Q&A with Amy Ruttan and Julie Danvers!

Q&A with Amy Ruttan and Julie Danvers!

We caught up with the lovely Medical romance authors, Amy Ruttan and Julie Danvers to talk about their new duet, Portland Midwives.


Hi Amy and Julie! You both write for our Mills and Boon Medical series which features high-stakes and high-pressure for the heroes and heroines. What’s your favourite thing about writing Medical romances?

A: I think that’s why I like it so much. It’s high stakes drama. Writing for Harlequin has always been a dream of mine and in 2011 when I saw the Fast Track for Medicals I thought it was a great line. I loved medical drama shows and took the chance. I have a huge respect for medical professionals, first responders, nurses, you name it. They’re great characters to write about.

J: No matter what genre I’m writing in, I always like to write about characters who push themselves to go beyond in some way. And when you’re writing within a medical setting, you get to write about characters who regularly push themselves every single day. I never have to pause in my story and explain a character’s motivation for trying to save a patient. The drama and the high stakes are built right into the setting, and even though characters are in these life-and-death situations, they’re often dealing with things that could happen to any of us. So Medical Romance is this exciting world that most of us don’t get to see on a regular basis,  and yet it’s also completely relatable at the same time.

What, to you, are the most important elements of good writing?

A: A great voice and definitely tropes and a strong goal, motivation and conflict. I want to read something that takes me away to another world. I also want to root for the characters and see them get their happily ever after.

J: Good reading. If someone wants to write well, I don’t think there’s any substitute for reading as much as possible.

What was the inspiration behind your new Portland Midwives duet?

A: Julie and I both wanted to write a book set in Portland and we were asked to write about midwives. We’re both fans of Jane Austen, so I decided to write mine with a Pride & Prejudice theme. I always was a sucker for Elizabeth & Mr. Darcy.

J: I like to write stories set in places that I want to visit, so I was really happy when Amy agreed that we should set our duet in Portland. Before getting started, we chatted for a bit about our mutual interests, and so of course the subject of Jane Austen came up, as happens between romance novelists. Amy wanted to do a book with some Pride and Prejudice themes, and I have always loved Persuasion, so we came up with the idea of writing books that included some of those themes.

Amy, your book, The Doctor She Should Resist features the opposites attract and rivals-to-lovers trope. Can you tell readers what they can expect from Caleb and hazel’s story?

I love these two tropes.I like opposite attracts and rivals to lovers. I love the chemistry and it stems from Pride & Prejudice. I think readers can expect a swoon worthy hero and a smart heroine who isn’t afraid to stand up for herself. That’s always important for me, I like to write strong heroines.

Julie, your book, The Midwife From His Past features an emotional reunion between exes. Can you tell readers what they can expect from Eliot and Bria’s story?

Bria and Eliot come from very different worlds. When they were first together, Bria was accustomed to the finer things in life, while Eliot came from a less financially secure background. And a lot of the differences between them contributed to some misunderstandings, which is why things didn’t work for them the first time around. But when they’re reunited, their positions are reversed. So now they have this chance to see things from the other person’s perspective, which is vital for any second-chance romance.

What are your favourite character traits?

A: Strong heroines, humor and I love a good broody hero whose a bit prickly but softened by love.

J: I love a good cinnamon-roll hero; someone who is kind above all else. If a hero is handsome and grumpy, they’d better have a really good reason, otherwise I have no patience for them. But the nice thing about medical romance is that there’s a lot of room for heroes who are supportive, caring, and protective of the relationships in their lives.

What advice would you give to a writer submitting their work to Mills & Boon?

A: Read the line that you’re planning to target! Read the newest books in that line to get a feel for what the editors are looking for, it’s constantly changing. Don’t be afraid to submit and trust your gut. It can be so easy to be swept away by everyone else’s opinion and it can drown out your voice. Connect with other like minded writers and take a chance on the calls to submissions!

J: To look at feedback, any feedback, as a win. I submitted feeling absolutely certain that I’d be met with a polite rejection. But my experience with Mills & Boon editors has been overwhelmingly positive. They truly want to help you write the best book possible. It’s true that if you submit, you might be given a lot of constructive feedback. I certainly was. But that feedback is gold. I’m a better writer today than I was a few years ago thanks to my editor’s feedback, and I can’t thank her enough for that. You can’t look at it as, “Did I get published or not.” Taking the approach of, “Will this help my writing or not?” takes the pressure off of any particular outcome, and keeps the focus on improving.

What are some of your favourite romantic films/tv shows? Any recommendations?

A: I love the movie The Proposal. Pride & Prejudice, Persuasion. This list can get very long if I keep going!

J: Call the Midwife has provided me with many happy hours of binge-watching. I am also an absolute sucker for anything Christmas-related. I love the movie Happiest Season. I’ve also watched The Christmas Prince seven times and I regret nothing.

Last question! Flowers or chocolate?

A: Flowers if they’re planted outside, I hate to see them die.

J: I’m literally eating chocolate right now. That’s true as I type this, but it’s also probably true at any time someone is reading this response. I think about chocolate probably about 4-5 times a day. It’s my one true love.


The Doctor She Should Resist by Amy Ruttan

In this Portland Midwives story, midwife Hazel is not looking for a relationship. So, why is she so drawn to Dr Caleb? Especially when he’s from the hospital that delayed the opening of her birthing centre. The enigmatic surgeon knows just how to push all her buttons…and sparks soon fly in every direction!

But with Hazel’s heart already damaged, can she believe Caleb will heal it?

The Midwife From His Past by Julie Danvers 

In this Portland Midwives story, when Dr Eliot is called to an emergency, he’s stunned to find ex-fiancée and midwife Bria in the operating room. He’s no longer plagued by the financial worries of his childhood. But his intense attraction to Bria? That’s exactly the same! And when Eliot discovers what was really behind their break-up, acting on that attraction is all he can think about…