New Romantics Press is thrilled to welcome successful author and fellow RNA member Sue Moorcroft to our blog. Lizzie has known Sue for quite a few years now (!) but thought some of our followers would like to learn more about Sue and her books.
Sue, tell us all about yourself –
I write women’s commercial fiction and my current contract is with Avon Books UK, part of HarperCollins. I also write short stories, columns, courses, serials and novellas, and I’m a creative writing tutor. I love being a full-time writer but in the past I worked for a bank, a digital prepress and Motor Cycle News.
What, for you would be a typical writing day? I start about 7.30am and finish around 6.00pm, generally Monday to Friday but sometimes weekends. I usually take a couple of hours off for Zumba, FitStep, Yoga or piano. If I can, I shoehorn in a cuppa with my gym buddies. I always have a clear idea of my day: planning, writing a first draft, editing, writing front or back matter, working on promo with my publisher’s PR agency, writing course material etc. When I’m writing a first draft I tend to edit the day before’s session before moving on. It gets me in the zone.
We all have to embrace it, so Social Networking – a help or a hindrance?
I lurve it, when I have time. Twitter and Facebook are part of my morning routine. I use social media for contact with readers and other writers, promo, research and fun. I’ve acquired useful research sources (such as a close protection officer) and workshops, interviews and blog posts and even my fantastic street team through social media. However, when I’m feeling the pressure of a deadline I reduce or remove social media from my day. You can read more about my views on social media on my blog
Sue, you must be thrilled to be have AVON BOOKS UK as your current publisher. We all know it takes years to be an overnight success –
do you have any advice for fledgling authors?
- Persist – I truly believe the name for an author who doesn’t give up is ‘published’.
- Expand your knowledge. Other creative careers demand years of training so why shouldn’t writing?
- Learn about publishing as well as writing so you can act professionally and in your own best interests.
- Don’t be afraid to try different writing techniques. You never know when you’re going to discover something that works for you.
- Balance a ‘can do’ attitude with healthy realism. You’re entering a competitive field that might involve sending work to someone you don’t know and hasn’t asked to see it, or presenting your writing to readers when there are a lot of other writers for them to read, so try hard to do the best job you can.
We’d love you to share your top five writing tips with us, Sue!
Learn about viewpoint (from whose perspective you’re writing) and what use of it is acceptable in your genre or desired by any editor or agent you’re approaching.
Understand how to show rather than tell. If this seems hard, think about running everything through your viewpoint character: see, hear, taste, feel, think and know what they see, hear, taste, feel, think and know. Give your characters actions that reflect what they’re experiencing, ie Melissa wiped the sweat from her eyes rather than Melissa felt too hot.
- Ultimately, you’re writing for readers. Do you know who they are and what they like? If you’re self-published this can be all you need to know … but it’s important that you do because you don’t have a publishing house to take care of such pesky details. If you’re seeking traditional publishing you need to understand what the editor/agent wants, too, as that person is the gatekeeper to your readers.
- Hone your dialogue. Conversation breathes life into characters and passes information to readers. It’s a boon to your character development as vocabulary, syntax and rhythms of speech can indicate region, religion, education, interests, social adeptness, career, experience, mood and a host of facets. It can indicate the dynamics of a relationship, too – characters don’t usually speak to their mother in the same way they speak to their lover, for example.
- Plunge into your story. View the first page/first chapter as an access corridor and don’t clutter it with too much description or backstory.
Tell us about your next book
My next book is The Christmas Promise and though scheduled for September/October publication it’s available for preorder now!
For Ava Bliss, it’s going to be a Christmas to remember … On a snowy December evening Sam Jermyn steps into the life of bespoke hat maker Ava Blissham. Sparks fly, and not necessarily the good ones…When PR guru Sam commissions Ava to make a hat for someone special to him she makes a promise that will change her life. She just doesn’t know it yet. Ava needs this job – she’s struggling to make ends meet, her ex-boyfriend is a bully and she’s desperate for distraction because no one dreads Christmas like Ava Blissham. Soon Ava finds herself reluctantly needing something from Sam. He’s quick to help, but Ava is in for a nasty shock… Can Ava keep a cool head and be true to herself? Will she be able to keep her promise? If she does, might this be the Christmas dreams come true?
Finally – what are you working on ATM?
