Saturday, February 7, 2009

Welcome Fiona Lowe

I'd like to welcome Fiona Lowe as our newest Honorary Prairie Chick. Since Fiona is literally on the other side of the world, she's 18 hrs ahead of us and will respond to our comments and questions when she can. ie - when she wakes up. Shhh...

G’day!

I’m Fiona Lowe and I write Harlequin Medical Romances. There! I’ve said it. I’ve admitted my addiction… everything to do with romance and Medicine and wrapped up in the glorious colors of the Australian outback. There’s something about health professionals in far flung places working for the greater good that I find really romantic. They face all sorts of hardships both professionally and personally but their love for the people and the place keep them there.

The outback is a place full of challenges but the big two would be the heat and the isolation. Things we take for granted in the city are not automatic in the bush ranging from no internet (yes, shock horror!) to the more serious lack of access to health care.

In June 2007 my family left our home on the south coast of Australia and we set off on a six hour flight to the far north of the country. It was 6C in Melbourne and 33C in Darwin - hard to believe we were still in the same country, but it wasn’t just the weather that was different. As we toured around the World Heritage Area of Kakadu National Park, swam in the waterholes of Litchfield Park and wondered how termites know to build their enormous mounds on magnetic north, we absorbed the vivid reds, yellows and browns of the outback. We listened carefully to our Aboriginal guide whose second language was English, and we learned all sorts of things about the land, the plants and animals, and what they all mean to the Aboriginal people.

A very special part of our holiday was a two day trip to an island in the Timor Sea. Here we went hunting for turtle eggs, watched dugong at play and crocodiles surfing in the ocean! As I sat around the campfire eating barramundi and kangaroo and staring up at the stars, I started to get an idea for a story. We had met a lot of people on our holiday and many had come to the Territory from the south. Some came for adventure, some were on holidays, some had come because they wanted a change and others had come because change was thrust upon them. I found myself asking this question, “Why would someone from the south be drawn to the isolation of this island?”

And that is how Mia and Flynn’s story evolved in THE DOCTOR CLAIMS HIS BRIDE. Set against the background of the Aborigines’ love for their land and their own unique health issues, Mia and Flynn are on the island running from their individual demons. Both are determined to live a solo life but they discover that no matter where you are or how far you go, you can’t outrun your past until you face it. While they’re battling with their attraction, one thing never changes….they’re professionals through and through.

Everyone has their own reading faves…my son loves fantasy, my husband enjoys a good crime story but I like a bit of real life tinged with hope and I think that is why I write Medical Romance. I get to create entire towns and cast them with all sorts of people, and pull in some real life grit. But I can also sprinkle it with fairy dust at the end to give them their own “happy ever after.”

What type of stories do you enjoy most?


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Fiona Lowe loves Australia and infuses her books with all things quaint to ‘down under’. Her current release, THE DOCTOR CLAIMS HIS BRIDE is available online from Mills & Boon UK, The Book Depository (with FREE worldwide shipping), Amazon CA right now . Visit her at her website and blog.

28 comments:

Anita Mae Draper said...

Hey Fiona - welcome back to Canada. Dontcha wish you could box up some of our Arctic air? :)

On your post, you said '...watched dugong at play and crocodiles surfing in the ocean! As I sat around the campfire eating barramundi and kangaroo and staring up at the stars,...'

So, what are dugong and barramundi?

And, what does kangaroo meat taste like? Is it more of a lean white meat or a beefy red?

Jana Richards said...

Hi Fiona,
Welcome to the Great White North!

Although I love fantasy and paranormal, I tend to gravitate towards books about real life with a bit of grit, in both my reading and writing. I love giving people problems to overcome and then watching them grow as they figure out how to surmount these obstacles.

In your life away from writing are you a health care professional?

Jana Richards

Karen said...

Greetings Fiona,
Thanks for visiting us and sharing your travels and inspirations.

I love romantic suspense and paranormals both to read and write. I have to confess I love heros who register high on the alpha scale (in books).

How much time do you spend on research for your books?

Captain Hook said...

Fiona,

Great to *meet* you. I read anything and everything I can get my hands on :) Bookaholic is my middle name.

It's great to have you with us from Australia. That is one of the top two places I want to visit.

I'll have to check your book out.

Janet said...

Welcome to the Prairies, Fiona! What an amazing trip your family took in 07 - a true cultural experience. Like Capt. Hook, Australia is on my "To See" list, but until that time I'll just have to live vicariously through books such as yours.

