Monday, 6 April 2015

Jean Fullerton - Carry On Nurse

How better to celebrate Easter than with the lovely Jean Fullerton telling us about her new novella, Easter with Nurse Millie

I have to say Student Queen’s Nurse Daphne Villiers has done the rounds a bit. She first appeared in Call Nurse Millie as a nurse on the ward when Millie visits her mother – she’s still on Truman Ward if you want to see her in an earlier manifestation- then when the wordage count went over the 145,000 mark she had to be pulled.

I tried to tell her and Father Christopher’s story again in All Change for Nurse Millie but this time it wouldn’t fit. The plot line of Millie’s heart-breaking personal life meant she wouldn’t have been in a position to supervise Daphne so I had to remove her again. I even tried to slot her into Fetch Nurse Connie, out on 4th June, but again Connie wouldn’t have been able oversee both her and Student Josie Baxter who I’d already developed a sub-plot around so poor old Daphne had to sit it out again.

I was just musing over whether I could finally tell her story in Connie’s second book – as yet untitled – when my publisher approached me to write a Spring novella. Finally, I thought, Daphne would have her day! However, when I came to review the half dozen scenes I had already written I could see quite clearly that while Father Christopher would survive the transplant Daphne, as I’d originally written her, would not. The original Daphne was prim and proper and Millie is a bit tongue in cheek, sometimes inviting the reader to share the joke. This is quite all right for a secondary character with just a walk-on part but it wouldn’t have readers warm to Daphne or cheer her on so there was nothing for it but to re-write.   
Unlike my last novella Christmas With Nurse Millie, which is set between the end of Call Nurse Millie and the start of All Change for Nurse Millie, with reference to both I decided to write Easter with Nurse Millie as a stand-alone story. 

I’m in the process of pulling together a blog tour for Fetch Nurse Connie’s release and I’ve just written a piece for my chum Alison Morton’s blog about how authors both build and then inhabit the worlds they create in their minds. How even when we are not using them or writing about them our characters continue to live so if we decide to add to their story the world we created moves forward with them. With this in mind, instead of setting Daphne in the pre-NHS world of 1945-48 that I’d explored in my previous books, I decided to shift my East London nursing world forward six years to 1954. Millie has been married for five years now and the old Nursing Association’s Munroe House has been swept away in the 1950s slum clearances and has been replaced by a modern NHS building called Munroe Clinic with the nurses’ home, Robina House, behind.   

Also instead of a generic spring novella I decided to set Daphne and Fr Christopher’s story during Holy Week 1954 and make Father Christopher the curate at Stepney parish church the hero.

I think it’s a nice twist and I hope, if you feel inclined to read Easter with Nurse Millie you will agree.

Easter with Nurse Millie.

Spring is in the air for the nurses of Munroe House and as Easter approaches Nurse Millie is playing matchmaker. Daphne Villiers, a student nurse, is still suffering from the heartbreak of losing her fiancĂ© two years earlier. A new arrival to the East End has the potential to brighten her spirits and turn her life around, but will she be able to let herself love again? With the help of her friends, Daphne might find that Easter really is the time for new beginnings.                                             
Orion Fiction 99p
‘A delightful, well researched story that depicts nursing and the living conditions in the East End at the end of the war’ (Lesley Pearse)
‘...The writing shines off the page and begs for a sequel’ (Historical Novel Society)
‘…you will ride emotional highs and lows with each new birth and death. Beautifully written with some sharp dialogue.’ (THE LADY)
Facebook: Twitter: @JeanFullerton__

It seems I have a lot of catching up to do, Jean. I am at present in the middle of (and thoroughly enjoying) Call Nurse Millie. I may be some time.


  1. Thanks for including me in the RNA blog spot, Natalie and I'm glad to hear you enjoying Call Nurse Millie.

  2. Not the RNA, Jean, but a delight to have you here anyway.
    Yes, with the sequels to Call Nurse Millie I believe I shall be occupied for some time to come. Oddly enough, though it is Easter, I shall leave this latest offering till I've read the others as I believe your books are sequential. I'd better get on with it though. I believe you have another coming out in June.

    1. Having said that, though your books are sequential they also stand alone - I may be tempted to read this one next

  3. I'd say leave this one until after you've read All Change for Nurse Millie, if I was you, Natalie.

  4. Lovely post, Natalie. Many congratulations to Jean - what a lovely photograph btw. Wishing you both, success and happiness on your writing journeys.

  5. Thank you so much, Nicola. Glad you were able to stop by and happy you enjoyed it.