Recently I had the opportunity of asking Australian author Nicki Edwards a few questions in the lead up to the release of her latest novel One More Song. Thank you so much for taking the time Nicki it is very much appreciated. A big thank you to Pan Macmillan for sending me a review copy and the opportunity to be part of the blog tour for this delightful book.
One More Song has just been released and there is a link to my review at the end of interview. It is one not to be missed for fans of Australian Rural Fiction.
1. Where did you find your inspiration for your latest novel One More Song, particularly Harry’s character?
NE- Early in our marriage, my husband Tim studied voice and sang professionally for the Victoria State Opera. Despite how much I love my husband, I’m not a huge fan of opera (sh! don’t tell him). But I love musical theatre. Lucky he sang a lot of musical theatre as well as opera.
The inspiration for One More Song came after we spent a long weekend in Beechworth in Victoria’s high country and attended the acclaimed Opera in the Alps. While we were there, the ideas flowed and I spent the majority of our time away writing. Instead of opera, I imagined musical theatre being performed under the stars. The story fell quickly into place as I combined everything I love about musical theatre, singers and small town Australia.
As for Harry? I should say the inspiration came from Tim, but it actually came from two other musical theatre singers. One is Ramin Karimloo, a very good looking Canadian musical theatre star I follow (stalk) on social media. He has a phenomenal voice as well as being very good looking – just like Harry. The other inspiration for Harry came from a friend of ours, Simon Gleeson, who also has an incredible voice and is very kind on the eye too – as his gorgeous wife Nat would agree. (Nat O’Donnell is a performer herself, currently about to star in Mamma Mia). Simon recently brilliantly performed the role of Jean Valjean in Les Mis in both Australia and the UK. After a show in Melbourne Simon kindly took me on a tour backstage and at that moment Harry was clearly defined in my mind.
The funny thing was, I had to really work hard to convince my editor that a musical theatre singing hero was sexy enough for readers! I think there’s a mistaken belief that anyone who sings opera or musical theatre must look and sound like Pavarotti! She thought it would be hard for readers to get their heads around opera or musical theatre singers being as sexy as rock stars or even a country singers. I wanted to totally pull that stereotype apart. I promise you’ll love Harry – he’s sexy, but he’s also incredibly sweet. I wish you could hear him sing – he sounds just like my hubby!
2. Going back, when did you decide to become a writer and what was the catalyst for you to start writing your first novel?
NE- I always enjoyed writing at school but never seriously considered writing until I literally woke up one day in January 2014 with the idea “I’d like to write a book”. I’d received a copy of Jilted by Rachael Johns for Christmas, read it in one sitting and fell in love with the rural romance genre. I decided to try my hand at writing medical dramas set in small Australian towns and everything snowballed from there.
I guess you could say it was a bucket list kind of thing to do. I wrote my first book, Intensive Care, which was published in January 2015 and became part of the Escape to the Country series and kept writing. I pinch myself every day that I am where I am in such a short space of time.
3. Do you have any advice for my readers that aspire to be an author, but don’t know where to start?
NE- Everyone is different and every writing process is different. Some people are plotters and love outlines, and timelines and character descriptions and plot arcs but if I’d started doing all of that first, I wouldn’t have written a word. My advice is to just start writing. It will probably be dreadful but at least you have a starting point.
My other piece of advice is don’t believe the voice that says you can’t do it. How often do you hear people say “I’d love to write a book one day”? The only thing stopping you, is you. If you aspire to be an author, start writing. And while you’re writing, read – a lot – and join writing groups which provide amazing support and critique partners (Romance Writers of Australia is brilliant if you plan to write romance). Reading books on writing craft can help too. Ultimately, though, the only way to finish a book is to start.
4. Medical aspects are always threaded in your novels inspired by your career as a Critical Care Nurse. What is it like juggling two careers?
NE-I went into nursing as a mature aged student (I was 36) and fell in love with it. I currently work in both the Intensive Care Unit and the Emergency Department and consider it a privilege and an honour to look after people when they are at their most vulnerable.
The inspiration for most of the medical scenes in my books comes from things I’ve experienced personally as a nurse or from the stories shared by the amazing nurses and medical staff I work with.
It’s not easy juggling both careers and some days I get frustrated that my day job “interrupts” my writing life. One day I’d love to write fulltime and nurse part time, but for now writing is the hobby I squish in around the job that pays the bills.
Lucky I love being busy and doing both.
5. Lastly, you have said that one day you and your husband will escape to the country together. Do you have any specific areas of our beautiful country in mind?
NE- If we ever get the chance, it would probably be somewhere in Victoria’s Western District or in the Victorian High Country where One More Song is set. But we haven’t ruled out an overseas ‘escape to the country’ adventure – there are a few places in rural Canada I could move tomorrow!
Where to buy a copy:
Head over here for my review and as always, happy reading x