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Monday, October 3, 2011

GUEST AUTHOR: Sue Moorcroft

Sue Moorcroft writes romantic novels of dauntless heroines and irresistible heroes for Choc Lit.

Combining that 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 (Accent Press).

Sue also writes short stories, serials, articles and courses and is the head judge for Writers’ Forum.

She's a Katie Forde Bursary Award winner and her book LOVE & FREEDOM has recently been shortlisted for a Romance Reader Awards (UK’s Festival of Romance).

Sue, welcome to my blog!

So, tell us about the book, LOVE & FREEDOM... 
Honor Sontag leaves her home in west Connecticut and travels to Brighton, on England’s south coast, to search for the mother who left her as a baby. She loves Eastingdean, near Brighton, where she rents a bungalow from Clarissa Mayfair.

Clarissa’s “little brother” is 6’4” mysterious Martyn Mayfair who doesn’t seem to have a proper job but does have a stalker.

Honor goes to work for the stalker, which is unfortunate, and finds herself drawn into several eccentric English lives, including that of Ru, the stalker’s fourteen-year-old son, and Frog, Ru’s bully. Ru really needs somebody, so I’m glad it’s Honor, because she’s lion-hearted.

Martyn Mayfair is fascinated by Honor – but she’s exactly the kind of woman he’s sworn off. So he has to find a way past that.

The action also travels to Connecticut for a few chapters because when people get in trouble, they go home. And Honor gets in trouble …

And, I’m thrilled to say, it was announced a couple of days ago that LOVE & FREEDOM has been shortlisted for the inaugural Romance Reader Awards run by the UK’s Festival of Romance. 

Congratulations, Sue, what great news!
Setting – Brighton, on the south coast of England, and Connecticut, USA.
Hero – Martyn Mayfair. In the movie, Martyn would be played by Jared Leto, when Jared has long hair brushed forward, and stubble. Not a beard. This is an important distinction, as I hate beards! Nobody with a beard, in my books, ever does well. 
Heroine – Honor Sontag. Honor could be played by the fabulous Julianna Moore – but she’d have to get her hair crimped and be a lighter auburn. I’m sure she wouldn’t mind. It’s a good cause. 

Scene you would never cut – Wow. That’s like being asked which body part you’d hang onto. The truthful answer is I wouldn’t want to lose any! But, I have to choose then I’ll go for Martyn and Honor’s first kiss. It’s an eighteen-carat, teetering, ‘will they, won’t they?’ moment, with a lot of subtext. I love it. 

Something your hero or heroine would never do or say – Martyn would never say, ‘I don’t care if you’re married.’ 

What's one quirky thing about your hero/heroine? When Honor feels she has to intervene in ‘a situation’, it always seems to turn into a food fight.

What do you think the readers will like about this book? Apart from the ssssssssizzle between Honor and Martyn? The plot twists. I had a lot of fun with this plot! 

New start, new love.
That’s what Honor Sontag needs after her life falls apart, leaving her reputation in tatters and her head all over the place. So she flees her native America and heads for Brighton, England.
Honor’s hoping for a much-deserved break and the chance to find the mother who abandoned her as a baby. What she gets is an entanglement with a mysterious male whose family seems to have a finger in every pot in town.
Martyn Mayfair has sworn off women with strings attached, but is irresistibly drawn to Honor, the American who keeps popping up in his life. All he wants is an uncomplicated relationship built on honesty, but Honor’s past threatens to undermine everything. Then secrets about her mother start to spill out ...
Honor has to make an agonising choice. Will she live up to her dutiful name and please others? Or will she choose freedom?

What's next for you? I’m about two-thirds of the way through the first draft of a new book, which has the working title of Dream a Little Dream.

It’s about Liza, who readers might have met before, as she’s the younger sister of Cleo from ALL THAT MULLARKEY.

Liza is way too naughty and fun to be condemned forever to secondary characterland so, although I left her safely loved up with Adam at the end of ALL THAT MULLARKEY, between the two books, I’ve arranged for her to have messed that up.

