Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Writer's Wednesday - I Call It Research!

The Pink Heart Society is thrilled to welcome back Medicals author Fiona Lowe, who is here to share how EVERYTHING is grist for the research mill! Take it away, Fiona!

I Call It Research!

I love to travel whether it be to the next suburb, the next state or a neighboring country. I love to talk and make people laugh, but I also love to listen. I love meeting new people and learning about their hobbies, what gets them up in the morning and puts a bounce in their step. Let’s face it, no one really “gets” someone else’s hobby…”so you get up at 4am to swim five kilometers, ride 25 kilometres and then run ten? Why?” But learning about the wild and wonderful things that float people’s boats is great character information.

I generally weave the conversation around to how they met their significant other or how they are going about attempting to meet that yet-to-be-met person. Even when I am not actually “in” a conversation I find myself in a coffee shop tuning into the conversation behind me and then my brain takes off.

I was sitting in a play not so long ago and the protagonist said, “a secret wears you down” and THAT one line, scribbled down on the back of a shopping docket in the dark of the theatre became the premise for The Doctor Claims His Bride (out late 2008).

At 3am last Saturday I was evacuated from my house when it was under threat from a raging house fire next door. I don’t know how many neighbours tapped me on the shoulder to say, ‘you should put this in one of your books.’ You bet! I was busy filing away information; especially how buff some of those firemen look even in those bulky fire-retardant suits.

Snippets, tid-bits of information, a line from a play, anything and everything are fodder for an author. My holidays become research! How cool is that? I have set a book in Vietnam, on an Australian Tropical Island, the Australian Alps, and of course, my favourite place, the red centre of Australia, the Outback.

The story for A Wedding In Warragurra came out of a conversation I had with a woman who, along with a group of her friends have taken raising $25,000 AUS dollars a year to support Ovarian Cancer Research. As I write Medicals, I was able to incorporate information about ovarian cancer and the trials of the predictive test in the story, and Harlequin Australia have printed an information page and donation details in the back of the book. Awesome!

There are so many ideas for stories floating all around you; you just have to remember to listen.

Fiona writes for Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance. A Wedding In Warragurra is out in the UK NOW and in Australia/New Zealand in April.

For pictures of handsome doctors and a chance to win a copy of one of Fiona’s books, visit Fiona at


  1. I admit I'm a huge eavesdropper, too. But I find that somewhere in daily news I will always find something to spark a thought and sometimes that turns into a what if moment and that becomes a synopsis, and eventually another book.

    I'm so glad your house wasn't damaged in that fire.

    And great work on behalf of ovarian cancer.

    My very best wishes, and thanks for a great blog,

  2. Hi Fiona,
    I love that line "a secret wears you down". How true is that?

    I too am a people
    watcher/eavesdropper (some may say stalker). I've been known to follow people around shopping centers under the guise of browsing when I've overheard a juicy conversation. But as documented so beautifully in Love Actually, there's no better place for this than airports. If I have a flight to catch I try to get there a good few hours before hand just so I can watch arrivals and departures.

    Love your new website BTW.

  3. Thanks Lynne and Amy! I guess authors have a real excuse to eaves-drop! Although I make sure all my stories are far removed from the information I heard so that the info is just the kernal and no one can ever track it to its source. After all, I don't want people to stop talking to me!

  4. Fiona, great post. That's one of the things I love about being a writer - life is perpetually interesting! And some of the most interesting stuff pops up in the oddest places. Goodness, didn't know about your drama on Saturday. Fantastic that you and yours are OK! Love the sound of the Warragurra book. What a gorgeous cover!

  5. Amy...I love airports too. When I was leaving for London, there was a whole plane-load of RAF boys browsing around before their flight. I was in heaven. Dh rolled his eyes. LOL


    P.S. Fiona I have one of yours very close to the top of my tbr pile!