We caught up with Mills & Boon Medical author Alison Roberts to chat about how she’s been coping in lockdown and where she found the inspiration for her new link duet, Twins Reunited on the Children’s Ward. Read on to find out more…
2020 has been an extraordinary year for all of us, hasn’t it?
I live alone and work from home anyway, so lockdown should have been business as usual for me but it was anything but. The whole world order seemed to be shifting. Terrible things were happening to far too many people and so many things we all took for granted – like travel and eating out and hugging friends – were suddenly forbidden.
For the first week or so, I was a bit shellshocked and very aware of a new kind of loneliness as I developed new routines and tried to absorb the enormity of it all. My new routine saw me writing in the mornings, turning the television on at 1pm every day for the update on case numbers and hospital admissions and all Covid-related news and then I would go out and walk for an hour or two in a very different central city with its empty streets and closed businesses.
Adversity of all kinds brings out the best in many people and I really want to salute every health professional in every corner of the world who has put their life at risk on the frontline of fighting this pandemic. They are all heroes. On a very different level some of the reactions to difficult circumstances became positive things that I think we should hang on to.
A big highlight of my year for more than a decade has been the retreat I go to with a group of writer friends in Australia and that had to be cancelled, of course, but we had a ‘virtual’ retreat by getting together via Zoom every evening. Months later, we’re still connecting like this every couple of weeks. I love the music that has been offered to the world by virtual choirs and how social media has helped to keep people connected. And who didn’t adore Captain Tom and his astonishing fundraising achievements for the NHS?
It might have seemed ironic that, during this time, I was working on a duet about families and the way adversity can shape people – and bring out the best in them – except that I suspect it’s a theme in most of my books. This duet is a bit special for me, though, because I’ve interwoven these two stories on a whole new level. In my Twins Reunited on the Children’s Ward link duet (A Pup to Rescue Their Hearts/A Surgeon with a Secret) I’ve got identical twin brothers, Lachlan and Josh who were separated at birth and adopted into very different families, one ordinary and one of extreme wealth and privilege but they’ve both faced adversity and they both have a very real challenge ahead of them when they unexpectedly find each other – and find love at the same time with two very special women, Stevie and Flick.
As I write this, there is positive news that life will return to ‘normal’ in the not-too-distant future. I really hope that you and yours have come through these difficult times without major loss and I hope we will all take the positive things we’ve discovered into our futures.
And Happy Reading,