Welcome to my Second Acts Series!
Today, we have physician and author Linda O’Connor sharing the back story behind this unique skill set and introducing her debut novel Perfectly Honest.
I’m a physician and I’ve worked in a variety of clinical settings – my own practice, with university student health clinics, teaching clinical skills to medical students, and at a walk-in clinic/urgent care center. I still work part-time, but I’d say the real first act was raising my three sons.
I can’t imagine starting to write at a younger age. Parenting took quite a bit of time and energy. I attended parenting workshops, group music lessons, mom and tot gymnastics and skating, library programs, and play groups. I did a lot of reading around various topics – raising boys, discipline, healthy eating – there was a lot to learn. It was a huge investment of time, but I think it’s paid off, as I’m extremely proud of the young men I’ve raised (well it wasn’t all me, my husband deserves some credit too).
Now that my sons have grown, I have time to invest in writing. Now I take online Romance Writers of America workshops, hang out electronically with other writers, enjoy monthly book club meetings, and read a lot in various genres – there’s still a lot to learn. But I’m loving it!
Interestingly, I never thought I’d be a writer. A professor told me that I had no command of the English language (hence the need for all the workshops so maybe he was right ) But as a physician, I thought there was a need to disseminate basic medical information – like recognizing mental health symptoms, birth control myths, and basic preventative health care – in new and innovative ways. It seemed to me that patients were visiting their doctors less often for preventative health care and more often with diseases requiring significant lifestyle changes. It would be a lot easier on them if they understood the consequences before poor lifestyle habits became ingrained. I had the idea to share the information in a romance novel, weaving it in the story and incorporating it into the activities I do on social media and through the book promotion.
Pursuing a second act has been tremendously rewarding. I wouldn’t have embraced social media as I have (I have a YouTube channel and uploaded a video MYSELF ). I’ve caught up with high school friends – that’s been fun. I have something new and exciting to talk about every day. I love learning, and am surprised at how much I enjoy writing. I’m extremely lucky that I can write simply because I love it. I think that should be part of the second act – Life’s short – so do what you love.
If someone is thinking of pursuing a second act, I would say go for it! It’s easier than ever before with online information, free workshops in the community, and Google. Plus you know, exercising your brain keeps you young! (I’m back to 39 now.)
You never know where your words will take you…
When Mikaela Finn agreed to be Sam’s ‘fiancée’ for a weekend, she probably should have told him that she’s a doctor.
Sam O’Brien, aka ‘Dr. Eye Candy’, is trying to shed his playboy reputation and convince a small town hospital that he’s ready to settle down. But when his ‘fiancée’ helps deliver a baby in the middle of the meet and greet, it’s a bit of a shock. If he’d known the whole truth, he might have done things a little differently because somehow his ‘fiancée’ ends up stealing his job and his heart. Not exactly the change he wanted.
Lies and deceit – it’s a match made in heaven!
I’ve been writing romance novels for three years and sincerely thank Debby Gilbert at Soul Mate Publishing for the ultimate encouragement to my writing – with the leap to publishing. I have many titles including Doctor, Mom, and proud Canadian, but “Linda O’Connor – hereinafter called the Author” on the SMP contract was one of the sweetest.
Contemporary romantic comedies are my favorite novels to read and write. I balance writing with my work as a physician at an Urgent Care Clinic and being a mom to three sons (luckily grown and capable of throwing together a decent meal, in a pinch). I also like to keep active and cycle, cross-country ski, skate, walk with my husband, or dance every day.
Laugh every day. Love every minute.
Where to find Linda…
Wow! I’m in awe of your work ethic and ability to balance your professional, creative and personal lives. I enjoyed reading Perfectly Honest and look forward to the next book in the series.