Interview with Laurie Maddison

Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
My Friend Flicka by Mary O'Hara. Certainly not the first book I read but it was the story that had me falling madly in love with horses and realising that books could create a range of strong emotions. I was lucky enough to get my own horse when I was about 12 . . .
What are your five favorite books, and why?
This is a hard one. Having lived for 80 years there are so many. I will have to come back to this . . . Have thought about it and can't name just five - there are so many, and joining a book club extended my reading to many genres. Some I would never have chosen from the library shelf. Here are some:
C J Sansom's historical novels that so cleverly intertwine fact and fiction. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. Left me so angry and shaking my head in disbelief at the immorality involved in some scientific research. Me Before You by Jo Jo Moyes, reflected some nursing issues for me - I cried my eyes out!
True stories about the fall of Singapore, the Japanese invasion and the Burma-Siam railway especially books by 'Weary' Dunlop and Robert Hardie both doctors on the line with whom my father worked. The Fig by the Gate by Kate Llewellyn. I read this whenever I need some light relief.
Decidedly eclectic in other words!
How do you approach cover design?
I look at the story line. For Twists and Turns I asked an artist friend to help. The grey background over the cover represents the twists and turns of life, red and white had always been associated with nurses and the green band represents life.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I tried a couple of publishers and Agents but was unlucky or maybe not right for them. Two were encouraging but they were only interested in Australiana so on their advice I joined a writing group at the Katharine Susannah Pritchard Writers' Centre, refined and re-refined my work and was encouraged to self-publish. Had some wonderful help and my mentor / editor put it on to Smashwords for me. Now it's wait and see.
Describe your desk
It is U-shaped with my computer and printer facing a window that looks out over bushland, birds and wild life abound. My various degrees are in frames on one wall with a drawing of a skeleton. Family photos are spread around, two walls are covered by books (in bookcases) and one wall has a whiteboard covered in numerous post-its and reminder notes. A glorious mish-mash that is my haven.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was born in Malaya of British parents. Spent my early childhood in Australia, my teen and young adult years in England and am spending my final years back in Australia.
These countries only influenced my writing in that they form the background to my autobiography.
When did you first start writing?
In 2001 after my mother died and I was encouraged by nurse friends to record my story. They saw it as not only as an autobiography but also as a social history. So much change had taken place especially in nursing and nursing education.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I'm on my second one. It is about family conflict, especially with children, teenagers and young adults who expect so much of their parents and fail to give so little in return. It is based on the experiences of mothers as told to me.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
My mentor and talking with two others who have given it a try.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Nothing has happened so far.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I enjoyed getting the story written and then the editing - constant editing and losing a huge number of words yet being able to tell the same story only more succinctly. In Twists and Turns I finally lost over 30,000 words!!
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Taking my dogs for a long walk and coming home to a leisurely breakfast while reading the paper.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Conservation work, rescuing animals, book clubs (2), gardening / gourmet club, going to the opera, being with friends.
Published 2016-03-28.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Twists and Turns. The Life and Times of a Nurse 1935-2015
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 143,650. Language: English. Published: November 24, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Physicians & medical professionals, Nonfiction » Health, wellbeing, & medicine » Healthcare issues
(5.00)
Laurie Maddison describes her experiences as a child in Malaya, Australia and England. After school she enters nursing, marries, has a child and returns to Perth, Western Australia, where she works at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital and in specialist areas at Royal Perth, followed by community nursing, post-graduate courses at University, mental health nursing, and finally as a university lecturer.