Friday, 4 October 2013

I Don't Have the Words to Describe Neil Cole

  • I wrote this 'poem' for my most excellent friend Neil Cole's funeral. He died suddenly leaving behind a beautiful wife Jo, a young son, Jonny and a fabulous mother, Maureen along with everyone else. I sent Jo the working first draft and she liked it so much that she wouldn't allow me to change a thing. For that I am eternally grateful. My son, Toby read it at the funeral because I would not have got out the first word, let alone the whole thing.

I Don’t Have the Words to Describe Neil Cole

I don’t have the words to describe Neil Cole

I could use TALL – that always featured quite highly in our dafter moments – he was my ‘crick in your neck’ person – even when sitting, he was taller than me standing

I don’t have the words to describe Neil Cole

I could use BLACK – yeah and that includes his mood of course, but when I first met Neil, he was dressed in black, his Johnny Cash look – an interesting person I thought and then he adopted me, and my kids and loaned me his mum and dad, selflessly – I remember thinking – well, there’s more to this man than height

I don’t have the words to describe Neil Cole

I could use GIANT or BFG as Toby and Kim would say, but without all the slather and beanstalks – with giant arms that would wrap right around anyone in their times of need – arms that will be missed by all who knew him

I don’t have the words to describe Neil Cole

I could use HUSBAND and FATHER or even MAN IN LOVE – Trust me – you should have seen the state of Neil when he fell for Jo, then between them they made Jonny – husband, father and man in love were invisibly tattooed all over his 6feet 7inch frame.

I don’t have the words to describe Neil Cole

I could use FRIEND – for more years than I care to remember, I have been proud to call him friend – I still call him friend. Death will not part us – will not part him from Jonny and Jo and Maureen and everyone here in this church right now – he may have died, but he lives on, in me, in you, in all of us

I don’t have the words to describe Neil Cole

I could use MISSING - I’m missing the sound of his voice, I’m missing the countless facebook status updates, I’m missing the photos, I’m missing the laughter, but most of all I’m missing the stableness that comes from a man so giving that he would take away everyone’s pain right here right now if he could and take it all onto himself

I don’t have the words to describe Neil Cole

I could use ANGEL - a man with the biggest heart that regardless of its silence on earth, beats like a drum in heaven – I reckon he is the tallest angel ever!

I don’t have the words to describe Neil Cole

I could use LESSER and IMPROVED - The earth is a lesser place without Neil on it, but Heaven is greatly improved

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Flash Fiction ACNE

I thought it started at the same time as my acne, but my sister says it was much earlier than that. There was a cream, a clear gel, ‘Retin A’ that Dad applied each night religiously to every spot I had on my face, my back and even my chest.
‘Apply with cotton wool’ was written clearly across the tube because it could strip paint off any wall, but he only used cotton wool on my back. When done, his strong hands would grip my shoulders guiding me round towards him. I'd stare at the floor searching for faces in the wood, avoiding looking at his pile of clothes folded neatly at my feet. Then I’d be kneeling, my navy knickers the only cover I’d be allowed until he was ready.
I’d screw my eyes tight and visualise Mum, not blind nor deaf, sitting downstairs on the sofa watching Coronation Street and drinking weak Nescafe as he stripped my skin barer than any wall. My only witness, a voiceless tube of Retin A.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Submit To You

This poem of mine is the tamer of the two that are published in (the hopefully still available) Frisson - An Anthology of Erotic Poetry (ISBN 978-0-9768730-5-1)
 It's great as a performance piece as the Erotic Poetry Roadshow proved last year (Thanks Rose Drew and Alan Gillott) It is a tribute to The Story of O in case anyone was thinking it was all about me ;-)

The Yew tree beckons, commanding us
Branches leer notching one more mark
as damp splinters gouge into my back
engraving your full name on me

Salt water lures us to the waves
as within you tether me deep
We dance our descent with its taste on our tongues
as you and sand shred my inner skin

Let the carpet have its turn, I say
Unfettered I consent to the crop
Haunches high you bind me in desire
making my knees and elbows bleed

Shackle me to the stone wall
Cold on my face, I surrender
and yield me open, defenceless
Dominate as mortar brands my cheek

Demonstrate your addiction to me
Mainline me non-conformist sex
Liberate my rousing dark side
and let me submit to you

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Wendy Wonders What's Wicked With Sue Moorcroft and What on Earth's a RoNa?

Q So what’s your news? A I have big news, actually – Dream a Little Dream has been shortlisted for a RoNA!

