Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review.
Guest post by Ian Skillicorn
I'm really happy to have a special guest post to share with all of you today from Ian Skillicorn from Corazon Books in which he tells us a bit more about 'A Country Practice'!
Welcome to Australia's Best-Loved Country Town
For more than ten years, millions of viewers were glued to their TVs each week to see the latest episodes in the lives and loves of a small Australian country town. The action in A Country Practice centred on the Wandin Valley Bush Nursing Hospital, the doctors and nurses who worked there, and the local townsfolk. The programme was a hit because of its mixture of drama and comedy, and the likeable characters who became well-loved around the world. This was long before Neighbours and Home and Away had arrived on our screens and when, here in the UK, daytime telly consisted of a stream of popular Aussie soaps.
Like Doctors and Holby City/Casualty today, A Country Practice combined the ongoing stories of the regular characters with guest characters who would leave after their storyline was resolved. Regular cast members included Shane Withington and Georgie Parker (who now play John and Roo in Home and Away), and some of the guests were young actors who went on to international fame, such as Nicole Kidman, Simon Baker and Delta Goodrem. But it wasn't just the people on the show who became hugely popular. According to our Facebook page it seems one of the best-remembered stars was the wombat called Fatso!
Corazon Books has been publishing popular medical fiction for a while now, and I was delighted when the creator of A Country Practice gave us a licence to publish a series of novels based on the programme. Shortly afterwards, I was thrilled when one of the show's original scripwriters, Judith Colquhoun, agreed to write the novels. For the first novel, A Country Practice: New Beginnings, we've gone right back to the start of the story, to introduce readers to the inhabitants of Wandin Valley.
A Country Practice is set in the early 1980s in what now seems, in some respects, a gentler time – before the internet and mobile phones had taken over our lives. But the issues faced by the characters are just as relevant to us today: love and hate, family and friends, life and death, secrets and lies – it's all there!
When I was a schoolboy I would record A Country Practice (shown in the afternoons) during the day on our video recorder, and watch it in the evening while I did my homework. [Ahem] years later … it's a great privilege to be part of this new chapter in the life of an Australian television institution. I hope you'll enjoy your visit to Wandin Valley and meeting the engaging characters whose lives revolve around A Country Practice.
Thanks so much, Ian!