Sue Moorcroft writes romantic novels of dauntless heroines and irresistible heroes.

Love and Freedom won the Best Romantic Read Award 2011 at the Festival of Romance and Dream a Little Dream was nominated for a RoNA in 2013.  She received three nominations at the Festival of Romance 2012, and is a Katie Fforde Bursary Award winner.

Sue is vice-chair of the RNA and editor of its two anthologies.  She also writes short stories, serials, articles, writing ‘how to’, and is a competition judge and creative writing tutor.

I’m not one
for resisting soft and fluffy animals, and if they say ‘Mmmm’ a lot, have great
liquid eyes, punk rock topknots and a ‘Huh?’ expression, I definitely need to get
involved. Having made some friends who own an alpaca farm, I could see it was
only a matter of time before these appealing animals made their way into one of
my books. So when I created Emilia, a secondary character in Is
This Love?
who’s married to a wealthy man, I wanted something over the top
for her to possess. I gave her a starter herd of alpacas. (They don’t like to live
What I had
to do, obviously, was get myself off to the alpaca farm with my camera and my
notebook to be introduced to about thirty of them, to see their field shelters,
their feed, their halters, even their feeding bowls. I was fascinated. Alpacas
are all colours from ash blond through fawn and brown to black. Their fibre is
incredibly thick in winter and when they’ve been shorn you can see the tracks
of the clippers. They look as if they’ve been neatly combed.
In this
country, alpacas are bred for their fibre, which is spun and knitted like wool.
I consider it itchy but the most exclusive of shops attach eye-watering price
tags to the resulting fine garments. Alpacas are camelids, smaller than their
llama cousins. They’re used to low temperatures but like to be able to get out
of the rain (wouldn’t you, with all that hair to get dry?) and their babies are
called ‘cria’.
I learned a
lot more but one thing was overwhelmingly obvious – alpacas are cute. They have a funny walk, their heads pop up like
periscopes with devil horns on top whenever anything excites their curiosity.
And they make the most soothing humming noise.
Tamara has a sister, Lyddie, who’s an adult who needs care, having suffered an
accident as a teen. (The alpacas may be soft and fluffy but not all of the
themes in my books are.) Lyddie loves animals and the alpacas and their cria
draw her towards Emilia and the odd household at Lie Low, where Jed Cassius
happens to work. Those four characters are essential to the plot and, in the
middle of them? Alpacas.
research is hard work, some is uncomfortable, but learning about alpacas was
just fun. Mmmm. Mmmm-mmmm.
This Love?
will be out on 7 November 2013 in paperback and is already
available across all ebook platforms. It has been nominated for the Readers
Best Romantic Read Award.

Facebook sue.moorcroft.3
Twitter @suemoorcroft

Thanks for a fascinating – and educational – interview, Sue.  We wish you all the best with Is This Love, and all future novels.  


Interviews on the RNA Blog are carried out by Freda, Henri and Livvie. They are for RNA members only. If you are interested in an interview, please contact:
  1. Author
    Berni Stevens 4 years ago

    Is This Love? has everything in my humble opinion.
    Great characters, humour, romance – and alpacas!
    I loved it.

  2. Author
    Janet Gover 4 years ago

    Ah yes – those eyewatering price tags… as a knitter I know them well when attached to Alpaca yarn. The animals are very very appealing … looking forward to reading about them – especially if there's a hunky hero attached.

  3. Author

    I love knitting using alpaca yarn. My sister owns a couple of alpacas and yes, they have such individual personalities.

    I'm looking forward to reading Is this Love!?

    Good luck with it, and thanks for a great post.

  4. Author
    Kathryn Freeman 4 years ago

    What a wonderful blog – I didn't realise how cute these animals were. Almost as gorgeous as Jed! I loved learning about Alpacas, thank you – and I loved Is this Love?

  5. Author
    Sue Moorcroft 4 years ago

    Thank you Kathryn, Janet, Berni and Beverley. 🙂 If I had a big enough garden, I think I'd have an alpaca herd of my own …

    Sadly, I can't wear their fibre. Itchy!

  6. Author
    Mel Hudson 4 years ago

    I love how 'out of proportion' they are – like cartoon characters. It's like all the cute bits of other animals got thrown together in one. Great blog, Sue. But you may have inspired some impulse buying of alpacas!

  7. Author
    Zana Bell 4 years ago

    Gorgeous photos Sue and what great secondary characters.

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