For anyone who doesn’t know what I’m talking about, ‘RoNA’ stands for Romantic Novel Award, and those awards are run by the Romantic Novelists’ Association. There will be a glitzy awards event at the RAF Club in London’s Piccadilly on the 26th of February where the winner of each category will be announced and the awards presented by Richard and Judy. Dream a Little Dream is shortlisted for the Contemporary Romantic Novel Award. (Pause for me to do a few cartwheels of glee.)

The winners of the five categories go forward to the Romantic Novel of the Year Award in May.

Q Congratulations! So what does this mean for you?

A It means I can buy a new dress, handbag and shoes and have my nails and hair done.

Q Seriously …?

A Just the nomination is a great accolade. I’m not looking past that because I’m up against really stiff competition. But I’m pleased it’s Dream a Little Dream that has got me onto a shortlist I’ve yearned for, because it’s a book that I loved writing and researching. It was like taking a dragon for a walk – it suddenly took off with me clinging on.

I might wear a dress I’ve only worn once and just go for new shoes. I have a fantastic purple evening purse so if I could just get shoes to match …

Q So what’s Dream a Little Dream about?

A Liza Reece dreams of taking over the holistic centre where she’s a reflexologist. Readers may have met Liza already as she’s the sister of Cleo from All That Mullarkey. She was far too much fun and too naughty to leave in Secondary Characterland so I gave her her own book. She’s managed to mess up the cosy loved up relationship I’d left her in so I needed to see what happened.

Dominic Christy has dreams of his own. He has an unusual take on dreams because he has the rare sleep disorder, narcolepsy. He has his own take on Liza, too … and he’s not afraid to tell her.

Anyway, they both have dreams. And if Dominic’s come true than Liza’s can’t and if Liza’s do, Dominic’s can’t. Someone has to give up something, so what’s it going to be?

Q Wasn’t the research for narcolepsy daunting?

A In a word – yes. But I became really interested in the whole thing and was lucky enough to get in touch with a guy who has narcolepsy who gave up a lot of his time to helping me because he’d like the facts about the condition to be more widely known. You can read an interview with him here.

That’s fascinating! Great interview, too.

Q What’s the dress like?

A It’s navy-blue lace in a sort of fifties style, with a petticoat. Purple nails and bag look good with it so I think purple shoes would, too, don’t you?

Q Totally! Or shocking pink. The RNA’s colour is magenta so you could match that.

A That’s an idea. Then I’d have to buy a new bag as well as new shoes.

Q But that’s OK. It’s an awards night. And you really get to meet Richard and Judy?

A I suppose that only those who win a category can absolutely depend on it. But maybe if they like the look of my shoes … Judy Finnigan looks like a shoes woman, don’t you think?

Sue Moorcroft writes romantic novels of dauntless heroines and irresistible heroes. Love & Freedom won the Best Romantic Read Award 2011 at the Festival of Romance and Dream a Little Dream was nominated for the same award 2012 and for a RoNA in the Contemporary Romantic Novel Award category. She's a Katie Fforde Bursary Award winner.
Combining writing success with her experience as a creative writing tutor, she’s written a ‘how to’ book, Love Writing – How to Make Money From Writing Romantic and Erotic Fiction. Sue also writes short stories, serials, articles and courses and is the head judge for Writers’ Forum fiction competition.
Check out her website and her blog at for news and writing tips. You’re welcome to befriend Sue on Facebook or Follow Sue on Twitter.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

A Bad Day

(Another performance piece, so take a deep breath before reading it, as it's read all in one go! And if you like it please share it with your friends. Thank you.)

When I'm having a bad day
I write with a grin
venting and penning my thoughts
that are rich

in shit and in flavours
that won't dance on your tongue
but choke you to death
and feast on your heart

and scratch you and scream
pushing you down the steps
with a smile on the face
that curls up its lip

and bites your arse over
leaving teeth marks
and grabbing for flesh
before drawing blood

that sits on the chin
is wiped by a hand
that’s sharpened its nails
not caring who stares

with eyes that are open
and searching for fear
in those that may challenge
the words from the pen

that fly off the page
leaving black on the hands
and the heart of a writer
with no control left

Friday, 7 December 2012

Why do I write romance?

I wrote this rant as a performance piece, so it's not really supposed to be read, but I think that not so many of you will get to see me perform it, compared to the number of you who can read it, so I thought, what the hell, you'll have to imagine me. It's quite easy really. You raise your volume and lock eyes with your pretend audience. 

