I’m not the world’s best sailor so you might think it’s odd that in The Wedding Proposal I put Elle and Lucas together on a boat for the summer. But I left the boat, the Shady Lady, moored for the entire duration of the book so any readers who share my dislike of uppy-downy things won’t have to worry that they’ll feel queasy.
It became obvious as I wrote that I needed a clear idea of the interior of the Shady Lady. I’d chosen a boat from the Fairline range as they have a works local to me and so I’ve always known people who craft those fantastic vessels. But it was a chance remark on my newsletter that brought me an email from someone who knew the commercial manager, Oliver. ‘Would you like me to introduce you?’ I liked the idea very much and although it took a little arranging, I was invited down to the Southampton Boat Show last year. (Thank you, Fairline.)
There, I was given a tour of the twin of the Shady Lady and shown what Elle and Lucas would need to know in order to live on her for the summer. Oliver did say, ‘It’s a small boat for two people to live together when they’re not … together.’ He was probably surprised that I grinned in delight. ‘It is, isn’t it? And Elle arrives with four suitcases, which irritates Lucas right from the start.’ I think my premise began to become real for him, then, and we were soon discussing who would have which cabin and that the master was clearly the one to bicker over with its row of skylights over the bed.
The only time Oliver demurred during the tour was when I began to discuss an accident I had planned for Lucas’s little brother, Charlie. ‘Erm, not while other potential buyers are listening, please. They might think it’s real and be put off.’ Well, I don’t want to put anyone off but it is real in my imagination. Obviously.
As I love Malta so much I have moored the Shady Lady at the Ta’ Xbiex yacht marina, the very marina overlooked by a flat I used to live in when I was a little girl and Malta was my home. I suppose that I was indulging a wish of my own to live once again in Malta when I sent Elle and Lucas there for the summer. By the end of the book I had the feeling that they would probably never come back to the UK to live.
That’s the glory of fiction. I can make it better than real life (and I can send my characters to Malta when I can’t make it myself).
Sue also writes short stories, serials, articles, writing ‘how to’ and is a competition judge and creative writing tutor.
Facebook sue.moorcroft.3 and https://www.facebook.com/SueMoorcroftAuthor
Sue’s latest book The Wedding Proposal is available as an eBook from 4 August 2014 and as a paperback from 8 September.
Can a runaway bride stop running?
Elle Jamieson is a private person, in relationships as well as at work - and for good reason. But then she's made redundant and with no ties to hold her, Elle heads off to sunny Malta.
Lucas Rose hates secrets - he prides himself on his ability to lay his cards on the table and he expects nothing less in return. 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 scared Elle away. But then a phone call from England allows Lucas a rare glimpse of the true Elle. Can he deal with Elle's closely guarded past when it finally comes to light?
Check back this afternoon for Tanya's guest review of The Wedding Proposal.