Published by Accent Press (23 August 2018)
Available in ebook and paperback
It’s a pleasure to welcome Colette back to the blog to talk about her new book, Ribbons in Her Hair. I have a super post from Colette but first, 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.
All the Books I’ve Wrote Before
by Colette McCormick
I’m sorry of I’ve offended anyone with my grammar in the title of this piece but it fit better with what I’d like to talk to you about.
Do you remember the Number One hit that Julio Iglesias and Willie Nelson had – ‘All the Girls I’ve Loved Before’? Well, I’d like to tell you about all the books I’ve written before.
‘Enter miss Louise Pemberton’ didn’t get far off the ground but the title I chose has stuck with me. However, the title is just about all that I remember other than it was set in the nineteenth century. I was twelve years old so that was never going to work. I read a lot of Anya Seton back then so I can only assume I was influenced by that. Hang on, I remember something else. Louise Pemberton (whoever she was) was opening a gate in the opening scene.
Move on about five years and you have my next effort. I don’t know if it ever had a title but I did finish it. The girl was the main protagonist as I recall and she fell in love with a handsome (and rich) boy. However, he had a dark secret. I don’t remember all the details but it had something to do with his twin who had died while they were still in their mother’s womb. I can’t remember how it ended but I know I finished it because I sent it off to a publisher. My rejection letter said something along the lines of it showed promise but it wasn’t right for them. When I told my friend, they said that that was polite speak for it’s no good. I believed them and I promptly burned it. Back then I had no idea that publishers don’t say things like that unless they mean it but as they also said that they wanted me to work with one of their editors maybe they were some sort of vanity publisher who were going to charge for the editorial service. I’ve chosen to believe the latter because that way it makes it easier to keep my relationship with my best friend. I don’t really blame them for what they said because maybe they were right and it wasn’t just a case of them thinking that girls brought up on council estates shouldn’t aspire to writing books.
I next tried to write a book based on a dream that I had. I think I’d been married four or five years at the time and we had two young sons. In my dream my husband was playing with a little boy that I didn’t know. For a while I thought I might be able to make something of it but I never did.
My next book was the one that I think of as my first ‘real’ effort. I can remember the date and exactly where I was when I got the idea. It was September 11th 2001. I’m sure the date is familiar to most of you but that had nothing to do with the book I had in mind. It was my eldest son’s 18th birthday and I was off work. That morning, while I was walking the dog along an old railway line, I started to think of the penfriend I’d had since I was about thirteen. I started the book about a transatlantic friendship when I got home which was just a few hours before the planes hit the Twin Towers. I still have the completed manuscript for this book and every now and then I’ll think about trying to re-work it. In it’s current form it’s not right because It’s not quite a YA novel but its not mainstream either. It still holds a special place in my heart so maybe one day.
I started ‘Beyond the Light,’ next, the story of a young mother who dies in a car crash. She has dies suddenly and has left unresolved issues behind. I liked this book, in fact, I really liked this book. Sadly, I couldn’t get an agent or publisher to agree with me so I shelved that effort and started to think that maybe it wasn’t that good after all.
Next, I tried to write a Mills & Boon and ‘One Night in Nice’ is proof of this. Again, I thought this was pretty good but M&B didn’t agree with me.
Not long after that I had a spell in hospital and without boring you with the details I was left thinking that if I wanted to fulfil my dream of getting a book published I might want to get on with it sooner rather than later so I returned to ‘Beyond the Light.’ I thought that there was something there but I knew it wasn’t quite right. I set about changing a few things and editing like mad and in January 2015 I sent it off to Accent Press. In August 2015 they offered me a three-book deal. With the help of some editing and a change of name ‘Things I Should Have Said and Done’ was published in November 2016.
Which brings me to my latest effort, ‘Ribbons in Her Hair’ which was published a couple of days ago. For what its worth I think this is the best ‘book’ that I have written.
So, there you have it – my novel writing history in a nutshell. What do you think though? Should I dust Louise Pemberton off or leave her where she is?
| Author Bio |
Colette McCormick has previously written short stories, some of them erotic and published under a pseudonym. Following kidney failure, she reassessed her life and wrote her first complete novel, Things I Should Have Said and Done, which was published by Accent Press in 2016.