Elizabeth Chats With…Sue Moorcroft
My guest this month is a Sunday Times and international bestselling author who has reached the coveted #1 spot on Amazon Kindle. She’s won the Readers’ Best Romantic Novel award and the Katie Fforde Bursary, and has been nominated for several other awards, including Romantic Novel of the Year (contemporary). Her short stories, serials, columns, writing ‘how to’ and courses have appeared around the world. And this Saturday she is the Guest Speaker on the opening night of The Writers’ Summer School at Swanwick. I am absolutely delighted to be chatting today with Sue Moorcroft.
Hello Sue; great to be chatting with you. Let’s start at the beginning: what is your earliest memory — and how old were you at the time?
I managed to disappear from under my mother’s watchful eye when my family lived in Tigne Barracks, Malta. I was about two and Mum wasn’t quick enough for my liking when it was time to meet Dad for lunch. I set off on my own. I remember Dad saying, ‘Hello! How did you get here?’ when he saw me, and Mum shouting, ‘Susan! Susan!’ behind me.
What was your favourite subject at school — and which was the lesson you always wanted to avoid?
Whatever subject title it came under, I loved writing stories. Even when I was deliberately being a bad student at senior school (too cool for school, me), I worked in English lessons. In contrast, I hated physics and geography. One year I had double geography followed by double physics every Monday morning. It was torture.
Where is your favourite place on earth — and why?
Malta. I was brought up there for several years and still feel it’s home. I try and visit a couple of times a year. The climate suits me and it’s a fascinating place historically.
How do you relax?
I read! To have a book I love, one I can just fall into and escape, is a joy. I also love watching Formula 1 on TV and will very happily watch every practice session, qualifying, the race, the pre-race, the after-race etc etc. Apart from F1, I don’t watch much TV.
If you knew you only had 24 hours left, how would you spend them?
With my family.
Describe your ideal menu — and where would you like to eat it?
One menu? With all the lovely food there is in the world? I’ll choose a Chinese buffet, which means I don’t have to unreasonably restrict myself, followed by a luscious chocolate dessert – chocolate pudding with chocolate frosting, chocolate decorations, chocolate sauce, chocolate ice cream and chocolate on top.
Watch a film, go to the theatre, read a book or talk to friends — which would you prefer?
A close-run thing between reading and talking to friends. I love both. Maybe I could have a nice evening out with friends in a hot climate with ice-cold wine, and then go to bed to read.
If you could take part in one television programme, which one would it be?
One about my books, with a huge viewing audience! I do enjoy being in a chat-show situation on Facebook Live so maybe something along those lines.
Would you describe yourself as left-brain (analytical), right-brain (intuitive) or a mix of both?
Definitely a mix of both, with a slight lean towards right. It’s not that I can’t analyse things, it’s more that I forget and just go with my gut. That said, I feel a lot of ‘gut’ decisions are informed by experience of studying human nature, so maybe that’s a form of analysis?
I used to spend a lot of time appraising the writing of others, which I definitely feel comes under the heading of ‘analysis’.
What makes you write?
I don’t know. I just know it’s a compulsion. It’s the way my brain wants me to spend each day, not just creating stories but being businesslike about it – making sure my work’s commercial or properly directed to its readership. I’m very lucky to possess what I call a ‘plotty head’, one that takes information and weaves other information around it to make a book. That I can make a living from creating stories is a joy and a privilege.
Sue, thank you so much for finding the time to drop by. I am looking forward to hearing you speak at Swanwick – not to mention sharing a chocolate dessert with you – with some typical Hayes nuclear custard, of course.
Readers, if you want to find out more about Sue and her writing, her website is here and her blog is here. She can be found on Facebook here and here. She is also on Twitter, on Instagram, on Google+ and on LinkedIn.