Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, The Writing Life, Travels Around the World

A Cornucopia of rambling thoughts by Fiona Lowe

18339146_1826881800964104_534464569_oI’m taking a mini break cum writing retreat cum visit with my eldest son and escaping to our island state for the week 🙂 For those of you not familiar with Australian history, the British, who in 1788 were a naval force to be reckoned with, kept skirmishing with France and Spain and they  needed flax for sails and straight, strong trees for masts. Captain Cook had reported both these things grew in abundance on a little island off Australia, they’d named Norfolk.  Of course, they wanted to keep that information on the down low so the Spanish and French didn’t get there first, so they hid their plans behind a secondary problem; what the heck did they do with the ever-expanding prison population? They sent 7 ships, full of convicts to Australia; many of them with 7 year sentences. The moment they had offloaded the contents of a couple of ships, they shot across to Norfolk Island only to discover that the pines were soft wood so useless for masts and the flax wasn’t any good for sails. Damn!

Meanwhile, when you get a group of convicts together, stuff happens, and soon they needed aIMG_2841 second tier goal/jail.  They settled the island of Tasmania and some of the worst treatment of human beings…both of the convicts and the Aborigines…. began. But that’s a  whole other story as is islands and refugees today…. Fast foward 200 odd years and my son was ‘transported’ to Tasmania for 7 years to study medicine at the University of Tasmania. Today, it is a glorious place to live and I doubt we’ll ever get him back to the mainland.

IMG_2880Fellow author, Melanie Milburne lives down in Tasmania and she has a holiday house, or ‘shack’ as the locals call it. If I can stop staring at the view, I might get some writing done on my next medical romance.  At the end of my four days of ‘enforced writing’ I am heading back to Hobart to spend Mother’s Day weekend with my eldest son.  Given that the youngest is in Italy, Tassie was closer 🙂

I am not a big fan of Mother’s Day…a day that can be fraught with heartache and disappointment unless handled right… and the fact I am down in Tassie for the day is more of a coincidence than planning. It was the only weekend I wasn’t doing book signings for Daughter of Mine. So, in this reflective mood,  I offer you my  amassed knowledge of 22 years of motherhood and say, ‘if you want a happy day next Sunday, stage manage it so 18238928_10155268263202090_1775623558389478762_oyou get what you deserve.’   I was signing books at a department store on Saturday and as I handed over books to kids, I said, ‘Now you know that you’re not only giving Mum the book, you have to give her the time to read it.’ I got a few confused looks 😉

So, start thinking and planning now… you have a few days… and let me know what you are doing so you ensure a part of your day is for YOU. 🙂

31011Talking books.Daughter of Mine is available for all the Aussie and New Zealanders. Forbidden to the Playboy Surgeon, book 2 in the Paddington Children’s Hospital series is out now. I hope you enjoy Claire and Alistair’s story as they finally work out the important things in life.  I also have a backlist of 22 medical romances, ripe for reading:-) For the full list click HERE. They are all available digitally. Happy Reading!

Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Friends in Faraway Places

It’s been just over a year since I received The Call and was inducted into the Harlequin family. I not only found myself part of the large welcoming community of this publishing superpower, but also part of a smaller, but non-the-less amazing group of women- Medical Romance authors.

Not a day goes by without some kind of contact, an email, some information, a question, advice… and I soon discovered this diverse group of writers were fast becoming (albeit online) friends.
So it was fabulous to actually meet some of them face-to-face at my first  RWA conference in Anaheim, Orange County. Traveling from tiny New Zealand to a conference with over 2000 women was a bit daunting so it was nice to have a few familiar names I could seek out.
We’d shared so much about our trials and tribulations, lives etc, but knew little about each other. We had formed impressions, shared laughs and a few tears, but really? How would we get on?
No problem. Meeting these lovely ladies was how I imagined meeting a long time penpal would be. After a few minutes in their company I discovered they were all as warm and funny and spirited as their stories.
So just in case you wondered what happens at one of these romance writing conferences here’s a few photos of our adventures!
Heartbeat lunch with Nas Dean (Medical romance trailblazer), Lynne Marshall, Louisa George, Fiona Lowe and Mills and Boon Editor Bryony Green
First up was a Heartbeat lunch on Wednesday. ‘Heartbeat’ is the RWA chapter for Medical Romance enthusiasts.
Wednesday evening was the literacy signing event- where 400 plus authors signed books for readers for charity-we made over $50,000!
Of course editors are huge parts of our lives, so it was great fun to meet three of our Mills and Boon editors from the UK office too- and they took us out for lunch on Thursday!
M&B editor Lucy Gilmour and Lynne Marshall
 As you can see the weather was very kind to us! And the food was divine!
All the food I ate over the week was delicious- but in huge portions! Talk about supersize me! When I first arrived I was embarrassed to be sending half back because I just couldn’t eat it all…but by the end of the week I was asking for seconds!
Melanie Milburne, Fiona Lowe and Tina Beckett
We drank mimosas and ate italian antipasto and talked and talked and talked.
And then we talked some more.
Oh- and throughout all of this we had workshops with esteemed authors and  experts in every field of writing and beyond (I went to one particularly interesting- but very gory- lecture by an ER doctor complete with slides of gunshot wounds and head injuries).
Melanie Milburne, Connie Cox and Susan Carlisle
Friday evening was the Harlequin Ball (aka disco) where your trusty medical romance authors danced the evening away- and I mean ALL EVENING! (Those american women sure can dance!!)  I have blisters on my blisters!!!
And finally the RITA awards. Think Oscars for romance writers. The highlight of the week!
We had two medical authors nominated for awards (not for their medical books, though)…Sarah Morgan and Fiona Lowe. And they both won! The cheers almost brought down the roof! We are all so proud of their wonderful achievement.
Fiona and RITA!!
Sadly I don’t seem to have photos of either Fiona McArthur or Carol Marinelli but they were with us too- gorgeous as ever!
So I’ve been lucky enough to meet most of the Aussie, Kiwi and US medical authors,  next stop- Britain (I wish!)…
Louisa x
Have you ever met up with someone you met online? How did that work for you?