Today I am so pleased to welcome Lisa Henry to Joyfully Jay. Lisa has come to talk to us about her latest release, Lights and Sirens. She has also brought along a great giveaway! Please join me in giving her a big welcome!

 

Hi! I’m Lisa Henry, and welcome to the blog tour for my new release, Lights and Sirens. I’m visiting some of my favourite blogs around the place to talk a bit about writing Lights and Sirens, and sharing some of my influences, my ideas, and even an excerpt or two! Don’t forget to enter the giveaway, for your chance to win a prize of a $20 Amazon voucher plus a selection of Australian treats that I’ll post worldwide. The winner will be drawn on September 21.

One of the most common pieces of writing advice you’ll ever come across is the importance of establishing a routine so you can sit down at the same time every day and knock those words out. Which is probably really great advice for those people who can do that, but—for the rest of us—not so much! If I was waiting for the ability to get into a routine to get my writing done, I’d never have gotten anything published at all. I work shift work in my day job, and I think when it came to writing Lights and Sirens I drew as much inspiration from that as from the fact that I’m also a police dispatcher.

I’ve worked shift work now for more years than I care to think about. It has some amazing advantages to a 9-5 job—like grocery shopping at 8 a.m. on a Tuesday morning when there are no crowds. I’m also a night owl, and I can get a lot of writing done between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. when it’s (fingers crossed!) dead quiet at work but they’re paying me to be awake. There are downsides too though.

The fatigue. Ugh. Sometimes it’s like trying to function while walking under water. You finish work at 6 a.m., and you go onto days off. It’s a Tuesday morning, and your next shift is Friday morning. So on that Tuesday you stay awake was long as possible, and then you go to bed at a reasonable hour in the evening. And then it’s 2 a.m. and you’re wide awake, and you only fall asleep again when the sun is coming up. You crash until Wednesday afternoon. You’ve already wasted a day, and you only have one more full day to convince your body to get into a Circadian rhythm again. And wow, when it doesn’t work, you’re screwed come Friday morning.

On the plus side, I once had someone ask me, when I turned up in the US after about twenty-something hours travel “How are you still awake? Aren’t you jet lagged?” And I realised I have pretty much been jet lagged forever now, and that my sleep schedule is so messed up that I’m just used to functioning like a zombie. Yay me?

If you’ve read Two Man Station, you’ll know that fatigue is an issue for the guys in it, and it’s also an issue for Matt and Hayden, my main characters in Lights and Sirens. There are a lot of broken sleeps, a lot of caffeine fixes, and a lot of losing track of the days when they all start to bleed into one. And all of that came from personal experience.

When you work in the field of emergency services, it’s not unusual that you can lose touch with your previous friends, and only start hanging out with people in similar fields. And I think a lot of this has to do with the shift work and, in my case at least, having a roster so changeable that you never know what you’re working next month. Eventually, people just stop inviting you to stuff, because you’ll probably be working or sleeping. I recently spoke to a friend who got a new job, and he actually has weekends off now, and has developed this thing called a “life”. It seems to be going really well for him!

Shift work is isolating, in any field, and your social circle tends to shrink to people in the same circumstances. Weird shifts, unexpected overtime, and fatigue can be difficult obstacles to overcome.

In Lights and Sirens, Matt and Hayden both understand that their burgeoning relationship needs to slot in around their work, and that sometimes maybe an entire week will go past before they see each other if they’re on incompatible shifts. There’s one scene in the book when Hayden goes around to Matt’s place to visit, and ends up watching TV with Matt’s granddad while Matt sleeps. It’s unconventional, maybe, but it works for them.

And—ask any shift worker—sex is great, but sometimes sleep is better. Luckily, with a bit of time management, there’s plenty of room in Lights and Sirens for both!

To celebrate the release of Lights and Sirens, one lucky winner will receive a $20 Amazon voucher and a package of whatever Australian goodies I can think of!  Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on September 21, 2018. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact email!


Blurb

Paramedic Hayden Kinsella is single and the life of the party. He likes driving fast and saving lives, and he doesn’t do relationships—he does hookups. Except he wouldn’t hook up with copper Matt Deakin if he were the last guy on the planet. Hayden thinks the feeling is mutual . . . until clearing the air leads to a drunken one-night stand, which leads to something neither of them was expecting: a genuine connection.

Police officer Matt Deakin moved to Townsville to take care of his elderly grandfather. In between keeping an eye on Grandad, renovating his house, and the demands of his job, he somehow finds himself in a tentative relationship with Hayden and very slowly gets to know the damaged guy beneath the happy-go-lucky persona.

But the stressors of shift work, fatigue, and constant exposure to trauma threaten to tear Hayden and Matt apart before they’ve even found their footing together. In the high-pressure lives of emergency services workers, it turns out it’s not the getting together part that’s hard, it’s the staying together.


Bio

Lisa likes to tell stories, mostly with hot guys and happily ever afters.

Lisa lives in tropical North Queensland, Australia. She doesn’t know why, because she hates the heat, but she suspects she’s too lazy to move. She spends half her time slaving away as a government minion, and the other half plotting her escape.

She attended university at sixteen, not because she was a child prodigy or anything, but because of a mix-up between international school systems early in life. She studied History and English, neither of them very thoroughly.

She shares her house with too many cats, a green tree frog that swims in the toilet, and as many possums as can break in every night. This is not how she imagined life as a grown-up.

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Giveaway

Lisa has brought a $20 Amazon gift card, plus a selection of Australian treats to give away to one lucky reader on her tour. Just follow the Rafflecopter below to enter. 

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