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Welcome, Sue Moorcroft…

Thank you for taking the time to talk to me today, despite recovering from Covid. (Dear Readers, please note that Sue and I did not meet up for this interview.)

Can I offer you a drink? Tea? Wine?

I’m right off tea at the moment! I love it, usually, but Covid seems to have changed it. I’ll have a nice glass of chilled white wine, please.

*Hands Sue chilled wine*

Congratulations in having a book out this Thursday. I just love this cover. In fact, I like all your covers. I hope you’ll be well enough to celebrate on the day of publication. How many books is this now?

It’s a tricky question. Nineteen novels and a writing guide is the cautious answer but A Home in the Sun is a relaunch of my very first novel, Uphill All the Way; Family Matters was a hardback that was rewritten as Want to Know a Secret? in paperback and ebooks and I have a few short ebooks that began life as serials and then went on to large print. I don’t count the serials in the nineteen, nor count a book again when it comes out in a different guise, even though there are actually two editions on my shelf.

Many readers say that they’d like to write a book but don’t where to start. I say that their first book doesn’t need to be a full novel. It can be an article for a magazine, a novella or of course, if they want to write a full novel then go ahead. Not everyone plans at the beginning of their work and here Sue will tell us how she gets an idea to a finished full novel.

I agree with you. After two awful novels that publishers couldn’t return to me fast enough, I aimed at short stories for magazines. I sold the first in 1996 and had placed eighty-seven before I sold a novel – what is now A Home in the Sun. I’d also sold a serial and some writing ‘how-to’. My rule was that if it earned money and was connected with writing, I’d do it. It’s actually been a great pleasure to rework my first published novel. The story is the same as it was and I still like it but I had the opportunity to make a structural change to the beginning and edit it in line with my current writing capabilities.

Where did the idea for this book come from?

I was on holiday in Malta when I saw a guy leaving for work by climbing down the balconies of his apartment block to the street and decided he had to go in a book. I was also reflecting on how much I’d hated leaving Malta as a child and how it would be as an adult. I then read an article in the Times of Malta about there being no divorce in Malta (then) and how it left people in separation limbo. I put those things together. Divorce in Malta is now legal but as the book is set 2000-2005, that doesn’t matter.

One of the army quarters in Malta Sue lived in as a child.

How did you know that this idea would have potential for a full novel?

It was actually the eighth novel I’d written so I was getting the hang of it! Later, I was able to go back and sell three of the earlier ones, after further work. Another became a serial. Publishing can be a funny game but it pays not to throw anything away.

Do you write to a specific wordcount? If you do, how do you know you will able to write to that whilst keeping to the story?

I think there’s a lot of myths surrounding word count. Coming from a background of short stories for magazines, where you’re given a word count and expected to make it work, it’s not that hard. I have a feel for how much conflict and how many goals I need for the two main characters and if I’m falling short I can explore one a little more deeply and if I’m coming up long I can edit down. The latter is my norm. I’m contracted for 95,000-100,000 and my first draft is generally around 110,000. I rip it down in my next draft, the one I send my editor. Then she does the structural edit, which invariably calls for additions rather than subtractions, so I have to tighten again. I always get anxious at the end of the rough draft and think I’m going to mess it up but it’s like a lump of clay. All the material is there. I just have to mould it into the shape I want.

Do you write profiles for all your characters or just the main ones?

Main. I like to know a lot about their conflicts and goals and their lives till now. I don’t feel characters are born on page 1 and when I know who they are already, I know how they’ll react to what I throw at them. I also like to know what other characters think of them. In real life, my husband, son and brothers will each know different versions of me and the Sue my mum knew was different again. I reflect this in my writing.

Do you make up images of your characters or get photographs from the net?

Some of each. I don’t normally resort to photos unless the mental image is hard to keep still in my imagination. I like to know hair and eye colour, general stature, whether hair is curly or straight or if someone has a particularly attractive feature, like a smile.

Do all of your characters have goals to achieve?

Yes, I think so, even if the goal is known to me but not to them. In A Home in the Sun, for example, Judith returns to the UK because she feels there’s nothing left for her in Malta after Giorgio’s accident. However, she immediately begins putting her life in order and adapting to being back in the UK. She worries about her family and wants to help. She also wants her house back, which is tricky because her old school crush is her tenant and doesn’t feel like giving the house up till he has to. Sub-consciously, Judith’s seeking a new status quo but consciously she thinks she’s drifting. If I can give characters goals that conflict with the aims of a different character, so much the better, so at the end Judith can move back to Malta … but not with Adam. What’s she going to do?

At what point do you visit the place in the book?

