I recently had the opportunity to interview Julie Rowe, author of the new book Aiding the Enemy.
Jennifer Smeth: When did you realize you wanted to be a writer? Was there a catalyst or one moment that made you realize this was what you wanted to do?
Julie Rowe: As a teen I wrote poetry and short stories, but didn’t write my first novel until my early thirties. I’d read a book I didn’t like and complained to a friend, “Even I could write something better than this!” She double-dog dared me to write a better book and I accepted the challenge. It took me a year and a half to write that first – horrible – manuscript, but I was hooked.
2014 is the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the First World War, and I wanted to show the war from a woman’s point of view. My heroine and her hospital in Brussels, Belgium were inspired by real-life Red Cross nurse Edith Cavell. Edith helped as many as 200 hundred British, French and Belgian soldiers escape German occupied Belgium. She was arrested, tried and convicted for treason and shot by firing squad. I felt that was too sad an end for such a courageous woman, so I wrote her a happy ending.
What was your research process like for writing this book?
I’ve been reading and collecting WW1 books for about five years. I have copies of a number of nurse diaries from the First World War as well as Edith Cavell’s biography. I also have several books that discuss the various armies that participated in the war, their equipment, weapons, movements, etc. My favorite resource for WW1 material is Osprey Publishing (http://www.ospreypublishing.com), a publisher specializing in military history.
Do you remember the first book you fell in love with and why it affected you?
Yes, it was a harlequin romance published in May, 1981 called HANNAH by Betty Neels. I still have it, and surprise, the heroine is a nurse! I love this book because I fell in love with the characters.
What’s the best writing advice you ever received?
Finish the damn book!
Tell me about your writing process. Do you have any rituals?
Does getting chocolate all over my keyboard count? Besides my chocolate problems I tend to write the dialogue and action first, then layer in emotion and detail in later drafts. I do like to start with a solid outline, but often deviate from it, so I know it’s flexible going in.
Right now I’m working on revisions for a medical continuity book for Entangled Publishing called SKIN DEEP, which is due out in March, 2014. I also have a story, SECRET SANTA, in the TIMELESS ESCAPES anthology which released yesterday.
About Aiding the Enemy
Rose Culver is in grave danger. For months the Red Cross head nurse has been aiding Allied soldiers caught behind enemy lines, helping them flee into neutral Netherlands. It’s only a matter of time until she’s caught. Which makes it the wrong time to fall in love with a handsome German military doctor as devoted to the sanctity of human life as she is.
The Great War has caused Dr. Herman Geoff to question everything he once believed. He knows Rose has been hiding British soldiers in her hospital—he’s even treated some of them, refusing to go against his own Hippocratic oath. As a doctor, he admires Rose’s skill and conviction. As a man, he can no longer deny his attraction to her. But when Rose is arrested for treason, Herman must choose between love for her and duty to his country…
For more tales of love and war, download Saving the Rifleman and Enticing the Spymaster, available now!
About the Author
Julie Rowe’s first career as a medical lab technologist in Canada took her to the North West Territories and northern Alberta, where she still resides. She loves to include medical details in her romance novels, but admits she’ll never be able to write about all her medical experiences because, “No one would believe them!”. In addition to writing contemporary and historical medical romance, and fun romantic suspense for Entangled Publishing and Carina Press, Julie has a short story in the Mammoth Book of ER Romance (releasing Sept 15, 2013). Her book SAVING THE RIFLEMAN (book #1 WAR GIRLS) won the novella category of the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence. Her writing has also appeared in several magazines such as Romantic Times Magazine, Today’s Parent, and Romantic Times Magazine.