Feature Spotlight with Nicki Edwards
Describe yourself in one word:
What is your background with regard to writing?
My favourite subject at school (which now seems like a million years ago) was English. I especially loved creative writing and had a few fabulous teachers who encouraged me to write. For a few years I considered journalism and then life went a different direction. I’d always wanted to write a book, but had no idea how or where to start. In the end I realized it was a choice so I opened up a blank Word document in January 2014 and started writing. Intensive Care, published with Momentum in January 2015 is my first book and is the first in the ‘Escape to the Country’ series.
When did you first begin writing with a view of embarking on a career as a published author? Has your career as a nurse impacted your decision to begin a writing career?
When I started writing it was always with the view of having my book published. From the very first chapter I had a vision of the books’ cover with my name on it. When I became discouraged (frequently), I just closed my eyes and imagined my book and that helped me keep going. When I became a nurse (after studying as a mature aged student), I fell in love with the profession. It is a privilege to be a nurse. When I decided to write, I just knew I had to write stories based around the patients I care for and the awesome team of doctors and nurses I work with.
Emergency Response chronicles the life of Mackenzie Jones, a Sydney-based intensive care nurse who in running from her past makes a dust-change (for want of a better term) to the West Australian desert. What was the inspiration for the novel? And for Mackenzie in general?
I love that term – dust change! I’ll have to use that. My Aunt is a nurse and spent a few years working in remote communities. Her stories birthed something within me and I began connecting with other rural and remote area nurses and hearing their stories. It is my dream to one day spend some time working as a remote area nurse somewhere in our incredible country. Until then, I have to live vicariously through Mackenzie (and maybe some other characters in the future). Mackenzie Jones is a figment of my imagination, just as Kate Kennedy was, but I reckon she’d be a fabulous colleague and I’d love to meet her and work with her!
Of course there is a strapping lad in Nathan Kennedy who Mackenzie falls in love with. What one character trait will most endear both Nathan and Mackenzie to your readers?
Nathan Kennedy is Kate’s older brother. He is romantic, kind, sweet, gorgeous, and a perfect gentleman. In fact, I’m just a little bit in love with him myself (Sh! don’t tell my hubby!) Mackenzie is a little more complex. I hope women readers will relate to her initial insecurities (she thinks her still-single status has something to do with her less-than-perfect figure and plain Jane features.) I love the way Nathan loves her unconditionally, and his love helps her grow and develop into the gorgeous woman she already is.
What was your biggest challenge in writing Emergency Response?
Overcoming the doubts that I had a second book in me.
What’s next for you?
I’ve just finished writing Life Support which will be book 3 of 4 in the series. It’s the story of Joel Kennedy’s younger sister Emma and farmer Tom Henderson. After getting her nursing degree, Emma left Birrangulla, married and moved to Melbourne. But three years later her life is shattered and she returns home devastated with no idea what the future will hold. She unexpectedly bumps into Tom Henderson, her childhood crush, but it’s not as easy as picking up where they left off ten years earlier.
I’m now working on Critical Condition – book 4 – which is Liam Kennedy’s story. (Liam is Joel’s twin and Emma’s older brother). Both books are contracted with Momentum and will come out in 2016.
I have also written another book called The Peppercorn Lease which I don’t yet have a publisher for and am working on an idea for a Christmas novella. I somehow have to fit all that in around my fulltime job, working as an Intensive Care Nurse!
About the Author:
Nicki Edwards is a city girl with a country heart. Growing up on a small family acreage, she spent her formative years riding horses, and pretending the neighbour’s farm was her own. After spending three years in a regional town in New South Wales, her love of small country towns was further developed. One day she plans her own escape to the country with her husband Tim, to live on land, surrounded by horses, dogs, cattle and sheep.
In 2006, when Nicki’s youngest child started school, she returned to university, juggling full time study, part time work and four small children, to achieve another of her dreams—becoming a nurse.
A voracious reader, Nicki always wanted to write, and once considered a career as a journalist. Her debut novel, “Intensive Care” was released in January 2015 with Momentum, the digital imprint of Pan Macmillan Australia. Her second novel, “Emergency Response” comes out in October 2015. The third and fourth books in the ‘Escape to the Country’ series, “Life Support” and “Critical Condition” will be released in 2016.
Now, when Nicki isn’t reading, writing or dreaming about rural life and medical emergencies, she can be found working as a Critical Care Nurse in a busy Intensive Care Unit, where many of her stories and characters are imagined.
Nicki and Tim reside in Geelong, Victoria with their four teenage/young adult children. Life is busy, fun and at times exhausting, but Nicki wouldn’t change it for anything.
Running away didn’t solve anything … at least, not the first time.
Intensive care nurse Mackenzie Jones is no stranger to running. As a teenager she fled her family home leaving tragedy and loss in her wake. Now, after fifteen years alone in Sydney, with the strain of working in a city hospital wearing her thin, she’s tempted to run again.
Mackenzie jumps at the chance to work in a mining town in the West Australian desert – anything to lift her spirits. Though she barely dares to hope, she wonders if she might find the kind of love that can ease her loneliness.
In the outback, Nathan Kennedy is at a loose end. He’s been making money in the mines for years, and pressure from his family to return to the east coast, settle down and get married is reaching fever pitch. The problem is, he hasn’t met the right woman.
When Mackenzie turns up in town, there’s an instant attraction between her and Nathan, maybe even true love. But tragedy’s not done with Mackenzie Jones – the past is about to catch up with her in more ways than one.
Can Nathan convince Mackenzie to stop running, or is this just another tragedy in the making?
Perfect for fans of Fiona McArthur and Melanie Milburne.
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