Thursday, June 07, 2007

Great Big Blog Party 6 - Margaret McDonagh

So we've been all around the world but now we're coming back to the UK - but not England, this time my guest blogger lives in Scotland.

Regular blog readers will remember that I included one of Margaret McDonagh's books in my Christmas Stocking full of books contest. That was her very first book and now she's becoming one of the established and successful authors in the M&B Medical line. Margaret and I share so many interests and concerns and plenty of hero inspiration models too.

So here's the lovely Margaret McDonagh

Hello! My name is Margaret McDonagh and I write Medical Romances for Harlequin Mills & Boon. After years struggling to be a writer, doing magazine short stories, serials and novellas, I finally achieved my goal ... publication by Mills & Boon. And the lady whose achievements we are currently celebrating played a role in my stubbornness not to give up!

Golden anniversaries are always very special. They speak of longevity, of dedication, of compromise and sheer hard work. My own parents made it to their golden wedding anniversary after battling through a world war and many ups and downs raising a family and holding things together in an ever-changing world. Throughout everything there was always love, always humour ... and always books.

It is a huge honour to be asked to join the blog party and contribute a post in celebration of another golden celebration, the publication of Kate Walker's 50th book! I cannot think of anyone who deserves more approbation than the wonderful Kate Walker, someone who not only writes marvellous books loved by readers around the world, but who never stints in her encouragement to fellow writers. Her 12 Point Guide To Writing Romance, (soon to be published in its second edition), should be every romance writer's bible. It was a major help to me when I decided to have another push at writing for Mills & Boon, and helped me to focus and work all the harder to get my story and my characters right. Kate's words of wisdom and support have been sought and appreciated by many, myself included, and are always kindly and generously given. No doubt about it, Kate Walker is a star!

By the end of 2007, my fifth Medical story will have been published for Mills & Boon – (Their Christmas Vows in the Christmas Weddings anthology). I am in awe and admiration of anyone who has written FIFTY! And kept up the standard, growing and working, never taking their writing for granted, never cheating the readers. We may have different tastes and views on alpha heroes, (and no, Kate, I am NOT going to say another word on that subject!!!!), but I admire Kate immensely for her dedication, her talent and for never losing her down-to-earth goodness.

We share a love of animals. While Kate has her big cat adoptees, I have my orphan babies ... an elephant, Lualeni, and an orangutan, Grendon! But we share as joint foster mothers the delightful and very handsome Uffa, currently training to be a Guide Dog for the Blind. We also both share our lives with assorted cats – Kate's are indoor dwellers led, he would say, by Sid, a cat of Superior Breeding. Mine are outdoor cats, ferals who have made their home here and know they are on to a good thing because they eat me out of house and home!

Fifty books may seem beyond my reach, but my third linked Medical, His Very Special Nurse, is out in the UK in June. I love creating interlinked communities and characters we meet again in future connecting stories. My fictional world of Strathlochan and the surrounding villages is continuing to grow, and I am very much enjoying bringing more and more characters to life as they work and socialise together, bringing community health care to rural Scotland. I very much hope you will enjoy meeting some of them. Do stop by my website and have a look around!

I have books to give away! You can take your pick. If you have been kind enough to read the first books in the loosely-linked series, I will be happy to send you the next two, His Very Special Nurse, out now, and an advance copy of One Special Night, out in August. If you have yet to sample my Scottish Medicals, then I will be pleased to send you copies of the first two books, The Italian Doctor's Bride and A Doctor Worth Waiting For. The choice is yours! Everyone who leaves a comment to this post over the next 24 hours until Kate's next contributor takes over will go into a draw. I will ask the famous and experienced Sid if he will be kind enough to pick the winner in exchange for a cat crunchie or two! Is that all right with you, Sid?

Next year sees another major anniversary for us all to celebrate – 100 years of Mills & Boon. Keep your eyes open throughout 2008 for all manner of exciting projects and books to mark the centenary. Kate Walker has played a huge part in the development of the books over the last 23 of those 100 years. Here's to Kate on her 50th book anniversary ... and to all the other Mills & Boon writers, past and present, who make Mills & Boon books loved around the world.

I can never imagine attaining anything like the heights that Kate has reached throughout her wonderful career as one of our very best writers of romance, but she is an inspiration to us all and long may she continue. Congratulations, Kate. You are a wonderful writer and, most importantly, a lovely person. You deserve all the plaudits coming your way. I am sure I speak for many when I thank you for your kindness, support and friendship. Good luck with the next fifty books!

Happy reading,


Unknown said...

Very well said Margaret! I'm sitting here nodding my head in agreement....

And congratulations on your fifth book (it might be a long way from fifty but it still seems like a fab achievement from a novice like me!)

Minna said...

Congratulations on your book!

Anonymous said...

Hi India and Minna. Thanks very much for your kind comments.


Anonymous said...

Well I never 100 years of M&B!!! wouldn't it be great to own all the books published in those 100 years?
As that is impossible I shall just add your newest medical one to my wishlist and buy it as soon as the funds are available :D

CrystalGB said...

Congratulations on your fifth book. I think it is great that you and Kate love animals and sponsor them.

Amanda Ashby said...

