Starting off today I have a guest post from author J.E. Rowney.
Violet thought midwifery training was tough, but now she has to step out onto the ward as a newly qualified midwife. She’s standing on the edge of her new life, but taking the leap is harder than she ever expected.
Living on her own for the first time, while best friend Zoe starts to build a future with soon-to-be-husband Luke, everything is changing for Violet.
Can Violet adapt and adjust, or will anxiety get the better of her?
“Starting Out” – the new book from the world of “Lessons of a Student Midwife”.
Starting Out is my ninth novel, which feels like quite an achievement. Only two years ago I was struggling to complete my second book. It took me seven years to write The Derelict Life of Evangeline Dawson after my debut way back in 2012. What happened? I guess life got in the way. Strangely that is also what happened to motivate me to write, write, write! At the beginning of the first lockdown, a year ago, I was part way through my MA in Creative Writing and Publishing, so I had already committed to my future as a writer on some levels. Once lockdown kicked in and I was pretty much confined to my home I decided to use the time to do something productive, and I started to work on my Lessons of a Student Midwife series.
I had never planned to write a book series. My third novel, Ghosted, featured a midwife called Violet and her friendship with Zoe, who vanishes. After I published it, I had a lot of feedback from readers saying that they would like a sequel because they loved the characters. I thought about this for a while, before deciding that actually a prequel would be much more interesting. Having been a midwife myself in the past, I thought I would draw upon my experiences and write a book about how Violet trained to be a midwife – and how Zoe supported her to get through when her anxiety threatened to derail her dreams. I meant for it to be one book, but as soon as I started writing I realised that there was a lot more to their story than I anticipated. It made sense to split Violet and Zoe’s story into three books, focussing on the three years that Violet spent at university studying to be a midwife – and that’s how the Lessons of a Student Midwife series came to be.
I haven’t had the same obstacles to overcome that Violet has, but some of the feelings and experiences were definitely very close to things that I personally encountered during my training. I was lucky to have some amazing mentors, and a great set of coursemates. I know that some of them are still midwives today, whilst others, like me, have gone on to different careers. I am in awe of everyone who puts on their uniforms and supports women through pregnancy, childbirth and beyond, and I dedicate my books to midwives everywhere.
Starting Out picks up where the Lessons of a Student Midwife series left off, with Violet as a newly qualified midwife, about to start her new career on the wards. You don’t need to have read the series to enjoy the book, it can be read as a standalone novel. I’m sure that once you read it you’ll want to pick up the series though! If you enjoy Call the Midwife or like watching One Born Every Minute, this is the book for you. Perhaps you’ve even dreamt of being a midwife too? Starting Out is a story of friendship, and of the passion to overcome obstacles to make your dreams come true. If you’re looking for a feel good novel, this should be your next read.
J.E. Rowney spent several years in the cold Yorkshire hills, but now lives on the south coast of England. She spent ten years working as a midwife before turning in her gloves to become an author.
She is an award winning poet, and also enjoys writing short stories. In May 2020 she was the winner of the Dinesh Allirajah Prize for Short Fiction.
“Charcoal”, her first novel, was published in 2012 to wide critical acclaim, and was a bestselling novel on Amazon within days of release.
She spends lots of time writing in coffee shops, so if you see her, say hello.
Ms. Rowney says: “I always dreamed of being a writer, until I realised that I was. Then I started to write.”