Friday, November 22, 2013

Interview with Gill Sanderson

Today we welcome Roger Sanderson (a.k.a. Gill Sanderson) to the RNA Blog. Roger studied English at Hull University in order to spend three years reading books. He then spent thirty years as a college lecturer persuading students that reading books was a good thing. Weekends were spent mountaineering and rock climbing. Roger has written the scripts of over eighty Commando Comics. He followed these with forty four medical romances for Mills and Boon. He also writes short stories for the women’s magazine market. 

Accent Press is now publishing new editions of his medical romances as e-books. The first three are a trilogy about three sisters – a doctor, a nurse and a midwife – coping with life, love, medicine and families. A Family Again, A Family to Share and A Family Friend.

What was the first thing you ever got published and did it help to launch your career? 

I sold a short story to the Guardian, about TV executives discussing commissioning a sit-com about sewer workers (yes, really). After that, life got in the way and I didn’t sell another thing for ten years.

Can you work anywhere or do you have a favourite place to hideaway and write?

If need be I can write anywhere. I spend winters at my home in Liverpool and in summer as much time as I can in my caravan in the Lake District. Favourite place? If the weather is fine, after a day’s walking I like to shower and change, go down to the local pub garden and sit outside with a pen and notebook. My best ideas come here. Two (sometimes three) pints of bitter help. If it is raining (we are talking about the Lake District) I sit in the caravan, enjoying the sound of rain rattling on the roof and feeling sorry for the campers in tents at the other end of the site. And I get a lot of writing done.

A great deal of medical research must be involved in your books, how do you set about that and keep up to date? 

I research on the internet and have a shelf full of medical tomes. I now have the (theoretical but not practical) knowledge to deliver a baby, take out an appendix and other exciting medical procedures. It’s a pity I don’t like blood. Other than that, my daughter is a midwife, my oldest son is a consultant oncologist, my third son is a Prescribing Nurse. I phone them and conversations go on for hours.

Apart from writing, of which accomplishment are you most proud? 

Running four marathons. (Though I didn’t actually win any of them.)

Which piece of music is most likely to make you happy?

Sorry to be a bit conventional. I write to music, it helps a lot. Especially Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos, Beethoven’s ninth symphony, Mozart’s Requiem Mass in D Minor. If the work’s dragging and I’m in need of romantic stimulus, then Sinatra’s Songs for Swinging Lovers.

What is your favourite way of relaxing? 

If I’m not careful I tend to relax too much and persuade myself that I’m researching. I read a lot - first of all books by contemporaries in the RNA – I’m particularly fond of Jill Mansell and Judy Astley. Then there’s poetry – at the moment the poets of choice are Philip Larkin and John Donne. And I have to read the Sunday Times so I’ll know what to think during the following week. If I’m not in the Lake District then I walk rapidly for an hour along the sea front. In the Lake District I walk more. I have eight grandchildren and visit them whenever I can. This, though favourite, cannot by any means be called relaxing. The relaxing comes when I get home!

Sister Lisa Grey loved her work on the Infectious Diseases Unit, but she knew there was something missing in her life. She had been the linchpin of her family after her mother’s death, but when she met Dr Alex Scott and his two small children, Holly and Jack, she realised she badly wanted to share in his family too. The children were willing, so was their grandmother who cared for them, and so was Lisa –but what about Alex? 

Three caring sisters ~in need of a loving family~

Accent Press


Jan Jones said...

Nice interview, Roger and Freda!

Unknown said...

Great interview both. Good to see Roger's medical romances reaching a new audience.

Lyn McCulloch said...

Lovely interview and picture!