Also like Capt. Hook, I am a bookaholic. Anything and everything. Right now I'm reading Follett's The Pillars of the Earth and I just finished Victoria Dahl's contemporary romance Talk Me Down.

Question - do you read romance while you're writing? I know some authors do not, or at least limit their choices to subgenres outside of what they write, in order to protect their voice. I'm interested in knowing your opinion on this.

Again, thanks for visiting and G'day!

Janet

Suse said...

Hello Fiona,

Welcome and thank you for joining us Prairie Chicks. Like Captain Hook and Janet, I too would like to travel to Australia. (I hadn't thought of it before, but your part of the world would make an excellent winter holiday for a Canuck.)

I like to read all sorts of things, fiction and nonfiction. However, when I read fiction, I do like to see a lot of interaction between the characters rather than description and telling. One of my coworkers is the exact opposite to me - vive le difference!

Captain Hook said...

Suse, I am so with you there. Dialogue and other interaction tops regular old narration and description any day :)

Fiona Lowe said...

Morning! Or I guess for you it is afternoon but for me it is 8am on sunday morning and just as well I popped in to log the URL ready for tomorrow because I thought I was blogging on the 8th your time!!

Thank you so much for inviting me to your lovely blog. I am familiar with the Canadian Prairies as I lived in Edomont AB for one year a very long time ago as a highschool exchange student. I remember flying out in January from +40C in Australia to -40C 30 hours later!!!

Anita you asked what Dugong is? It is a particular type of whale. Barramundi is a most delicious fish and yes, Kangaroo is incredibly lean meat and so much healthier for us than beef.

Fiona Lowe said...

Jana, said, 'Welcome to the Great White North'

Thanks, Jana, 'it's a beauty way to go!' I guess I'm showing my age if I know about the McKenzie brothers.

I like to think my books have real life grit and my characters face real obstacles but they always find their HEA, and I wish that could happen more often in real life.

My backgroud is in health. I did general nursing, midwifery, maternal and child health and post graduate studies in community health. I've worked inthe community for years and currently I work with teenage girls.

Fiona Lowe said...

Karen, the heroes in Medical Romance are Alpha through and through. To quote fellow Harlequin Medical AUthor, Amy Andrews, "He's strong, at the top of his professional field, and he saves lives. At work he can be demanding and a touch arrogant but in his heart he's a caring man with a great bedside manner and a strong conscience. He brings love and fulfilment to the heroine who is in all ays his absolute equal in work and play."

So you'll love the Harlequin Medical Heroes. Research? Well in some cases I have gone to great lengths and travelled to places like Vietnam :-) I use my knowledge, I consult doctors and nurses who are friends and I use the interent. I am not sure about the time ...I can get lost in research so I usually limit myself to seeking out the info just when I get to that scene in the book.
For THE DOCTOR CLAIMS HIS BRIDE I interviewed a Remote Area Nurse and I visited the area.

Fiona Lowe said...

Captain Hook, it's so great you want to visit Australia! Until you can get the time (minimum visit 4 weeks) and the readies, then I suggest you read my
books ;-) The DOctor Claims His Bride will take you to the Far North of the country, The Warragurra books to the outback. There are some great pics on my website http://www.fionalowe.com
As for buyingthe books, try THE BOOK DEPOSITORY as it has FREE worldwide postage and it is quick!!

Fiona Lowe said...

G'day, Janet,

I read on holidays. I find during term time I am so busy that I am a critical reader and it loses the joy. Plus I am always falling asleep over the book!!

I read across all genres of books and I am not an exclusive romance reader. I think sometimes you can read the same genre and depending on your mood by inspired by or depressed...Oh Man, my writing is never as good as that!' Good thing to avoid that so yes, I guess when I am writing I tend to read non romance.

Fiona Lowe said...

Suse, I have SO MUCH fun with my dialogue! In THE PLAYBOY DOCTOR'S MARRIAGE PROPOSAL, Emily and Linton's teasing and sparring dialogue had me smiling the entire time.

I'm one of many Harlequin Medical Romance Authors and we all have different voices. You can check us out at http://www.medicalromance.blogspot.com

Lynne Marshall said...

Hi Fiona! That was an absolutely fascinating blog. thanks so much for sharing your journey here. I think your book cover is wonderful, too. I always enjoy your exotic settings and carefully created communities.

I look forward to your next book, and I'm very glad to be a fellow medical romance author with such talent as yours.

Amy Andrews said...

Well fancy that I rock on up here to fine I'm being quoted :-)

Hey Fiona. Hey Anita and hi to the other Prairie chicks.

Fiona's outback stories are fab, fab, fab. Go and buy her latest, you won't be disappointed.

