A big welcome today to C.F. White as part of her blog tour with Embrace the Rainbow Book Promotions for Won’t Feel a Thing from Loose ID.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your writing?
Hi, pleased to meet you. A little about me is that I’m a mother to two boys, I work part time for a local (to me) charity that support people with Autism and I volunteer for the national Williams Syndrome Foundation, so I’m pretty busy. Writing was a hobby of mine that helped me through some dark times and now that’s turned into more and I absolutely love it! I started writing on the online community Wattpad and never did I think that a year later I would have seen those books published. It’s been a whirlwind to say the least.
How long have you been writing for, and what inspired you to start writing?
I used to write as a child. I’d written three novels by the time I was fourteen but after some rejections, I kinda gave up. Rejection is hard to take at any age but at fourteen I found it particularly difficult to get over. Then, fast forward a fair few years, I started up again. My second son was diagnosed with a rare disability at 3 months old and I guess writing, for me at that point in my life, was my escape from all that. But at the same time, I used the influence of my son in my novels and it’s been like therapy.
Can you tell us about your new release? What inspired you to write it?
Won’t Feel a Thing is the first book in the new St. Cross series. It’s a standalone book and the others in the series will be about different characters from the St Cross Children’s hospital. This one focuses on Ollie, a pediatric cardiology nurse at St Cross Children’s Hospital in London. The hospital is fictional although based on a very famous hospital in London (I’m sure with a bit of Google, you’d figure it all out). Ollie is working the night shift, caring for patients who have undergone heart surgery. He’s got a bit of a complicated life and decides to try and start the New Year fresh by avoiding heart ache. His New Year’s resolution is to not feel a thing. Of course, when do resolutions ever go smoothly? And this is exactly the case for Ollie when he meets the father of one of his patients, Jacob. Instant attraction leads to huge complications, especially when Ollie is still entangled with another man who has a huge stake in his life, not to mention his career.
The inspiration came from me having to spend so much time in a children’s hospital due to my son, so I just had to write a book based in one! The natural step was for it to be about a nurse caring for children undergoing heart surgery as that was where I’d spent a proportion of my time. Unfortunately, I didn’t meet a handsome nurse when I’d been there. But Jacob does and his and Ollie’s instant attraction seemed like a perfect conflict for a story, not just based on the ethics of that attraction but also because Ollie is entangled with another, rather powerful, man from the hospital.
How did you come up with the title?
I searched the most overused phrases nurses use when on the ward. Won’t Feel a Thing seemed absolutely perfect for the story.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
I guess the most difficult part was ensuring the hospital parts were accurate. I’ve spent a lot of time in children’s hospitals, having had to stay there multiple times when my son has undergone surgery. It’s why I wanted to write a story based in a children’s hospital. Kinda felt like a second home for a while. But I’m not a medical professional, so I wanted to ensure I had things correct. I did my research as much as possible, though.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
To write what you enjoy and would want to read yourself. Try not to think about pleasing the market trend, or writing for the masses. And be prepared that not everyone will like your book, your writing style, or you.
Are there any characters that you write, that are based on you, or people you know?
Yes *insert embarrassed emoji*. My previous serial with Pride Publishing, Responsible Adult, which has three books: Misdemeanor, Hard Time and Reformed, is influenced heavily by my life. I threw everything I knew at it. Including the place its set and many of the characters are based on real people I know.
Do characters and stories just pop into your head, or do you take your time thinking about them?
Mostly they pop in to my head. I have so many ideas and its filtering through them all in order to write the one that has the most pull to me, or that I can do it justice. I have a few swimming around in my head that I don’t feel I’ve got the expertise to write them. But I would LOVE to read them. Maybe one day when my confidence grows I’ll attempt them.
What are your writing and personal goals for 2018 and beyond?
I plan to self publish my first ever written three-book series in 2018. I’ve worked with two different publishers this year and whilst I have learned so much, I’d like the opportunity to have a bit more control over every aspect of these books. They are like my first born so I’d like to keep them as mine and not share. Learning the self publishing process will be scary and exciting though!
When is your next book coming out, and what’s it about?