Great post, Margaret!! We took in an OAP, one-eyed, feral cat and thought he would live outside and only come in occasionally. Boy were we wrong - he never moved from next to the fire and thought it was the best retirement policy he had ever heard of!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Many thanks for your comments.

Ilona, it would be amazing to own all those books! Thank you for your interest, I do hope you will enjoy my books if you give them a try.

Crystalg, thanks for your comments. Being animal mad I'd have a whole menagerie were I able to. Spnsoring is very rewarding, though, especially orphans which are being rehabilitated and one day returned to the wild where they belong.

Amanda, thank you, too! I loved the story of your one-eyed feral who took root by the fire! Mine aren't keen on the indoors. One or two peep in if the front door is open but they definitely prefer the outdoors and their cosy home in the barn - complete with bovine central heating in the winter months when the local farmer puts his cattle inside!


Cherie J said...

Congratulations on your fifth book! I am sure Kate sometimes wondered if she would make it to 50. She is proof that it is possible so take that as a sign of encouragement. I am sure you can do it. You can achieve anything you set your mind to.

Sue A. said...

Mina congratulations on your success of date!

I wish you much success in the future!

robynl said...

Hi and welcome Margaret; congrats on your 5th!!!
I love medical romance stories and don't see that many talked about; will have to check your's out as you are a new to me author.

Anonymous said...

Many thanks to Cherie j, Sue a and Robynl for dropping by, good to hear from you and for everyone to be celebrating Kate's wonderful achievement.

I hope you will enjoy discovering Medicals - and very kind of you to include mine!

It is nearly midnight here in beautiful Scotland - I'll be back in the morning!


Unknown said...

Congratulations on your book. I really enjoyed reading your post. I just couldn't imagin keeping such large animals as pets. We have fish in a pond in our back yard that you can hand feed and a few in the house in a tank, and that is all the pets that we have.

Cheryl said...

Congratulations on your 5th book. I'm sure it'll seem like no time at all before we're all celebrating your 50th book. Enjoyed your post and look forward to reading some of your medical romances.


J said...

Hi Margaret, I wish you many success! Gosh, I can't believe Mills and Boon will be 100 next year. I've been reading it since I was 12.

Anonymous said...

Great post, Margaret! :)
Congrats on your fifth book and all future ones :)

Anonymous said...

Virginia, thank you for posting and your kind words. I have to assure you that the orphan elephant and orangutan don't live with me!!!! I sponsor them through international charities. Lualeni, the orphan elephant, is with the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Kenya who do an amazing job rehabilitating orphan elephants to the wild. And Grendon the orangutan baby is cared for by the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation who perform a similar function there, rescuing and rehabilitating orphans.

Cheryl, Jenny and Ali, many thanks to you, too, for your kind words, I much appreciate it. At the moment I still cannot believe that any of this has happened to me. It is so exciting. And I don't take any of it for granted. I cannot imagine ever being in the same cateogory as a legend like Kate Walker!


Kate Walker said...

Hi Mags - and everyonme

I'm so sorry to be so late coming in to visit but I'm in total chaos and so busy getting ready for the big party (not the blog one) tomorrow

Mags, it's lovely to have you here and I so remember the sens of achievement that gettign to 5 books made me feel - I felt I would never get to double figures - but look what happened.

I wish you every success with your 5th book - and the one after that - and the one after that . . . .



Anonymous said...

Bless you, Kate. Thank you so much for all your support and encouragement.

I hope you have a marvellous party tomorrow - I shall be with you in spirit. Enjoy, you deserve every moment of it.


PatriciaW said...

Nice post. Congratulations on your post. I've only read one M&B Medical in the eharlequin online READ archives but I enjoyed it.

Lois said...

Congrats on the 5 books! :) Heck, to me 5 is a lot. .. but then I never tried writing one, so to me 5 is better than 0. LOL :)

Alas, I never read a medical one before. . . :)


Anonymous said...

Thank you Patricia and Lois. I hope you give Medicals a try sometime and enjoy them. It's a shame they are not available in stores in the US but you can get them direct and online at eHarlequin or through


kimmyl said...

Sorry I'm late. Congrats on your books Margaret.

tetewa said...

Congrats on your fifth book and to Kate for 50!

Unknown said...

Congratulations Margaret on 5 and best of luck for 50 like Kate! :)

Anonymous said...

Congrats to Margaret on your 5th book! (And if anyone hasn't read her lovely Scottish books yet, go and find them - they're warm and her characters are just fabulous. She also sneaks in as many cats as I do dogs *g*.)

Well said about the 12-point guide, too: I think whatever stage you're at as a writer, you can still pick up some nuggets from this book. Kate is as good a teacher as she is a writer, and that's saying something.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Kimberlyl, Tetewa and Eva, I appreciate your kind comments.

Kate H, great to have you here. You deserve every success, too, sharing with Kate W that real generosity of spirit and kindness in helping people and being a good friend. Thank you for plugging my books! I try and get dogs in as well as cats!!!

Keep a look out as I am sure Kate will be announcing the giveaway winners very soon - when she has recovered from her amazing party! Thank you, Kate, for asking me to take part in our celebrations with this blog.



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