow the clues, and her heart, across Knightsbridge.

But who’s behind the romantic adventure? Old flame Christian who she loved for years and was always there for her, or new admirer and work colleague Zack, who has the habit of turning up in all sorts of unexpected places?

There’s only one way she’s going to find out…

Available to buy as an ebook at http://www.amazon.co.uk/New-Year-Ritz-Love-London-ebook/dp/B00PFBTMSK for just 99p!

More books in the #LoveLondon series coming soon!

Released from December 14 to May 15 by HarperImpulse;

Bk 1, Skating At Somerset House (Short Story) Released 4 December 2014

Bk 2, New Year at The Ritz (Short Story) Released 22 December 2014

Bk 3, Valentine’s on Primrose Hill (Short Story) Coming January 2015

Bk 4, Cocktails in Chelsea (Short Story) Coming March 2015

Bk 5, Strawberries at Wimbledon (Short Story) Coming April 2015

Bk 6, Picnics in Hyde Park, (Novel) Ebook Coming May 2015, Paperback July 2015

LoveLondon - Facebook

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Sue’s Three Thoughts for Everyone at Christmas

1 Not everybody spends Christmas at home with loved ones. Thank you to all of those of you who will be working – whether it’s in a hospital, a police station, a war zone, a restaurant, an airport, a residential home, in entertainment or one of the many other places that never stops. I hope that you get a little time to yourself to read a good book.

2 If you’re one of the many for whom Christmas is a trial, through bereavement, isolation, illness, estrangement, worry for a loved one (see 1 above), belief or lack of it, you’re the put upon one who makes Christmas happen for everybody else and go largely unnoticed, or plain old bah-humbugedness, I will be thinking of you. See 1 also re the read a good book thing.

3 For those who will have a holiday, pig out, watch too much TV, play with the kids’ toys, welcome your friends and family into your home or go and trash theirs, I wish you a Happy, Healthy and Peaceful Christmas.

And lots of books.

Merry Christmas to all my friends and readers.

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Festive Feature: Sue Moorcroft

Originally posted on Bookaholic Confessions:

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Welcome to a very special Festive Feature on my blog, where every day up until Christmas some of my favourite authors will be sharing what they love most about the festive season, including their favourite films, food, music, presents, memories, books…Plus much more!

It is with huge excitement that I welcome to fantastic Sue Moorcroft to my blog today. Over to you, Sue..

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Although I’m not now a great Christmas fan (which makes me wonder how I ended up writing a Christmas novel and a Christmas serial this year), when I was a child it was a magical time, as it should be.

As I was part of an army family I was brought up in Germany, Cyprus and Malta as well as the UK. We left the last of these overseas postings, Malta, when I was eight-and-a-half. Of those years I’d spent nearly five of them in Malta so…

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Starting Over FREE in the iBooks store (+ the history of the book)

Itunes bannerStarting Over is part of the First in Series promo in the iBooks store. At the time I’m writing this blog it’s at number 15 in the Free Chart, which is fabulous!

This book has a history. Some time ago my then agent got this close to selling it but, ultimately, Starting Over and the following book, All That Mullarkey, emerged from acquisition meetings unacquired. My first novels published were Uphill All the Way (Transita) and Family Matters (Hale – which only came out as hardback and was later released as Want to Know a Secret? in paperback).

It was a few years before I pitched Starting Over to Choc Lit and they bought it in three weeks flat. And wanted All That Mullarkey, too! I count Ratty, the (slightly unlikely) hero of Starting Over, as my most popular hero because he’s the only one to have received his own fan mail and done his own interviews.

Starting Over is the first of my novels set in the fictitious village of Middledip on the edge of the Cambridgeshire fens. I have a whole drawer devoted to Middledip information, including maps, timelines for each novel and an overall timeline for the series but I wish that when I began I’d realised I was writing linked books because I would have kept more.

Between Starting Over and my most recent Choc Lit novel, The Wedding Proposal, came five other novels, including the others in the Middledip series, Dream a Little Dream and Is This Love?

That some readers like linked or series novels is no surprise to me as I like reading them myself. It’s satisfying to see various characters in the cast get the chance to tell their stories and to check if the characters I’ve already met are getting along (and haven’t messed everything up). I like the constant but secondary characters such as the lady in the village shop who is agog over every bit of gossip or the landlord of the pub who looks like a miseryguts but has a heart of gold. When I find a series I like I tend to read everything in it.

I hope that you find as much satisfaction in reading the Middledip books as I have found in writing them.

download Starting Over

Middledip series

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Sue’s seven useful things to know about writing for money

As I write novels, serials, short stories, articles, columns and writing ‘how to’, I’m sometimes asked for my tips. I’ve collected them together in this post:

1 You need to know about more than just writing.

2014-05-13 10.39.462 You need to know about publishing. Publishing is an industry and has to make money to survive. If you don’t learn something about how it works you’re making your life unnecessarily hard.

3 You may need/prefer to know about self-publishing. You get control and you get more of the cut each time your book is sold. And you get all of the work, or have to pay/persuade people to do some of it.

ios_homescreen_icon4 You need to know what ‘discoverable’ means. Promotion will almost certainly be part of your life. Website, blog, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, ELLO, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram … OK, you don’t need to know all of them but many publishers expect you to have a platform. Readers want to find you and tell you how cool you are. Journalists need to research you before interviews. If you’re self-publishing the need may be greater than if you’re traditionally published.

Group shot, Summer Party 125 Networking can be fun, if you enjoy parties, conferences, seminars, literary festivals, forums and classes. Or it can be a nightmare if you don’t enjoy parties, conferences etc. Either way, it’s almost always useful. You get your name in front of editors and agents and learn a lot from other writers. You hear about possible destinations for your work and a lot about what-not-to-do. Learning what-not-to-do is a lifelong process for me.

*You can network on social media, too.

Study6 You can’t be without self-motivation, if you want to be a writer, unless you’re already a staffer on a paper or magazine and motivation is provided for you in the form of ‘You’re fired!’ if you don’t write. In your study at home you can work in your dressing gown, you can drink tea all day, you can go on Facebook whenever you want. But a month’s work takes a month. If you want work done, you have to do it. Nobody will fill in for you when you’re sick or on holiday, either.

7 Rejection. (Cue scary music and a feeling like cold mud in your belly.) Almost every writer gets rejection. A lot of rejection. The trick is a) to learn from it b) not to let it stop you writing. Swear and throw something at the wall if you must (I must, personally) but then get back to writing.

Final tip: Become reasonably proficient with every piece of technology that will help you in points 1-7 or identify which skills you’ll pay for in others. Learn to type. Touch type. Yes, really! Your writing life will be so much easier.

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