We are now at Day 14, I can’t believe we have nearly done two weeks of the tour. Our guest today is Jean Fullerton. Don’t forget to pop over to Stephanie’s blog later and catch up with Jean’s views on romance writing romance in today’s society.
1) Where is your home town?
My home town is Stepney which is an area in East London alongside the London docks and the river Thames. It’s also a short walk from Whitechapel High Street, Jack the Ripper Country. My family – the Fullerton’s have lived in the area since 1824 when my great-great-great-great grandfather moved from Scotland and settled in the area. All my family’s records are in St George’s in the East church which I’ve featured in every book so far.
2) How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing since 2002 after I went on a NHS management course and was advised to take up a hobby to combat work-related stress. I’d been a life-long reader of historical fiction so that seemed the obvious thing to write.
3) How many books have you written? Are they all historical novels set in East End London?
Now there are two answers to that question. I’ve written seventeen books in total but only nine have been published. Three with a small publisher in America some years ago but I now have 5 mainstream books and another due out in Feb 2014 all of which are set in East London.
4) “Call Nurse Millie” is a subject dear to your heart, can you explain to the readers your connection?
The reason “Call Nurse Millie” was such a joy to write is not only because it is set in the East London streets I know and love but like Millie I am a Queen’s Nurse and have worked on the ‘District’ in East London for over twenty years. I always enjoy researching a story but searched out all the little bygone nursing details of Millie’s work was a labour of love.
5) Millie does her job in post war Britain, what everyday hardships did the nurses have to deal with?
One of the most obvious was the lack of food. War-time food rationing didn’t finish until 1953 and Millie’s work was physically demanding. She had to lift dozens of people out of bed each day, carry buckets of water through houses and upstairs to wash her patients, plus cycle to visits. All this on a little over 2500 calories a day no wonder the average woman was an English size 10 in 1945.
6) Millie finds romance amongst the hardship, where did she meet her beau? what were her first impressions of him?
She met Alex Nolan at a dance on VJ night. She thought he was very attractive, a fantastic dancer but perhaps a little too sure of himself. Alex, of course, is absolutely gorgeous.
7) Millie’s neighbours surprise her with their generosity, is this an East End London trait?
I think generosity amongst neighbours is more a traditional working class trait rather than an exclusively East End one but there is something very open hearted about native Cockneys
8) Do you think your book could be an historical education as well as entertainment?
I like to think so. The facts are all correct and I’m thrilled when reviewers comment of the social history I portray as well as the cracking story.
9) With shortages and rationing, Nurses had to keep their mode of transport secure. Can you tell the readers what transport they used, how many years did go on for?
Most nurses used bicycles for their rounds as cars were much too expensive to buy and run especially with petrol rationing. After the war some nurses rode scooters to save their aching legs but by the end of the 1970’s most had small cars. That said bicycles are still used by district nurses in some parts of central London as it’s impossible to drive and too expensive to park.
10) Fans are calling for the sequel, are you writing one? When can we expect it to be published?
Well I’m please to tell you that All Change for Nurse Millie is in production and will be released on 13th Feb 2014 but for those of you who can’t wait for the next instalment then there is a special e-novella Christmas with Nurse Millie out on the 21st November.
Thank you Jean it’s always a please chatting with you, Good luck with the new releases.