Nicki Edwards is an Australian author who has recently released Intensive Care with Momentum and we were able to find out a little more about her.
Hi Nicki, welcome to Beauty and Lace.
When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
There wasn’t really one ‘moment’ – more a series of moments and then one decision. I love reading and at school I always loved to write. I guess you could say writing a novel was something on my bucket list. In the end it came down to making a decision to just start writing and see if anything came from it. Which of course, it has.
I love hearing the journey to publication story, will you share yours with us?
It’s been a dream journey and I am very blessed and fortunate to have my first book picked up and published. After writing my first book, Intensive Care, in early 2014, I submitted the synopsis and first three chapters to Haylee at Momentum. Haylee read it and replied within a week, asking me to send her the whole manuscript. A short few weeks later I was totally shocked she offered me a publishing contract! Then came the hard work—re-writes and working with my incredible editor to make the finished product. Which, I might add, is SO much better than the original version.
What inspired Kate’s story, is she someone you know?
I wanted to write a story that featured a nurse who loves her job and is really good at it. Kate is completely fictional and definitely not modelled on me, although I do love nursing! Her story just evolved really as I wrote it. In my mind, I can see Kate, but she’s not based on anyone I know – just a mix of many fabulous ICU nurses I’ve worked with.
Your background is in Nursing, have you ever worked in a small country hospital?
No, I’ve only been nursing for five or six years and have always worked in large hospitals – both public and private. Maybe one day when I make my own escape to the country…
Which leads me to my next question, does Birrangulla Base Hospital exist, if not how did you create and situate it?
Ah, great question and the first time anyone has asked me this! Birrangulla Base does exist and the external hospital is based on a hospital in central New South Wales – in a town I lived in for three years and where I even had two of our children. I made up everything about the hospital though and took many liberties, I’m sure.
Are you planning to stick with medical rurals?
At this stage, absolutely yes. My draft of my next book, Emergency Response, is already written. It follows the story of Kate’s brother Nathan and one of Kate’s colleagues, Mackenzie. I also have plans to write a story about Emma and maybe even Liam, all of which will be set in Birrangulla and beyond. I’ve also written another medical rural set in a GP clinic in the Flinders Ranges in South Australia, titled The Peppercorn Lease.
Have you got a favourite time of day or place to write?
I have to fit writing in around a full-time job, a husband, four kids and an exercise-starved Border Collie! (Kate’s dog Baxter is modelled on my dog, Molly.) I try to write on my days off when the kids are at school or uni and when the house is quiet. I also love to write first thing in the morning while the ideas are fresh. My desk is in the middle of the house and is definitely not the best place to find peace and quiet but when I get desperate, I use earplugs!
Can you tell us how you juggle all your commitments and still find time to write?
It’s a constant struggle and not one I’m even sure I’m getting right. Work-life balance is important to me, and because writing is essentially still a hobby, sometimes it has to be put at the bottom of the “to be done” pile so that work and family life takes priority. My husband and kids are fully supportive though and understand when it’s nine o’clock at night and no sign of dinner because the words are flowing. Anyway, they all know how to make two minute noodles and toast!
What are you working on at the moment?
Now that I’ve finished the final drafts of Emergency Response and The Peppercorn Lease I have an idea for a book set in the Otways and another in the Western District in Victoria so I might start playing around with those ideas.
What does being a woman mean to you?
Being a woman means that I am strong, independent and capable enough to stand on my own two feet but smart enough to know when I need somewhere soft to land.
Thanks for your time Nicki and best of luck with your journey.
I devour books, vampires and supernatural creatures are my genre of choice but over the past couple of years, I have broadened my horizons considerably. In a nutshell – I love to write! I love interacting with a diverse range of artists to bring you interviews. Perhaps we were perfect before – I LOVE WORDS!