AUSSIE MONTH with Nicki Edwards
Describe yourself in one word:
What is your background with regard to writing?
I’ve had my nose stuck in a book ever since I learned to read and the idea of writing a book of my own has brewed for as long as I remember. I was always encouraged by teachers at school to pursue some sort of career in writing, but I never thought I was good enough. After all the years of reading, I’d put authors on a very high pedestal. At the start of 2014 I decided to stop talking about wanting to write a novel and actually do it! Intensive Care is my debut novel, released with Momentum.
Tell us about Intensive Care:
First of all, it’s not my autobiography! I don’t know how many people have asked if it’s my story, just because I was working as an intensive care nurse while I was writing it! While some of the characters and stories are real (names changed of course), I am not Kate Kennedy!
Intensive Care is a story of city nurse (Kate Kennedy) who escapes to the country after finding out her boyfriend has cheated on her. She moves to a regional town in New South Wales but unfortunately what she thought would be a simple move turns out to be an isolating and lonely experience as she struggles to make friends and fit into life in a small town. When she finds herself falling in love with a local café owner Joel O’Connor her life starts looking a little brighter, but he’s carrying lots of emotional baggage and doesn’t seem to have the same feelings for her as she has for him.
What inspired this novel?
I suppose two main things inspired me to write Intensive Care. Firstly, everyone knows the saying that truth really is stranger than fiction. As a nurse, I often have the incredible privilege of being with people in both their moments of triumph and in their tragedies – often in a single shift – and I wanted to be able to share some of these incredible stories. Secondly, after living in regional Australia for three years, but now living back in the city, I still yearn for the simple lifestyle I had back then when I drove past paddocks full of cows and sheep on my way into town. There’s something special about life in the country and one day I plan to return.
What are you reading right now?
Today I’m reading Cathryn Hein’s Rocking Horse Hill but tomorrow I’ll be reading another Rural Romance. I’ve made a commitment to myself this year to read every single RuRo I can find. So far, it’s an impressive list!
Number one thing to do on your bucket list?
Number 1 on my bucket list was to write and publish a book. Now that I’ve done that, I’ll move to the next item on the list which is to live and work in the UK for up to two years.
Best thing about being an Aussie?
What you want readers to know about the romance genre?
I personally prefer a “behind closed doors” romantic kind of story, but what I love about the romance genre is that there’s something for everyone. From sweet and mild to very hot and spicy, any day is a good day to get lost in romance.
What have you got in store for your readers in 2015?
I’m about half way through Emergency Response, which picks up where Intensive Care finishes. It follows the story of two characters that we meet briefly in Intensive Care, Nathan and Mackenzie, and it’s another medical rural romance, this time set between the Pilbara in Western Australia and the Central West in New South Wales. I’ve also written another medical rural romance set in South Australia and I’m really hoping this gets the attention of the publishers very soon.
What were your big achievements of 2014?
Starting a novel, finishing a novel and getting in published.
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 café 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?