Wednesday 13 August 2014

Why Write About Weddings? - Guest Post Sue Moorcroft

Please give a very warm welcome to my guest this week, Sue Moorcroft. As many of you will already know, Sue wears many hats: Romantic novelist, author of 'how to' books, short story, serial and article writer, competition judge and creative writing tutor... phew!

Sue has joined me today to answer some questions about something that has been on her mind a lot recently - weddings! Not surprising really, seeing as her new book is called 'The Wedding Proposal'.

So without more ado, here is my interview with Sue.

Weddings? Proposals? Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty, Sue - why the obsession with weddings?

A wedding is such a life event that it provokes interest. We stop to see a bride and groom, even if we don't know them. We smile and wish them well - or maybe snark 'They'll learn!​'. But we usually react. There's a lot of money spent on weddings; an incredible amount, in some cases. A wedding can be a fairytale or a sensational event but very few couples seem to just wander into a registry office with a couple of witnesses and do the legalities. For the vast majority, it's a landmark and it's treated as such.

I like that faith in love and happiness.

Do you think the Royal Wedding in 2011 stimulated the market for wedding stories and romance in general?

When it took place, definitely. I know two people who were asked by publishers to write wedding books specifically to come out at the same time. I'm not aware that the 'Kate and Wills effect' is still focused on weddings, though. I think it's babies, now!​

Do you think you have to be a born romantic to be able to write a romance or can you pretend?

I doubt that you can pretend. As I'm a long time member of the Romantic Novelists Association and I've been to RT Booklovers Convention in America twice, I have met a lot of writers in the romantic fiction genre. I don't recall a single one of them who seemed to be pretending.​

With your new novel having the title, The Wedding Proposal, what would you say to a critic who said that marriage was out-dated?

I would say that there's social proof to the contrary because loads of people still get married. I am struck, though, by how many people live together for a significant time and then get married once they know that they wish to begin a family, so the function of marriage has probably changed in the past few decades.​

I'm sure that all these couples don't just get married because it's an efficient legal device with which to share children, though! I think the decision to have children together is probably the moment when the couple decides that they want to spend their lives together and the marriage comes along with that.​

How long did it take to write The Wedding Proposal?

I never time these things but it will have come out ten months after Is This Love? so it's probably around that long.​

I'm always doing other things at the same time as writing a book. I teach creative fiction, judge competitions, write columns, short stories and serials. And then there's all the promo and the business side of my job.

In your view, is it important for a romantic read to have a fairytale ending?

I might not say 'fairytale' so much as 'happy and satisfying'. I don't think most readers read romance to be disappointed at the end. They want to share the euphoria with the hero and heroine.​

If you could go back in time and attend any famous wedding, whose would it be?

Catherine Parr and Henry VIII. I'd like to say to Catherine, 'Don't worry, you'll be OK.' Parr was the name of my paternal grandmother so maybe some more of my family would be in the congregation?​

Your novels are all romances. Have you thought of writing in a different genre e.g. crime?

I don't think I have the right kind of mind to write crime. I have to have a plotty head, obviously, but crime writers are really good at it.

I have​ written a lot of short stories that aren't romantic - about two old men arguing over a ladder or a woman going to the wrong funeral, for example. There aren't any magazines around at the moment that publish only romantic stories, I don't think. (So it's time somebody started one!) My first couple of books were much more family drama orientated, too, although in both cases there was a strong romantic element.​

And finally, any advice for an aspiring romantic novelist such as myself?

Pay attention to the dynamic between your hero and heroine - put the right ones together and it can drive your entire novel. To be honest, I have a lot of advice on this subject and it's all nicely encapsulated in my 'how to' book, Love Writing - How to Make Money Writing Romantic or Erotic Fiction ...

Thanks for having me on your blog. It has been a pleasure.

You're very welcome, Sue. Thank you for visiting.

Can a runaway bride stop running?

Elle Jamieson is an unusually private person, in relationships as well as at work – and for good reason. But when she’s made redundant, with no ties to hold her, Elle heads off to a new life in sunny Malta.

Lucas Rose hates secrets – he prides himself on his ability to lay his cards on the table and he expects nothing less from others. He’s furious when his summer working as a divemaster is interrupted by the arrival of Elle, his ex, all thanks to his Uncle Simon’s misguided attempts at matchmaking.

Forced to live in close proximity, it’s hard to ignore what they had shared before Lucas’s wedding proposal ended everything they had. But then an unexpected phone call from England allows Lucas a rare glimpse of the true Elle. Can he deal with Elle’s hidden past when it finally comes to light?


Sue Moorcroft writes romantic novels of dauntless heroines and irresistible heroes. Is this Love? was nominated for the Readers’ Best Romantic Read Award. Love & Freedom won the Best Romantic Read Award 2011 and Dream a Little Dream was nominated for a RoNA in 2013. Sue received three nominations at the Festival of Romance 2012, and is a Katie Fforde Bursary Award winner. She’s a past vice chair of the RNA and editor of its two anthologies.

How to contact Sue:

Website:  here
Blog:  here
Facebook:  here
Twitter:  here

The Wedding Proposal by Sue Moorcroft is available as an ebook from 4 August and as a paperback from 8 September. You can buy it here


  1. Thank you for joining a very special group of guest bloggers here on my blog, Sue. I'm really looking forward to reading The Wedding Proposal - if your other novels are anything to go by, it will be a very enjoyable read.

  2. Thank you, Wendy! And thank you very much for inviting me on. I'm going to a wedding at the end of the month. Perhaps I ought to flash my book around ... :-)

  3. I have a wedding story waiting to be finished. This interview has given me the prod I need to get on with it.

    1. I'm so pleased, Julia. You must let me know how you get on with it.

  4. Lovely interview, ladies, and good to hear more about your writing process, Sue!

    1. I love Sue's books and you can't beat a good wedding (my own was only 4 years ago so I'm biased!)

  5. Really enjoyed the interview - thanks for this Sue and Wendy. Loved the 'historical wedding' question - I'd love to go and warn Anne Boyeln to 'run away fast', but then I guess Elizabeth I would never have been born ...

    1. That's a good one Tracy. I think I might have said the same thing to all his wives!

  6. It's true that everyone reacts to a wedding. They're also events where lots of people who might otherwise have little to do with each other are forced together in a confined space. That's a good situation for other genres too I'd have thought.

  7. I enjoyed the interview too so thank you, Sue and Wendy. I love weddings but haven't used one as a setting for a story...yet. Perhaps your post was just the prompt I needed.

    1. I think I've only written one wedding themed one, Jan.