I'd like to welcome to my blog, award winning author Sue Moorcroft. Author of wonderful books such as "Love and Freedom", "All that Mullarkey" and my latest book review "Dream A Little Dream".
Welcome Sue and thanks for joining me to answer some questions about yourself and your writing.
- In Dream a Little Dream, I felt you handled the subject of narcolepsy really well. Did it involve a lot of research?
In a word – yes! Had I realised how complex and unusual condition it is I may have chosen something easier. But then I became so interested in the subject that that ceased to be an option.
I read as much as I could find on the subject and also a couple of novels with a character that had narcolepsy (one novel was great, one was not). But, with the exception of the great novel, I didn’t feel I was getting deeply into the subject and, of course, the novelist’s research could have been inaccurate. So I began to read forums for people with narcolepsy and gained some insight into the fact that it’s a spectrum disorder so no one person with narcolepsy need be like another.
At that point, I felt I needed a real person to help me. I went onto the Narcolepsy UK forum, outlined my project and said, ‘My hero is called Dominic, he’s in his thirties and has narcolepsy’. After a few kind replies but from people of the wrong age and/or gender, I hit the jackpot with a response: ‘I had to answer because I’m called Dominic, am in my thirties and have narcolepsy with cataplexy’. So, dozens of emails, phone calls and meetings later, I had a much better grasp of the frustrating and fantastical condition that narcolepsy is. And if you wish to read an interview with the Real Dominic about what it was like to be under my microscope, please do. It’s here.
I’m delighted if you felt I handled the subject of narcolepsy well because it became my mission to do so and it was more difficult than I thought it would be. I wanted to tell it as it is.
- You have some great characters in this book. Do you ever base any of the characters on people you know?
Not really. Visually, I have a mental image, which is usually a pastiche of a few people – some I know and some actors or sportsmen. I also study people and the way they act, what motivates them, where I can see their nature or where I think nurture has resulted in a certain behaviour. So I might pick a trait from someone and kind of use it but it will always become part of my character and move away from the point at which I started. In Dream a Little Dream Dominic’s very un-PC remark about Liza in the first chapter came from a real person – in fact, I had to clean it up a bit to make it palatable to my readers! So I do steal snippets. And occasionally I encounter someone who has a negative impact on me and I think, ‘Right! You’re going in a book!’ But they rarely make it there.
The exception is Downwind, the skateboarding dog in Dream a Little Dream. He’s very much based on a real dog I watched skateboarding in
Brighton. The real dog
so obviously enjoyed it and created so much laughter that I thought, ‘Right!
You’re going in a book!’ and acted on it.
- Your books are classed as chic-lit. Is this the genre of book you yourself would read, or do you have a favourite other genre?
I do read a lot of chick lit, romantic comedy, romantic suspense and historical romance. Occasional genres include historical and time slip. I used to read a lot of crime but I’ve begun to feel a distaste for books that are gory or make me sad, so I leave crime alone most of the time. I can enjoy a paranormal book if the paranormal aspect is benign, like shapeshifting or time travel. But I’m a wussy about vampires or werewolves!
- Other than writing, what else do you love?
Formula 1, reading, Zumba, yoga, travel, hanging out with friends and family – especially if wine and/or sunshine is/are involved. Parties and conferences.
- Who is your favourite author and why?
Of all time, it’s Nevil Shute. He died before I was born so his writing’s a bit dated and the attitudes of some of his characters are shocking – although they would have been acceptable at the time. But he was a fantastic storyteller and could create relationships that grabbed me by the heart. ‘A Town Like Alice’ is my all time favourite book and every six or seven years I reread it. In fact, I reread just about everything he wrote when I think there has been a long enough elapse since reading it last time for me to enjoy it.
- Tell us about any awards you have received?
*Modest cough* Love & Freedom won the Best Romantic Read Award 2011 and I am a Katie Fforde Bursary Award winner. Dream a Little Dream was nominated for the Best Romantic Read Award 2011, Darcie’s Dilemma was nominated for Best Romantic Ebook Read Award 2012, and I was nominated for Innovation in Romantic Fiction. And now Dream a Little Dream has been nominated for a RoNA (Romantic Novel Award) in the Contemporary Romantic Fiction category, which is amazing. I’m so happy about that.
- If you had a premonition you were going to be stranded on a desert island, what 3 books would you take with you.
A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute, Gone Too Far by Suzanne Brockmann … and a thick, empty A4 pad with pen, so that I could write another of my own.
Thank you Sue for answering my questions. There were some really amusing and interesting answers in there. I'm always intrigued as to what authors, other authors read, and your answer took me by surprise.
Sue Moorcroft writes romantic novels of dauntless heroines and irresistible heroes.
Combining writing success with her experience as a creative writing tutor she’s written a ‘how to’ book, Love Writing – How to Make Money From Writing Romantic and Erotic Fiction. Sue also writes short stories, serials, articles and courses and is the head judge and columnist for the Writers’ Forum fiction competition.
She’ll take up the position of vice chair of the RNA in May 2013 having been a long-term member of the committee and edited its two anthologies, published by Harlequin.
Please check out my review of Dream a Little Dream to be in with a chance to win a free giveaway copy of "Dream a Little Dream" in kindle format by Sue Moorcroft. Open to blog followers worldwide.
To purchase a copy of Dream a Little Dream, click here
For other books by Sue Moorcroft please click here