In normal times, I visit Malta several times a year. It has always been ‘home’ to me.

Sue and her brothers in a different army quarter in Malta.

If the setting is Italy or France, for example, I’ll try and visit early in the process and maybe later, too. All very tricky in Covid times, which is why my earlier book this year was set where I’d set a book before, Umbria in Italy, and next summer’s book be set in France, as Just for the Holidays was. I already have loads of research pix, as well as my memory bank.

How do you build a plot?

I rely on what I call ‘my plotty head’. I give it material in the form of conflicts and goals that interest me and let it begin to weave. I’ve learned to rely on it quite a lot. It likes help from a notebook and pen where I ‘think aloud’ onto the page. Logic plays a big part, too, because I believe everything’s included for a reason, in fiction. If something is part of the story then it has to earn its place. It took me a while to learn that.

Do you use a white board, post it notes, planning apps e.g. Scrivener?

It varies book to book but I’ve never used Scrivener or similar. I get bored by the idea of learning to use software and when I’m planning I do like good old paper and pen, whether that’s on cards or stickies, a notebook or just a big sheet of paper. Maybe I’m missing something good but paper works for me.

At what point do you know when its time to start writing the book?

When Chapter One wants to be written and I don’t want it to escape. I love beginning a book. It’s like being on the starting grid of a Formula One race – everything is possible and you haven’t gone off at the first corner.

Do you write the first chapter then the next and the next or write the beginning and the end and fill in the middle?

Mostly, I write in order, but if a scene or chapter is pulling at me I write it in note form. I find the disadvantage of that is that by the time it falls into place it’s probably wrong. I often put thoughts at the foot of my manuscript and review them periodically to see whether it’s time to pull them in or time to delete them.

My last question: where can readers find you on social media?

Website [www.suemoorcroft.com]

Blog [http://suemoorcroft.wordpress.com]

Facebook profile [Sue.Moorcroft.3]

Facebook author page [https://www.facebook.com/SueMoorcroftAuthor

Twitter  [@suemoorcroft]

Instagram [https://www.instagram.com/suemoorcroftauthor/] @SueMoorcroftAuthor

LinkedIn [https://www.linkedin.com/in/suemoorcroft]

or you can just use my Link Tree linktr.ee/SueMoorcroft

Thank you, Sue. I’m now off to pre order my copy.

Thank you very much! It’s been a pleasure to chat to you, Suzan. Thanks for inviting me.

This title will be released this Thursday, 19th August and available in #paperback #ebook #audio.

Pre order now:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Home-Sun-Sue-Moorcroft-ebook/dp/B08TG2171R/ref=sr_1_1?crid=10EG856Z82ROJ&dchild=1&keywords=sue+moorcroft&qid=1628774209&s=books&sprefix=sue+moor%2Cstripbooks%2C158&sr=1-1


If you would like to have a look at and/or purchase any of Sue’s books please click on this link https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?k=sue+moorcroft&i=stripbooks&crid=10EG856Z82ROJ&sprefix=sue+moor%2Cstripbooks%2C158&ref=nb_sb_ss_ts-doa-p_1_8

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Children in Read Oct 2019

Delighted to be part of Children in Read and thank you to those who have bid thus far.

If you would like to bid to win this book (signed and with a dedication by myself, the author) please click on this link https://www.jumblebee.co.uk/childreninread2019#buzz_expend_78944

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Having a pen name ( Zina Adams Writer) is okay but getting used to having one will take a while. Or at least it will with me. The fabulous The Coconut Loft sells my novel (and my other books written by me, Suzan Collins author page, and a few weeks ago the owner, Georgina Parkin, came and gave me a high-five saying, ‘Zina Adams has just sold a copy!’ ‘Great!’ I replied. A few seconds of thinking and then I asked, ‘Who is Zina Adams?’ ‘You!’. ‘Oh yeah.’ I replied. When Gina gave me a high-five at the end of last week and said ‘Zina Adams has sold a copy.’ I replied, ‘Oooh, I know who that is. Brilliant, thank you! And thank you to everyone who has purchased a copy.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00038]

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Rails-Zina-Adams/dp/0993169066/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1440757725&sr=1-1&keywords=zina+adams

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Welcome, Rosemary Smith… Can you tell me a little about yourself?