Kick-Off (The District Line #1) is scheduled to be re released, self pubbed, end of January, with the following two in quick succession after. This is a complete re write of my first book and its gone through some major changes to the point I am now proud to put it back out there.
The series centres around a premiership footballer (that’s soccer to those in the US) from the east end of London and a rich musician/rock star from the west, more affluent, end of London. Kick-Off is the initial set up of the characters before either of them make it to the big time.
What are you working on at present? Would you like to share a snippet?
I have several books on the go that I’m working on, including a spin-off of one of my Responsible Adult characters and based in the army. I’m also writing the second book of the St. Cross series which will be centred around Dr. Rawlings who we meet in Won’t Feel a Thing. This one is called Won’t Hurt a Bit, and I’d love to give you a brief snippet:
Elliot swivelled around in his stool, sipping at the bourbon that scorched his throat. He was aware he was staring, but he couldn’t not. Ollie had always been a delight to watch, regardless of what it was the man did. From changing hospital bed sheets, to clearing up sick and vomit, to making the faces of children in pain laugh and smile. Of course, Elliot preferred it when he had been able to watch Oliver on his bed, naked, and pleasuring himself. But those days were gone. All he had left were the memories. And the videos.
Elliot smiled, raising the glass in front of him. Ollie caught his stare, gave a momentary returning nod, before resting his head on his boyfriend’s chest and swaying in time to Last Christmas. Elliot chose to ignore the irony of the song that had decided to play at that very moment.
“Elliot!” Austin swooped in to sit on the stool next to him.
Elliot only just about managed to not grunt at the man. Austin’s wavy blond hair curled from underneath the red santa hat and his lips had a distinct purpling from the copious amounts of port he’d been guzzling at the highest donor table. Austin wobbled on the stool, then grabbed Elliot’s arm to yank himself steady. He chuckled, then hiccuped.
“Excuse me!” Austin held a hand up to his mouth and darted his bloodshot eyes around the room before lowering his voice to a hushed whisper. “I do believe I may be a little tipsy.”
“You don’t say.” Elliot gave a sideways glance before hovering his glass in the air to cheers a few of the various invited guests, who were bounding on to the dancefloor to join Ollie and his partner. Once they were out of his view, Elliot rolled his eyes.
“You wanna have a boogie, Elliot?” Austin’s cheery demeanour was a tad off putting to Elliot’s rather gloomy and nonchalant to the season state.
“No.” Elliot preferred one word answers. They could never be misconstrued.
Austin bumped Elliot’s shoulder with his own and beamed a handsome smile of dashingly bright teeth. Elliot assumed those pearly white’s weren’t cared for by the NHS either.
“Oh, come on, doctor Doom and Gloom! This is a party. Let yourself go a little.”
Elliot met with Austin’s blue eyes. They sparked. Probably just the strobe lighting or the blasted twinkling from the Christmas bourbals that hung in decorations around the ballroom and reflected in the man’s bright iris’s. But still, it caught Elliot off guard. And so did the potent scent of aftershave that washed up Elliot’s nostrils as Austin leaned in toward him.
“I know you like to let off a bit of steam every now and then.” Austin winked and clucked his tongue.
Elliot inhaled, heavily, his nostrils flaring. That was some fragrance. Fresh, not too sweet, with an earthy undertone. Not musky. It lingered, wafting over Elliot to bring those memories back. The one’s he’d been desperate to forget. And when he met with Austin’s gaze, it reminded him too much of it.
“Did we not agree we wouldn’t speak of it?”
Austin flashed up his hands, waving them in the air and chuckled. “Didn’t say a thing, doctor.”
If you were able to quit your day job and write full time, would you, and why/why not?
I would have usually said yes, but I actually did for a while. I took voluntary redundancy from my last job in higher education and spent a year focusing on writing. It was great, but I missed the real world and have now gone back to work for a charity part time. Having time away from my fictional writing to help people in the real world keeps me sane and provides influence for other stories.
Are there big events in your life that affect your writing?
