Nov 4, 2017

Jacqueline Diamond on Medical Romance

What’s a Medical Romance, Anyway?

I had no idea what medical romances were when I started writing them.

The medical field has always interested me, perhaps because my father was a doctor. My own encounters with medicine, aside from routine checkups, came when my husband and I had trouble conceiving. I’m happy to report that our efforts resulted in two wonderful boys.

That was the situation in the 1980s when I began writing romances for Harlequin. A popular theme was the secret baby story. Typical storyline: after the hero disappears or enlists in the military, the heroine discovers she’s pregnant. With no way to reach him (no cell phone! No email!), she raises the baby alone, facing rejection by the townspeople. When he unexpectedly returns, drama ensues.

My challenge was to find credible, engaging twists that fit into our contemporary world. I had fun with ideas like a mix-up at the sperm bank (Designer Genes) and an egg donor who discovers she’s the nanny to her own triplets (Yours, Mine and Ours).

Along the way, I encountered a subgenre called the medical romance. These are stories of people falling in love in a medical setting such as a hospital or clinic. They can be doctors, nurses, technicians, surrogate mothers, even police who interact with medical personnel.

I decided babies and doctors were a natural combination for a series set in a fictional medical center remodeled to focus on fertility and maternity care. I live in California, one of the few places in the world where fertility treatments and practices such as surrogacy and embryo adoption aren’t restricted, so this opened intriguing story possibilities.

A new law to protect abandoned babies by offering safe havens in hospitals and fire stations got me thinking. What if a news report confused the name of my hospital, Safe Harbor Medical Center, with save havens, leading to a sudden influx of surrendered babies? How would this impact the hospital? How would the story unfold?

Book number one, The Would-Be Mommy, began a journey for me that grew to include 17 Safe Harbor Medical romances. Currently I’m writing a spin-off mystery series, including The Case of The Surly Surrogate. The Safe Harbor Medical Mysteries feature young, widowed obstetrician Eric Darcy, who helps solve crimes that affect his patients, such as when someone murders the father of a surrogate’s baby-to-be. Note: each book in the series can be read separately.

I enjoy doing research that draws on my experience as an Associated Press reporter and on my contacts in the medical and law enforcement fields. Mostly, I love writing tales of people forming families and redeeming their past mistakes.

Where better to find drama and healing than in a medical center?

USA Today bestselling author Jacqueline Diamond has sold more than 100 medical romances, romantic comedies, Regency romances and mysteries. A former Associated Press reporter and TV columnist, Jackie is best known for her 17-book Safe Harbor Medical romance series, beginning with The Would-Be Mommy. She currently writes a spin-off series, the Safe Harbor Medical Mysteries, including The Case of the Surly Surrogate.


The Would-Be Mommy

Babies, babies, everywhere! When journalist Ian Martin stirs up trouble with his story about a hospital welcoming abandoned babies, the roguish reporter accidentally ignites a firestorm around public relations director Jennifer Serra. Now she faces losing her heart to a baby she can’t keep, and losing her job because of a scandalous secret. To help her, Ian must choose between his ambitions and his heart. Cataromance.com called this a “brilliantly moving story.”

1 comment :

  1. Great blog, Jacqueline! I love how you named the medical center and how it played into the first book in the series, it's a cute twist. And The Would-Be Mommy is a fun read. As a reporter yourself, I'm sure you've met enough male reporters that it was easy for you to create a realistic journalist Ian Martin.

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