Welcome Sue. Just a few questions to find out more about you.
At what age did you realise you had an aptitude for writing and that you wanted to be an author?
In my last year of primary school. I had a crazy teacher, probably related to Tasmanian Devils. He used to frighten the life out of me but he told me that I could write and that one day there would be novels on the shelf with ‘Sue Moorcroft’ on the spine. I was amazed that I could get on the right side of him by making things up.
What drove you to go down the romantic fiction path and not into another genre? Is it because you’re a romantic?
I think I am a romantic, yes. I love romantic fiction, anyway. The best of it leaves me wishing that I were in that relationship with the couple. I suppose I must like the feeling of falling in love and romantic novels allow me to do that every few days!
Writing a love affair is the same feeling only much more intense. It gives me the opportunity to explore why relationships work or don’t work and what complex creatures human beings are.
Choosing a life partner is one of the most important decisions we make so it’s no wonder that we like to read about it.
If your friends read all of your books would they see themselves in any of your characters?
I hope not … I try very hard not to let that happen and I’m a bit disappointed if somebody tells me that a particular heroine is like me. My characters are mean to be individuals who only exist in my head and on the pages.
There are a couple of people who are not my friends in my books. But that’s fair game, right?
You lived for some time in Malta and your new book “The Wedding Proposal” is based in Malta. Do you think your surroundings inspire you and improve the flow of your writing?
Yes. I like to write at home, in silence. That’s not always possible and I do write on trains, planes and in hotel rooms, too, with real life taking place around me at a terrific volume, but I find it harder. I was really tempted to go to Malta for a week just to write a segment of The Wedding Proposal as it would have been an awesome experience. I couldn’t really justify the time, sadly.
But in terms of research, actually visiting the places in my books is much more satisfactory and satisfying than doing the research via books or the internet.
As well as being a successful novelist, you run writing courses in beautiful locations like the south of France and Umbria in Italy. What sort of people attend your courses? Does any reader have it in them to write?
All kinds of people attend my courses abroad, writing all sorts of fiction or even their autobiography. I’ve had complete beginners, those moving from short stories to novels, getting back into writing after a break, just wanting to spend time with other writers or published writers working on a new novel. There’s something freeing about being away from work and home responsibilities.
I don’t suppose every reader has it in them to write or have the desire to do so. There are plenty who have both, though. A reader is already used to inhabiting the world of fiction so writing can be a natural development for them.
What did it feel like to win the “Best Romantic Read Award” in 2011 for “Love and Freedom”?
Wow, that was amazing. There was a bestselling author on the shortlist so I had made up my mind that she would win. I was genuinely staggered when they read out my name and I just stood there. Someone had to shove me up to accept the award. I was in a daze for the rest of the evening but it was a time of euphoria. The award sits on the windowsill next to my chair in the sitting room.
Being romantic fiction your books attract thousands of female fans. Have you ever been contacted by male fans saying they’ve loved your books?
I have. Sometimes they read my stuff because they know me through Twitter, Facebook, workshops etc and they buy a book out of solidarity or curiosity and send me messages saying that they’re surprised how much they enjoyed it. But I do get male readers who have no other contact with me, too. Interestingly, my books in translation seem to attract as many messages from men as from women.
And I have a male friend who is single and says reading my books on the Tube earns him a lot of interested looks from females. I’m trying to work out how I can make that benefit me in marketing terms.
Being a novelist, what is the one thing you couldn’t live without?
Aside from the obvious, such as air, water and food, I’d say my computer. We’re surgically attached.
I’ve heard you’re a lover of Formula 1 racing. That seems the polar opposite to being a romantic novelist. What draws you to Formula 1?
I’ve never known. I’m just absolutely riveted by it – not just the races but the practices and qualifying and every bit of gossip and news I can access. I’m sure I must irritate other people! I come from a family who like sport but I thought I had avoided the fanatic gene until I saw a race about twenty years ago. I was hooked and haven’t missed many races since then.
Now, Sue Moorcroft, what do you do to relax when you’re not writing, apart from watching Formula 1?
I read, do Zumba, yoga, FitStep and piano classes. The occasional weekend at a spa is very welcome and I like to travel - the nice safe kind of travel, though, not the hiking through war zones kind!
Thanks for inviting me on to Bookalicious.
Can a runaway bride stop running?
Elle Jamieson is an unusually private person, in relationships as well as at work – and for good reason. But when she’s made redundant, with no ties to hold her, Elle heads off to a new life in sunny Malta.
Lucas Rose hates secrets – he prides himself on his ability to lay his cards on the table and he expects nothing less from others. He’s furious when his summer working as a divemaster is interrupted by the arrival of Elle, his ex, all thanks to his Uncle Simon’s misguided attempts at matchmaking.
Forced to live in close proximity, it’s hard to ignore what they had shared before Lucas’s wedding proposal ended everything they had. But then an unexpected phone call from England allows Lucas a rare glimpse of the true Elle. Can he deal with Elle’s hidden past when it finally comes to light?
Sue Moorcroft writes romantic novels of dauntless heroines and irresistible heroes. Is this Love? was nominated for the Readers’ Best Romantic Read Award. Love & Freedom won the Best Romantic Read Award 2011 and Dream a Little Dream was nominated for a RoNA in 2013. Sue received three nominations at the Festival of Romance 2012, and is a Katie Fforde Bursary Award winner. She’s a past vice chair of the RNA and editor of its two anthologies.
Sue also writes short stories, serials, articles, writing ‘how to’ and is a competition judge and creative writing tutor.
Sue’s latest book The Wedding Proposal is available as an ebook from 4 August 2014 and as a paperback from 8 September.
Thank you for joining us today Sue. I wish you every success with your new novel "The Wedding Proposal".