A rural medical romance, I personally can’t wait to read it. I’ve always had such huge respect for nurses and the nursing profession, mainly because I’m a desk bound office girl who can’t stand the sight of blood! In fact, I’ve got so much respect for nurses that I made the lead character, Lily, in my debut romantic suspense novel, Radiant, a nurse. This was a role I gave her to demonstrate her strength of character and ability to deal with stressful situations.
So when I met Nicki and discovered she’s a real life nurse who works in the ED, and she writes rural medical romance, I was hooked!
Today, in honour of her book release, I’ve asked her to join me to discuss Intensive Care, and her life as a nurse and writer.
In your other life, you’re a nurse. What prompted you to become a writer, and were you always going to write about nursing?
As a nurse currently working in the emergency department, but previously working in intensive care, I have the privilege of being with people in the darkest of times but also in their moments of joy and triumph. As soon as I decided to start writing, I knew it would have to be a story with a nurse as the central character. They say to “write what you know”. I’ve done that, but I’ve also written about what I love – nursing.
I’ve always dreamed of writing and to be honest, I never sat down and planned what the book was going to be about – it just evolved!
How do you balance nursing and writing? Do you have a set schedule?
I wish I had a set schedule for writing, but the reality is, as a nurse working flexible rostered shift work, a routine is absolutely impossible. I work two part time jobs, and the biggest challenge for me is finding time to write. Some days I start work at 7am, other days I don’t finish until 10pm. Then there’s night duty. Groan. I hate night duty! I feel like I have jetlag and the flu both at the same time. I tend to write on my days off, unfortunately sometimes it takes me a full day to get back into the swing of writing – it can take hours to get the words to flow and sometimes there are weeks between writing. Therefore I don’t set goals or pressure myself with deadlines. I just write when I can and celebrate – whether I write 5,000 words in one day or 5.
Your novels take place in a rural setting and you admit to being a city girl with a rural heart. Did you have to undertake research to incorporate the rural setting or did the rural elements come naturally to you?
I grew up in a semi-rural area between Geelong and Torquay (now completely residential) on 5 acres. I was lucky enough to have 2 horses, 2 pet sheep (Kermit and Miss Piggy), 2 Labradors and 3 cats. I used to pretend I lived on a farm because the neighbours had everything from sheep and cows to goats, chickens and even peacocks and I spent lots of time helping fix fences, ride tractors, chase sheep and generally getting in the way of real farm work! I grew up riding and spent every available minute after school outside with my horses and every weekend either at pony club or gymkhanas. When I turned 16, two things happened. We moved house, and I discovered boys! My riding and ‘farm’ days were sadly over.
As an adult we moved to a town a bit bigger than the fictional town of Birrangulla. We lived there for three years so many of the rural/regional aspects in the book have come from our time there.
What did you enjoy most about writing Intensive Care?
Finding out that I could actually write! And ‘meeting’ some amazing authors. The Aussie Rural Romance authors have been the most supportive, encouraging group of women I’ve ever met. My goal this year is to read every book on the Australian Rural Romance website!
What were the most challenging aspects of writing Intensive Care?
Finding time, and then the re-writes and edits. The book looks almost nothing like the original first draft!
Lastly, what do you think readers will enjoy most about Intensive Care?
I hope readers enjoy the sweet nature of the book as well as the emotional moments that Kate faces with her patients in the intensive care unit. I also hope readers enjoy the backdrop of a small Australian community. I think the characters are very ‘real’, and while Kate and Joel’s relationship develops slowly, (they have a long friendship before it finally blossoms into romance), I’m hoping that the readers will enjoy this. I don’t write bedroom scenes, so if you’re looking for hot and steamy sex, you might be disappointed by my book. J At the end of the day, I hope readers like the book enough to want to read Emergency Response which is the love story between Kate Kennedy’s brother Nathan and nurse Mackenzie Jones. Now I just need to find time to finish it!
About Intensive Care
Escaping to the country was meant to be easy …
On the surface it looks like busy intensive care nurse Kate Kennedy has it all: a long-term relationship, a great career and a sleek inner city apartment. But appearances are deceiving, and in one fell swoop everything comes crashing down around her. In a moment of spontaneity, Kate leaves her city life and takes a new role as Nurse Unit Manager at Birrangulla Base Hospital, but her dream move proves harder than expected.
Local cafe owner Joel O’Connor finds himself increasingly drawn to the gorgeous new nurse, but like Kate, he’s been scarred by love and isn’t looking to jump into anything. Yet their chemistry is hard to deny and after a near fatal incident, Joel and Kate find themselves opening up to one another.
Just when Kate thinks she’s found love again, their fragile relationship is thwarted by their pasts. Can they both let go of their guilt and grief to move on to a bright new future?
About Nicki Edwards
After twenty-five years of marriage, travel, children, study and work, Nicki decided she wasn’t busy enough. In January of 2014 she woke up and decided to fulfill a lifelong dream to write a novel.
Nicki calls herself a city girl with a country heart. Unfortunately the only way she can escape to the countryside of her dreams is by living vicariously through the lives of the characters in the rural romance novels she loves to read. If she could spend her days dressed in jeans and boots out on the farm surrounded by horses, dogs, cows and sheep, she’d be in her element.
When Nicki isn’t dreaming, reading or writing about rural life, she can be found in her scrubs in the emergency department where she works fulltime as a nurse. Nicki writes medical rural romance for Momentum and her debut novel is available now. Visit her at www.nickiedwards.net