Monday, July 09, 2007

Kate’s 25th party, guest blogger #15 – Fiona Lowe

Today I’m delighted to welcome my guest blogger, fellow Medicals author Fiona Lowe. We haven’t yet met in person, but we’re working on it (and there will most definitely be partying involved!). Despite a time difference I can never quite work out (it’s 12 hours, roughly, but before or after? I get it wrong every time), we manage to talk about all kinds of things – gorgeous heroes, chocolate, pianos, music, medicine… Anyway, I’ll stop talking now and introduce you to Fiona, who's just back from holiday - so don't mention the word cr*c*d*le to her...

It’s so exciting to be here to help Kate celebrate her 25th book!

It got me to thinking about what I was doing when I was 25. I had just started doing my Midwifery training. My very first shift was in the Nursery and I had to change a nappy. Much to my embarrassment, I had to ask how it was done!! I learned very quickly how to fold nappies for boys with the extra folds :o)

Up until that point in my life I’d had nothing to do with babies. At the time I wasn’t totally sure why I was doing Midwifery except that it was ‘the thing to do’ if you were going to work in the country. And that was the plan.

Training to be a Midwife was a turning point in my life. Suddenly gone from my working life were sick and dying people. Instead I was bringing new life into the world and watching families take shape. I adored it. I became passionate about it… just ask my friends and family :o)

And it influenced my writing. The very FIRST book I ever tried to write was all about midwifery. The French Doctor’s Midwife Bride is the rebirth of my very first book.

The original idea for this story hit me back in 1995 when I was pegging out nappies for my first-born. I loved the idea of an independent midwife who balanced her time between community midwifery and hospital midwifery. I loved Xavier and Charlie but the story wasn't quite good enough so I put it aside, waiting until I had the skills to tell their story.

When I peeked back into the lives of Xavier and Charlie I asked them this question. "What if everything you ever believed in suddenly changed?"

Xavier, my deliciously gorgeous French doctor, with an accent that makes your knees go weak, has just realized the women he thought he would spend his life with has been using him to gain a career advantage. He's packed his bags and come to Australia to restart his life and he is determined to give all career-minded women a wide berth.

Charlie is a passionate midwife and believes that delivering babies and living in Amaroo is all she needs to be happy.

Suddenly, with Xavier's arrival her independent midwifery program is under threat.

Set in a fictitious town in southern Australia where the whales come each winter and give birth, Xavier and Charlie battle their attraction for each other and eventually learn there is more to life than work and yet work is a vital part of their life.

GIVEAWAY: Fiona’s offering a copy of The French Doctor’s Midwife Bride (with the lovely new UK cover)

GIVEAWAY QUESTION: Please tell me a story about a baby, or a French Doctor or about whalesJ


AA said...

Hey Fiona - your back!!! So am I - sorry Kate. Bloody night duty again - sigh. I have been reading the entries just too tired to string a sentence together.

Haven't seen any whales so can't help there. Have written a French doctor - Guillaume (think he's still my favourite). Lots of baby stories I guess, but as we're in winter here they all seem to involve RSV at the moment so I'll spare you those. But that baby on your cover is gorgeous Fiona. As is your Vietnam cover. Wait til the readers get a load of that one!
Great to have you back.
I know I'm not meant to mention the c word but tell us about those crocs.

Amy Andrews

Kate Hardy said...

Nice to see you, Amy!

I haven't done a French doctor (hmm... maybe I should).

But I do have a soft spot for baby books (course I would, that was my first) and even for RSV, which gave me my second-worst Christmas ever but also pushed me into writing my first Medical. (And there was a happy ending. Madam will be seven in November, going on 16.)

Whales... my uncle went whale-watching for his 50th birthday, and my DH was VERY taken with that idea. Large hints have been dropped since. :o)

Fiona Lowe said...

Wow, how did that picture of me end up so big, Kate LOL! Yes, crocodiles...shudder! Give me whales anytime. Actually, just after I saw the crocodile surfing in the ocean I saw a Dugong three minutes later!! That was pretty special too.