Anita kangaroo meat is very lean as Fiona says but its not white it's red and quite gamey.

Captain Hook said...

So kangaroo is somewhat like venison?

Jessica Matthews said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jessica Matthews said...

Fiona,
Your trip sounds wonderful and I'm so glad you shared it with us through the blog and through your story. Isn't it great when we can use our personal experiences in our stories? Thanks for inviting the Med authors to join in your Prairie Chicks blog (as I live on the prairies of Kansas, can I claim honorary membership? :-)). It's wonderful to be part of a talented group of writers.

Molly Evans said...

Fiona,
love your description of your holiday. With all the chaos and noise of living in a city, I think that isolation would be good sometimes. I did live on a reservation for a while and had to drive 3 hours each way to get a haircut. That was a bit much.
Love medicals, but I also read suspense, romantic suspense, horror, paranormal, historicals, and erotica. Whatever my interest is at the moment.
Happy writing!
Molly

Fiona Lowe said...

Amy, Lynne and Jessica, Great to see you here.

I've had Kangaroo and Venison and I guess there is a similarity.

Sharon Archer said...

Hi Fiona, Anita Mae and Prairie Chicks! Thanks for having Fiona to visit.

Fiona, I loved your Warragurra books - especially Emily and Linton's story. It was just gorgeous! I'm looking forward to The Doctor Claims His Bride - what a fun cover! We're travelling up north in a few months so I'll be soaking up the atmosphere in some of the places you've talked about.

I love reading romance - can't beat those happy endings.

Anita Mae, a package of your Arctic air would be absolutely divine in southern Australia right now. Kangaroo is a beefy red meat but as Fiona said much leaner than beef.

:)
Sharon

Fiona Lowe said...

WOW what a great turn up of Harlequin Medical Romance Authors. Molly Evans, Lynne Marshall and Jessica Matthews are Canadian Neighbours...south of the border down in the US. Amy is in the far north of Australia currently under floods and Sharon (our newest author, debut book out in July YAY!) and I are currently in the south with bushfires raging around us so yes please, we need some cooler air.

I love the freedom of writing Harlequin Medical Romances. The settings and the stories are so diverse...from city to country, from hospital to outback clinic or Flying Doctors, the range is huge and the read is ALWAYS differnt :-)

Anita Mae Draper said...

Lynne, Amy, Jessica and Molly - you guys are so sweet to follow Fiona up here today. I just took a zip over to the Love is the Best Medicine blog over at http://medicalromance.blogspot.com/ to see if Fiona posted an announcement there but didn't see one.

Sharon - it's nice to meet you. Hopefully will see you either on the blog or at eharl.

And sorry Jessica, only Fiona gets the distinction of Honorary Prairie Chick. You have to write your own post on your own Sat for that privilege. :) But in case Fiona didn't tell you, we've just started booking Guest bloggers so at the moment, we have lots of open spots.

It sounds like kangaroo is like ostrich. It's also red and lean and because of this it's very, very tough. At least the ostrich burger I had was like that.

Anita Mae Draper said...

Fiona, is there some formula for how much medical drama vs romance must be in each MedRom? Or it is a requirement to have an extensive medical background?

Like, would a lay person be able to write one if they consulted a medical expert when required like the movie people do?

Fiona Lowe said...

Anita asked:would a lay person be able to write one if they consulted a medical expert when required like the movie people do?

The answer to that is YES! :-)
MANY of the Harlequin Medical ROmance Authors do not have medical backgrounds but they have friends in the area or they use the internet for information.

As for how much medical content? Well, the romance is FRONT and CENTRE so you use the medical scenes to drive the story forward. I suppose if you broke down my books you would find 4-5 medical scenes...Oh, I might have to go count! Put it this way, it is important to have medical scenes but even the H& H don't work ALL of the time :-)

Anita Mae Draper said...

Fiona, on behalf of the other Prairie Chicks, I'd like to thank you for gracing us with your presence today. I'm certainly a lot wiser on Ozzieland than I was when today started.

And, it was very nice of you to corral and herd some of the other MedRom writers over here, as well.

I wish you all the best in your writing and I'll be on the lookout for THE DOCTOR CLAIMS HIS BRIDE as soon as it hits the eharl shelves.

Thanks again

Fiona Lowe said...

Thanks to all the Prairie Chicks for having me. I had a lovely time!

Janice Lynn said...

Hi Fiona. Sorry I'm late. Just wanted to pop on and say hello!! :)

Great to learn what dugong and barramundi are. I hadn't a clue. :)