Posts Tagged ‘Sue Moorcroft’
Yesterday I spent the day in Nottingham in order to attend my lovely friend Sue Moorcroft’s book launch for her latest novel – The Christmas Promise. (A fantastic read – kept me up till the early hours as I couldn’t stop reading it!) Waterstones in Nottingham have a wonderful event space and we had a perfect evening, listening to a reading by Sue followed by a Q & A session. Sue’s heroine is a milliner so she wore a fantastic little cocktail hat made specially for her and some of the rest of us wore hats too. And to fit in with the theme of the book, the events manager declared the Christmas season officially started at the shop!
While waiting for this evening event, I wandered round the city as I’d never been before. Being a history buff, my first destination was of course the castle where Charles I started the English Civil War by raising his royal standard on 22nd August 1642. Sadly though, there didn’t seem to be much left of the castle he would have known as most of it was razed to the ground and another house built within the castle walls instead later on. (That, in turn, was badly damaged by fire during riots in the 1800s). I was disappointed to find so little mention of Charles and the war, mostly just a plaque put up by the Sealed Knot on the 350th anniversary of that August day and what I assumed was supposed to be a reference to Charles’s children on a pub sign – ‘The Royal Children’. (Whoever painted that had obviously never seen Van Dyck’s portraits of the king’s offspring!)
The view from the castle grounds was fantastic though – if a bit scary for those of us who don’t like heights – and underneath were caves (which I didn’t have a chance to look at this time). And there was plenty of shopping to be had in the city centre, including a shop with my name on it – perfect!
Last week I attended the annual London Book Fair at Olympia, West Kensington, and as always the place was buzzing! There were some amazing stands with imaginative displays – not just of books, but everything the publishing industry could possibly want or need. A very enjoyable three days!
Here are some of the photos I took:-
Continuing the celebrations here on the blog for the e-book publication of my new novel The Jade Lioness, I’ve asked some of my fellow authors to tell me what their favourite exotic (or not so exotic?) travel destinations are and to recount some of their travel tales (good or bad!). Today Sue Moorcroft is here to tell us about hers:-
When my family moved permanently to the UK, I had spent more than half my eight and a half years in Malta. The flat-topped limestone buildings, prickly pears, bougainvillea, blue Mediterranean, old-fashioned buses; these were the familiar landscape. Moving ‘home’ to London in January was a horrible shock!
One of our army quarters was a top-floor flat overlooking the Ta ’Xbiex Yacht Marina. We kids had a lot of freedom to explore the marina, cross the bridge to Manoel Island, or run around the surrounding fields (now built upon), but I also remember watching the boats from our balcony. It never occurred to me that one day I’d set a book in the marina – especially as I firmly believe that boats are best admired from the shore – but once I’d decided to send Lucas and Elle to Malta in The Wedding Proposal, nothing else would do but to moor the boat they live on, The Shady Lady, in Ta ’Xbiex.
The research, of course, was a particular pleasure. My favourite moment was asking a fisherman how deep the marina was at the point where he was fishing. He reversed his rod, plunged it into the water, withdrew it to display the wet section, and said, ‘That deep.’
I wish I could have written some of The Wedding Proposal while in Malta. It wouldn’t have been from ‘our’ flat (apparently a hairdresser named Adrian now lives there), but there are hotels. I could have got close enough. Maybe next time.
Thank you, Sue, and I think Malta sounds very exotic indeed!
Sue writes contemporary women’s fiction with occasionally unexpected themes. Love & Freedom won the Best Romantic Read Award 2011 and Dream a Little Dream was nominated for a RoNA in 2013. The Wedding Proposal, Dream a Little Dream and Is this Love? were all nominated for Readers’ Best Romantic Read Awards. Sue’s a Katie Fforde Bursary Award winner, a past vice chair of the RNA and editor of its two anthologies.
Sue’s latest book (set in Malta) is: The Wedding Proposal
Facebook author page – https://www.facebook.com/SueMoorcroftAuthor
Yesterday I had the huge pleasure of taking part in the Worcestershire Lit Fest, thanks to fellow author Alison May. She had invited me, Sue Moorcroft and Liz Harris to form a Romantic Novelists’ Panel, being held at St Swithun’s Institute in Worcester in the afternoon. It sounded like fun so we all said yes!
