Category Archives: reading

Publication Day! #ASummertoRemember @AvonBooksUK

 

Publication Day is here!

 

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Today, A Summer to Remember hits shelves and devices everywhere in paperback, ebook and audio.

WANTED! A caretaker for Roundhouse Row holiday cottages. WHERE_ Nelson’s Bar is the perfect little village. Nestled away on the Norfolk coast we can offer you no signal, no Wi-Fi and – most importantly – no problems!

To celebrate, I’ll be on BBC Radio Northampton this morning on the Bernie Keith Show around 10.15 a.m. You can listen on 104.2 FM, 103.6FMDABFreeview channel 734 – RDS = or on the BBC Radio Northampton website.

Even better, the blog tour begins today too!

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My thanks to every lovely book blogger who has agreed to take part. I can’t wait to read your reviews.

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Filed under A Summer to Remember, Audio, Authors, Avon Books UK, BBC Radio Northampton, Book bloggers, ebook, HarperCollins, Norfolk, north Norfolk, Paperback, publication day, readers, reading, Sunday Times bestseller, Writers, writing

Bedford International Writing Competition open for entries @BedfordWritComp

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The Bedford International Writing Competition opens for entries today!

Apart from great cash prizes in four categories of short story and poetry, the competition offers you the opportunity to get your work noticed by editor Eleanor Dryden or agent Kate Nash.

There will be an awards evening in Bedford in early 2021 – I was a judge last year and thoroughly enjoyed the event at the Quarry Theatre.

BIWC also supports literary charities and I can recommend it.

If you’d like to learn more or to enter, here’s the link to the website. Click on ‘Competition’ at the top and select a category.

Good luck!

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Last year’s judging

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Filed under Authors, Bedford International Writing Competition, competition, Eleanor Dryden, Kate Nash, Poetry, readers, reading, short story, Speaker, Writers, writing, Writing competition

I love #Norfolk

 

I thought I’d share with you some of my favourite pix from my research trip in north Norfolk last year, as the book I was conducting research for was A Summer to Remember – and, wow, it’s now almost time for the book to come out!

Top left is the gateway of All Saints Church, Thornham. I stayed at a nearby pub, The Orange Tree, and enjoyed wandering around the village. Nelson’s Bar, in A Summer to Remember, is situated between Thornham and Titchwell. I pushed them aside a little and created a headland that juts out in the salt marshes and put Nelson’s Bar on top of that.

Top centre and bottom right are shots of the vibrant seaside resort of Hunstanton, the nearest big town to Nelson’s Bar.

Top right and left centre are from Brancaster Staithe where there’s a sailing club. I had fun watching all the activity without feeling the actual urge to go out on the water myself.

Bottom centre is part of a footpath in the salt marshes near Thornham. I loved the salt marshes. Some of the grasses were taller than I am so I didn’t venture down those paths even though, to my surprise, I got a great mobile phone signal on the salt marshes! As Nelson’s Bar does not have a good mobile signal and only scant broadband, checking my phone for signal was a constant preoccupation of the trip.

I hope you like the pix. There are probably a hundred more but I just picked out a few.

A Summer to Remember will be published in paperback, ebook and audio on 2 May 2019.

 

 

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Filed under A Summer to Remember, ebook, Norfolk, north Norfolk, Paperback, Plotting, Preorder, publication day, readers, reading, research, Writers, writing

Women in Business Conference #SSconf19 #sociallyshared

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Although I’ve spoken at conferences before this is the first time I’ve been invited to do so as a businesswoman – though being an author means I am one. I’m a one-person organisation with accounts and paperwork to complete, social media campaigns to run, forward planning to do and relationships to nurture. Although I’ll sometimes joke that I make stuff up for a living, there’s more to being an author than that.

My talk at the Women in Business ConferenceTwenty Years to become an Overnight Success, will cover:

My long road to bestsellerdom, including some of the wrong turns along the way

Where I am now

My working practices.

How I work with Avon Books UK (HarperCollins) and Blake Friedmann Literary Agency to create the best books I can and sell them around the world.