I've only ever performed this once, at the Guild Hall earlier this year. It was in its raw state of the elusive first draft, that even Stephen King says that we share with no-one. However, I only had two first drafts with me, so having no choice, I went ahead and it went down so well that I decided that this first draft actually was my final edit. So here it is, not tweaked, nor revised, and please bear in mind that my leading men are my imaginary characters. 

Hope you enjoy it.

Why do I write romance - A rant.


There is no romance in my life.

I’ve been saying it out loud for years, but he can’t seem to hear me, so I thought 
maybe I’m not speaking loud enough, 
maybe I’m not making myself clear, 
maybe I’m only dreaming I’m saying it, 
I thought the best thing to do was to bring it here and say it out  loud to see if you can hear me.



Can you hear me?

There are no flowers, no hearts, no chocolates, no gifts.

Actually, that’s a lie, there was a memorable gift for my last birthday – a fly-swatter. Yes, you hear me correctly, a fly-swatter. Not an all-singing all-dancing electronic thingy – not a real instrument of torture and death – just a flexible tennis racket style one that works perfectly well, entertaining me – my sitting room is like a graveyard in the summer mornings – but, 
the point is, 
it’s not very romantic, is it?

So as I say,



Did you hear me?


Good, then I shall continue dreaming, writing romance and having affairs left, right and centre with my leading men.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Fever Pitch

And no, not as in the film/book by Nick Hornby, but as in pitching your novel to a panel of agents at the Festival of Romance. Sunday morning 10-11.30am. Your opportunity to be given feedback on your synopsis and opening 500 words. A most special treat, enabling budding authors a little insight into the world of publishing and an almighty helping hand on your way up the long and lonely ladder that is writing at the novel length.

So, we’ve arrived on Friday, sorted ourselves into our rooms, slapped on our glad rags and danced the night away at the awards ball. Our table has been dubbed the ‘naughty table’, the title being carried on from last year and we most certainly were the loudest table when our gorgeous friend Celia Joy Anderson received the New Talent Award earning herself a contract and a launch date of the 1st August 2013 for her novel.

Then Saturday buzzes by in a haze of workshops, readings, rockstar parties and the unforgettable Romaniacs’ Quiz. All of these activities and more building up to the Pitch Your Novel to the Agents Panel on Sunday morning 10-11.30am. I’m about bursting at the seams with excitement when the incredibly hard working organiser of the Festival of Romance, Kate Allan, informs me that I can have a spot in the pitching. An early night is required, but impossible to get, and a last run through of the synopsis and first two pages before dropping into a sleep that would compare well with a short course of death. No sleepwalking this time. (That’s another story for another day!)

Sunday is finally here. My alarm wakes me in plenty of time to shower and eat a leisurely breakfast, having first checked out that everything is gluten free. Now, if you are intolerant of a food type you will know that on a day like today the last thing that you need is that food. But somehow I manage to consume some gluten, maybe from the hash browns or a crumb of bread that’s dropped into the beans. Something, somehow got into my food and I knew, before I even finished my breakfast.

Out of kindness to you, my readers and to save face for myself, I shall spare you the details, but suffice it to say that I spent a ridiculous amount of time in the bathroom and three immodiums later, and feeling much the worse for wear, I arrived at the Pitch Your Novel to the Agents Panel at 11.10am in time to hear the opening 500 words and synopsis from Laura E James.  Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed what little I heard and it is definitely a novel I shall buy, but the most important part of this exercise was the agents’ feedback.  It was thorough, direct, questioning and invaluable.

And thanks to probably only the tiniest speck of gluten, I missed my chance. Winding myself up to a fever pitch all weekend ready for the Sunday morning panel, you’d have thought I’d be devastated, and I was, but somehow, because the weekend was so glorious, I brushed it off. Me, the ruminator, brushed it off.  I don’t know when it happened, but sometime over the weekend, and most likely to do with my group of friends on the ‘naughty table’, I accepted that there are some things that I cannot change, and turning the clock back and not eating whatever it was, is not possible. 

Looking forward and staying positive is all I can do. And for us on the ‘naughty table’, it is what we do and that is why, even now, I feel no sense of loss or missed opportunity and for that I have to say Thank You to my lovely friends Laura E James, Debbie White, Celia Joy Anderson, Caroline Bell Foster, Gilli Allan and Liz Crump for your positivity. Thankfully, it is contagious.