I had never been to Worcester before (only Worcester, Massachusetts, New England – which is an entirely different kettle of fish!) and loved driving into town over the magnificent bridge that spans the river Severn. The venue wasn’t hard to find either, being right in the centre of town.
Despite the wonderfully sunny weather, a small but lovely audience came to hear us answer questions on everything to do with writing. Alison proved to be the perfect compere, skillfully keeping the conversation flowing, and it was fun to hear how differently the three of us approach everything from research to the writing itself. There really is no right way of going about it obviously – it’s whatever works for each individual author!
Before the talk began, the audience was asked to write down questions they would like the answers to, which I think was a brilliant way of doing things. It ensured – hopefully – that they got to hear what they wanted to, rather than topics that didn’t interest them.
A huge thank you to Alison and the organisers, who very kindly provided some absolutely delicious cakes with tea afterwards – a wonderful end to a lovely afternoon!
The Lit Fest runs from 20th – 29th June, so for anyone wanting to attend other talks and events, there is still time.
Laissez les bon temps rouler! – let the good times roll – was a phrase I saw and heard over and over again in New Orleans during the past week, and we definitely did! This year’s RT Convention was bigger than ever before and even more fun! At least after we ironed out a few initial glitches (which all had to do with airlines and shipping rather than the convention itself, I have to stress) …
Having attended RT last year, I was really looking forward to going back and it was great to know what to expect this time. I’d booked my spot in ‘promo alley’ and packed a lot of UK goodies for a gift basket to be raffled, plus I’d spent ages putting together some swag – in other words, I came prepared! Unfortunately our flight from London was delayed and we missed our connection to New Orleans from Washington, and for some reason our bags were sent to Chicago and stayed there for two days. Not ideal! Just as we were beginning to despair, though, they all turned up in time with the swag intact – phew!
The Choc Lit author team this year consisted of myself, Sue Moorcroft, Janet Gover, Liz Harris, Beverley Eikli and Kate Johnson. We had a very British table as our base and took turns to sell books there and chat to attendees, which was lovely! I don’t suppose anyone can have missed the fact that we were from the UK, with all those flags 🙂 (and some lovely mini koalas and kangaroos to show that we had two Aussie authors as part of the group of course).
We did a panel talk about heroes & heroines and how to create a spark between them, held a ‘tea party’ for booksellers and librarians plying them with proper English tea and shortbread, and we attended lots of talks, workshops and parties between us. It was all huge fun! I particularly enjoyed the ‘Call my Historical Bluff’ session devised by Susanna Kearsley and her friends, which featured some fiendishly difficult words.
In between, we explored the French Quarter of the city, which was just outside the hotel, and it was so beautiful and fascinating, I’ll have to do another post with pics of that tomorrow!
I’ll just leave you with some photos from the Convention and of the view from our room – the mighty Mississippi river in daylight, at night and close up (very muddy!). I was reminded not to go swimming in it in case I came across an alligator. The only way I wanted to meet one of those was in a restaurant – deep fried and delicious!
This year sees the first ever Bromley Literary Festival at Bromley Library and I’m delighted to be taking part! Saturday 25th June is “Ladies Who Love Day”, a celebration of romantic fiction, and I’ll be doing a workshop together with fellow Choc Lit author Sue Moorcroft on how to create irresistible heroes (see http://www.bromley.gov.uk/directory_record/5871/central_library for more details). There will be lots of other fun things going on, including a “Ladies Who Love Panel” which features another fellow Choc Lit author, Juliet Archer, as well as Dorothy Koomson and Victoria Fox.
There will be a Waterstones Signing Session as well at 2.45- 3.30pm.
Tickets to all events are available at www.bromleylitfest.co.uk/tickets and there’s a special Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bromley-Literary-Festival-Ladies-Who-Love-Day/178594102198397 plus of course Twitter @bromleylitfest
Please come and join us if you can – it should be great fun!