Random thoughts on our impending doom and everyday life, courtesy of a Romance Writer who occasionally feels the need to talk like a Sailor.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

A look at Amy Andrews... Taming the Tycoon & Rescued by the Dreamy Doc

I met Amy Andrews at the Romance Writers of Australia conference down on the Gold Coast this year. Now, between you and me, I have a thing for noisy blondes that write romance and like a drink. No, don't ask why. It's a deeply personal thing and I’d rather not go into it. 

Anyhoo, when I met up with her again recently at the Anna Campbell talk at Brisbane Writers Festival I decided I needed to read some of her stuff. Amy’s written thirty romance books so far, the bulk of which for Mills & Boon Medical Romance. Truth? I’d never made it through a Mills & Boon. Had never really been tempted, they’re just not my thing. Or so I thought.

Anna suggested (sh*t there’s some name dropping going on here today but bear with, it’s all part of the long and I’m no longer certain necessary story) I start with Rescued by the Dreamy Doc. Ignore the title, she said, it doesn't really reflect the book. I did. And I’m glad I did. This book is a lovely, heartfelt read that I thoroughly enjoyed. Dreamy Doc is based in a community Mental Health Centre and deals with the ebbs and flows of the relationship between co-workers, Seb and Callie. Seb and Callie were great characters and when they eventually got their happy ever after I cheered and clapped and generally felt better about the world. Don’t you dig the sense of hope that a good love story instils? It rocks.

Then I moved onto Taming the Tycoon by the same Ms Andrews (Which is BTW an Amazon bestseller!). I really enjoyed Rescued by the Dreamy Doc. But I f*cking loved Taming the Tycoon. Addie had a brush with death a few years back that made her re-evaluate life and her priorities. Nathaniel is our sexy as sin tycoon, ready to be taken down a peg and shown what life is about. Addie is of course just the girl to do it. This couple sizzles. They are some steamy hotness. They’re also charismatic and imminently likeable. Well, most of the time. Occasionally, Nate needs a smack upside the head, but hey, what gorgeous tycoon doesn’t? This book has layers and a hearty wonderful resolution. It’s a great journey for a romance reader to take and I endorse it with every fibre of my being. 

Having procured Amy's email through nefarious means, I decided to ask her a couple of questions regarding these books. Kindly, as opposed to siccing the police on me for online stalking, she answered instead...

1. What was your inspiration behind 'Taming the Tycoon'? I know you mentioned Richard Armitage...
LOL. Well Richard kind of came after, when I had to do a synopsis for Entangled (WTF?? I never do a synopsis!!!) and Nic Marsh sent me one of hers with actual pictures in the document, which I loved, so I went on Google looking for my Nathaniel and this picture of Richard in a suit and dark sunglasses jumped out at me and I knew I'd found Nate! I only had three chapters written at that time so it was good to have a more concrete picture of Nate and Addie moving forward with the rest of the book.

But it was actually a picture in my head of Addie that first inspired the book. She came to me fully formed, physically at least, in her tie-dye clothes and corn rows, wearing a big pair of purple sunglasses. She was standing in the sunshine with her face turned towards the sky, her eyes shut, just soaking it in. It took a bit more mulling for me to realise that she'd actually been a very different woman not that long ago and it had taken a terrible illness to force Addie into radically changing her life, for her to understand what was really important. And I knew then, that Nate was going to be her complete opposite - someone who hadn't yet learned that life is for living and is very, very short. And I knew it was going to be Addie's task to teach him to stop and smell the roses.

2. Doc Dreamy dealt with Mental Health issues in a kind and positive manner and 'How to Mend a Broken Heart' with the loss of a child. These are huge issues to tackle...
I think I'm kind of an issues focused writer and writing medical romance makes it easy to include these sorts  of things as they have to, by necessity, have some medical detail. Most of my medicals seem to deal with one or two issues and I build the story around that. My debut book dealt with Huntington's Chorea and also the medicalization of birth. My second dealt with PTSD. Others have dealt with organ transplantation, eye health in outback Australia, conventional v alternate medicine, the separation of con-joined twins, infertility, surrogacy to name a few.

