Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Actually, it’s not perfect …

I’d like to think that all writers have gone through this.

They write a book. (hah! I made that sound dead easy. It’s not.) And they read it through, they redraft, they tweak and when they think it’s as perfect as they can make it, they send it in to their publisher.

person typing on typewriter
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(Please note, I have NO IDEA why you might need a golden pineapple when writing a book. But perhaps that’s where I am going wrong)

The joy of finishing a book, of writing, The End, is a very special feeling. You have spent weeks, months with these characters. You have tortured them, you have stuck obstacles in the way of their happiness until finally you give them their Happy Ever After. You’re thrilled that the boy has got the girl and the girl has got the boy. Result!

And then, just as you’ve already embarked with another set of characters, to send them on their journey of happiness (torture), your email pings and there’s the dreaded revision letter for the last book.

I positively DREAM of one day sending in a book that needs no revisions. It has been done! (not by me, but others have)

And it turns out that the book that you thought was as perfect as you could get it, needs help. Your editor likes it very much, but they think you can strengthen certain aspects, or they think you need to rethink a certain aspect of a character’s backstory and the most common note, I think we all get is, DIG DEEPER. (If I had a pound for every time I have DUG DEEPER, I would be a rich person)

So you pull your hair out, rant and rage and tell yourself that your editor thinks you’re useless (you’re not. That’s just the process) and then once you’ve had time to let the revisions marinade in your head, you get to work. There are many ways to tackle revisions. Do the little changes first and then the big ones. Or just start at Chapter One and make them as you work your way through (my preferred method)

And then finally you resubmit the manuscript, believing it is all over. Your editor will say WE LOVE IT and issue payment for that book.

Or, in my last case, they tell you that the revisions haven’t worked at all and actually they’ve had a rethink themselves and think that the story needs a vast overhaul.

You know The Scream by Edvard Munch? Well, that was me, recently. Rewrite the entire thing? Aaaargh! All that work! All those hours, days, weeks spent creating that world, those characters, all for nothing?

It was hard. I might even have had a little cry about it. But I put on my Big Girl hat and my Wonder Woman pants (thanks, Annie O’Neil) gritted my teeth and got on with it and you know what? I rewrote that entire book in eight days. EIGHT DAYS! My family barely remembered who I was. All they knew was that there was some weird woman upstairs, with bad hair, muttering to herself, that could be kept under control with copious amounts of tea.

black and white person feeling smiling
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But I did it. I rewrote the book and sent it back in. And STILL there were more revisions, a third set came back!

Even though I’d already written twelve other books and thought I knew what I was doing, i totally screwed that one up! But, as I said on Facebook, the last time this happened to me was when I wrote A Father this Christmas, my third title and that book had FIVE sets of revisions and is now my best seller.

 

So, I’m hoping no more revisions ping back into my inbox. At the moment, the book is with my editor. AGAIN. Fingers crossed, it gets accepted.

And if it doesn’t? Well, I’m just hoping I have another best seller about to hit the shelves!

Louisa Heaton’s latest book (that didn’t require copious rewrites) is Saving The Single Dad Doc! Available from all good bookstores.

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Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, Pets

Being Grateful

I’m all about finding the joy right now. In such a troubling, terrifying world, I think we all owe it to ourselves to look for the bright moments, the joy, the happiness, no matter how small they may be.

The last time I wrote for this blog, we’d lost our beloved dog, Daisy, but now, almost three IMG_1290months later, we have a new pooch, Lexi. A rescue German Shepherd. She is bringing joy back into our lives again and somebody new to love. She gets on brilliantly with our resident dog, Mango and all the cats – though initially, they weren’t overly thrilled with her arrival!

Another thing I’m grateful for is my middle son passing his Theory Test first time, which was great news for us and today, he is going to pick up his very first car. I can hardly believe I have a child that is old enough to drive, but I do! In fact, I have three of them!

I’m grateful that my youngest son, who has always struggled with autism, is doing brilliantly in his new school. We had a long fight to get him the support we needed (which was ridiculous) but he has it now for the first time. Stability. Happiness and he, himself, is finding the joy in learning for the first time.

I’m grateful that I can write and I’ve had two books published since I last blogged – A Child To Heal Them and Saving The Single Dad Doc. I’m thrilled to pieces that I get to do the best job in the entire world, every single day!

 

There are other things going off in my life, that aren’t brilliant. Family members with significant illnesses for one, that we can’t do a damn thing about, but I am trying to find as much time as I can to be with them and create happy memories, before we’re unable to. Each joke, each smile, is something to be treasured.

