We caught up with Medical romance author Alison Roberts to chat about the International Day of the Midwife, her previous career as a paramedic, and her fantastic new book, The Paramedic’s Unexpected Hero.
So, I hear that it’s the International Day of the Midwife on May 5th. I didn’t know about this but they certainly deserve a day to be appreciated and I will remember it from now on.
It’s a profession that’s been around for a long time. As long as babies have been being born, in fact, but it’s a profession that hasn’t always been totally respected. In 1484, there was a book published that claimed that midwives were the most dangerous kind of witches due to the damage they could do to a new family. I suspect this claim relates to the kind of drama that can happen with a birth – often unexpectedly – and, especially in the days before modern medicine, that drama could so easily end in tragedy.
I love the drama and emotion that comes with a birth. In my career as a paramedic, I helped deliver a baby in the back of an ambulance to a woman who had no idea she was pregnant and, on another occasion, we arrived just a minute or two after a woman had given birth on the floor, having gone into her bathroom thinking she needed to go to the loo!
In my career as a writer, I love the drama and emotion of babies being born even more. There’s so much potential for my medical heroes and heroines to save the day when complications happen but it’s also an occasion that can bring all sorts of emotion into play, including a longing for a family of their own, or a reminder of a past personal tragedy, perhaps.
The word ‘midwife’ comes from old English meaning ‘with woman’ because it refers to someone who’s with a woman who’s giving birth so it’s not actually making a reference to the gender of the midwife but it has traditionally been a role for women and it’s only as recently as forty years ago that men were allowed to train as midwives in the UK.
Even now, it’s only a tiny percentage of midwives who are male, so when my editor suggested that I put a role reversal situation into a recent book, it was a very attractive choice to have my hero be a midwife.
The Paramedic’s Unexpected Hero was a joy to write. I find there’s always something about a man having anything to do with protecting or caring for a vulnerable baby that tugs at the heartstrings and that protection and caring couldn’t be more intimate or important than when it’s a male midwife who’s making sure that baby arrives safely in the world. Add in that my hero wears leathers and rides his motorbike to get to his house calls and that his Pacific Island blood makes him the epitome of tall, dark and handsome and it’s no wonder that my heroine, Kelly, is more than a little intrigued.
So… I’m more than happy to celebrate midwives. And babies. And romance, of course. I love that I can mix them all together and create stories that I hope you will also love.