With Dreamy Doc I'd been wanting to do a mental health book for a long time as I believe it is such a neglected area of our health care system but I had nervous editors who didn't think it would sell very well and they kept fobbing me off. But the last time I changed editors, Lucy Gilmour just instantly said yes. She had faith that I could do it and treat it with the right amount of respect without depressing everyone who read it so she said, go for it. I wanted to show that largely mental health is dealt with in the community these days and pay respect to an amazing bunch of health care workers who deal with it, day in and day out, and make a REAL difference in people's lives. But that often comes at a personal cost, and I wanted to
show that too.

I dealt with a very different issue in How To Mend A Broken Heart - the loss of a child. Unfortunately I see that in my nursing life a little too often and I've always wondered how parents deal with that loss once they go home without their precious little bundle that has completed them so utterly. I knew it was going to be a hard book for some people to read, tough subject matter, not your usual romance but I wanted to give two people torn apart by grief a second chance at love. I really need to believe that in terrible situations like the one that Tess and Fletch found themselves in, that love can conquer grief no matter how far down the track. But it was also important to me that I didn't write a riding off into the sunset ending, that their HEA was tempered by the knowledge that they had a lot of work to do to get their love back on track because otherwise I felt it was just too unrealistic. My BFF pointed out that it was the first book of mine where there's NO sex. But again, it was hard to write a book about two grieving people and have the headboard banging against the wall every second page :-).

Nurse Callie Duncan tells herself she's finally put the pieces of her life back together. Then drop-dead-gorgeous world-renowned psychologist Sebastian Walker arrives at her hospital….

Seb recognizes the pain behind Callie's beautiful face and fiery temperament and decides they might be just what each other needs for a very welcome distraction!

Nights spent in the roguish Seb's strong arms jump-start Callie's badly broken heart. And now the fiercely independent Callie must let this dreamiest of doctors deliver a real fairy-tale ending...

An unstoppable force is about to meet his first immovable object…

Real estate tycoon Nathaniel Montgomery is one deal away from making his first billion and fulfilling a promise to his dying father. Nothing will stop him from tearing down the decrepit St. Agnes hospital and erecting posh condos in its place. Not even the crystal-wearing, health food store owner whose publicity stunt lands him in the hospital.

After her brush with death five years ago, child prodigy Addie Collins learned what’s truly important—health, happiness, and the two-hundred-year-old rose garden at St. Agnes. To make amends for the accident, she agrees to pose as Nathaniel’s girlfriend at his eccentric grandmother’s birthday party.

But Addie has an ulterior motive. To repay her debt to the universe, she must show him there’s more to life than making money. Nathaniel hates to lose, but as she breaks through his defenses, losing himself in Addie’s arms might be exactly what this tycoon needs…

Amy is an award-winning author who has written thirty-one romances for Harlequin Mills and Boon in both the Medical and RIVA/Presents lines. She wrote her first book at the age of twenty-two while unemployed and freezing her butt off in the UK, largely because it involved being able to stay in bed with her electric blanket. One twelve year apprenticeship later she finally got "the call".

To date she's sold over a million books and been translated into thirteen different languages. In 2010 she took out the sexy category in the prestigious Australian Romantic Book of the Year Award affectionately known as The Ruby.

She's recently launched a couple of separate writing ventures with the release of Sister Pact a contemporary women's fiction novel that she wrote with her sister Ros Baxter and was published by Harper Collins Australia as well as the very exciting release of her first category romance, Taming the Tycoon, with Entangled Publishing.

In what she euphemistically likes to call her spare time, Amy works part time as a paediatric intensive care nurse and was on the national executive for Romance Writers Of Australia for six years during which time she organised two national conferences and undertook a two year term as president.

She's been married for twenty-two years and has two teenagers who only admit to her being a writer when they have to explain to their friends why there's no food in the house when their mother is approaching a deadline. She lives on acreage on the outskirts of Brisbane with a gorgeous mountain view but secretly wishes it was the hillsides of Tuscany.

This has been another Australian Women Writers review.  


  1. If someone had told me a few months ago this noisy blonde would be on a zomrom authors blog I would have told them they were crazy! :-)
    Thanks for having me and saying lovely things about my books!
    I wish to return the favour. People, go buy Kylie's book, Flesh. Its f*ucking awesome too!

    1. Aah, you give the best compliments, AA. And you're very welcome. :)

  2. Ha. I can now say I've read books by both you crazy talented ladies. Still in shock after your hot as hell Zombie apocalypse menage love story Kylie.

    1. I know Fiona. It blows ones mind, doesn't it? And that's nothing to do with the zombies!

    2. Hey, thanks, Ladies! Much appreciated.