I’m enjoying the warm, sunny days. The days I get to walk along the beach barefoot. The days I get to sit with my children around the dinner table and laugh. Small things, but wonderful things.

Years ago, Oprah Winfrey wrote about the importance of having a Gratitude Journal and I believe in that totally, because when you force yourself to look for the good, every single day, you find your focus shifting in life. You don’t concentrate so much on all the stuff that goes wrong, all the stuff that’s out of your hands that you can’t change, and instead you focus on what made you smile – whether it was a particularly beautiful flower you saw that day, or an old couple still holding hands, or just the fact that you enjoyed a particularly lovely cup of tea!

Try it and see. There are some lovely Gratitude Journals on the market. Or you can just pick up a pretty notebook and make your own.

In the meantime, if you’d like to read a story about hope and possibility and love, then check out Saving The Single Dad Doc! And remember to look for the joy and the beauty and enjoy your life in lots of small, little ways. Why not tell me below about what you are grateful for today? Try and find three things and share! I can’t wait to read them.

Louisa xxx

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, Pets

Love and Loss

(WARNING – This hurt me to write. I apologise if it upsets anyone, but I felt the need to tell the story)

Ten years ago, when our youngest son was four years old, we were struggling to reach him and communicate effectively. His speech was minimal and the words he did say, were often unintelligible, except to me and his Dad.

Back then he hadn’t been diagnosed, though we strongly suspected autism was the case. I was researching autism, trying to find other parents like me, struggling to reach their child and I came across two families, that had brought a dog into their home to try and make a break-through. We’d always had dogs in the house, but hadn’t for a while, after the death of our previous dog, Lucy, a golden labrador.

So we decided the time was right for another.  And bought a fluffy white bundle that looked like a baby polar bear.

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Her name was Daisy and she was a golden retriever.

Goldens are renowned for their gentle spirit, intelligence and capacity for patience and love and we knew that she’d need it. Jack could be furious and physical, lashing out in frustration at not being able to convey his feelings.

Until Daisy and Jack met.

Daisy settled into our home well. Making friends with everybody, including the rather unimpressed cats and our other children, tolerant of all the loud noises and the constant hands that wanted to pat her and stroke her. Jack often lay down on the floor, using her body as a pillow and she would follow him and the others around, making sure they were always in sight, always around.

Jack’s verbal abilities and temper became better. He helped us take Daisy for walks and they would play and run in the surf together and when Jack got tired (which wasn’t easy!) Daisy would continue to play in the water and chase seagulls and sticks and whatever you threw for her.

She became our family dog and entered our hearts so easily with her big, brown eyes and soft, white fur and the way she’d somehow manage to make you pet her, whilst you were watching television or a movie. The way she’d nuzzle her nose under your hand, so that you’d stroke her or give her a belly rub.

She loved physical contact.

She loved us.

You could see it, clearly in her eyes. In the wag of her tail. In the way she’d sit at the window whenever you left the house and stay there until you came back again. The greeting when you came through the door.

She had some funny quirks. She liked rolling in smelly stuff. She liked to dive into dirt just after you’d given her a bath. She liked to rub herself into the grass so hard, she’d give herself a grass bindi – a little green stain in the centre of her forehead. And after breakfast, lunch and dinner, with her belly full, she would roll onto her back and squirm about, as if she were getting a spinal massage, whilst groaning and moaning in joy.

She never barked. She never chewed something she shouldn’t. She often looked guilty for something the other animals had done, as if she were willing to take the blame, but she was always so happy for those cuddles and kisses to let her know that you weren’t mad.

And then, a week ago today, April 20th, I found her lying in the garden. I thought she was sunbathing. The weather was hot, but it was still early morning, so not too bad. But there was something about the way she was lying, that made my inner red flags go up.

As I got closer, I saw her breathing was off and so I immediately checked her gums and they were white. Not the healthy pink they should be and I knew she was either in shock from something, or was suffering internal blood loss. I called the vets and they asked me to rush her in.

The vet, Hannah, could feel a mass in her abdomen, but as they’re a small practice, they didn’t have an ultrasound machine and needed to send her to Portsmouth to get it done at their emergency surgery.

But she wasn’t strong enough for travel. They offered to put her on a drip and get some fluids into her and painkillers in case she was hurting anywhere. She couldn’t stand because her blood pressure had tanked.

