Annie O'Neil is Causing Palpitations with her Hot Doctors

Do you love watching Grey’s Anatomy, House and ER? Then medical romances may be for you! And today, I’m lucky enough to be welcoming the funny and fabulous Annie O’Neil, whose brilliantly titled Harlequin Medical Romance Doctor...to Duchess? won the prestigious Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Rose award last month. I’ve written a medical romance myself – From Fling to Forever – and I'm a huge fan of Harlequin’s medical series, so this is a great opportunity for me to pick Annie’s brains.

Annie O'Neil
About Annie...

Annie spent most of her childhood with a leg draped over the family rocking chair and a book in her hand. Novels, baking and writing too much teenage angst poetry ate up most of her youth. Now, quite a few years on from those fevered daydreams of being a poet, Annie splits her time between corralling her husband (and real life Scottish hero) into helping her with their cows or scratching the backs of their rare breed pigs and spending some very happy hours at her computer writing.

Connect with Annie via her website, on Facebook, and Twitter.

Her latest book is London's Most Eligible Doctor.

The talk of the town…  

When a devastating dancing injury forces prima ballerina Lina Keminsky to walk away from her dreams, she takes a receptionist job to make ends meet. But working for London's most sought after doc, Cole Manning, isn't what she expects… 

While Cole might not bear physical scars, he's become a pro at hiding wounds that run deep. But working alongside the feisty Lina, Cole sees his guard slowly but surely beginning to crumble. Together, can they mend each other's hearts?

London's Most Eligible Doctor is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Avril: Tell us about RoNA Rose Award…
Annie: The award is from the British organisation – the Romantic Novelists’ Association. It is awarded to the best in category or series and shorter romancenovels that focus on the developing love affair between the hero and heroine. Or – in my case – Harlequin Medical Romances. (They’re the best! Not that I’m prejudiced.)

Annie's RoNA-winning romance
Avril: Why should readers pick up a medical romance?
Annie: What’s not to love? These stories are written by an incredible group of authors. It was their books that encouraged me to try and write for the line. They are pacy, passionate, thought provoking books about some of the most amazing people in the world: surgeons, doctors, paramedics…and those are just the heroines! Wait till you get a load of the heroes. One thing I also think makes the Medicals stand out is the variety of voices. Some of the books could’ve walked straight off of the steamy pages of a Grey’s Anatomy script. Others take us to modern era Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman-ville. Big towns, small towns, sexy Italy, steamy Australia….there’s a super series that’s coming out now called The Hollywood Hills Clinic. Keep your eyes peeled for that. AND – the books are finally available to order hard copy in America from Barnes & Noble and Amazon.

Avril: How much research do you do for each story?
Annie: I research quite a lot because I did not go to medical school and I don’t like to fudge my way through things. I used to be a journalist in a former life and making sure things were correct was my job! So that hasn’t changed. Where the imagination comes in, is in weaving all of those amazing things medical professionals do into a great love story – because that’s what it’s really all about, right?

Avril: Do you have a favorite medical TV show?
Annie: My hands down favourite is Grey’s Anatomy. I am originally from Seattle and started watching it when I moved to England because I was homesick and then I kept on watching it because it’s so great! I love a healthy combo of funny/weepy because that’s how life is and I think Grey’s does that brilliantly. Saying that…I am two years behind because of where I live so no spoilers please! Also – if you have any medical series you are currently loving – let me know.

Avril: What’s your trademark writing style?
Annie: Gosh…I was trying to think of that this morning and I couldn’t put my finger on it…I would say rom-com would be about as close as you could get. However, as medical stories often deal with harrowing subjects – and I have been known to kill off a character or two to keep things realistic – sometimes there are tears. The last book I wrote (The Nightshift Before Christmas – coming out this November 2016)…I kept bursting into tears as the hero and heroine went through their journeys because it was just so heartbreakingly sad what they had been through. HOWEVER – what they had to look forward to in life – was amazing and beautiful and full of love and joy and possibility. None of us can go into anything without having some fears – but risk-taking is one of the most rewarding things I have ever experienced. What about you?

