Happy International Midwives Day! Fiona McArthur chats about her heartwarming new book, Aussie Midwives

by |May 5, 2016

The Booktopia Book Guru asks

Fiona McArthur

author of Aussie Midwives

Ten Terrifying Questions

To begin with why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself – where were you born? Raised? Schooled?

I was lucky. Born in Australia. Fab parents, a brother, raised rural, lived briefly at the sea, fell in love, and settled in the country.

What did you want to be when you were twelve, eighteen and thirty? And why?

At twelve a movie star – for the fame. At eighteen a nurse – for the career and the money but I learnt empathy. At thirty a writer – for the money, again I learnt differently and those moments when you are lost in the writing are the real gold. If you count the family videos I made, all three.

aussie midwives book pic

What strongly held belief did you have at eighteen that you do not have now?

At eighteen I believed that there was time for everything and now I know life is a gift you savour. There is a limit of the books you’ll have time to read – or write.

What were three big events – in the family circle or on the world stage or in your reading life, for example – you can now say, had a great effect on you and influenced you in your career path?

Meeting other writers. My first writer’s workshop in my tiny town, my first writer’s conference in the big city, my first writer’s conference in America. All examples that ordinary people can make their dreams come true with self belief.

Considering the innumerable electronic media avenues open to you – blogs, online newspapers, TV, radio, etc – why have you chosen to write a book? Aren’t they obsolete?

Because you can hold your book babies in your hand. Because they are the full story. Because you can give them as a gift and leave them behind.

Fiona McArthur

Author Fiona McArthur

Please tell us about your latest book…

Aussie Midwives is a concept someone asked me to look at writing and I knew it was a gift I couldn’t wait to unwrap. Midwifery is the passion I love to write about. I also knew I could do the book justice. The collection of stories are from women (and one man) who allowed me entry to their world, their passion for enhancing and safeguarding the births of the women they care for. And their journeys. Being flown to Thursday Island to meet a woman who catches babies out of dinghies from New Guinea was a huge bonus. I’m thrilled with the window we’ve provided into the world of Aussie Midwives.

If your work could change one thing in this world – what would it be?

Save babies lives and mother’s pain.

Whom do you most admire and why?

So many people. My husband. All of the midwives in the book because they truly care about others. All of the writers I know who share brief windows into their worlds. The most? I think I admire mothers who encourage their children to dream because they hold the future.

Read contributor Kate's heartwarming story in Aussie Midwives

Read contributor Kate’s heartwarming story in Aussie Midwives

Many people set themselves very ambitious goals. What are yours?

To be rich and famous but that won’t matter when I’m gone. To give people joy when they read my books and reassurance that the good in people is far greater than the evil.

What advice do you give aspiring writers?

Write. Believe in yourself. Tiny pieces of writing every day will give you your dream.

Thank you for playing, Fiona!


Aussie Midwivesby  Fiona McArthur

Aussie Midwives

Heartwarming true stories of pregnancy and birth

by Fiona McArthur

From homebirth midwives, to rural and remote island nurses, to midwifery educators and clinical midwifery consultants, these stories are brimming with warmth, hope, heartbreak and courage.

Midwives play a vital role in supporting women through some of the most challenging and rewarding moments of their lives. These remarkable professionals watch over births across Australia from the remote outback to busy urban hospitals.

Meet Annie, working on the tiny island of Saibai where mothers arrive by dinghy; Kate, a clinical midwifery consultant, who sees women with high-risk pregnancies; Priscilla and Jillian who fly thousands of miles to get mothers and babies to hospital safely with the Royal Flying Doctor Service; and Louise, who gives impromptu consultations in the aisles of the local ...

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About the Contributor

Anastasia Hadjidemetri is the former editor of The Booktopian and star of Booktopia's weekly YouTube show, Booked with Anastasia. A big reader and lover of books, Anastasia relishes the opportunity to bring you all the latest news from the world of books.


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