They did a chest X-ray, but it only showed that her heart was enlarged. Now stabilised, they asked us if we wanted to see her before they took her to Portsmouth and we all went in and surrounded her with love and affection. Stroking her. Telling her that we loved her. That she had to fight, whatever it was. And then it was time to go.

We sat at home. Jumping every time the phone rang and believe you me the world and his wife suddenly wanted to talk. Random calls. Marketing calls. We tried to be polite, but were probably curt to get them off the phone.

Then the cardiologist rang. Daisy had fluid around her heart and it wasn’t beating properly. The mass in her abdomen was a build up of fluid that her system couldn’t shift. The fluid around her heart could be one of two things. Either a simple infection, in which they could operate to remove the pericardial sac and fluid and she’d be fine, OR, it could be a cancer, in which case, she wouldn’t survive.

We had to give her the chance to live, so we pinned our hopes on it being an infection and gave them permission to operate. The next hour was terrible as we waited. Our children were upset, no-one could eat, our stomachs felt painful and twisted. We didn’t know what to do with ourselves. Keep busy? We couldn’t concentrate on anything, except replaying everything that had happened.

And then the phone rang. The cardiologist had found a massive tumour running through her heart. There was no way she would survive. Did she have our permission to put her to sleep?

Hearts broken, we said yes. We’d wanted a last goodbye. To be there, when it happened, but it would have been too cruel to have woken her, in pain, just so that we could be there. So she was put to sleep.

Our world stopped. We all fell to pieces. There’s a big, Daisy shaped hole in our home. No dog lying in the doorway that we have to step over every time. No dog waiting for us at the bottom of the stairs when we come down in the morning. No-one lifting our hand with a  big, wet nose, for a cuddle.

The sight of her dog bowls in the kitchen had me in floods of tears. Finding her lead in the car, broke me again. Hearing my children sob in their rooms tore me asunder.

This is all so raw. So painful. But I know that we will, in time, be able to talk about her with a smile and bring up happier memories. We will be able to look at photographs of her and feel a good feeling.

She had a good life. She was the happiest dog I know.

RIP Daisy. We will always miss you and will forever have a piece of our hearts.

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, Reading

5 Ways To Find A Great New Book!

pexels-photo-256546.jpegI’m always on the lookout for a great new book. I mean … who isn’t? But not everyone knows how to go about finding something new. They stick to the same old, same old authors, or they don’t read outside of a certain genre, because they don’t want to waste time reading a book they’re going to have to put down after 50 or so pages.

You want to know the author knows what they’re doing.

You want to feel as if you’re in safe hands. So these are my tried and tested methods for finding something new.

  1. If there’s an author you really, really like, then go to their website or Amazon or Barnes & Noble and look up their backlist. Websites are usually the best places to go, as they’ll generally list them all. You might find a title that you hadn’t been aware of and generally if you love that author, you’re gonna love most of their work.
  2. Join book groups on Facebook. There are some fabulous ones to belong to, where readers (or book bloggers) get together to recommend great titles and word-of-mouth, recommendations from fellow readers who like the same sort of stuff as you, is GOLD. (The Book Connectors, is one group on FB, that I belong to.)
  3. Goodreads is an excellent place to look for new books. You can search by genre, or they have forums on there, or lists where people recommend books that are like other books. It might mean picking up a book by an author you’ve never even heard of, but if you love it, then hopefully there’s a new backlist of books you’ll want to check out!
  4. http://www.whoelsewriteslike.com Self-explanatory, really. You go there, punch in a name of a favourite author and they’ll tell you who writes exactly like them. You can Browse genres and authors there and it’s a veritable mine of information.
  5. And I couldn’t end this without recommending your local library! Ask your librarian! These people know books inside out and if you’re stuck as to what to read next, ask for their help! Look at their displays – see what they’re featuring that week. They love to hook you up with a great book, so use your library!

Of course, if you know of another method, then please share it with everyone! Comment below, I’d love to hear of ways in which you find something new to read.

And in the spirit of a little cheeky self-promotion, my RoNA Rose Finalist book, Their Double Baby Gift is still available to purchase at all good bookstores, online or real. It’s one of my favourites and my hero, Major Matt Calloway, is a real sweetheart!

But if you’re looking for my latest, then A Child To Heal Them is released next month!

Might saving a little girl…

… help mend their broken hearts?