Avril: What are your favourite subgenres to read?
Annie: I love quite a variety of books. Give me a Dickens on a wintry day (must be a fire and some hot chocolate to hand), or a Jane Austen when I’m feeling uber-wistful. And the other days of the week? I fall for cover art – so sometimes it’s a Pulitzer winner – sometimes it’s something akin to The Devil Wears Prada. I’m afraid there’s no box to put me into. I’ve even been known to read – gasp! – NON-FICTION.

Avril: Are you tempted by any other subgenre as a writer?
Annie: Absolutely. I would love, love, love to write a romcom. I would also love to have the skillbase to write something heartwarming and then dehydrate you with tragedy (is that bad?). I think you’re more likely to see the former happen than the latter. I would also love to write a good old-fashioned who-dun-it.

Avril: What does the rest of the year hold for you?
Annie: Ooooo – good question. I have just finished a book about a muy guapo Latino hero – one of FOUR sexy brothers – all Miami based – but those don’t come out until 2017.  I’ve got a book I’m pretty excited about – One Night, Twin Consequencescoming out in June. It has one of my favourite heroine’s first sighting of hero scenes ever. And, of course, the one I blubbed through: The Nightshift Before Christmas. I am actually going to have a stab at writing a romcom – something longer than what I’m used to, so please be patient. My husband and I are going to Munich. I haven’t been there since I was twenty and I couldn’t handle a stein of beer then, so who knows what will happen now! I also live on a farm (note the photo above!) so we’re expecting some calves and just might have a trip to Bangkok for a wedding which is ALWAYS a good reason to travel.

Avril: GOTTA ASK: As a romance reader, what’s your pet hate?
Annie: Oh wow! That’s a doozy. Let’s see – my pet hate is stinky dialogue. No one speaks like they do in soap operas – they speak like us! But better. If something can be pithy and snappy and encapsulate all those things we think up two minutes after we should have said it/after the guy leaves/once the door has been slammed shut….then it frosts my cupcake real nice. Another is the over use of big wordsie THE SAME big word in a book. It’s easily enough donebut they sort of jump off the page at me. For exampleI just used scintillating. Then I got in a panic I’d just used it in a previous sectionso I do a search throughout the entire document to check I’m not over-using. Not that I’m an obsessive type or anything…maybe just a little. 

Annie has a GOTTA ASK question herself, and has two print copies of London's Most Eligible Doctor to give away!  If your dream man came from another country…which country would he come from and why? Enter the giveaway and leave a comment to win.

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  1. Hi Annie and Avril

    Firstly I have to say I have read this book and loved it woohoo awesome story and as for the question I have a soft spot for a Scottish accent and wanted to travel to Scotland so I think he would be Scottish

    Congrats on the award I loved that story as well :)

    Have Fun

    1. I'm partial to Italians, and must write one at some stage!

    2. Thanks Helen - and buonjourno to Avril (though - I'm pretty sure I'm not her idea of an Italian hero)... I'm so pleased to hear you enjoyed the book already. It was great fun to write. I have a Scottish husband and can assure you - being picked up for a date at 7:30 - or anything where they can roll an R is wonnnnnnderful xx A

  2. I would say Irish or Scottish... I just love the sound of their accents! :)

    1. Oh the Irish - I am in love with Aidan Turner, who plays Ross Poldark with an English accent but speaks in real life with an Irish accent.

  3. Replies
    1. Thank you so much Angi - It's great to be here! I feel right at home getting lost in a story! x A

  4. Replies
    1. Lots of people love a Scottish hero, Plenty of Outlander fans out there...

    2. Very good call Tammy! I've lived in the UK 20 years now and I still get trills of delight. Never immune to a good accent!

  5. Replies
    1. I guess that means we'll have to parade a bunch of heroes with different accents in front of you....anyone up for that sort of parade?

  6. Blogging is incredible and every blogger playing a great role to introduce new things in blogging. I always like to fly on different blogs and read the strategies of different blogger to understand the blogging in more depth. Being a bloggers I really appreciate your works and no doubt your blog is awesome.
    Love from Asad Niazi

    1. Thanks for that lovely comment. I agree we can all learn a lot from each other's blogs.

  7. I'll have to say Greece or Sicily love myself those Greek gods

    1. Yay on Sicily! And yes, I am also partial to a gorgeous Greek hero.