Friday, 9 December 2016

Q&A With Sue Moorcroft *Christmas Style*

1.    The Christmas Promisee was published this
 year, can you tell us a little about the story?

The Christmas Promise is about Ava whose millinery business is in trouble and her ex-boyfriend’s threatening her with 
revenge porn, and Sam, whose mum is in the elapse between surgery and chemo and he’s trying to give her a special Christmas. Looking for a special gift for his mum, he involves Ava in a promise that she finds it harder and harder to keep.

2.    What was your inspiration for the book?

I decided I wanted to write a Christmas book at about the same time as my then publisher suggested it. It began as a novella but I felt that there was plenty of substance to the idea, enough to make it a novel. Then I joined the Blake Friedmann agency as a client of Juliet Pickering and she liked the idea and my slant on Christmas – that it’s not unalloyed pleasure for everybody – and so I found Ava a grittier conflict and set out to write a novel. I’m not sure I have ‘inspiration’ for books. I think about things and decide to write about them. I also met a milliner (somebody who makes hats by hand) and wanted a heroine who had that gorgeously creative job and that gave me a little of Ava’s personality.

3.    Can you tell us more about the main characters?

Ava Blissham isn’t particularly a Christmas person and most of her focus is on how she’s going to survive financially. She’s under pressure and is feeling bad about herself because she let her ex-boyfriend, Harvey, take saucy pictures of her when they were together and now he’s threatening to share them around. This threat hangs over her and she finds it difficult to talk to other people about it. She finds it hard to ask for help, generally, which is part of the reason that her business is in trouble. She’s a good friend to her bestie, Izz, and even though she has troubles of her own she wants to help Sam’s mum Wendy.

Sam appears to have everything – money, nice apartment in a trendy place, satisfying and successful job. But his mum Wendy is ill and he has a special relationship with her and with his aunt, because they brought him up between them. There’s even a small chance that this might be Wendy’s last Christmas and so he wants to make it as special as he can for her, though usually he lets her give him Christmas then he clears off skiing for New Year. It’s because of trying to cheer Wendy up that he ends up ‘faux dating’ Ava. You’ll have to read the book to find out what that means!

4.    The Christmas Promise is a Christmas book, what is so special about writing a story for this festive time of the year?

Commercially, there’s a demand for Christmas books. I’m interested in this festive season that most people in the UK celebrate, causing the country to pretty much grind to a halt for a couple of days. Christmas often brings out our urge to show our love – not just to partners but to family, friends and even charities.

5.    What’s your favourite line in The Christmas Promise?

He curled an arm around the zombie formerly known as Ava Blissham and guided her through the lobby and into the lift.

6.    What’s your favourite scene in The Christmas Promise?

In Chapter Four when Ava’s staging a mock hat fitting for Sam. She tries a succession of women’s hats on him and he protests that he looks like a seaside donkey.

7.    Imagine this book would be turned into a movie, who would you cast for the main characters?

Michael Fassbender for Sam and Brittany Snow for Ava.

8.    The Wedding Proposal is another book your wrote, what’s it about?

Set in Malta, where I grew up, it’s about Elle and Lucas who end up sharing a boat together for the summer. As they were in a relationship four years earlier, Lucas hates secrets and Elle has a lot to hide, it makes for friction. I think Lucas learns a lot about himself and that not every situation is black and white. Most of Elle’s problems are not of her making and though she’s taken an opportunity to reinvent herself and step back from stress, meeting Lucas again piles it back on.

9.    What’s your favourite Christmas memory?

My children decorating the tree when they were tiny.

10. Do you have a special Christmas tradition?

I have quite a large and far-flung family but most of us manage to get together between Christmas and New Year. It means twenty for lunch but, happily, the food itself isn’t that important!

11. What’s your favourite Christmas song?

The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl - Fairytale of New York

12. What’s your favourite Christmas movie?

I can’t really pin down when I last watched one. It was probably The Santa Clause, which is a great title and the premise of the movie reflected it. Honestly, I don’t watch many movies. I read.

13. Who would you want to meet under mistletoe?

Jenson Button. (But he would have to shave.)

14. Your favourite Christmas books?

Brenda Novak wrote two or three in her Whiskey Creek series. I liked them all.

15. When do you start your Christmas shopping?

End of November at the earliest! This began when my kids were small and I wanted my youngest to get full value out of his birthday before we began thinking about Christmas.

16. Pick three authors you want to have dinner with and tell us why.

Nevil Shute (this may be tricky as he died before I was born) for introducing me to sweeping, exciting love stories such as A Town Like Alice and Pastoral.

Suzanne Brockmann so I can chat to her about the way she uses massive global stages for her romantic suspense yet the romance always stays central.
Jill Shalvis just because she’s given me so many happy reading hours. As have many, many authors. If I invited every author I’ve ever liked to dinner we’d need a pretty big table.

17. Christmas Eve vs Christmas Day?

Christmas Eve because it’s more relaxed.

18. Favorite things to eat at Christmas?

Chocolate, dessert, lamb and bread sauce.

19. Your favourite Christmas gift?

A pink space hopper when I was a kid in Malta. I had fun with it for years. It was always hard to ship large toys when we reached the end of a posting but the space hopper deflated so was fine.

About the author

Award-winning author Sue Moorcroft writes contemporary women’s fiction with occasionally unexpected themes. A past vice chair of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and editor of its two anthologies, Sue also writes short stories, serials, articles, writing ‘how to’ and is a creative writing tutor. She’s won a Readers’ Best Romantic Read Award and the Katie Fforde Bursary.
Sue’s latest book is The Christmas Promise (Avon Books UK, HarperCollins)
Facebook: sue.moorcroft.3
Twitter: @suemoorcroft
Instagram: suemoorcroftauthor
Amazon author page:

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for inviting me onto your lovely blog, Simona. :-) It was a pleasure to chat.