Kettering author publishes Christmas novel
Sue Moorcroft's book 'Christmas Wishes' will be out on November 12
An author from Kettering is publishing her 17th novel just in time for Christmas.
Sue Moorcroft's latest book, Christmas Wishes, comes out next week on Thursday, November 12 but keen readers can already get their hands on the e-book.
Christmas Wishes is Sue's 17th novel and another set in her fictional village of Middledip in nearby Cambridgeshire and she says the village is a favourite among her readers.
Sue said: "Christmas Wishes is set between Middledip and Sweden, my winter book last year was set between Middledip and Switzerland but my most recent book was set entirely in Malta.
"A lot depends on what the idea requires. My readers seem to like it, when I created a village in Norfolk, I thought we would phase Middledip out but the feedback was to bring Middledip back."
Although many of her novels are set in or visit Middledip, the stories are not a series. Sue said: "Every one is a stand-alone story, but by visiting that one place, you do see some repetition of characters."
This story, Christmas Wishes, introduces Hannah and Nico. Sue said: "Christmas Wishes is set between Middledip and Sweden and concerns Hannah, who is quite close to her brother Rob.
"When they were teenagers, Rob’s best friend was a Swedish guy called Nico."
Through work, Hannah is now in Sweden and running a shop in Stockholm's old town and Rob sends Nico, who travels between London and Stockholm for work, to check on Hannah after her boyfriend refuses to come to Rob's wedding.
Once their paths cross, life events start unravelling for both Hannah and Rob and Sue said it is important to her to portray real-life events alongside the romance in her stories.
She said: "I gave Nico the lion share of the conflict - he’s a single dad to start with and he is struggling with a historic eating disorder from when he was an up and coming athlete.
"Hannah gets swindled out of her business and goes home and finds Nico has downsized to Middledip after life has got stressful for him."
Sue said addressing difficult topics is part of her style, she said: "It's been my unique selling point for some time, actually.
"It's perfectly possible to fall in love when life is giving you lemons.
"She has a story and he has a story and the fact they find love comes into these conflicts. That's real life, most of us are lucky to have, at a time in our lives, fallen in love and that doesn't mean nothing bad is happening at the same time."
Sue writes all her books at home in Kettering and even borrowed the Northamptonshire Telegraph's former title, the Evening Telegraph, for a reference in the book (also the name for the Peterborough paper where fictional Middledip is near).
Sue said: "I used to work for the typesetters in the same building as the ET.
"I write at home here and I go for long walks to think about my books, Wicksteed Park is one of my thinking places."
Christmas Wishes is coming out just as the country is put back into lockdown restrictions, which means book shops will be closing again.
She said: "This happened with my last book as well, it has had an impact." Sue said she hopes people will make use of click and collect options from local book shops and is watching the development of bookshop.org, an independent rival to Amazon, closely.
Sue is hoping to get a link to bookshop.org added to her website.
Lockdown has also meant the cancellation of Sue's writing retreat and research trips for her forthcoming books. Despite the difficulties, Sue said she is boosted by an award she won just before lockdown in March.
Sue said: "I had my big glitzy night, it was great." Sue won the Goldsboro Books Contemporary Romantic Novel Award, beating big names like Sophie Kinsella.
She said: "It was just before lockdown in early March, it was incredible."
Sue's latest novel will be available in paperback and audiobook on November 12 and is already available in e-book.
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