The biggest event that affected my writing was when my second son was diagnosed with a rare disability. Having to deal with all the medical interventions he went through and coming to terms that his disability will affect him for life really hit me hard. It made me realise that life is too short to not be doing something I love and that not everyone has the same opportunities as I do and therefore I made a decision to achieve what I had wanted since childhood – to write and be published. Through the odds, I have achieved it.
Title: Won’t Feel a Thing
Author: C.F. White
Series: St. Cross #1
Release Date: December 19th 2017
Genre: Contemporary MM Romance
It takes more than a doctor to mend a broken heart.
Ollie Warne is fresh out of nursing school and working his dream job as a pediatric cardiology nurse at St Cross Children’s Hospital, London. He wants to start the new year free of personal heartache after his track record of falling for the wrong man–his New Year’s resolution is to live a life of carefree liaisons from now on.
He immediately meets Jacob, father of one of Ollie’s patients and a man harboring more guilt and past demons than even Ollie, which is saying something…
Their growing attraction makes it hard for Ollie to keep his distance, but he has to. Not only do the ethics of his profession demand it, but Ollie is entangled with another man–a predatory doctor who has a huge personal and professional stake in Ollie’s life.
Ollie risks more than his job by getting involved with a patient’s father–and much more than just the success of his New Year’s resolution, something that was supposed to ensure that, this time, he won’t feel a thing.
Find Won’t Feel a Thing on Goodreads
“You want my opinion?”
“My honest opinion?”
“Yes,” Ollie repeated. “Please.”
“Brutal honest opinion?”
“Even if you don’t like it?”
“Even if I never want to talk to you again.” Ollie took a sharp slurp through the straw of his smoothie and winced, his glasses tipping to the end of his nose. “Until tonight, anyway.”
“Then leave well alone.”
Ollie sighed. He sucked up another mouthful of his daily fruit and veg intake, flicked back his blond hair that had lost its vigor after a twelve-hour night shift, and glanced away from Taya’s wide brown oval eyes. The eyes that signified she meant every damn word. Bitch.
Taya freed her dark, waist-length hair from its curled bun and stroked it over one shoulder. She wrapped the band around her slender, dark-skinned wrist, then sipped her dainty cup of pink hot chocolate. The blue edges of her lips, caused by the freezing weather, were subsiding back to their usual reddish tinge with each guzzle of the pink cream and rainbow of chocolate candies scattered over her ridiculous, sickly concoction.
She hadn’t even an offered a spoonful to him. Twelve hours straight on night shift clearly meant she needed the sugar all to herself.
“He’s not worth your time, your worry, or your respect.” She clanged the cup down onto the glass surface of the table, pulled her winter trench coat over the scrubs she hadn’t bothered to change out of, and reached for her packet of menthol slims.
“Neither are they.” Ollie pointed to the cigarettes.
Taya glared across the table. She unhooked the top of the packet, took one of the white sticks between her teeth, and lit it with her pink lighter. Blowing the smoke into the freezing cold air, she waved her hand.
“We all have our vices, Oliver.”
Ollie stuck his middle finger up. He slapped it back down and shoved it into his jacket pocket. It was freezing, and Taya had to bloody sit outside the corner coffee shop in order to smoke her way out of the trying night shift. She was right. Everyone needed their vices, especially with what he and Taya did for a living. He sighed.
“I think he needs patience.”
“He’s got plenty of those.” Taya pointed her two fingers clutching the death stick at Ollie.
“Har fricking har. Patience with a c.”
“He’s a c all right.” Taya took another drag. At Ollie’s glare, she sighed and rested her elbow on the table top. “What? He is.”
“I think you may be the only female in the entire hospital who doesn’t like him.”
Ollie slurped the dregs of his raspberry-ripple smoothie and shivered. He should have gone for a hot drink, but it was hard enough to sleep during the day as it was. Caffeine would only make it infinitely more difficult.
“That’s because I know him,” Taya replied.
“Urgh. Not you too?”
“Ew.” Taya grimaced around her cigarette. “No, thank you.”