Having just finished the copy edits for The Christmas Promise I’m catching up on blog posts and writing a short story for S Magazine. Then, bliss, I’ll be able to return to Just for the Holidays, which is due to be published in May/June 2017. It’s about Leah, who has actively avoided acquiring a husband and kids, being stuck in France … looking after her sister’s husband and kids. On the bright side, she begins a holiday romance with Ronan, a grounded helicopter pilot spending the summer in his holiday-home next door – until his ex-wife turns up to live with him.
Thank you so much for sharing your time and expertise with us Sue. Good luck with all your projects. If anyone would like to learn more about Sue, here are the links where you can find her.
New Romantics Press would like to welcome a friend from across the pond onto their page. Drum roll – take it away, Tamie Dearen and welcome to the UK!
Secrets Behind The Best Girls Series
Blurb from Her Best Match, Book One of The Best Girls Series.
Feisty, stubborn, and bored with life in Texas, Anne Best is about to get more than she bargained for.
The lovely widow heads off to the Big Apple for a job interview, expecting no more than a few days adventure in New York City, only to find herself with a new job working for the most infuriating man she’s ever met.
Billionaire Steven Gherring is one of New York’s Most Eligible Bachelors, and he has every intention of staying that way. But Gram has other ideas. She’s on a not-so-secret campaign to find a wife for her grandson.
As fearless as she is clumsy, Anne tackles every challenge (including her new boss) enthusiastically, with two lone exceptions… public speaking and recognizing her own feelings. Passions rise along with hemlines as Gram joins forces with Anne, a veteran matchmaker, to find the perfect match for Steven.
If you like Hallmark movies, you’ll love The Best Girls!
The Best Girls is a sweet romantic comedy series, currently made up of a free novella prequel and four novels, set in New York City and chronicling the romantic adventures of Texas native, Anne Best, her two daughters, Emily and Charlie, and their friends. Today, I’m going to let you in a few secrets about the characters.
All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental
You’ve probably read that disclaimer a thousand times in various fictional books. But do you want to know a secret? The characters in The Best Girls Series are real! Let me introduce you.
Anne Best is me. Okay, she’s a bit younger and a lot more outgoing. But she’s the same clumsy, matchmaking, competitive woman with a degree in Chemistry and two grown daughters. Steven Gherring? He’s my sweet, thoughtful, intelligent romantic husband, with a bigger bank account and slightly-more-visible six-pack abs. The two daughters, Emily and Charlie, are eerily similar to my own daughters, and our relationship is pretty identical to that of Anne and her girls. In fact, my daughters once called my cell and left a message. Hi Mom! This is Emily! This is Charlie! How are things going in New York City? We can’t wait to come visit you.
What about Gram? She’s this funny, quirky, fireball widow from my church. You should meet her, she’ll keep you in stitches.
I’ve got a son-in-law named Spencer. He’s tall, handsome, and athletic, and my daughter was the first girl he ever kissed. (How sweet is that?)
Now Brad, Josh, Grace, Olivia, Claire and Hannah aren’t walking around in flesh and blood, but they are just as real to me as all the others. Here’s another little secret. I wrote the entire Best Girls Series, chapter by chapter, giving it to the girls at my office as it was written. We talked about those characters every day, laughing and crying together over every page. So all of those people became a part of my life, intertwined with the lives of my physical friends.
Now, if you read about The Best Girls, you’ll know the inside story. Y’all come on over to Texas and visit. We’d love to have you!
Tamie Dearen lives in Texas with her very romantic husband of thirty-four years. They have two beautiful daughters, two amazing son-in-laws, and one awesome grandson. She plays piano, flute, harmonica, keyboards, and guitar, and loves composing and art. And she hates housework. She has been a dentist in private practice for thirty years. Tamie stays busy playing on her church’s praise team and leading a weekly Bible study. In her spare time, she writes books.
Other Books by Tamie Dearen
Amazon Author Page:ÊviewAuthor.at/TamieDearen
Barnes and Noble:http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/tamie-dearen
Twitter handle: https://twitter.com/TamieDearen
Facebook address: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tamie-Dearen/1384772145109650
Website address: http://tamiedearen.com
We are delighted to welcome the lovely Jean Fullerton to our blog today. We put her on the spot and asked her a few questions about her life as a writer.
Tell us all about you
I was born and raised within the sound of Bow Bells in the East End of London and grew in the Jack the Ripper old stomping ground, Wapping and Whitechapel. I’m a District Nurse and have worked in East London for twenty-five years.