WIBC conference speaker

An author panel will follow comprising:

Sue Moorcroft – Contemporary women’s fiction

Shelley Wilson – Multi-genre fiction and personal development non-fiction

Lyn Bromley – Business and management non-fiction

Elizabeth Beetham – Health and wellbeing non-fiction and poetry 

We’ll be interviewed by BBC Journalist, TV and Radio Presenter Joanna Tidman. A book stand will be available for delegates to visit and purchase copies of books written by the panel and other local authors.

WIBC author panel

You can access further information about the Women in Business Conference and book here. It looks like a wonderful day! I hope to see you there.

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Filed under Authors, Avon Books UK, Blake Friedmann Literary Agency, Conference, HarperCollins, Juliet Pickering, Paperback, readers, reading, Socially Shared, Speaker, Sunday Times bestseller, Warwickshire, Women in Business Conference, Writers, writing

Another lovely summer event! @PhillipaAshley @ChristieJBarlow @osborne_bella

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One of the best things about being an author is the opportunity to work with other authors. I’m thrilled to be featured in a Girls’ Night In with Phillipa Ashley, Christie Barlow and Bella Osborne on Thursday 20th June at 18:30. We’ll be at Waterstones, 24-26 High St, Birmingham B4 7SL.

Learn more and buy tickets here.

Come along if you can! Drinks and nibbles included and the cost of the ticket can be redeemed against the purchase of one of our books on the night.

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Filed under A Summer to Remember, Avon Books UK, Book bloggers, Book group, Paperback, readers, reading, Sunday Times bestseller, Writers, writing

Earls Barton Literary Festival

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Just to let you know that I’ll be returning to the Earls Barton Literary Festival on 8 June 2019 between 3pm and 4pm in the stunning Methodist Church. I’ll be in conversation with local lovely Julie Williams, chatting about my writing life and what it means to be with a major publisher.

The Oundle Bookshop is providing a pop-up bookshop for the weekend in the library. Book sales and signings, chats and selfies will all take place there. Like many participants, my fee will be donated to the village library.

It’s a great programme. Further information and tickets here.

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Filed under A Summer to Remember, Authors, Avon Books UK, Book bloggers, Book group, Earls Barton Literary Festival, ebook, Literary festival, Paperback, readers, reading, Sunday Times bestseller, Writers, writing

Cover reveal! A Summer to Remember #ASummertoRemember @AvonBooksUK

It’s my absolute pleasure to share with you the beautifully summery cover of my next book –
 A Summer to Remember.
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Isn’t it gorgeous?
A Summer to Remember will be published in paperback, ebook and audio on May 2nd 2019.
And here’s the blurb:
WANTED! A caretaker for Roundhouse Row holiday cottages. WHERE_ Nelson’s Bar is the perfect little village. Nestled away on the Norfolk coast we can offer you no signal, no Wi-Fi and – most importantly – no problems!

A Summer to Remember is available for preorder now!

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Filed under A Summer to Remember, Avon Books UK, Book bloggers, Cover, Cover reveal, ebook, Paperback, Preorder, reading, Team Sue Moorcroft, writing

The joys of research

What’s not to love about research?

My next book, A Summer to Remember (2 May 2019), is set in north Norfolk. When I decided to make Clancy, the heroine, run away from A Situation in London, where better to run to than a remote village with rubbish mobile and broadband signals?

Writers vary in the way they choose their settings. Some choose real places; others create entire countries or even worlds. I’m comfortable with a technique halfway between these two as I create fictitious towns or villages set in proximity to real places, and my characters move between the two. The real places provide authenticity and the created places give me freedom. I don’t have to worry about whether you can really get from A to B in twenty minutes or whether a business I depict as a grotty pick up joint will be recognised.

I began with iMaps, searching the coast until I found a place where I felt I could realistically bisect the salt marshes and shove a headland in on which to build my village. I asked my street team, Team Sue Moorcroft, for suggested names for the village and took one from Manda Ward: Nelson’s Bar. Then I booked a couple of nights at a lovely pub in a village called Thornham, very close to my Nelson’s Bar spot, and set off on my research trip. Spending time on the coast in gorgeous sunny weather, taking photos and making notes – well, it doesn’t sound like hard work, does it?

