It is pleasing to know how books help break down barriers and build relationships. My daughter was in hospital – on holiday from the UK, she underwent emergency surgery in Sydney. Sincere thanks to St Vincent’s Hospital which gave her the wonderful care needed.
She happened to overhear another patient saying she had trained as a nurse at the RAHC – the Childrens’ hospital – in the fifties. They struck up a friendship and spent an hour swapping stories of the shared experiences of nurses from that era. During the conversation, Melissa gave Joy a copy of my novel, BLACK STOCKINGS, WHITE VEIL – A TALE OF ADVERSITY, TRIUMPH AND ROMANCE AT ROYAL PRINCE ALFRED HOSPITAL. It celebrated 50 years since my graduation as young registered nurse, the Class of 1962. And was a Finalist in the 2009 Indie Book Awards.
Back in the fifties, Joy and a couple of nursing buddies were seconded to RPAH for six months to undergo adult nurse training. So they actually trod the long corridors in which this story is set, appreciating it from a hands-on perspective. As Joy wrote, ‘ I cherished every word savouring memories and nostalgia. Thank you for your wonderful, personal and insightful story of that memorable time in our lives.’
It’s lovely to know this story is being read and enjoyed by a wide variety of folk. Being of historical interest to the profession, it has a timeless quality. Hospitals and technology have changed dramatically since the 1950s and nurses are now educated at universities. It shows how things were when nurses lived in nun-like seclusion of Nurses’ Homes, with late Passes and strict curfews. This book is of interest to those who have ever visited a hospital, been a patient, trained as a nurse, graduated as a doctor, or those who simply take pleasure in hospital tales.
Since the release of BLACK STOCKINGS in 2008, I have been co-editor on two anthologies of poetry and prose from the Women Writers Network at the NSW Writers Centre. Our WOMEN’S WORK was a Finalist in the 2010 New Generation Ippy Awards in the Womens’ interest Anthology section. BARE, another quirky collection, has been well received and reviewed, praised for both overall design and content.
I have also been developing three further novels. The first to be finished, LETTERS FROM A DIGGER, the first of a duo, has just emerged from my editor. Billy Wraxall’s beguiling letters to fiancée, Allie, depict his risky voyage on the Osterley to Egypt. Vivid images of Cairo are soon followed by the beauty of France and dangers at the front…The manuscript is now with the printer. The novel will be launched in October this year.