My first four novels No Cure for Love, A Glimpse at Happiness, Perhaps Tomorrow and Hold on to Hope were set in Victorian East London and were shortlisted and won various prizes.
Call Nurse Millie, was released in 2013, and All Change for Nurse Millie, a year later. There are also two seasonal novellas, Christmas with Nurse Millie and Easter with Nurse Millie. The third in the series, Fetch Nurse Connie has just been released.
I live with my very own Hero-at-Home, a massive Bernese Mountain Dog called Molly and two cats called Tilley and Fudge.
What is a typical writing day?
I wish I had one! Contrary to popular belief most of us still have day jobs. Mine is teaching nursing at a London University and I squeeze in at least four hours writing in the evening and am often am at my desk until 1 or 2 in the morning.
How does the writing process work for you?
As I weave at least six patients’ stories through Connie’s over-arching story so I plan extensively to help me evenly space Connie’s meeting with her patients, family and her ex-fiancé Charlie. Of course it changes as ideas come to me but it gives me a place to start.
I do the research as I go and I’m not a fast writer 1500 is a good day and that’s because I worry over every word and shift dialogue around as I go.
Social Networking – a help or a hindrance?
Both. It helps me keep in touch with writer friends and fans but can be very distracting especially when you’re in a knotty bit of the book. I make a rule that I allocate 2 hour block of writing time during which time I will not click onto the internet or emails.
Do you have some advice for fledgling authors?
Just write the story. That’s what keeps readers sitting up to the wee small hours not the writing techniques. That said, and although it might sound contradictory, you do have to perfect the craft and that is hard, very hard. If it weren’t everyone would do it but if you’re in love with storytelling, as I am, that will carry you through the pain.
What are your top five writing tips?
- Learn your craft-plot, pace, structure, characterisation, dialogue.
- Read your chosen genre as this will help with the above.
- Don’t force a character to act out of character.
- Everyone gets stuck on chapter 5 so just keep writing.
- Never, never, never give up.
Who or what has inspired you the most to become a writer?
Bestsellers that were rubbish- we’ve all read them and I’m absolutely not naming names. I thought ‘I must be able to do better than that.’ It’s for readers to decide if I have.
If not a writer – then what?
What I am a nurse and teacher. Despite all the back-breaking hard works, government-driven targets and out-of-touch management nursing is still the most rewarding job in the world.
Tell us a little bit about your love for the East end of London
It’s a bit difficult to explain the affinity I have with the place where I was born. I feel very privileged to have been born in a unique culture The Fullertons arrived in East London in the 1800s while the ‘O Rileys were later amongst the wave of Irish migration triggered by the potato famine. The area became legendary for its Blitz spirit and thanks to popularity of music malls, cinema, war-time radio and early TV the Cockney culture is an integral part of London’s identity.
Someone once said to me that I was lucky to be able to draw on such a rich heritage and they were right.
Tell us about your current book
Fetch Nurse Connie
Connie Byrne, a nurse in London’s East End working alongside Millie Sullivan from Call Nurse Millie, is planning her wedding to Charlie Ross, set to take place as soon as he returns from the war. But when she meets him off the train at London Bridge, she finds that his homecoming isn’t going to go according to plan.
Connie’s busy professional life, and the larger-than-life patients in the district, offer a welcome distraction, but for how long?
Available from Orion Fiction on kindle, paperback and hardback on 4th June 2015. Check it out on Amazon here
Some reviews of your work
‘A delightful, well researched story that depicts nursing and the living conditions in the East End at the end of the war’ (Lesley Pearce)
‘…The writing shines off the page and begs for a sequel’ (Historical Novel Society)
‘…you will ride emotional highs and lows with each new birth and death. Beautifully written with some sharp dialogue.’ (THE LADY) (59 words)
Finally – what are you working on at the moment?
I’m working on the second of Connie’s books, as yet untitled. She is still working in Spitalfields as the deputy Superintendent and has the usual collections of eclectic mix of patients to deal with. Now, I don’t what to give too much away but look out for the new GP, Dr Hari MacLauchlan, survivor of the infamous Burma Railway, who is six foot one and half-Scottish, half Indian. Need I say more?
Lizzie is so loving the sound of THAT one. Good luck with your writing Jean, and thanks for being a great guest on our blog.