We just love learning new things about our fabulous authors, so what with it being that ‘motherly’ time of year we reached out to our Medical writers for their motherly advice. How did their own mums shape their passions and dreams, and what words of wisdom did they take to heart over the years that have ultimately inspired their books?
‘Twelve years ago when I got the call from my lovely UK editor, Emily Ruston, to tell me they were going to buy my book, one of the first people I wanted to tell was my mum. She was out at some function somewhere at this big hotel and this was back in the day when not everyone had a mobile phone! I didn’t know which function or what room but I was determined to track her down.
It took about a dozen different calls through their switchboard to locate her and she could barely hear me over the background noise but I reckon she screamed louder than all of it when she finally heard what I was saying.
It was totally worth the crazy ring around because she, more than anyone had witnessed my twelve years of rejections and understood (being a closet author herself) how much being a Harlequin author meant to me. She always was my biggest cheerleader and I miss her every damn day.’
Mum always said: ‘You’re never too big or too old to say you’re sorry.’
‘My mother passed away in 2009 but for the last 3 months of her life she lived with us on hospice care. As her body failed her, her mind stayed as sharp as always, and most importantly her sense of humor never left. One day she’d been in her room dressing for a very long time and I knocked on the door asking if she was okay. She assured me she was fine.
A few minutes later I tapped on the door again and, this time, opened it to find her sitting on the edge of her bed looking perplexed. Her brain tumor didn’t let her do things the way she was used to, and this time she’d wound up with both legs in one pant leg. I pointed out the problem and after considering the situation, she said, “So call me a mermaid.”
As always she was ready to put a funny spin on things. We laughed, got her dressed properly, then retold the story including her punch line so my husband could have a good laugh, too.
The best gift she gave me growing up, through her example, was to take life with a good sense of humor. Sometimes the only thing you can do is laugh. That’s why whenever I think of her, which is often, I smile.’
‘My mother said, “You read so many romance books I bet you could write one.” I’d never thought about doing so until then. Now, I written over ten of them and love doing so.
She said… ‘Live life large. Don’t be afraid to try something new.’
‘I had four children under the age of five. The youngest was born with a defective heart and received a heart transplant. For years, on and off, I was at the hospital, sometimes for a month. My mother watched my children when I was gone. Without her I don’t know how our family would have survived. I knew when I left my children with my mother they were loved and cared for as if I were there.’
‘Children take you to places you never expected to go. I never anticipated having rats as pets (!) It turns out they are fantastic, they teach responsibility AND they are short-lived ;-)’
The one piece of advice Fiona’s mother gave her that she’s never forgotten?
‘If you can’t say something nice don’t say anything at all.’ And ‘Be kind to others. Be kind to yourself.’
And the motherly influences that changed her life…
‘She moved to the country from the city, and when I became a mother I moved to be near her. My children have all left home but I still love my rural lifestyle and the priceless sense of community small towns have. My grandkids love the farm.’
‘My mum could forgive. She would love us no matter what we did, though sometimes she wouldn’t like us, she would always love us. She gave me that gift. I always felt I could tell her anything. I hope my boys feel that too.’
‘My mum loved to walk. Across paddocks, up country hills, the Himalayas. Sometimes she’d leave in the morning with a little back pack and disappear down the paddock and not come back till almost dark, scratched and exhausted and exhilarated having found a waterfall miles away. Or a new species of bird she hadn’t seen before. I used to walk with her in the mornings in the mist rising from the paddocks, and as the sun came up she’d find a mistbow, a dense rainbow of white light. Whenever I see one of those I think of her. One day I’m going to write a story about mistbows.’
Thanks so much for the inspiration, ladies. Don’t forget to check out these lovely authors on our website, and if you want more Mum Wisdom, our Historical Authors have got some of their own, here. You can also read more from our authors and their mums over on Gransnet.