When ex-doctor Tasha Kincaid escapes to Africa to teach, haunted by the loss of a young patient, she never expects to find now-widowed Quinn Shapiro—the doctor who once broke her heart. But a pupil is sick and she needs his help! As they care for little Abeje, Tasha finds herself falling for Quinn again… Could healing this child help them embrace a future together?

Excerpts, Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Pregnant With his Royal Twins

thumbnail_IMG_1112Freya surreptitiously slipped the packet from her locker and into her uniform pocket, hiding it under her notepad. The lack of her period and the increasing nausea she was experiencing each morning seemed obvious signs enough, but Freya wanted proof. Scientific proof.

Night shift it might be, but to her this was morning, and walking into the staff room and smelling the strong coffee that had been put on to brew had almost made her share with everyone the ginger biscuits she had forced down for breakfast. It had taken a gargantuan effort to control her stomach, and a sheen of sweat had prickled her brow and top lip as she’d fumbled with her locker. Her fingers had almost tripped over themselves in her haste.

Heading to the ladies’ loo, she told Mona she’d just be five minutes and that she’d catch up to her at the staff briefing in a moment.

‘Okay, hun, see you in five.’ Mona smiled and headed off, her hand clutched around a mug of that nausea-inducing coffee.

The toilets were right next door to the hub, so Freya slipped in and locked the door behind her, leaning back against it, letting out a long, slow breath of relief. She took a moment to stand there and see if her stomach settled.

There didn’t seem any doubt about what was happening to her, but she needed to do this just the same. She pulled the pregnancy test from her pocket and stared hard at it, not quite believing that she was actually going to.

She’d always hoped that one day she would become a mother. But the actual chances of that ever happening to her had—she believed—become very slim the day she had been scarred for life. Because who would want her now?

‘Come on, Freya…you’re better than this,’ she whispered to herself, trying to drum up the courage to get herself through the next few minutes.

Freya loved the nightshift, working on Maternity here at Queen’s Hospital. There was something extra-special about working nights. The quiet. The solitude. The intimate joy of bringing a new life into the world and being with that family as they watched their first sunrise together. A new day. A new family. Life changing. Getting better. New hopes. New dreams. There weren’t the distractions of daytime—telephones constantly ringing, visiting families all over the place. It was secluded. Fewer busybodies.

It was the perfect hiding place for her, the hospital at night time, and those nights afforded Freya the anonymity that she craved. Lights were kept low. There were shadows to stay in, no harsh fluorescent lighting to reveal to her patients the true extent of her scarring.

It was better now than it had been. She had some smooth skin now, over her cheeks and forehead, where just two years before she’d had angry red pits and lines, her face constantly set and immovable, like a horrific Halloween mask.

Not now. Not now she’d had her many, many reconstructive surgeries. Thirty-three times under the skilled scalpel of her plastic surgeon.

And yet she was still hiding—even more so—in a bathroom. Her hands sweating and fidgety as she kept glancing down at the testing kit.

‘Only one thing to do, really,’ she told herself aloud, shaking her head at the absolute silliness of giving herself a pep talk.

She peed on the stick and laid it on the back of the sink as she washed her hands and then took a step back. She stared at her reflection in the mirror, refusing to look down and see the result. She saw the fear in her eyes, but she also recognised something she hadn’t seen for years—hope.

‘This is what you’ve always wanted,’ she whispered.

But wanting something and actually achieving it, when you believed it to be impossible, was another thing altogether. If it were possible then she’d finally get her childhood dream. To hold her own child in her arms and not just other people’s. To have her own baby and be a mum. Even if that meant she’d have to revert back to living in sunlight. With all those other people.

Even if they didn’t stare at her, or do that second glance thing, she still felt that they were looking. It was human nature to look at someone different and pretend that you weren’t. And your face was the hardest thing to hide.

Still…this wasn’t exactly how she’d imagined it happening. As a little girl she’d dreamt of marrying a handsome man, having his babies and being in a settled relationship.

She had no one. Even ‘the guy’ had been a mad, terrific impulse, when her body had been thrumming with joy about the fact that she was out amongst people, having fun, enjoying a party behind the veil of her fancy dress costume.

It had been so long since she’d last been to a social event. Too long. Years since she’d stood in a room full of people, chatting, laughing at poor jokes, being normal.

Mike had taken that away from her. That joy and freedom. His jealous actions had imprisoned her in a world of night and pain, surgeries and hiding. Feeling unable to show her face to the world without fearing people’s reactions. A frightened child turning away as if to clutch her mother’s skirts when a stranger did a double-take and tried not to look appalled or disgusted or worse.

