Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Jean Fullerton: Wedding Bells for Nurse Connie

We are so please to welcome Jean Fullerton to the RNA blog today to answer our questions about her latest Nurse Connie book and tell us more about her plans for the future.

Congratulation on your latest release, Jean. Can you tell us how long it took to write?
Normally about 7-8 months to complete a book ready to send off to my publishers but I try to get it to my agent at the six month mark for her thoughts, which are invaluable. After that it's another month or so of polishing and revising before sending it off to my lovely editor.

How much planning do you undertake before you start to write? 
As many people will already know I do a fair amount of planning before I start on a grid with colour coding for the individual characters as it helps me to get the story clear in my head. It changes as I go along but I can't just start without some sort of outline. With the Millie & Connie series where I had to weave the patients' little sub-stories into their overarching story it helped me balance the narrative flow and pace of the book. 

Your books are very much set in an area you know well. Have you ever been tempted to set a story elsewhere?
I started writing sixteen years ago. I set my stories in all sorts of places and historical eras from 10th century Wales to 18th century Caribbean but the book that won the Harry Bowling prize, No Cure for Love, was set in East London. Publishers like to build you as a brand so, as I was born there and know the area and its history, it seemed sensible to stay on familiar territory. I'm not complaining. East London has such a rich history stretching back to pre-Roman times so I could write stories set there for the rest of my writing career and never repeat myself. 

What time of day do you prefer to write?
I admire people who can rise at 5am and write a 1000 words before breakfast. I can't even write my name before eleven let alone a coherent sentence so I mostly write from midday to midnight and sometime until 2 am in the morning. 

Although we love your nursing novels we also very much enjoyed your novels set in Victorian times. Do you see yourself returning to this era?
I have a Victorian novel set around the building of the first Thames Tunnel at Rotherhithe in 1825, which is three quarters finished. I also have two other synopsis standing ready. One featuring a pastor’s daughter who helps run a Magdalen House in Covent Garden and one for Robina Munroe, daughter of Dr Robert Munroe from No Cure for Love, as a nurse in the Crimean War with Florence Nightingale. At the moment the popular era is WW2 and the 1950s so I don't think I'll be traveling back to the 1800s anytime soon.  

We understand that you’ve recently retired from your full time job. Can we expect double the output of books are do you have other plans?
I can't tell you how happy I am to finally be a full-time writer and although I don’t think I’ll be able to bring a book out every six months I'm hoping to up my output to two books every eighteen months. 

Tell us something about your latest novel.
At the end of Fetch Nurse Connie I moved Connie Byrne from Munroe House in Stepney to Fry House in Spitalfields. We meet Connie again on 5th July 1948, the day the NHS came into being. She is still with her boyfriend Malcolm and still trying to prise him away from his clinging mother. Of course, there are the usually problems with irascible doctors, awkward patients and difficult babies to deliver but that’s all in a day’s work for Deputy Superintendent Connie Byrne. All in all life is running pretty smoothly, that is until Dr Hari MacLauchlan arrives at Christ Church surgery.

What is next for author, Jean Fullerton?
Well, you’ll not be surprised to know I’m sticking with East London for the next series but shifting back to September 1939 and the start of WW2. The series will feature the three Brogan sisters, Bo, Lucy and Pattie and their family, as they face the threat of the German invasion, survive the blitz and finally win through both personally and with the Nation. I can’t say much more than that at I’m only just three chapters into the first book and I haven’t got a title but book one will be out May or June 2017.   

Blurb for Wedding Bells for Nurse Connie:
It's 1948 and the nurses of the East End of London are making the most of life post-war. For Connie in particular, things are looking rosy as she looks forward to planning a future with her sweetheart, Malcolm. But, as many a young bride-to-be has proved, the course of true love never did run smooth and Connie finds herself having to grapple with interfering mothers and Malcolm's reluctance to set the date.
But while there are many obstacles to overcome before walking down the aisle, at least Connie can relax in the knowledge that she'll soon be married to the man of her dreams, can't she?
Life at work isn't all smooth sailing either. The newly-formed NHS is keeping the nurses of Fry House extremely busy and as ever in the life of a nurse heartbreak lurks at every turn. But there are some new faces to keep things interesting. And one in particular might be the answer to all of Connie's problems...

Wedding Bells for Nurse Connie is out now and available in hardback, paperback from WHS, Waterstones supermarkets and all good bookshops and on kindle from Amazon.

Twitter: @JeanFullerton

Thank you so much for answering our questions, Jean. We are looking forward to finding out what happens to Nurse Connie.

The RNA blog is brought to you by,

Elaine Everest & Natalie Kleinman

If you would like to contribute to the RNA blog please contact us on elaineeverest@aol.com


Unknown said...

What a lovely interview, Elaine and Jean. Very interesting, thank you! Julie x

Jenni Keer said...

Wonderful interview of a wonderful lady.

Jenni Keer said...

Wonderful interview of a wonderful lady.

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