She’s making a new life but clashing with Dominic Christy, who has to make a new life of his own as he’s had to leave his job as an air traffic controller after developing narcolepsy. (If I’d realised the complexities of narcolepsy, I probably would have chosen something easier to write about. But, now, I’ve turned into a complete research junkie on the subject!) 

About you...
Favorite movie of all time – Star Wars. But, oh, that was a hard choice! What about The Blues Brothers, Lord of the Rings, Top Gun …? Please may I have more than one? 

Favorite fairytale – Y’know, I don’t think I have one. The most interesting is Rumpelstiltskin because nobody in that fairytale acts honourably. I always wonder what it’s meant to prove. That it’s OK to lie and cheat in order to protect your family? (I don’t disagree with that, now I’ve thought about it.) 

Favorite TV program – Any good Formula 1 race. I’m an F1-aholic (I know it’s sad, and I’ve refused all treatment, too). As well as all the other things I do, I write a column after each race for www.girlracer.co.uk called ‘A Writer with a View’. 

First book you remember reading – literally, the first ‘Janet and John’ school reading books, I suppose! But, in my heart, A TOWN LIKE ALICE by Nevil Shute.

Dog or cat person (or other) – Dog. I’ve just been to a lecture about medical dogs, the kind that tell diabetic people when their sugars are too low, and was blown away.

Author (living or dead) you'd most like to meet – Nevil Shute. I own every book ever published with his name on the spine and, although they are dated, now, the relationships grip me every time I read one. 

Favorite story to disappear into – Are you sick of hearing about A TOWN LIKE ALICE, yet? 

A romantic retreat for you would be... Somewhere sunny, by the sea, with a lot of space to walk in. And a good hotel. None of that cooking for oneself nonsense.

What do you do to unwind or relax? I read a lot. A lot. I watch Formula 1, walk, attend yoga or zumba classes, and I play the piano (in a beginnerish way). 

What era would you like to time travel and visit? And why? The 80s. I was twenty years younger. 

What does love mean to you? Intensity and pleasure. 

Sue, thanks so much for visiting today and sharing more about yourself and your latest release, LOVE & FREEDOM.

You can check out Sue's website and her blog for news and writing tips. You’re welcome to befriend Sue on Facebook or follow her on Twitter.
All of Sue’s Choc Lit novels and LOVE WRITING are available as paperbacks and ebooks. Her early novels are available in ebook format.

Some of Sue's other books include:


  1. Hi ladies, great interview.
    Sounds like you have some great books there Sue. I'm especially intrigued by the title 'All That Mullarkey'....mullarkey is a not often enough used word, and I love it.
    I will definitely be checking your books out.

  2. Cath, I thought the same thing about the phrase "mullarkey"! LOL It isn't a term we hear often, but I guess that's because British/Aussie slang isn't well known in the US market. And even if an author uses slang, a US publisher would probably edit it to some more US-friendly.

    Sue, do you get reader feedback (US readers in particular?) in any form about this sort of thing?

  3. Sue, congrats on your shortlisting for the Romance Readers Award!!! But I'm not surprised! Look forward to reading Love and Freedom:) Will have to plan a trip to visit the relatives in the UK in time for the next UK Festival of Romance!

  4. Posting for a friend who's had issues with Blogger. Kylie

    Kaz Delaney says: Great interview Kylie; great read, Sue. Before I continue, I must say that 'mullarkey' was a word I grew up with. My Grandmother used it often and usually in reference to nonsense and it was always used in scoffing tones. Brought back memories when I heard it though - not a word we hear a lot these days.

    But that aside, I must say that Love & Freedom sounds like just the kind of book I'd love to read - congratulations. I'm such a sucker for secrets and mystery...

    And I couldn't drop by without mentioning your gorgeous covers! Been wondering where the Good Cover fairy's been hiding - and it's obvious she's hanging out with you!!! Stunning covers! I hope they sell a trillion. Congratulations!

  5. Sue's covers are eye catching, aren't they, Kaz. I like the clean, fresh look to them.