Q&A: Jean C. Gordon (Small-Town Midwife)
WHERE DID YOU GET THE INSPIRATION FOR THIS NOVEL?
My daughter is a Certified Nurse Midwife who worked with a midwifery practice that does a lot of home births. Autumn, the heroine of the story, appeared in earlier books as a teenager and a nursing college student. I thought, what if she was now a midwife who no longer had the confidence to catch babies. Then, I brought in Dr. Jonathan Mitchell Hanlon III, a man from her past, who exudes nothing but confidence in his technical approach to delivering babies. My story idea was born.
HOW MUCH RESEARCH DID YOU CONDUCT FOR THIS NOVEL?
Quite a bit, but it was easy because I had an expert close at hand to answer my questions or direct me to the resources for the answers.
CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THE COUPLE AT THE CENTER OF THE NOVEL?
Autumn feels her purpose in life has deserted her. She’s lost her comfort and security again—as she did when her mother abandoned her, when her close-in-age Aunt Jinx left for college, when her grandparents who helped raise left her to take care of Great Grandma Hazard in Florida and when her father’s National Guard Unit was deployed to the Middle East. And her unsuccessful dating history hasn’t done anything to help her security, either.
Jon has never been able to live up to the expectations of his surgeon father and grandfather and world-renown cancer researcher mother. He was expected to follow in the footsteps of his father and grandfather and become a cardiac surgeon. Instead, when his favorite cousin, who was serving as a missionary in Haiti, died during childbirth due to the lack of adequate modern care facilities, he decided to specialize in obstetrics, with an emphasis on delivering babies. He’s dedicated to putting his technical knowledge to work protecting the lives of other women and children who don’t have easy access to good care. He sees his new position as director of the Ticonderoga birthing center, where Autumn works, as a stepping stone to achieving his purpose in life.
What neither Autumn nor Jon realizes is that they can’t move forward without each other. The dual faith element in the story is Autumn’s need to give up her fears to God and Jon embracing our Lord as a loving, not revengeful God.
WHAT INGREDIENTS ARE NECESSARY TO WRITE AN ENTHRALLING ROMANCE NOVEL?
Goals, motivation, and conflict. The main characters have to have defined goals that can be complimentary or opposing. For example, Autumn and Jon both want to provide their expectant mothers with the best care possible and make the Ticonderoga Birthing Center a success (complimentary). However, they have different views on how to accomplish their shared goal. If I’d wanted to take the story in a different direction, I might have had one of them closing the Center and the other fighting to keep it open (opposing). The characters have to have strong motivation for pursuing their goals. Often these are internal and external factors that have shaped who they are. As for conflict, that’s what really keeps you reading to find out if they’ll ever manage to actually get together. The conflicts are things that get in the way of their achieving their goals and falling in love and accepting that love.