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Over the course of several days, I built up a collection of leaflets and maps from Hunstanton Tourist Information, books on local history at the pub where I stayed and, like most writers, I used the Internet to research businesses and study aerial views. It was essential to my plot to know where I could and couldn’t get a mobile signal so I did a lot of sending experimental texts too. North Norfolk has several of its own free newspapers and they were invaluable in getting a feel for the area. I read them in the pub garden with a glass of wine on a sunny evening.

And I spent hours and hours walking in the area. The salt marshes and the beaches, the villages and the resorts. I took hundreds of photos with my digital camera and my phone so, once home, I could check out the undulating stripy cliffs, the beach, the breakwaters … Pretty much anything I could think of was recorded whilst I was on the spot.

I don’t yet have the final cover of A Summer to Remember to share with you but it’s nearly ready! Meantime, if you’d like your appetite whetted, here’s the back-of-book blurb:

COME AND SPEND SUMMER BY THE SEA!

WANTED! A caretaker for Roundhouse Row holiday cottages.

WHERE? Nelson’s Bar is the perfect little village. Nestled away on the Norfolk coast we can offer you no signal, no Wi-Fi and – most importantly – no problems!

WHO? The ideal candidate will be looking for an escape from their cheating scumbag ex-fiancé, a diversion from their entitled cousin, and a break from their traitorous friends.

WHAT YOU’LL GET! Accommodation in a chocolate-box cottage, plus a summer filled with blue skies and beachside walks. Oh, and a reunion with the man of your dreams.

PLEASE NOTE: We take no responsibility for any of the above scumbags, passengers and/or traitors walking back into your life…

GET IN TOUCH NOW TO MAKE THIS A SUMMER TO REMEMBER!

A Summer to Remember is available to preorder now and will be released in paperback, ebook and audio by Avon Books (HarperCollins) on 2 May 2019.

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Filed under Authors, Avon Books UK, Cover, ebook, Paperback, reading, research, Team Sue Moorcroft, Writers, writing

One Summer in Italy or how I write a book #OneSummerinItaly #NewBook

Publication Day!

Today’s one of the happiest days of the year – a publication day. One Summer in Italy is sent out into the world … well, it’s sent out to shelves and portable devices, anyway. I hope you like my latest book baby.

The jokey term for a novel ‘book baby’ came into being for a reason, I think. Though a fantastic, joyful event, there’s a lot of hard work involved in giving it life.

Here’s the bullet-point version from my perspective:

  • Get an idea for the premise of the book. For One Summer in Italy this came when I was in Italy at Arte Umbria, where I have taught courses and led retreats for several years. The chef and I happened to be taking a break at the same time, sitting in the sun with our feet in the pool, and she told me about being a seasonal worker. I thought, ‘What a great thing for one of my heroines to do’.
  • Work on characters and planning.
  • Research. Yes, this did involve being in Italy again and taking a host of pictures. ♥ But also a lot of finding and absorbing information on seasonal workers (employees and employers), ex-pat families, the hospitality trade, laws and regulations, web development, homelessness, motorbikes, blood groups, watercolour painting and even Italian cemeteries.
  • Write the first draft. This takes months and is punctuated with constant distractions and interruptions. I was thankful for last year’s writing retreat where I wrote nearly a quarter of the first draft and had the joyful experience of being in the place I was writing about … more or less. My imagination added a town and a hotel.
  • Write another draft or two
  • Send book in
  • Receive structural edit. The structural edit covers all the large changes my editor feels will make help me produce the best book I can. Discuss with editor; make decisions on how many suggestions I’ll take up; perform structural edit.
  • Send structural edit back
  • Receive line edits. Line edits deal with smaller matters, continuity and timeline. I’m timeline-blind so this stage often involves a lot of head scratching whilst wearing a grumpy expression – on my part, anyway. Probably it’s the same for the line editor.
  • Send line edits back.
  • Receive copy edits. Copy edits deal with punctuation, grammar and anything that hasn’t yet been picked up in another edit.
  • Send copy edits back.
  • Receive proofs. To proof a book I have to read the whole thing again and indicate any errors I see.
  • Send proofs back.
  • Write acknowledgments and any dedication.
  • Write any backmatter (bonus material) requested.
  • Breathe a great sigh of relief.
  • Start another book. This usually takes place betwixt and between the above tasks.

