Thursday, 30 May 2013

Welcome historical romance writer, Jean Fullerton...




I am so excited to welcome Jean to my website today! We first met in three years ago at the RNA conference in Greenwich. Since then, we have become good friends and not only did Jean create one of my favourite heroes of all time, Patrick Nolan (A Glimpse of Happiness), but she continues to delight me with each new novel she writes.

Her latest book, Call Nurse Millie is on my shelf waiting to be read - I resist Jean's books like I would my favourite and most indulgent chocolate. I torment myself knowing its there just waiting to be devoured...

Welcome my dear and lovely friend, Jean Fullerton...

1)   Did you set any goals for 2013?

What you mean apart from the recurrent one to lose weight and exercise more? Seriously, since my first contract with Orion I’ve always set myself the goal of always hitting my deadline. This was a bit of a challenge this year as I moved in November 2012 and lost six weeks writing time. However, I’m proud to say that the 2013 book, the second part of Millie’s story arrived on my editor’s desk with three days to spare.

My other goal for this year is to finish off a story which I’ve had on my computer for a couple of years. It’s set in Bermonsey during the building of the first Tunnel under Thames in 1825.  

2)   What is the best part of the writing process for you?

Living a different life through my characters and falling in love with my hero and having someone who has read your book tell you they’ve done the same.   

3)   The worst part?

Edits. And I’m sure every authors would agree.

4)   Tell me where you write?

 I’m very fortunate to have my own office upstairs in the house with all my research books around me. This means I can just leave books I’m using open and I’m mostly free from interruptions. 

5)   Tell us about your latest release?

   An absorbing and richly detailed novel following the life and work of a young nurse in
   post-war East London - perfect for anyone who loved CALL THE MIDWIFE
It beginning on VE day 1945 and, as the troops begin to return home, the inhabitants of London attempt to put their lives back together. For 25-year-old Millie, a qualified nurse and midwife, the jubilation at the end of the war is short-lived as she tends to the needs of the East End community around her. But while Millie witnesses tragedy and brutality in her job, she also finds strength and kindness. And when misfortune befalls her own family, it is the enduring spirit of the community that shows Millie that even the toughest of circumstances can be overcome.

Through Millie's eyes, we see the harsh realities and unexpected joys in the lives of the patients she treats, as well as the camaraderie that is forged with the fellow nurses that she lives with. Filled with unforgettable characters and moving personal stories, this vividly brings to life the colourful world of a post-war East London.
  
6)   Tease us with a blurb/short except
Chapter One
Millie Sullivan pushed an escaped curl of auburn hair from her eyes with the back of her hand. She wished she’d put on her cotton petticoat under her navy blue uniform instead of the rayon one.
    Although the milk float was only just rolling along the street, it was already sweltering hot.
    With a practised hand Millie wrapped the newborn infant in a warm towel. ‘There we go, young lady, say hello to your ma.’
    She handed the child to the woman propped up in the bed. Mo Driscoll, already mother to four lively boys, took the baby.
   ‘Thank you, Sister,’ she said, tucking her daughter into the crook of her arm and gazing down at the baby. ‘Isn’t she beautiful?’
   ‘She’s an angel,’ Mo’s mother, standing on the other side of the bed, replied. ‘And a welcome change.’ She looked at Millie. ‘I’ll clear up, Sister. You look done in.’
   ‘I am, but thankfully it’s my last night on call.’ Millie handed a parcel of newspaper containing soiled gauze to the older woman. ‘Could you pop these on the fire?’
   ‘To be sure.’ She took the packet and threw it in the zinc bucket alongside the dirty linen. ‘That superintendent works you nurses too hard. You should try and put your feet up when you get back.’
   Millie smiled.
   Chance would be a fine thing. She plopped her instruments into the small gallipot half-filled with Dettol, took off her gloves and glanced at her watch.
   Eight-thirty a.m.!
   Thank goodness.
   She’d be back by the time Miss Summers gave out the day’s work. Also, as Annie Fletcher, the trainee Queen’s Nurse student assigned to Millie, was laid up with tonsillitis, Millie had given a couple of Annie’s morning insulin injection visits to Gladys to do, and she wanted to make sure she’d done them.
   ‘Do you know what you’re going to call her?’ Millie asked Mo, washing her hands in the bowl balanced on the rickety bedside table.
   ‘Colleen, after me mum,’ she replied.
    Mother and daughter exchanged an affectionate look and Mille glanced at her watch again.
    She ought to get on, as she’d promised her own mum that she’d pop home in time for Churchill’s announcement at three p.m.
    Her parents, Doris and Arthur, only lived a short bus ride away in Bow but, as Millie had two newborns to check plus a handful of pregnant women to see before she swapped her midwifery bag for her district one for her afternoon visits, it would be a close-run thing.
    Millie packed the four small enamel dressing-bowls inside each other, then stowed them in her case between her scissors and the bottle of Dettol. She snapped the clasp shut.
    ‘I’ll call back tomorrow, but if there’s any problem just ring Munroe House to get the on-call nurse,’   Millie said, squeezing down the side of the bed towards the door.
    Like so many others in East London, the Driscolls’ home was just the two downstairs rooms in an old terraced house that Hitler’s bombs had somehow missed.
    Colleen took the manila envelope tucked into side of the dressing-table mirror and passed it to Millie.
     She opened it and taking out two crumpled ten-shilling notes, popped them into the side pocket of her bag. ‘I’ll write it in when I get back to the clinic.’

 7)   Tell us about a new author you’ve recently discovered.

Lee Childs and his wonderful hero Jack Reacher and as I wouldn’t dream of writing anything like this I can enjoy the story purely as a reader. 

8)   Name two romances you’ve read more than once.

Katherine by Anya Seton which I first read at least 40 years ago after which I fell hopelessly in love with John of Gaunt and historical fiction, and Elizabeth Gaskell's North and South. I’m much more a John Thornton woman than a Mr Darcy one.

9)   Tell us about your first car.

My first car was a mustard coloured-mini, which I bought with my husband when we first got engaged. I passed my test in one and the Hero-at-Home must have been in love because he’s six foot and built like a rugby player but squeezed himself into it for my sake. He told me later he wanted a Triumph Herald, which really dates us.

10)                  Where can we find you?
         
    On my website at www.jeanfullerton.com to find out about me, my
     previous books, and my East London heritage along with pictures of the actual
     East London locations I use in my books. You can also connect with on
     Facebook as Jean Fullerton and follow me on Twitter @jeanfullerton__

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