Loved Up – Q&A with Marcie Steele

Today’s final instalment in the Loved Up theme week is a great Q&A with Marcie Steele aka Mel Sherratt. Mel is known for her crime novels but has recently published her romance novel, Stirred With Love, with Bookouture, writing as Marcie Steele.

My thanks to Mel and all the contributors this week for all the fab posts.

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1. Tell us a little about Stirred With Love. 

Three women of differing ages are brought together to change a café into a thriving coffee shop. Stirred with Love is predominantly a story about moving on. It’s about the lives the women left behind and how they affect them moving forward, about forming new friendships and creating bonds, about taking chances in love and getting over loss. Of course this is all done with lots of coffee and cake…  

2. Marcie Steele is your romantic alias, Mel Sherratt is known for her gritty crime novels. How do you find it swapping your murderous (literary!) tendencies for more romantic writing? 

I find it very refreshing! It’s such fun to write about love rather than violence. They are two very different genres and I can switch from one to the other quite easily. As a writer, it gives me change too. It keeps things fresh for me. There is nothing nicer than writing about love and friendship.

3. Are you a plan, plan, plan writer or do you sit down and see where the words take you? How long does the process take you from first line to completed novel?

I’m a planner. I work out who my characters are, their sub plots and weave them all together so that I have a beginning, a middle and an end. It takes me, all in all, about four months to write the first draft. I write it quite quickly and then I layer things in during further drafts. For example, the second draft, I will look at plot holes and extra twists, the next draft I will look at characterisation and the next I’ll give it more description. The final draft is more about checking the wording.  Once I’m happy with it, then it goes through structural edits, copy edits and proofs, so all in all, it takes about six months. 

4. What do you do when you aren’t writing? What do you do to relax and get away from it all? 

A very good question. As I will (as Marcie Steele and Mel Sherratt) have ten books out by the end of this year and am already working on two for next year, I spend a lot of time doing promotion, indirectly on social media, and also keeping everything fresh and up-to-date. When I’m not working, I like to catch up with other author’s books, preferably while lounging on a beach in the sun, or I go walking with my fella and our dog, Dexter. Switching off is a big problem, and an addiction, now that social media is so accessible, so it’s great to get away. 

5. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life which book would it be?

I’ve been stuck here for a while as I have absolutely no idea! I can think of authors I would read forever such as Carole Matthews, Rowan Coleman and Lisa Jewell, but one book? Okay, it would be Sushi for Beginners, Marian Keyes. It’s the one book that has stuck with me since I first read it, and one I could read over and over.

6. I like to end my Q&A’s with the same question so here we go. What question have you not been asked that you wish had been asked – and what’s the answer?

Ooh… em… would you like me to adapt your book into a TV show? Well, it’s surely every writer’s dream, and the answer would be yes! 

Thanks for answering my questions and appearing on the blog.

Thank you for having me!

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