I can’t tell you in the same detail what the other side of the process is, carried out by the fab Avon team, but it will include the all-important cover (I LOVE the cover of One Summer in Italy), editing, scheduling, typesetting, promo, marketing and blurb writing. I’m involved in some of those areas too, mainly the promo.

Underpinning the process on both sides is respect, co-operation, negotiation, discussion, and a whole heck of a lot of emails!

But it’s worth it when this is what we end up with:

It_s time for Sophia to live her own life – and to fulfil the promises she made to her father Aldo.Montelibertà in Italy_s Umbrian mountains holds plenty of family secrets waitin

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Filed under Arte Umbria, Avon Books UK, Cover, ebook, Italy, Launch, One Summer in Italy, Paperback, Plotting, publication day, reading, retreat, Umbria, Writers, writing

How I created a town in Italy

 

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Arte Umbria

 

As it’s now only one week until One Summer in Italy is published I thought I’d write about the location.

I love to create settings for my novels, whether it’s a little English village or a town in another country. One Summer in Italy is set in Umbria, a verdant region of Italy, and there I built in my imagination a town called Montelibertà.

 

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Orvieto; looking towards the amazing cathedral, ‘Il Duomo’.

 

Where did Montelibertà come from? For the last several years I’ve been lucky enough to run writing courses or retreats for Arte Umbria. The venue is an old stone hunting lodge and it looks out over the rolling Apennines. Their terrace is one of my favourite places and I used it as the basis for Montelibertà, beginning with the view, which my hero, Levi Gunn, is in town to capture in watercolours.

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The building itself grew in my imagination to a small hotel called Casa Felice (Happy House), with a café in front of it – Il Giardino (The Garden, in case you hadn’t guessed). I had to work out how many rooms there would be, where the dining areas were, Reception, back offices, kitchens, even the utility yard. I added in a little marble to the stonework, because that’s what hotels often do.

And I had to create a town for Casa Felice to stand on the edges of. I seemed to have to know a lot about the town too – where the church is and what it looks like; what’s beyond Case Felice; where the cemetery is; the piazzas, the streets, even in which direction the slopes run. I made the town, Montelibertà, a smaller version of the wonderful medieval town of Orvieto, which is only a couple of trains stops, a funicular and a bus ride away. I’ve visited it several times when at Arte Umbria. I spent a wonderful day – and an entire phone-charge – taking photos in Orvieto. Then I took out my trusty big sketch pad and began on the map.

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Sorry it’s not a very good pic. I’ve never found the time to ink the map and tidy it up.

 

I even had to work out transport links, the nearest autostrade or motorway, the railways and the buses. My map is no work of art – slopes marked with the words ‘up’ or ‘down’ are functional rather than pretty – but it works for me. My library of photos from my various trips to Umbria have been mined throughout the writing of the book, so it’s all pretty clear in my mind.

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I called the town ‘Montelibertà’ as it’s set in the mountains and represents what Sofia is seeking when she travels there, her father’s home town – liberty. Does she find it? Welllllll … she finds a whole heck of a lot of things, most of them unexpected.

 

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Writing retreat, Arte Umbria 2017

 

If you’re interested in joining me on a writing retreat at Arte Umbria this summer (20-17 June 2018 or 27 June-4 July 2018) then you can read more about it on their website. You can also read earlier post, Did the Writing Retreat Work? here. (The answer is ‘yes’, by the way. I wrote almost a quarter of the first draft of One Summer in Italy in one week.

One Summer in Italy will hit portable devices or book shop and supermarket shelves near you on May 17 2018.

Promises, Secrets, Family

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Filed under Arte Umbria, Avon Books UK, ebook, Italy, One Summer in Italy, Orvieto, Paperback, reading, retreat, Umbria, Writers, writing