We caught up with Mills & Boon Medical author Caroline Anderson to talk about her writing journey, author advice and spoilers for her brand new book!
You write for the Mills and Boon Medical series which sets the readers pulse racing in the high-pressure world of medicine. What’s your favourite thing about writing Medical romances?
Variety. Every department is different and brings its own challenges. And familiarity. I set many of my books in the same hospital, so I get to revisit my previous characters and watch their stories develop and their families grow, which is always lovely.
What, to you, are the most important elements of good romance writing?
Getting the characters right, knowing them inside out and back to front, which can sometimes take forever before they drop into place, but is utterly essential if they’re to be believable. I love a touch of humour, a little gentle teasing, lots of sexual and emotional tension. All of this comes from knowing who they are. And pace. Keeping the pace up, moving the story on, tangling them in knots and then untangling them.
What was the inspiration behind your new book, The Midwife’s Miracle Twins?
Firstly, it needed to be set in maternity because Livvy Hunter, heroine of my 100th book A Single Dad To Heal Her Heart, and Laura Stryker, heroine of Healing Her Emergency Doc, were both pregnant by the end of Laura and Tom’s story, and I wanted my readers to see their happy endings. So that’s why the setting.
As for Dan and Georgie’s story, their conflict is deep rooted, and tragic in Dan’s case, so I wanted them to have the outcome they both deserved, ie a healthy baby. Too easy! MCMA twins are fascinating, and I’ve covered that story in Tempted By Dr Daisy, and as Ben is an MCMA twin himself, I thought it would be the perfect thing to cover it from inside, as Dan and Georgie come to terms with what could be a devastating diagnosis, so for some of the story they’re on a knife edge.
What scene in the book was your favourite to write?
The ending! Bring the babies home, safe and sound, and Dan and Georgie finally acknowledging their love for each other was such a lovely thing to write.
What inspires your ideas for your stories?
Desperation! Well, no, not quite, but sometimes my head just feels empty, and then someone will pop into my head, some scenario, some conflict or other, and I leave it alone and let the bare bones gather a little flesh. That’s usually the hardest part, and often involves a chat with my sainted editor…!
What advice would you give to authors submitting their work to a publisher?
Know their market. Do your research, hone your writing skills, find out exactly what they’re looking for NOW, because things move on, so know what they want to see going forward. Send a very clean copy, by which I mean no typos, no grammatical howlers, proper punctuation – the nitty-gritty stuff that means you won’t be an utter pain for the copy editors to work with! And accept that it’s very likely to come back with a no. If it’s a short, blunt no, you have a lot of work to do. If it’s a longer, more constructive no, you probably have even more to do because that means you’re closer to being marketable or they wouldn’t bother!
What are you reading right now?
My teetering TBR pile is currently behind plastic sheeting as we have the builders in, but I rescued a few, so I’m about to start my lovely friend Kate Hardy’s gorgeous duo Second Chance with her Guarded GP, and Baby Miracle for the ER Doc, and then The Princess and the Rebel Billionaire by Sophie Pembroke and From Best Friend to Fiancee by Ellie Darkins. They’re both friends, too, and it’s a joy to know them all. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg!
Last question! Flowers or chocolate?
Oh, mean! Do I REALLY have to choose?! In which case, if you insist, flowers, because a) I buy myself chocolate too often and b) flowers have fewer calories!