It's Thursday, and today Medicals author Fiona Lowe is back to share some gorgeous photos and fantastic motivation!
As many of you know, I love to travel and I love getting off the beaten track and soaking up nature’s spectacular offerings. But sometimes a girl just has to visit a town and when I do, I soak up the local architecture. I wander around towns and cities taking pictures of public buildings and private houses. I love how much you can learn about the way people in that place live by looking at their houses and how they used to live by visiting their heritage homes. I ALWAYS end up with a house I want to put in a book!
The first time I had a really strong feeling about putting a house in a book was in The Surgeon’s Chosen Wife . I have always had a fascination for the historic Queenslander…a house on stilts with decorated wide verandahs to catch any passing breeze on a hot summer’s day. I didn’t consciously think about the house and its role in the book. My emotionally damaged hero came back to a house he hated and it was falling down around him. The house wormed its way into the story in such a big way that it became a motif … my run down house and injured and emotionally damaged hero were both rebuilt by the end of the book. The house became a vitally important third character.
Last summer as I sat in the tent at the beach reading the paper, I came across an ad for a magnificent sandstone home for sale in Sorrento. I ripped out the colour advertisement and tucked it away knowing that house HAD to go into a book. I didn’t have a story idea, I just had a spectacular house that didn’t remotely fit in the outback town where The Surgeon’s Special Delivery was set. Three quarters of the way through the book I needed to have Tess and Callum spend time with his parents and this house became the holiday house…just a destination. By the end of the book this house, “Westwinds” came to represent love, family and all the traditions Tess had never had growing up. Again, a third character.
My Warragurra Books started off as an idea to set two books in the same fictitious outback town. Australia used to ‘ride on the sheep’s back’ and up until about 1970, graziers of Merino sheep often had a lot of money and built stunning homesteads. Today they echo a bygone era. As a kid when I visited National Trust houses I used to imagine living there as the rich daughter. My mother always used to say, ‘more like the scullery maid!’ But I spun stories in my head about those gracious days and now I get to put these houses in books! Sandon Homestead in A Wedding in Warragurra started off as a homestead house. Suddenly because it was heritage listed, I had a business for Kate’s deceased husband -renovating old houses and town buildings. This permeated through the book, totally involving the town and its people, and ended up driving the story. The town became a vital character in the stories and I loved revisiting it in The Playboy Doctor’s Marriage Proposal.
It is a constant surprise that inanimate objects end up playing such significant roles in my books! Can you think of stories where a house or setting is a vital character of the story? I’ll send a copy of the book of choice from the ones mentioned above to one lucky reader!
Fiona Lowe writes for Harlequin Medical Romance and her books are often set in a small outback town, although her next book is set on an island! Her latest book, The Playboy Doctor’s Marriage Proposal is set in Warragurra and is out now on shelf in Australia or at The Book Depository. For more pictures of gorgeous settings visit Fiona at her website.