Monthly Archives: May 2017

Interview with Sue Moorcroft

An interview reblogged from Chellsandbooks. Thanks for inviting me to chat, Chells!

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Interview

Sue Moorcroft has very kindly agreed to appear on my blog and has agreed to an interview. First I would like to say thank you Sue.

Best-selling author Sue Moorcroft writes contemporary fiction with occasionally unexpected themes. The Christmas Promise rose to #1 in the Amazon Kindle chart; The Wedding Proposal, Dream a Little Dream and Is this Love? were all nominated for Readers’ Best Romantic Read Awards and Darcie’s Dilemma for Readers’ Best Short Romance. Love & Freedom won the Best Romantic Read Award 2011 and Dream a Little Dream was nominated for a RoNA in 2013. Sue’s a Katie Fforde Bursary Award winner, a past vice chair of the RNA and editor of its two anthologies.

Sue also writes short stories, serials, articles and writing ‘how to’.

Sue’s next book: Just for the Holidays

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Here is our interview. I hope you enjoy reading this as much…

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Just for the Holidays by Sue Moorcroft

‘ … sometimes I thought I knew what would happen but what actually happens is so much better’ EXACTLY what I aim for! Great review from Chells and Books.

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16Pre-published review

Title: Just for the Holiday

Author: Sue Moorcroft

Blurb: Summer in the south of France. Think long, lazy lunches, endless days stretched out by the pool, and carafes of wine on tap. Perfect, unless you have the world’s most troublesome family…

In theory, nothing could be better than a summer spent basking in the French sun. That is, until you add in three teenagers, two love interests, one divorcing couple, and a very unexpected pregnancy.

Admittedly, this isn’t exactly the relaxing holiday Leah Beaumont was hoping for – but it’s the one she’s got. With her sister Michele’s family falling apart at the seams, it’s up to Leah to pick up the pieces and try to hold them all together.

But with a handsome helicopter pilot staying next door, Leah can’t help but think she might have a few distractions of her own to deal with…

Publisher: Avon

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Hooray! Publication Day!

IMG_2120Waiting for publication day is a bit like waiting for my birthday when I was a kid. The last few days seem to go slowly and I’m filled with that ‘Can’t wait!’ feeling. Mixed in, though, is a nagging worry that nobody will come to my party.

As it happens, there’s not an actual launch party for Just for the Holidays as, with magnificent timing, the Romantic Novelists’ Association has chosen 18th of May for its Summer Party so I’ll be there this evening. There will be plenty of people to raise a glass with (but nobody to sell the book!).

But, anyway, publication day is HERE, finally, and I can watchJust for the Holidays, my latest book baby, set out into the world. And check my Amazon rankings obsessively and look for the paperback in bookshops and supermarkets. And go on the radio, and have lunch with my agent, and hang out on social media a lot.

Just for the Holidays …

Set: Mainly in France, the gorgeous and individual Alsace region. The action comes back to the UK for the final chapters.

About: Leah, who has avoided having a husband and children, ending up looking after her sister’s husband and children. Luckily, there’s a grounded helicopter next door, Ronan, who helps her with the language barrier and decoding the mysterious ways of teenagers. Things look pretty promising between Leah and Ronan until he receives an unexpected and unwanted guest.

Leah’s job: Chocolate taster. Yes, seriously, this is a job. It is! It is! I Googled ‘cool jobs’ and this came at the top.

Favourite research: Being taken up in a helicopter for a pretend crash. However, four days in Alsace and experiencing what the region has to offer (Cremant d’Alsace being a favourite) comes only a hair’s breadth behind.

Happy reading!

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What is a blog tour and how do I get one?

JFTH Blog tourI’ve been asked for my tips on creating blog tours. I’ve been doing them for some time so tend to forget they were ever a mystery to me, and I’ve usually had the luxury of someone else doing a lot of the work! But here we go:

You can see from this lovely graphic created for me by my publisher, Avon Books UK, that Just for the Holidays has a two-week tour. Team Avon has a lot of experience so let’s work with that timescale (although I have also found my own opportunities for additional guest posts for blogs such as Mark West’s Strange Tales, Booktrail, French Village Diaries, and TripFiction). We’re talking about 14 posts but you don’t necessarily have to write a guest post for all of them. See ‘What will the author have to do’, below.

Where will authors find bloggers to host the posts?

  • Social media. Facebook is particularly good because there are groups that exist specifically to bring authors and bloggers together. Twitter works too. Just post that you’re putting a blog tour together, say a few words in terms of genre and blurb and ask whether any book bloggers would be interested in hosting you.
  • If you already have relationships with book bloggers, contact them directly and ask if they’d be interested in being part of your tour.
  • Blogger/author meet-ups. Personal relationships between authors and bloggers are not only fun and stimulating, they’re useful.
  • Sometimes bloggers offer, especially if they like any previous books you’ve had published. Being approached is a bonus!
  • Pay for someone to run a blog tour for you. There are various people who provide author services and will put together something professional, useful, functional and appropriate (i.e. the correct book bloggers for your book). You can search for them on the internet but it would be reassuring to have a recommendation from another writer.