The veil she’d worn that night had hidden everything. The high-necked Victorian steam punk outfit had hidden the scars on her neck that had not yet been tackled, and the veil had added a note of mystery.

That night people had looked at her with intrigue and with delight. They’d smiled…they’d complimented her on how wonderful she looked. Their words had made her giddy with happiness. She’d been normal there. Like them.

And then he’d been there. The guy. The pirate. He’d seemed uncomfortable. Had appeared to be waiting for enough time to pass so he could make his escape.

She knew how that felt. She’d felt a kind of companionship with him, despite their not having exchanged a word.

It had helped, of course, that he had seductively dark eyes and a wickedly tempting mouth, and she’d almost stopped herself. She’d taken a moment to register the fact that she was attracted to a man when the very idea of that had been anathema to her for so many years.

But not that night. The costume, the veil, had given her a sense of bravery she hadn’t felt for a long time.

‘I’m Freya. Pleased to meet you.’

‘Jamie.’

‘I saw you eyeing up the exit. Getting ready to make a break for it?’

‘I’ve been thinking about it.’

‘Please don’t. Stay for a little while longer. Let me get you a drink.’

It had been crazy how emboldened she’d felt. Her entire body had been thrumming with adrenaline and serotonin, her heart pounding like a revved-up engine. She’d felt alive, happy, normal again—having a conversation with an attractive man, feeling the thrill of first attraction.

Silly. Childish, maybe, when she really ought to have known better, but it had just felt so good!

He had made her feel that way. The way he’d looked at her, his eyes sparkling with inky delight, his full lips curved in a wicked smile. He’d laughed with joy at her anecdotes, had genuinely seemed happy to stay.

She’d felt warm and wanted again. Desire had filled her the second he’d let go of the stem of his glass and let his fingers trail delicately over the back of her hand. She’d focused on that movement, watched his fingertips on her skin—her very sensitive skin. She’d looked up and met his eyes, and the most extraordinary question had left her lips.

‘Are you married?’

‘No.’

‘With someone?’

‘No.’

‘Do you want to be?’

She’d startled herself with the sheer audacity of her question. That wasn’t her! Freya MacFadden did not proposition strange men!

She’d pulled her hand away then, retreating into the shell she was so accustomed to being inside. But then he’d reached for her hand again. Not to stop her from running away. Not to try and possess her or control her. But just to get her to make eye contact with him.

‘I’m guessing you didn’t mean to say that?’

‘No.’

‘Then we can both forget it. Don’t worry.’

‘I’m sorry.’

‘Don’t ever be.’

He’d been so kind. So understanding. So she hadn’t bolted and neither had he.

They’d continued to sit with each other and talk about what the other guests were wearing and why the charity they were there to support was so important. They’d laughed and had a good time, enjoying each other’s company.

He’d offered to walk her out at the end, and she’d let him, intending to say goodbye at the door. To fetch her coat and leave. For ever to remain an enigmatic stranger at a party that he would remember with fondness. Like Cinderella leaving the ball at midnight, only without the glass slipper.

Freya let out a deep breath. She couldn’t stay here in the bathroom for too long. There was a hand-over from the day shift.

Freya loved her daytime colleagues, and they her, but she was happy when they went home. Because then she could begin to craft the intimacy that the night shift brought. Lowering the lights. Softening the voices.

It was time.

She couldn’t wait any longer.

It was now or never.

She looked down.

And sucked in a breath.

‘I’m pregnant.’

Pregnant With His Royal Twins is available from :

(Kindle, Amazon UK) January 2018

(Paperback, Amazon US) December 19th, 2017!

(Paperback, Barnes and Noble US) December 19th, 2017!

(Ebook, Nook US) January 1, 2018

 

 

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Ups and Downs

It’s been a strange old month. I started it off by spectacularly falling down the stairs – all because I turned around to pick up the remains of a paper bag, my dog had shredded halfway up. The small of my back took the brunt of the fall, resulting in these lovely bruises taking shape at the base of my spine …

Yes. They hurt. I also had some spectacular bruises on my right wrist, along with a carpet burn, so all in all, a pretty hard fall. I couldn’t lie down, stand up, sit down or move without sounding like a ninety-year old, but nothing was broken, so I pretty much just carried on with life. As you do, when you’re a mum of four and things need doing. Laundry doesn’t stop when you’re injured and apparently children need feeding three times a day, so …

A week or so after my injury, I went to the Reader’s Day at Guildford Literary Festival. I met my friend, Neats, from The Haphazardous Hippo Blog and we managed to get front row seats! It was just a shame that those seats were hard, wooden ones and we were going to be sat in them for six hours, so by the end of the day, my poor, bruised back was protesting.