Rosemary A Smith

I’m 68 years old, live in Devon, and didn’t start writing until I was 57 after having a brain tumour removed. My neurosurgeon advised me to keep my brain active, but don’t think it was quite what he had in mind! I was born in London, and my stepfather moved us to Devon in 1959. It is home to me. I’ve written 7 romantic suspense novellas. First for DC Thomson, and then they went into large print with Ulverscroft. And so far 4 are on kindle with Endeavour Press. I’m an incurable romantic, and have a lively imagination. I wrote under the name Rosemary A Smith, but the kindle books are under just Rosemary Smith. I am a member of the romantic Novelists Association, and have a lot to do with fundraising for our Chapel which was built in 1719. We have 3 daughters, one sadly deceased. 8 grandchildren and 2 great grandsons. And a dog called Alfie.

What was the first story you wrote?

The first story I wrote was ‘The Amethyst Brooch’. It took me 2 years to write by hand. A friend typed it up, and said I should send it somewhere. The story was set in Cornwall in the late 19th Century. And I was lucky enough to have it accepted by DC Thomson.

Were you inspired by someone or something?

I was inspired by the rugged beauty of Cornwall. My love of old houses. My love of romance, and of mystery, and of beautiful dresses. Also the sea, which is one of my favourite things.

What do you like about writing a story?

The thing I love about writing my stories, is escaping into another world in the past. And I really enjoy the research. Sometimes I can spend a few hours reading up on Victorian Society, clothes etc. I also like to think that people are going to enjoy what I’ve written. I love writing.

Can you tell us about your newest book?

My newest book is a time slip story. Set between the 19th century in Scotland, and the 18th Century in Devon and Ireland. I’ve not tried a time slip before. It’s about a young woman who wakes up in a castle in the Highlands of Scotland, not knowing who she is, or why she is there. Also about a young woman banished to a Convent in Ireland for falling in love. I’ve really enjoyed writing this story, but have yet to send it to a publisher. I’m still deliberating where to send it!

How did you come up with the story?

The story just popped into my mind, as stories always do. I started in Ireland, then added the Scotland aspect of the story. The title usually comes to me first, and I work the story around it. Names are always important, and I get to know my characters quite well. Hate leaving them when the work is complete!

What genre best fits for the book?

Victorian Romantic suspense. Romance, mystery, history in a beautiful setting.

Are you working on something new at the moment?

I’m not working on anything new at present, although I have bursts of inspiration. Life has been quite hectic lately. But I will get back to it.

Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?

The only thing I would say to aspiring writers is, get it on paper. I was lucky, they can be too. And don’t give up.

What is your writing routine?

I write better in the evening, or early hours. Not necessarily every day. I get spurts of writing for days. I don’t have a routine.

Do you have an editing process?

I usually go back over chapters at regular intervals, and edit quite often. It is when I read things back that I see mistakes, and the potential for additional sentences and paragraphs. I never leave it until the end, I edit regularly.

What do you enjoy the most/least about writing?

The thing I most like about writing is making up a story which hopefully people will enjoy. I always have the reader in my mind when writing.

Where can people go to read your work?

Four titles are available on Amazon on kindle under the name Rosemary Smith. The latest title on kindle is ‘A Strange Affair’. I can be found on Amazon Authors section under the name Rosemary A Smith. I don’t have a website.

Where can people find you on the internet?

Libraries: People can find my seven novellas in the large print section of libraries all across the UK, and I know they are in Australia and New Zealand too.

Amazon: Four titles are available on Amazon on kindle under the name Rosemary Smith. The latest title on kindle is ‘A Strange Affair’. I can be found on Amazon Authors section under the name Rosemary A Smith. I don’t have a website. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Rosemary-A.-Smith/e/B0034P3R1M/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1413624871&sr=1-2-ent

Is there anything else you would like to share with your readers?

I would just like to say to my readers, that I write in the Victorian Era because I feel I’ve lived there, and have no trouble imagining the clothes and old houses I write about.

Thank you Suzan for inviting me over. Rosemary. You’re welcome, Rosemary, I have enjoyed it. Suzan

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Welcome, Glynis Smy…

Glynis

Can you tell me a little about yourself?

I live in the coastal town of Dovercourt, Essex, with my husband and mother. We have three adult children, one in Canada, and two in Essex. Our adorable granddaughter keeps us on our toes, and look forward to another arriving in February 2015. I enjoy card making for charity, fishing, cross stitch, and of course, writing.

What was the first story you wrote?

It was Ripper, My Love, a romance suspense in the Victorian era.

Ripper my love~Glynis

Were you inspired by someone or something?

I would like to say Jack the Ripper, but it was more of a statement made than the person. Someone said what an evil person he/she had been. I replied that somebody loved them once, and that was it, the idea kicked in for a short story but a novel developed.

Why do you write?

Why? Because I love it, and there are characters in my head I cannot shut up at night. They force me to scribble down words at a frantic pace!

Can you tell us about your newest book?