Happy 25th, Kate!
Sleep well, Amy.
I'll pop in and out for the next few hours before it is my bedtime.
Looking forward to reading those stories

Fiona in Southern Australia, just back from a holiday in Northern Australia :-)

Liz Fielding said...

Whales -- the small country to the west of England where I live... :)

Nell said...

Mmm, don't know any French doctors and I've not seen any whales other than at the zoo when I was little. I know lots about babies though as I was a midwife too and now work as a healthvisitor. I delivered a baby on the hospital carpark once.

Fiona Lowe said...

Wales! LOL, Liz...I have been to Wales, very pretty.
Nell, I "caught" a baby in the carpark once in the back of a new taxi. The driver wasn't impressed with the mess!

Michelle Willingham said...

Just wanted to stop by to say congrats to Kate and a hello to Fiona! Wishing you both all the best. :)

I think Nell gets the prize for the most entertaining story!

Authorness said...

Hi, Fiona! Welcome back. Now you've got me very curoius about the crocs.

I suddenly feel like the only person in the world without a story about babies, French doctors or whales. Maybe I could make one up...

Congratulations on your 25th book, Kate!

x Vanessa

Lynne Marshall said...

Hi Fiona!

I have a couple of whale stories (none that involve being swallowed and living inside for awhile though, thank goodness) I guess the one that was most fun was when I'd saved for five years to take my family on an Alaskan cruise. One day when I was in the gym working off some of the wonderful food and dessert I'd eaten the night before, I looked up and saw a whale breach! What a sight! I can still see it in my mind's eye.

Kate Hardy said...

So are you going to tell us about the cr*cs, Fiona? *g*

Nell - in the car park? Ouch!

Liz - reminds me of the joke about getting two whales in a mini... *g*

Michelle and Vanessa - thank you!

Lynne - the Alaskan cruise sounds amazing. (I'd love to do that.)

Diane said...

Babies: [shudder] (Sorry.)

French Doctors: Didn't I have a French doctor that time I went to casualty? Or was he Italian? Greek doctor in Greece, funily enough.

Whales: Quite a serious one, this one. My brother is married to a Canadian and we went to visit in 1999. We drove all the way from Toronto to Taddoussac on the St Lawrence Seaway to see the whales - minkies. On the ride out our boat driver, who refused to speak English because he thought we were Canadian (the Quebecois hate the English speaking Canadians ...), and who didn't realise I understood French, pointed out a "foghorn". Turned out this foghorn was a calling device to get the poor whales to school together and come and investigate an interloper - it also cocked up their natural sonar, they didn't realise how close they were getting to the boats, and some have been cut with the rotor blades. In Taddoussac they guarantee that you will see whales ... I'd rather go to the west coast, get a lovely cruise, and any whales be a bonus.

Fiona Lowe said...

AH, it's early here and late for you. The crocs...Ok well I am just back from the Northern Territory and I know from experience in far north queensland that you avoid mangroves cos of crocs. But when i was on Bathurst Island, on the most gorgeous sandy beach, and you think with no mud in sight and no river in sight you'd be safe from crocs right? And I saw a croc surfing in the ocean!! We didn't swim :-)
We swam in waterholes in Kakadu though but with my heart in my mouth the whole time because although the rangers clear out the crocs at the start of the dry there are constant traps, decoys and huge signs that say 'crocs can reenter this area without us knowing.' I had nightmares about 4 metre salties the entire trip.
Glad to be back in Victoria where the even the sharks think it is too cold and I can lie in my tent and only worry that a wombat will try and wander through.

Fiona :-)

lidia said...

I don't know any French doctors.

Babies -- my daughter arrived two and a half weeks early -- on the same day as my baby shower. I went to the shower -- in pain -- and just stood there. Everyone else opened up my presents for me. I thanked everyone and went straight to the hospital -- a few hours later she was born. All of my friends remember that day, 24 years later.