Ollie leaned back in the chair. He waved a hand to waft away the smoke drifting into his face. To give her some credit, Taya was trying to blow it out of the side of her mouth to avoid him, but the icy-cold January breeze from the earlier sleet downpour blew it straight back. Ollie zipped up his puffer jacket, folded his arms, and jiggled on the cold metal chair.
“You nearly done?” He nodded to the half-full cup of violently pink chocolate. Taya blew another puff of smoke into the air, stubbed out the remains of her cigarette, and downed the rest of her drink, leaving a foam mustache on her top lip. She licked it away. “Yeah. Home to bed, miss the snowfall, back at eight. You?”
They scraped back their chairs, and Ollie tucked a five-pound note under the ashtray for the servers. Anyone willing to come outside and serve drinks in this weather should most definitely get tips, even if his measly nurse’s wages were probably far less than those of the coffee baristas working this part of London.
“I should go see my dad,” he replied.
Taya linked her arm in with his, curling her slender fingers around his quilted sleeve. Checking both ways along the crossroads lined by independent boutiques, high- class restaurants, unconventional cafes, and health-food shops, she steered him across, narrowly missing a black cab speeding over the miniroundabout. The glass-enclosed bus stop’s bench overflowed with waiting passengers, so he stood, waiting, jiggling on his freezing toes within his inappropriate-for-the-weather slip-on loafers, and checked the time on the electric board for when the next bus was due.
“How’s he doing?” Taya asked.
“Good days and bad days.” Ollie sighed. “Keeps calling me Tilly.”
Taya tried to hold in the chuckle but failed miserably. Ollie didn’t mind so much. A good sense of humor was always best in these situations, not to mention their line of work. He pulled Taya in closer. It was fricking freezing, and snowflakes fell from the overcast sky. How would he get back to work later that night? London came to a standstill if even one flake hit any mode of public transport. Him living in the other end of the city—the cheap end—would make it all the more difficult to travel across town.
On occasions, where there wasn’t a downfall, he would have cycled in. But that was out of the question with the ice on the roads. And the fact he hadn’t woken up in his own bed last night. Ollie shuddered at the memory.
“Right.” Ollie bounced to keep warm while awaiting the number 252. “It’s January. So that means New Year’s resolutions. What’s yours?”
“Good luck.” Ollie meant it.
Taya stuck out her tongue.
“Well, we both know mine—”
“Which you broke last night.” Taya was a bitch like that.
“I don’t believe New Year’s resolutions should start until the second week of January.” Ollie rubbed his hands together, digging Taya’s arm into his side, and wondered why he hadn’t thought to bring gloves. Ah, yes, he hadn’t had any where he’d been before his shift started. He wasn’t allowed to leave any trace of his existence there.
“Riiight, ” Taya said. “So that means from today, you’ll be steering clear of arsehole men?” “Sadly, no. Unfortunately, I will no doubt encounter many of them in my time without realizing until it’s too late.”
“Amen.” Taya saluted.
Ollie wasn’t sure what the salute was about. But he wasn’t particularly religious, so maybe that was how it was done in church these days? Or temples, considering Taya’s family were Hindu. “So what is your resolution, then?”
“No baggage,” Ollie replied.
“Yep,” Ollie confirmed.
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About the Author
Brought up in the relatively small town in Hertfordshire, I managed to do what most other residents of the town try and fail. Leave.
Going off to study at a West London University, I realised there was a whole city out there just waiting to be discovered, so much like Dick Whittington before, I never made it back home and still endlessly searches for the streets paved with gold; slowly coming to the realisation that it is mostly paved with chewing gum. And the odd bit of graffiti. And those little circles of yellow spray paint where the council point out the pot holes to someone who is supposedly meant to fix them instead of stare at them endlessly whilst holding a polystyrene foam cup of watered down coffee.
Eventually I moved from West to East along that vast District Line, and settled for pie and mash, cockles and winkles, and a bit of Knees Up Mother Brown to live in the East End of London; securing a job, creating a life, a home, a family.
Having worked in Higher Education for the most proportion of my adult life, a life-altering experience brought pen back to paper, having written stories as a child but never having the confidence to show them to the world. Now embarking on this writing malarkey, I cannot stop. So strap in, it’s a bumpy ride from here on in.