The Author Speaks:
- Can you tell your readers something about why you chose this particular topic to write about? What appealed to you about it? Why do you think it is different and your approach is unique?
- I started writing this book during the initial Covid-19 lockdown. I was home and all travel for the foreseeable future had been cancelled. So, I picked Dallas, Texas as the location as a way to sort of go home, while that was impossible. I grew up in one of Dallas’ many suburbs and went to Trinity High School and worked at the Tinseltown Theatre with many of my high school friends. (All of whom were super excited it made an appearance.) The location came first and then I wanted to play with a doctor heroine and nurse hero – which I think should be more normalized. After that it was just letting Tessa and Gabe speak to me (or forcing them to speak to me, depending on the day.
- How many times have you been rejected before your first novel was accepted or before this book was accepted?
- Rejection! Oh, what a word. The truth is that it happens to everyone! The first story I was brave enough to send to a publisher was a Regency romance. I actually went through two rounds of revisions with Harlequin before they gently passed. I got excellent feedback and started taking as many craft classes and reading as many craft books as possible. Then I wrote a contemporary small town that is just to off the beaten path for the genre and was rejected by several publishers before an agent I sent it to kindly told me she didn’t think the story was sellable due to the way I had set up the hero and heroine. So, it now lives under my bed with the regency too. When Harlequin announced the medical blitz in the spring of 2019, I decided to go for it. It sold several months later and became Unlocking the Ex-Army Doc’s Heart.
- Did you need to self-publish on e-books before a publisher took you up?
- I did not need to self-publish before I sold to a trad publisher. However, I know many hybrid authors who mix their work with independent publishing and traditional publishing. I think whatever works best for you as an author is great and never say never. I have seen Indie author switch to trad and trad authors move to Indie.
- Do you have any pets? I do! My co-authors are two giant dogs. My golden retriever Abby and my giant mutt, Domino. They rarely pull their weight when asked to plot but do demand treats for effort (which usually works).
- Do you people watch to find characters for your books? How do you do this? What is the funniest thing you have seen that you have incorporated into a book? Or do you add some traits from your family and friends into your characters?
- I love to people watch. It’s one thing that I have missed this year. A presenter said once that the best way to learn dialogue is to sit in coffee shops, bus stops, airports or really just anywhere you were at and listen. It is amazing what you hear! I have heard the highest of highs, from proposals and upcoming births, to the lowest of lows with marriage breakups and devastating medical diagnoses. You also hear the funny and just mundane. The truth is that people everywhere are living their lives and often forget that others are around. I have also learned that even though it may happen in real life, it may seem to out there for fiction.
- Do you prefer doctors or nurses as your hero/heroine? Why?
- Both! I love doctors and nurses – obviously I write medical romance! I have mixed both in all my stories. In my first book, Unlocking the Ex-Army Doc’s Heart, both my characters are general practitioners. I have what some might consider the more “traditional” pairing of female nurse and ER doctor hero in Falling Again for the Single Dad. In this story Tessa is the physician and Gabe is the nurse and I love the pairing.
- Is it easy to write humour?
- No! And anyone who says it is, is just ridiculously talented. I have a writer in the writer group I run every Thursday can write comedy that is so funny in our five-minute sprints. I can do it, but it takes a lot of time. It’s a true talent.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Juliette Hyland believes in caffeine, hot drinks and happily ever afters! She lives in Ohio, USA, with her prince charming, who has patiently listened to many rants regarding characters failing to follow the outline. When not working on fun and flirty happily ever afters, Juliette can be found spending time with her beautiful daughters, giant dogs or sewing uneven stitches with her sewing machine.