I am delighted to be welcoming to Friday Night Drinks tonight, fellow RNA member and one of my favourite authors of fun, escapist, romantic fiction… Sue Moorcroft.
Sue, I am so thrilled to have you on the blog for drinks this evening, thank you for joining me. First things first, what are you drinking?
Rosé. I like white wine as well but I have rosé left from Christmas.
You are very restrained! If we weren’t here in my virtual bar tonight, but were meeting in real life, where would you be taking me for a night out?
My local lounge. It was Northamptonshire’s first electric light theatre and now it’s one of those lounges that’s a mixture of industrial, bare brick and opulent light shades. I like their steak and their chocolate brownies are even better. Welcome to The Kino!
If you could invite two famous people, one male and one female, alive or dead, along on our night out, who would we be drinking with?
Damon Hill, F1 driver, and Nevil Shute, author. I’m a huge F1 fan and loved watching Damon’s career take shape. Nevil Shute, though his work’s ‘of its time’, taught me what a sweeping love story should be. I’m listening to a few of them in audio now and enjoying them all over again.
I love Nevil Shute. A Town Like Alice is one of my Desert Island Books and I’ll be re-reading and reviewing it for that blog feature later this year. So, now we’re settled, tell me what you are up to at the moment. What have you got going on? How and why did you start it and where do you want it to go?
A Christmas Wish will come out later this year. I’ve sent the first draft in and any moment now I’ll be working on the edits. The schedule tends to go: structural edits (big stuff), line edit (small stuff), copy edit (minutiae) then proof reading (mistakes). Sometimes I’m lucky enough to have the first two rounds of edits in one, which is a great time saver. I write two books a year so the writing and editing tend to overlap and I have no idea when I actually started it. It involved a wonderful research trip to Sweden, though, at the invitation of friend and fellow author Christina Courtenay and her mum.
What has been your proudest moment since you started writing and what has been your biggest challenge?
My proudest moment occurred recently when A Summer to Remember won the Goldsboro Books Contemporary Romantic Novel Award 2020. (see above photo). The awards took place in a glitzy London hotel and I’m incredibly lucky that it was just before Covid-19 social distancing began so it wasn’t cancelled. My biggest challenge was when a past agent telephoned to say my latest book wasn’t good enough and she couldn’t represent it. It was the only time writing has made me cry. Luckily, I have the personality type that made me write a better book rather than stop writing.
What is the one big thing you’d like to achieve in your chosen arena? Be as ambitious as you like, its just us talking after all!
I’d like to be a topseller with a huge film deal. I’m a bestseller now and used to think that was my ambition. Then I saw the word ‘topseller’ attached to authors who are household names and millionaires and I sharpened my ambitions.
It’s always good to push yourself with new ambitions. What are you currently working on that you are really excited about?
I want to get on with planning my summer 2020 book! It’s an idea about identity that has been knocking on my head for a while.
I love to travel, and I’m currently drawing up a bucket list of things I’d like to do in the future. Where is your favourite place that you’ve been and what do you have at the top of your bucket list?
My favourite place is Malta. I was brought up there for several years, my new book, Summer on a Sunny Island is set there, and I love it. On the top of my bucket list is Australia, which has always fascinated me, with a generous stopover in Singapore, where my parents met and married.
Tell me one interesting/surprising/secret fact about yourself that people might not know about you.
I’ve answered this question a few times so I’m not sure I have any secrets left. One less-known detail I’m proud of is that when my kids were in primary school I led a campaign for a security fence after one of my kids was biffed in the face by a senior kid who wandered into their playground without hindrance. Twenty-plus years later, the fence is still there, giving children security.
Books are my big passion and central to my blog and I’m always looking for recommendations. What one book would you give me and recommend as a ‘must-read’?
Romance is the last thing on Lisa’s mind when she finds herself staying in a beautiful apartment with her childhood-friend-turned-arch-enemy Will Ryan…no matter how hot he is!
Lisa’s got more important things to focus on, like hunting down her estranged father. Except when her search falls at the first hurdle, Will doesn’t just help her get back on track, he also shares the romantic sights – and exquisite tastes – of Italy and Lisa starts to wonder if it’s not just Rome seducing her.
Only, as Lisa and Will dig into the past, neither of them is prepared for the long-buried secrets they reveal. Secrets that will turn both their world’s upside down …
I love Jules’s books too (actually, I just love Jules, her writing and in person!). So, we’ve been drinking all evening. What is your failsafe plan to avoid a hangover and your go-to cure if you do end up with one?
The only failsafe I know is ‘don’t drink alcohol’. I don’t drink that much now. My body has taken against it! It has made me appreciate alcohol-free beer.
After our fabulous night out, what would be your ideal way to spend the rest of a perfect weekend?
At the coast in perfect, hot weather, with my family.
Sue, thank you so much for joining me this evening, it has been an absolute pleasure. I hope we can meet up in person soon at the next RNA event when all of this madness is over! Good luck with your new books this year, I look forward to reading them, as ever.
Sue’s latest book, Summer on a Sunny Island, is out now and you can buy a copy here.
When Rosa Hammond splits up from her partner Marcus, her Mum Dory suggests a summer in Malta. Not one to sit back and watch her daughter be unhappy, Dory introduces Rosa to Zach, in the hope that romance will bloom under the summer sun. But Rosa’s determined not to be swayed by a handsome man – she’s in Malta to work, after all.
Zach, meanwhile, is a magnet for trouble and is dealing with a fair few problems of his own. Neither Rosa or Zach are ready for love – but does fate have other ideas? And after a summer in paradise, will Rosa ever want to leave?
Sue Moorcroft is a Sunday Times and international bestselling author and has reached the coveted #1 spot on Amazon Kindle. She’s won the Goldsboro Books Contemporary Romantic Novel Award, Readers’ Best Romantic Novel award and the Katie Fforde Bursary. Sue’s uplifting novels of love and life are currently released by publishing giant HarperCollins in the UK, US and Canada and by an array of publishers in other countries.
Her short stories, serials, columns, writing ‘how to’ and courses have appeared around the world.
Born into an army family in Germany, Sue spent much of her childhood in Cyprus and Malta but settled in Northamptonshire at the age of ten. An avid reader, she also loves Formula 1, travel, family and friends, dance exercise and yoga.
Next week I will be having Friday Night Drinks with author, N. J. Simmonds, so do pop back then and join us.