The Penny Portrait is due for release December 2014. It is based in my hometown, although I started writing it in Cyprus (where I lived for eight years until 2013). My favourite place to walk is along the rough coastal paths of the beach, and it holds fond memories of my father who passed two years ago.

                                         Harwich 1865

When Elle Buchanan is abandoned by her parents in her sixteenth year, she has no choice but to run from the leering eyes of their landlord. Earlham’s beach in the town of Dovercourt, holds memories of her childhood and becomes her home. Hiding out in a rundown shepherd shack she takes stock of her life, and finds friendship in the form of a crippled male, Stanley.

Through various friendships she is able to follow her love of art and earn from her skill. Under the guidance of Angus Argyle, a local art tutor, she thrives. His sharp eye spots a charcoal drawing in her portfolio, and knows the naked man Elle etched. She tells of how they met, and Angus sells the drawing on to its model with the promise that they would say nothing.

Elle struggles with the loss of friends, friendship, and love. Growing up alone she is naïve, and her innocence loses her a love she so desperately seeks.

Will Elle have to give up her dream for love, or will love find a way into her life?

How did you come up with the story?

Dad had Alzheimer’s and I sat reminiscing about my childhood walks with him, and I wanted to capture the feeling of abandonment that the disease gave me when it took him from me. He saved me from the tidal dikes one day, and became my hero as he carried me on his back across the rushing waters.

I met my husband in the same town, and we walked there as young lovers, I wanted to capture the romance, angst, and emotional patterns of young love.

I played there with my best friend who died twenty years ago, and during the reflective moments, that was the place my mind took me, so I tried to capture friendship and loss.

I really cannot think why I chose art as my character’s pathway in life, I cannot paint to save my life!

So all in all the story is a plot of emotions based upon my inner-self, about a place that some see as desolate but I see it as a giver of life.

What genre best fits for the book?

Historical Romance – Victorian

What are some of the benefits and challenges to writing?

Benefits are of achieving a dream. Pocket money if you sell enough for profit, and the sense of satisfaction a reader has enjoyed your work. Challenges? Editing, marketing – the other side of writing.

Do you attend a writing group?

No, I am not a group person. I attended one once but felt so inadequate I couldn’t return.

Do you have someone to critique your work?

Yes, I have a couple of fab beta readers.

Are you working on something new at the moment?

My novel Maggie’s Child, has captured the imagination of a few readers and I received emails and messages wondering if there would be more about Maggie’s life. So, I am in the process of attempting a family saga. A BIG challenge!

Maggies child~Glynis

 

Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?

Go for it, grab that pen and follow your dream. Build a presence on the Internet, learn from others, and do not be put off by those who have received rejections from publishers and agents. Self-publish, and carry on enjoying the dream!

What is your writing routine?

Grab time when I can. I no longer have the luxury of all day to myself, I literally have to grab moments, so there is no longer a routine.

Do you have an editing process?

  1. I read on computer – edit x3.
  2. I print off read through & edit x1
  3. I download to Kindle and read as a book (amazing how many glaring errors are found this way).
  4. I then hand over to beta readers

What do you enjoy the most/least about writing?

There is nothing I dislike, I enjoy the whole process – except marketing but that isn’t writing to me.

How important is it for you to share your writing?

At first it wasn’t something I focused upon, I just enjoyed my books for my own personal satisfaction. Slowly readers began to want more from me, and it became a need to share situation. My ego now loves sharing!

You were shortlisted for an award recently. Can you tell us all about it and how you felt etc?

When my book Maggie’s Child, reached the second round of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, I thought Christmas had arrived early. It was a true ego boost. I found courage to submit the book to the Festival of Romance New Talent scheme, and to my surprise and joy I found my name on the shortlist! This has instilled new courage and inspired me to keep writing. To know I now have ‘street cred’ within the writing community is thrilling.

Where can people go to read your work?

Amazon stores online are where my books are based at the moment. Although I do have plans to have paperbacks in independent bookstores in the future. I would also love them to be in libraries in the UK.

Maggie’s Child

Ripper, My Love

Ripped Genes

www.glynissmyauthor.com

Purchase at Amazon

Where can people find you on the internet?

www.glynissmyauthor.com

Author Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/glynissmyauthor

Is there anything else you would like to share with your readers?

If folk are interested they can sign up for my newsletter. It is sent out four times a year unless I have extra news to share.

Sign up for My Newsletter

I support other authors and showcase books here:

The Virtual Bookcase

Maggies child~Glynis

  Ripper my love~Glynis   ripped-genes-createspace~Glynis

Thank you, Glynis, it’s been lovely meeting you again, and good luck with your next book, The Penny Portrait, which is due for release December 2014.

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