July 12, 2022

If you could ask the author one question, what would it be?

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I have read other books written by two authors and they have all seemed very “uneven”. I thought the writing was so consistent throughout the book. How did you work though this to get such a wonderfully smooth product.


What happened to the puppies?


How did you learn about the medical procedures at that time in history?


Will the webinar recording be posted anywhere by chance? I was unable to finish watching today but noticed it was recording.

Alisha Turner

Hi Meg! Yes, the recording will be added to https://professionalbooknerds.com/listen/ soon. 🙂


Perfect. Thank you!

Donna Jensen

I do not see the discussion on this link. Do you know when it will be available?

Alisha Turner

Hi Donna! The team is working on adding it to that page. In the meantime, we are adding it today to this page as well – https://biglibraryread.com/past-titles/the-girl-in-his-shadow/. Thank you!


I was surprised at Vickery using a public newspaper to question another doctor’s telling of events. Today that would likely be called libel. Did your research find accounts of that sort of public “calling out”? What was the context?
Great discussion today, can’t wait to read the sequel!

Audrey Blake

It was actually a common practice for doctors to disagree publicly in papers and medical journals. It is highly entertaining to read their rebuttals and insults.

Pam Gardow

I loved the discussion with the authors, today. Could you please repeat the title of the Netflix program you talked about as having the same vibe as your novel? Can’t wait to read more of your books!

Alisha Turner

Hi Pam! The Netflix series mentioned was Charité

Tracy Brondyke

The American medical community seemed to be looked “down upon”. Can you discuss that?


What lead you to write a book on this topic? Why England?


I finished “The Girl in His Shadow” and “The Surgeon’s Daughter” in one weekend because the story (and Nora’s journey) was so compelling, and I loved that you let the characters navigate their journey, without romance taking over the plot. Is “The Surgeon’s Daughter” the last book you have planned for Nora’s journey, or do you see future stories in Nora’s future?


Aside from all the technical medical research this must have involved, what part did cultural research play in your writing of the book, in order to create a compelling reader experience of Victorian London, especially as your own backgrounds are Canadian and American?


Was it hard to find out how doctors handled different medical conditions? What shocked yo the most?


As someone who reads historical romance and how that genre champions strong women I really enjoyed that you let Nora develop natural romantic feelings for Daniel (and a bit for Harry) but still showed her determination to keep studying medicine.


Where did your inspiration to write this book come from?


What was the historical essay you found that inspired you to begin writing this book?

Audrey Blake

David McCullough’s American’s in Paris chapter on medical students


(from Author’s Letter)


What led you to write this book-was it based on an observed experience?


The scene at the medical college challenge night reminds me of another book I’ve read in the past several years. I don’t remember anything about it except that I recognized some of the actions. I wonder if you both are referring to a real historical event?

Margaret Shaffer

How did you choose your pen name?


What was the research process like for this book? How did you decide what to include or exclude from actual historical events?

Marnie Bach

I have become more and more interested in historical fiction, it is such an entertaining way to learn about the past.
In this story, how much is based on fact? And what other things did you learn in your research that you were not able to fit into your story?


Why must you Wright the book?


What Made you decide to call the book “The Girl in His Shadow”


Why did you chose this era to write about?


Is there a sequel planned? Hope so!


There is a sequel already out called the Surgeon’s Daughter

Lee S

Thank you both for this compelling novel. I’m curious about how you crafted the romantic aspects. I worried that the seriousness of the book and the strength of Nora’s character might be undermined by a simple love story. Did this concern you? If so how did it influence your plot choices?


So well written from a medical perspective. Is there a personal resource you used as a resource?

Richard Cox

I’m amazed at the apparent financial status of doctors in the 1800’s, and the size of the house? How were they so wealthy and were other “professionals” the same?

Amy W

Is The Surgeon’s Daughter a sequel? Two places I looked didn’t have them linked…did you intend to continue Nora’s journey?


What was the most challenging time or part of the book to write?

K Schell

If you were to choose a medical indentation that changed medicine what would it be and why?

K Schell

It is 410 am and just finished the book…could not put it down. As a female working in a hospital field where women are the majority, I can see the reverse discriminations happening. Technology has advanced but human behaviour has not . Thank you for this book and look forward to the sequel.

What was your motivation for allowing this book to be on BIG LIBRARY READS?


I was stunned to learn this was a collaborative effort. The whole process is intrigues me. How did you accomplish this with such success?


What motivated you to tell this story?


Why a hernia?

Last edited 1 year ago by Dharlene

Will there be a follow up? Love to see were Noars story go. Will she turn back to England and Run the praxis with doctor Gibson. And how will there Love story end ?

Audrey Blake

Please check out the second book, the Surgeon’s Daughter. So much more to this story!


How many books will there be in this series?


Are any characters based on specific historical counterparts?

C Beagle

Is there a character that the two of you had trouble agreeing on (actions, attitude, dialogue, plot outcome)?

Audrey Blake

honestly, no. Nora was probably the hardest of all of them, striking the balance between her place in history and being ahead of her time. But all the characters were so clear to us that it was like we had a relationship with them before we ever started. It felt more like recording a memory than creating a story.

Leslie M

What was your inspiration for Vickery and the conflict he causes?

Audrey Blake

Every villain ever! Vickery is the embodiment of jealousy and pride, two huge human downfalls. To him, life is a zero sum game and the success of someone else is a direct threat. So many great people in history have spread their wings to take flight and knocked into the sharp elbows of people who are dedicated to the ground. That is who Vickery represents to me- a person who does not want to see anyone climb above him.

Lisa Stein

Do you have a medical background ?


Why did it end as it did, rather than something more distressing?

Jake Hazel

How do you balance story with educating the reader on the technical and historical facts?

Audrey Blake

I think this tends to come naturally. We wrote the things we’d want to read because we are readers first. If it didn’t fascinate us, it’s not in the story. If the facts made us shiver with excitement they are woven into the novel.


Why did you invent Harry?

Katherine Viani

Are any of your immediate family members in the medical profession?


Did you intend the book to be something of a feminist manifesto, because it definitely had that effect for me?

A. Ireton

Hello and thank you for writing such a wonderful book together! What made you choose England as the setting- as opposed to other countries experiencing similar medical practices and innovations and societal restrictions and disparities?

Bobbi Smith

If you could meet anyone in the world, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

Rhena Wahlen

Where did they story come from. I am sure it was a hard topic to work on.


The book did not have that segmented flow you can find with joint authors. How did you edit each other’s work and manage differences?

Audrey Blake

That is a long answer! It required a lot of friendship and trust!i hope you’ll join us online when we share some more details about the process


Amazing story. I am dying to know what happens to them next.
Will you be continuing their story?

Audrey Blake

Thank you, Karen! And yes- absolutely! Book two, the surgeons daughter, is available everywhere. We hope you enjoy it as much as the girl in his shadow!


What is your geographical and career background?


What inspired you to write this book?

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