Jenny Harper – there’s nothing like a new jacket!

facebook banner 2017When I signed a four-book contract with Accent Press a few years ago, my life suddenly went into overdrive. They took over two novels, published a third within a few weeks, and the fourth the following year. The fifth and sixth followed about a year after that, along with a summer novella.

There have been ups and downs: holding each book in my hand has been a genuine thrill, seeing them on sale in shops even more gratifying. There have been rights deals too … but looking at their trajectory, I felt there had been some missed opportunities. The earlier novels, in particular, were rather neglected, and overall, I felt my ‘brand’ was underdeveloped.

Thankfully, Accent agreed, and after discussion, my entire oeuvre (gosh, that does sound grand!) is being rejacketed.

I’m thrilled with what they’ve come up with – and I’d love your feedback too. Over the next little while, I’d like to reintroduce you to them, starting with the very first one, Face the Wind and Fly, which deals with love, loss and family life against the background of a controversial project that fractures the local community.

Face The Wind and Fly 2017After fifteen years of happy marriage, wind farm engineer Kate Courtenay discovers that her charismatic novelist husband is spending more and more of his time with a young fan. She throws herself into her work, a contentious wind farm  that’s stirring up tempers in the local community. Sparks fly when she goes head to head against its most outspoken opponent, local gardener Ibsen Brown – a man with a past of his own. But a scheme for a community garden brings the sparring partners together, producing the sort of electricity that threatens to short circuit the whole system.

I think this fabulous image captures the spirit of the novel completely, and I do hope you like it!

Available on Amazon in ebook and paperback here

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The Little Village Christmas paperback hits the shelves!

OK, you got me. Sometimes, as for Christmas books, I get two publication days! Today is when the rather fetching sparkly paperback of The Little Village Christmas hits the shelves even though I was all excited about the ebook four weeks ago.

It’s still exciting that from today readers can buy the printed version for their bookshelves or as Christmas presents – or put it on their own Christmas wishlist, of course!

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I’ll be celebrating by joining Bernie Keith on BBC Radio Northampton about 10.30 a.m. and maybeeeeee with a couple of glasses of wine tonight. Or three. It’s a joy to celebrate the culmination of all those months of work to bring you a new book. As part of the general jollity, watch out for my newsletter and on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for competitions to win one of these pretty prizes that I had made for me by crafter Pebbles by Jenn. They all have to go! Although I’m so in love with them … No! They DO have to go! Try and win one.

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Ribbon bookmarks, key rings and wine bottle charms.

A new book and a new me.

The Heights – a beautiful cover from the team at HQDigital.

I’m really pleased to at last be able to reveal some exciting news. I’ve been keeping this secret for what seems like forever… but now I can announce that I have new book coming out soon – in a new genre, with a new name and a writing partner.

The Heights is a modern adaptation of the classic story of Heathcliff and Cathy – set in the late 20th century, against the backdrop of the miners’ strike and the decline of a once proud mining community in Yorkshire.

Juliet Bell is the pen name for my writing partnership with Alison May. It all started at a conference a couple of years ago. We each led a workshop, and both used Wuthering Heights to illustrate very different points.

This is a book I have wanted to write for years. I am a huge fan of the original. I have often heard people talk of Heathcliff as a romantic hero and Wuthering Heights as a great love story. In my mind, that’s just not true. Heathcliff is a fascinating character… but he’s no hero. It’s not really a story about love, it’s a story about obsession and the destruction it can cause.

As a journalist, I have read and written about the period from the winter of discontent, through the Thatcher years up until the global financial crash in 2008. This time of great social change and discord seemed a perfect setting for the book – but as an Australian, I really didn’t feel I had the cultural background to do it justice. Research can only go so far.

Back to the writing conference.. and Alison who is not only a fabulous writer, but also grew up in just the right part of England at just the right time. She too loves the work of the Bronte’s – and like me tends to think of Wuthering Heights as something other than the romance of popular belief.

At the conference we joked that between us we could write that book – and get it done in time to mark the 200 anniversary of Emily Bronte’s birth in 2018. A couple of weeks later, we decided we weren’t joking, and The Heights is the result.

I thoroughly enjoyed the collaborative process. You can go and meet Alison on her website … and there will soon be a Juliet Bell website, because The Heights is not her only work. Alison and I are part of the way through another book – but shhh … I can’t say anything about that one yet.

I am incredibly proud of The Heights, and will be talking about it on Juliet Bell’s twitter account @julietbellbooks  and facebook page too. And I probably also should mention it’s now available for pre-order.

Sue’s latest book hits e-readers today! #TheLittleVillageChristmas #AvonBooksUK

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Every publication day is a happy, happy day, but I’m particularly happy to bring you The Little Village Christmas, just because I enjoyed writing it so much. It’s the story of how Alexia means to leave the village but gets a bit stuck when what’s supposed to be a splendid bit of community spirit turns into a nightmare.

The village has fund-raised to transform the old falling down The Angel pub into The Angel Community Café. Until all the money vanishes overnight.

Ben doesn’t intend to mix much with the villagers at all but the more Alexia struggles, the more he gets drawn into the whole shemozzle. His Uncle Gabe has lost a pot of dosh too and he’s had a bit of an encounter with Alexia … awkward.

The Little Village Christmas also features a rescue owl called Barney, a pony called Snobby and a non-swimming litter of kittens. AND, for those who have asked me for more Middledip novels, The Little Village Christmas is for you! Look out for Gabe Piercy, Carola and Janice and Tubb from the pub.

Writing Commercial Fiction, one-day course

Sue Moorcroft blog

Writing Commercial Fiction

When I took on a publishing contract for two books a year, I had to make a few adjustments to my working life. I had to cut out all those publishing parties … No! Of course I didn’t! I love publishing parties. But I did have to sacrifice most of my teaching of creating writing.

So … the above workshop is the last I’ll be leading in the foreseeable future. (Unless someone invites me to teach in a country I want to go to. Then I might find the time.)

If you’d like to join me on October 19th then go to the diary page of the Society of Women Writers and Journalists and click on the booking form. Men are, of course, as welcome as women.

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