Summer on a Sunny Island is set in Malta, that tiny golden nugget in the blue Mediterranean sea. Rosa and Zach are both on the island at a crossroads in their lives and each has a grandfather who was stationed in Malta in the British army. Zach, a trouble magnet, is keen to avoid the troubled relationship he has with his dad. Rosa, ostensibly there to help her famous food writer mum Dory, is actually escaping the embarrassing fall out of an ex with a gambling issue. Zach’s increasingly drawn into resisting letting his young friend Luccio get sucked into the wrong crowd, and unwittingly gets Rosa entangled too.
What was the idea behind it?
I was an army kid in Malta and my brothers, sister-in-law and I attended a service kids’ reunion on the island (managing to convert it into a ten-day holiday) and I was really interested in the group of people the reunion drew together. The careers of our parents had impacted on our childhoods and what we’d made of our lives. Timeline-wise, the army kids of the sixties had to be the parents in the story, but I enjoyed having Rosa and Zach gradually wake up to their own connection to the island.
Can you tell me one positive trait of your main character or characters?
Rosa is independent. Zach is protective.
Can you tell me one negative trait of your main character or characters?
Rosa is slow to try and understand her mother’s life. Zach keeps attracting trouble.
Why did you chose this genre to write in?
It’s the one I love. I’d hate to spend fifty or sixty hours a week writing something that was a chore.
What is your favourite book?
A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute. It’s dated now but was the first adult book I read, at the age of nine. Although it’s set against the pain of war and those trying to rebuild their lives after, it contains a sweeping love story that had me hooked.
What is the book you are reading now?
I was fortunate to be an early reader for Christina Courtenay’s Echoes of the Runes. It’s a rich, dual timeline story set in Sweden. It draws together the story of Haukr, a Viking who stole gold from Wales along with Ceridwen, the sister of a chieftain; and what happens when Mia and Haakon conduct an archeological dig on Mia’s family’s property and uncover their tale of forbidden love. It was so involving that I actually dreamed of the characters!
What is your favourite romantic film?
Honestly, I don’t remember the last romantic film I saw. I hardly watch movies. I like books.
Do you ever suffer from self-doubt?
Yes, of course. It usually starts about 10,000 words into the first draft and begins to ease when the first good reviews come in. I just keep at it. I have contracts to fulfil so saying, ‘This is too hard, I can’t do it,’ isn’t an option if I want money to pay my bills. I think I’m lucky that I feel compelled to write and I don’t want to have to go off and find a different way to earn money. These two things carry me along.
How long does it take you to write a book – the process you use.
I write two books a year but it would be over simplistic to say, ‘A book takes six months to write.’ I’m never just working on one book and generally have three books in focus at any time. One’s in the promotion process; one is in the editing process; one is in the writing process. I have to keep halting one process to work on another, depending on publication dates and deadlines. Into this schedule I insert short stories, serials and articles too, along with meetings, admin, accounts and events. It’s not uncommon to write all day and then go out in the evening to an event. I don’t think I’m a particularly quick writer so I constantly feel as if I don’t have enough time for everything. I could ease this by cutting out my gym classes and the cuppas afterwards with my gym friends but then I’d be unhealthy both in body and mind.
And that final question, what’s your poison – high heels or flats?
I used to adore high heels but I find them uncomfortable now so it’s a medium heel for going out and flats for everything else. These are my dance sneakers. Whenever I have them on it means I’m at Zumba, FitStep or Dancefit so, therefore, I’m happy!
Biography: Sue Moorcroft is a Sunday Times and international bestselling author of contemporary fiction and has reached the coveted #1 spot on Amazon Kindle. She’s currently contracted by publishing giant HarperCollins under their Avon imprint in the UK, US and Canada and various other publishers in different territories.
Sue has won the Katie Fforde Bursary, is a past Vice Chair of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and editor of its two short story anthologies. Her short stories, serials and columns have appeared around the world along with her writing courses and a writing guide.
Born into a British army family in Germany, Sue also lived in Cyprus and Malta before settling in the UK. She loves to travel and has led courses and writing retreats in Italy, France, the US and Dubai. When not writing she’s a mad Formula 1 addict, enjoys reading, yoga, dance and hanging out with friends, preferably with a glass of white wine.