Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Writing Medical Themed Contemporary Romance by Lynne Marshall

There has always been fascination with nurses in mass market fiction, because it is predominantly a female profession – though that is changing more each year.

In the 1940’s Cherry Ames was a central character in a running series of hospital based mysteries. These books encouraged girls to become nurses to help with the war effort.

In 1958 there was a series called Candy Stripers – aimed at influencing teenage girls to become hospital candy stripers as an entryway into the medical profession.

It has also been said that the wife of a former Canadian fur trader turned paperback publisher, along with a Canadian editor, discovered a surprise in the local public library. There was a large assortment of decent well-written medical romances published by a long-established London firm. They promptly wrote to them, asking if they might acquire Canadian reprint rights for “light romances dealing with doctors and nurses” soon bringing doctor-nurse stories to North America.
There is a well-known story that in the 1960s, medical romance author Ivy Ferrari was as famous as The Beatles. Her daughter Lillie wrote a fan letter to George Harrison and received a reply from his mother asking, “Are you by any chance related to a writer called Ivy Ferrari, who writes doctor-and-nurse romances?” George’s mother was a huge fan.
Doctor and Nurse Stories are what fuel many current TV dramas such as Grey’s Anatomy. They were the heart of one of the longest running soap operas in U.S. TV, General Hospital, and will continue to appeal to women readers as long as we keep writing them!
Medical Romance has come a long way from Dime Store novels in the 1960-1970s, and since Ivy Ferrari wrote Doctor/Nurse stories. These days the heroine is just as likely to be a doctor as the hero. Right on! I love to write RN protagonists, and after being a registered nurse for twenty-six years, I think you can understand why.
AN INDISCRETION, is my March 2012 Wild Rose Press, Champagne Line e-book which
features strong medical elements. I take a rich girl trying to prove she’s like everyone else by becoming a hardworking RN, and match her with a Hispanic-American doctor who has pulled himself up by his own bootstraps. To mix in a bit of conflict, they share some history—they were once teenage partners in her debutante cotillion classes. Even then the sparks flew, though they didn’t know what to do about it.
When Paul Valverde overstepped his position by asking the rich daughter of his mother’s employer to the school prom, he was summarily punished by Carrington Hanover’s vengeful father.
Flash forward fifteen years—Paul is a successful doctor and Carrington finds herself working for him.
I hope you’ll continue along with the wonderful tradition of doctor-nurse stories and consider An Indiscretion for your reading pleasure!

Do you enjoy medical drama? What is your favorite medical TV show?