‘Families are never quite as simple as they seem’
I am delighted to be joining Colette McCormick on tour with her latest novel ‘Ribbons in Her Hair’.
Due for publication tomorrow, 23rd August 2018, with Accent Press, Ribbons in Her Hair is described as an ’emotionally charged’ novel examining the cross-generational divide and the complex mother/daughter relationship.
Colette has written a guest post for us all today entitled ‘The Two Sides of a Story’ where she explores the method she uses when writing about her characters.
I have also included details about the book and how you can follow the Blog Tour with some of my fellow bloggers…
I hope you enjoy!!
The Two Sides of a Story
by Colette McCormick
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – when it comes to writing books I am not a planner. The irony is that in my day job I plan all the time. I plan my day, I plan a move, I plan everything.
Ribbons in Her Hair is the result of a random conversation, and from that I had a little girl that had a story to tell. She was all I had though and she didn’t even have a name. Someone asked me recently where I get the names for my characters from and the honest answer is that they’re normally the first one’s that come into my head. The first name that came into my head that day was Susan. I started writing and Susan and I got to know each other as we went along.
Despite her start in life I knew that I didn’t want her to be a victim but that was all I knew. I needed to learn about her, not just her appearance but what she liked and how she felt. I knew that eventually I was going to put her in a situation but as this was her story, it was going to be her that told me how she was going to get out of the pickle that I put her in. By the time that we got to that point in the story I knew Susan and knew how she would react. I knew what she would do. Seeing this now, written on the page like this it does seem like a pretty mad way of writing but I create the world in my head for the characters live in and then I give them free reign to tell their story. That ‘s what Susan did.
I’m a firm believer that there are two sides to every story and this one was no different. I also believe that for every reaction there is a cause and the cause of Susan’s reaction was her mother. I wanted us to hear her mother’s side of the story too so I adopted the same approach with her. As I had with Susan, I tried to put myself in her position and told things as she saw them.
Knowing the way that Jean, Susan’s mother, treated her children, I didn’t want to like her. For me a mother loves her children and she shows that love every day. The fact that Jean didn’t was an alien concept to me. However, the more I got to know her story and the more I learned about her past, the more I sympathised with her. I think eventually, I even understood her.
I hope that the reader learns about the characters the same way that I did because that was how I wanted it to be. It is written in a conversational style because I wanted it to read like they were there with you, maybe telling you what happened over a pot of tea.
The good thing about being the one holding the pen is that I was the only one that knew what was really going on. Susan had her story and her mother had hers. They were independent of each other and it was only at the end that the two come together. Only then would the two of them understand each other.
Purchase Link ~ Ribbons in Her Hair
About the Book
Jean seems the perfect wife and mother but she struggles to love her daughters whose material comforts mask emotional neglect. When the youngest daughter, Susan, brings ‘shame’ on the family, Jean can think of only one response. She has to make the problem disappear.
Finding the strength to stand up to her mother for the first time in her life, Susan does the only thing that she can to save her baby. What Susan doesn’t realise is that her mother’s emotional distance hides a dark secret of her own.
Examining the divide between generations, between mothers and daughters, this emotionally charged novel asks whether we can ever truly understand another, however close our ties.
‘I am a writer who signed her first book deal with Accent Press in 2015 but I am also a retail manager for one of the country’s leading charities.
Originally from Yorkshire, County Durham has been my home for over 30 years’
You will find Colette on:
Twitter ~ @colettemcauthor