What will the author have to do?

  • Plan the tour: blogger A on date 1, blogger B on date 2 etc. (I alway think you need to be good at doing sudoku.)
  • Either provide advance copies of the book or get your publisher to do so, in time for it to be read ahead of the tour.
  • A stop on one of my blog tours would typically comprise of a post from me OR an excerpt from the book OR a competition to win a copy of the book PLUS, in each case, a review from the blogger, but some bloggers are happy to simply provide a review, on its own. NB If the blogger has offered, I think they’d probably expect a post from you.
  • Provide whatever else the book blogger needs: cover art, blurb, buy links, other pix, to fulfil the competition if there is one, i.e. send the book to the winner of the comp.IMG_2120
  • Create a book tour graphic and send it to everyone on the blog tour with a request that they include it in the post.
  • Say thank you. The author-blogger relationship is one of working together. If the blog tour is a success the author will get more out of it than the book blogger.
  • Promote every stop of the blog tour on your social media outlets, remembering to tag the book blogger in question. The blogger will do the same and, if you’re lucky, all the book blogger’s book blogger friends will share the posts too.
  • If you have a blog of your own it makes sense to run the blog tour graphic on it (as I am doing with this post!) and, if it works for the style of your blog, reblog some or all the blog posts on the blog tour. It’s blog etiquette to link the URL of any blog you name – as I have done in the second paragraph of this post.

Good luck! And don’t forget to ask each book blogger to post their review on online review sites such as Amazon and Goodreads.

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Things I didn’t know would happen to a novelist

It’s 21 years since I sold my first short story and 13 since I sold (or my then-agent sold) my first novel but I’m still surprised – even shocked – by certain aspects of being an author. As it’s only two weeks until my tenth novel, Just for the Holidays, hits shelves and e-readers, I thought I’d share some with you.

  • Fresh ideas can be hard to come by, not because too many people have written about them before – but because I have!
  • Likewise, character names. (If anyone ever wants to gather all my character names together in one document, please do let me know. I can help you achieve that ambition.)
  • People asking for my help. I’m afraid I have to disappoint a lot of people over this one. Please see ‘Time Pressure’ below.
  • People asking for charitable donations. I’m so sorry I can’t fulfil all of these requests. I try to give time as a speaker when I can but I’ve stopped donating signed books because over one-third of the donation goes straight to the Royal Mail in postage.
  • Time pressure. Writing to an agreed schedule is different to writing if and when I feel like it.
  • People telling me what I meant when I wrote something. It’s always interesting to hear these interpretations and compare them with my own thoughts on the subject. Sometimes I wish I had meant whatever it’s thought I meant because it makes me look brainier or more insightful than I am.
  • Lovely messages on social media. These are such a privilege. Seriously. They make my heart dance and sing.
  • People waiting for my next book. (Cue dancing, singing heart again.)
  • Being in magazines – just me, not even my books.
  • Needing patience when it comes to contracts and similar transactions. (Patience never has been my best thing.)
  • My characters getting fan mail of their own. (Isn’t that awesome?)
  • Occasionally needing a skin like a rhinoceros and a back like a duck. (You’re trying to draw this in your mind now, aren’t you?)
  • It being perfectly legitimate to spend working hours perusing magazines or watching TV for ideas or research. Ditto travel to other countries.
  • People actively wanting to help with research.
  • Team Sue Moorcroft, my street team, even existing. (You can read about – and even join – the street team here.)
  • Being taken out to lunch or sent gifts.
  • Summer scorchersBeing asked to talk about myself. Really. And if you want to join me at the next event it’s Bibliomaniac’s Summer Scorchers in Harpenden, along with fellow authors of summery bookery, Jane Lythell, T A Cotterell, Eva Jordan and Helen Cox.
  • Being asked to read other authors’ books and supply a quote. I can’t do all of these either, for a wide variety of reasons, but it’s lovely all the same and it makes me feel better about giving to my publisher the names of other authors who might quote for my books.
  • People wanting to receive my newsletter or share my posts.
  • Being able to go to parties, lunches, talks and conferences in the names of education and networking.
  • Being able to set my travel to/from events and cost of tickets and other relevant costs against tax.
  • Thinking of a lot of ideas for blog posts around the publication of a book.
  • The rush of excitement that accompanies publication.
  • The heady disbelief when a book surpasses my wildest dreams (like The Christmas Promise getting to #1. Sorry. I try and introduce this to the conversation whenever remotely possible.)
  • And receiving copies of my books, seeing the cover art and marketing plans.
  • People thinking they see themselves in my characters. I try never to let this happen but maybe it’s unconscious?
  • People saying they know where Middledip is. It’s on a big piece of paper in my study and that’s it, I’m afraid.
  • Doing exciting research. (Helicopters, travel abroad, meeting interesting people.)
  • Emails often being exciting.
  • People reading my blog.

If I’ve missed out anything you have on your list, please add it in the comments!

Just for the Holidays is to be released on 18th May 2017, or you can preorder it now.

What would you do to help your sis?

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