It’s a real thrill to welcome Josie Metcalfe to the blog today! Josie is the author of 52 Medical Romances for Harlequin Mills and Boon, and is currently busy editing and re-issuing selected books from her backlist. We took this opportunity to ask her a few must-know questions.
What made you become an author?
I can’t remember not being able to read because my mother, a junior teacher, had me reading before I started school. It was only when a medical ‘never event’ took away my speech and my ability to read and write that the fight to get all that back fired me up to have a go – that and a dare from my husband!
If you weren’t a writer, what else would you like to be?
I trained as a teacher – well, with a mother and an aunt teachers and a grandfather a headmaster why wouldn’t I? Then, after I married and the children started arriving, there were various occupations including doing alterations for a very spiffy gents outfitters, making wedding dresses, knitting Aran jumpers to order, medical secretary in a private clinic – a Jill of all trades.
Can you pick a favourite book from your backlist? And/Or a favourite character or location?
It’s just too hard to choose a favourite – a bit like asking which one is my favourite child. Doubly difficult because I tend to fall in love with each of my heroes while I’m writing them. Well, why wouldn’t I when each of them has a little bit of my husband in them, even though none of them resemble him.
Can you give us an idea of the process for editing your books for re-issue? Did you find that a lot of changes were needed to accommodate changes in technology and medicine?
Obviously I’m careful to check that any drugs I mention are still in use for the same purpose but I’ve been quite surprised how much the world has changed in such a short time, particularly with the advent of mobile phones that do everything except boil the kettle. It wasn’t so long ago that they had to be switched off inside a hospital; now they’re used to take a quick picture of a suspect growth, for example, which can immediately be sent to the relevant specialist.
What’s the thing you enjoyed the most about re-visiting your early books?
It was great fun reading them for the first time in ages – I’d almost forgotten what my characters had got up to – but then I had to take my ‘reader’ hat off and put my ‘editor’ hat on!
If you could go back and give your younger self one piece of advice, at the start of her writing career, what would it be?
The piece of advice I was given after I wrote the first book was to learn to touch type so that it becomes completely second nature and to learn to work straight onto the screen so I didn’t waste any more time and energy writing longhand then copy typing. I’ve passed that advice on many times already.
Do you have any hints or tips for aspiring writers?
Don’t end a day’s work at the end of a scene but in the middle of something. Then, when you come back to it the next time you’re never staring at a blank screen but can start right into the ‘paused’ scene. Then, by the time you get to the end of the scene, you’ll already have the following scene brewing in your head. I also employ ‘critical path analysis’ when I’m plotting. Sounds scary? Not a bit when you realise it just means that once you know who your characters are and their situation you go direct to the happy end of the story and plot it backwards, putting in all the important threads and weaving them together at the critical point so that everything hangs together. With that outline constructed the writing becomes so much easier.
Josie will be back with an excerpt from ‘Forgotten Pain’ next Wednesday. You can find all Josie’s newly released editions on Amazon – look out for these distinctive covers! And do click the links below, you’ll be in for a real treat!
No Alternative (St Augustine’s Hospital Book 1) – Ella James alienated her family when she chose to become a chiropractor rather than a medical doctor, but orthopaedic surgeon Adam Marshall has his own reasons for regardng her as little better than a charlatan. With both of them appointed to a research forum, clashes are inevitable but that can’t stop the attraction growing between them.
Secrets to Keep (St Augustine’s Hospital Book 2) – Jacob could easily expect to feel hostility towards Louise, after all, it was her husband’s reckless driving that had killed his wife, leaving their premature baby fighting for her life.
But while he watches her tenderly caring for her own dying baby, animosity is the last thing he’s feeling, and when he comes up with the suggestion that she should take on the care of his child, permanently…
Hell on Wheels (St Augustine’s Hospital Book 3) A&E nursing sister, Sophie, starts a new job, and is shocked to find that Luke Hellier, the school-friend who broke her heart ten years ago, is now a doctor working at the same hospital.
A Voice in the Dark (St Augustine’s Hospital Book 4) – Jenny, an oncology nurse and single mother, is on her way to join her twins and their grandparents on holiday in Spain when the plane is forced to land unexpectedly. That’s when she discovers that Tomas, a fellow passenger, was once a leukaemia patient of hers. As a result of disastrous previous relationships in both their backgrounds, he doesn’t trust that she’s not after his considerable family wealth while she is worried that the only reason he wants a relationship with her is because she has children….. which he can now never have.
Bound by Honour (St Augustine’s Hospital Book 5) – Needing to ‘disappear’ from an impossible situation, A and E nurse Honour chooses the wrong person’s ID to misappropriate, but when Army Medic Matt extracts her agreement to accompany him to Peru to relieve a colleague at a remote clinic, it isn’t hard to agree, not when the attraction she feels towards him far outweighs his glowering disapproval of her.
Forgotten Pain (St Augustine’s Hospital Book 6) – There’s something about Luke and the shadows in his eyes that sets Sally’s antennae buzzing. He’s unfairly good-looking and he’s obviously excellent at his job but that can’t outweigh the fact that when she tries to get to know him better, he’s so evasive that she knows he’s hiding secrets.