Fanny Blake led the questioning of the authors and it really was a fascinating day and one I’d recommend anyone go to. Seven authors were interviewed – Polly Clark (Larchfield), Lucy Atkins (The Night Visitor), Rachel Joyce (The Music Shop), Veronica Henry (The Forever House), Fiona Barton (The Child), Kate Eberlen (Miss You) and as a last minute stand-in for an ill Penny Vincenzi, we also got Alison Pearson (How Hard Can It Be).

I loved listening to the authors talk about their inspiration, their writing routines and the challenges they face as writers and as women who want to write about relationships. Not just romantic relationships, but friendships, too. How friendships can blossom in the strangest of places and how truth is very often much stranger than fiction. And I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall of Lucy Atkin’s literary agency when she rang up to say that the book she’d been working so hard on was all about dung beetles!

Research can take you down strange paths indeed!

The next book I have out is Pregnant With His Royal Twins and this book came about because I really wanted to write a heroine who was the survivor of an acid attack. There had been one or two stories in the news about the rise of acid attacks on both men and women and the research took me down some pretty grim paths and so I really wanted to write about the psychological effect this has on a person. Here’s the blurb …

thumbnail_IMG_1112Midwife Freya MacFadden has stuck to night shifts since she was injured in an acid attack. But a hospital costume ball offers her the chance to hide her scars, and, lost in the moment, she seizes a passionate encounter with a handsome stranger. Leaving her pregnant…with his twins!

Desert prince Jameel Al Bakhari fought hard for his medical career, far from his kingdom of Majidar. And he’ll fight for kind and courageous Freya and their babies, too! But first Jamie must show her how beautiful she really is!

It comes out December 19th, so just in time for Christmas! I do hope you’ll check it out and, as always, leave an honest review. Many thanks! And as I won’t get to blog again until after Christmas, dare I wish you all an early Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year? **runs and hides**

Louisa xxx

 

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, The Writing Life

Choices

We’ve been thinking a lot about choices in the Heaton household just lately and how important they are. How saying yes to one thing can take you down a completely different road to saying no, how saying this is what I want to do, can change everything completely and forever.

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Choices and change can be frightening. Choices can sometimes be made easily and sometimes, require a lot of forethought.

This year, I’ve had three teenagers receive their GCSE results. They had to make the choice as to whether they were going to put the work in, in class, whether they were going to revise and whether they were going to give their all in their exams. The results were mixed, but I know they did their very best and now my three teenagers have choices ahead of them.

Which college to go to?

Which courses are they allowed to do?

What do they want to do in life? What are their goals and ambitions?

These last questions are ones I frequently consider when thinking up a new story. What do I already know about my characters, but what do I think they want from life? What is it in their past history that might be holding them back? What are their goals, ambitions and values? What do they want more than anything?

Because once I make those choices for them, that is the road upon which they will travel. There may be bumps in the road, diversions. They may even do a complete about turn and make another choice, due to circumstances.

But there are always choices. There are always options, no matter how cornered or hopeless everything may seem.

medical3In Their Double Baby Gift, Dr Brooke Bailey makes the choice to return to work after having her baby girl. The hero, Major Matt Galloway makes the choice to take over his wife’s old post and uphold the promise his wife made to Brooke, before she died. Their lives could have been so different if neither of them made those choices.

Matt soldiers on through life despite his PTSD, putting on a brave face and creating a mask for everyone else, but what would his life be like if he gave into the fear and the terrors and flashbacks?

They would both be completely different people.

As authors, we are always making choices for our characters and this for me, is the best part of story-telling. We might put our characters through some rough ups and downs occasionally, but we’re always nice to them in the end! And after the book finishes? Well, their story and their happy ever after is completely up to them, though I guess we all hope and assume they continue to love each other for the rest of their lives.

We all make choices each and every day as to what we’re going to put into our relationships with each other. Supporting a spouse, guiding a child, being there for a friend or neighbour.

As writers we make good art.

But as people, let’s make good choices, too. Choices that show our love and support of one another through tough times and the sometimes difficult and unfair world we live in today. Make good art. Make good choices. And everyone will be there to support you.

Louisa xxx