This evening I welcome author Collette McCormick to Bookliterati, to talk about A Life in Books.
Can you tell me a bit about yourself?
I was born and raised in Sheffield but moved to County Durham in 1982.I have written for pleasure all of my life and as a child dreamt of earning my living writing books. Thirty odd years of marriage and two children later I finally got the book deal I’d dreamt of for so long when I signed a three book deal with Accent Press. My first novel, ‘Things I Should Have Said and Done,’ was published in November 2016. My second book, ‘Ribbons in Her Hair,’ will be published in autumn 2017 and a third book which is currently a work in progress should be published in 2018. I don’t earn my living from writing though I live in hope and to pay the bills I am a retail manager for one of the country’s leading charities. In 2013 I suffered acute kidney failure but after eighteen months of dialysis my kidneys woke up and I now treasure every day,
1. What was you favourite book from childhood?
‘The Faraway Tree’ by Enid Blyton. Being a city girl, picnics in the woods were the things of dreams and, although we had trees to climb none of them had exciting lands at the top of them. To be fair I wasn’t much of a tree climber and the only time I tried it I ended up in A&E.
2. What type of books did you read as a teenager?
I read Anya Seton a lot. I remember the librarian recommending them as something that she read when she was my age.
3. When you were at school what was your favourite book you studied?
Without a doubt that would be ‘Tess of the d’Urbervilles.’ I loved it then and I love it now.
Tess is loyal to a fault and badly used by those who are supposed to love her and I was rooting for her all the way to the end. Wish she could have had a happier ending though but that’s Hardy for you.
4. What is your favourite classic book?
I think I would have to say ‘Pride and Prejudice.’ I love Austen and this was the book that made me fall in love with her.
5. What would you consider to be one of the best books you have had over the last 5 years?
‘The Miniaturist’ by Jessie Burton. It was so much more than it said on the tin.
6. What book do you think you should read but never get round to?
‘Lord of the Rings.’ Everyone who had read it tells me how good it is but I really don’t think it’s my cup of tea.
7. What do you consider to be your favourite book?
Tess of the d’Urbervilles.
8. Is there a book that you have started but been unable to finish?
I missed out the last twenty pages or so of ‘The Wreck of the Titan,’ because for me the story had finished and it felt like they were dragging it out. I don’t know if that qualifies as not finishing a book. If I’m struggling with a story I tend to set it aside for a while and go back to it later.
9. If you were stranded on a desert Island which 2 books would you want to have with you?
‘Dombey and Son,’ by Charles Dickens so that I re-read it and hopefully finally ‘get it.’ I’m not sure I did when I studied it at school.
‘Persuasion,’ by Jane Austen because I would never tire of reading it.
10. Kindle or Book?
Book would be my first choice though I do have a Kindle and that comes in handy if I can’t sleep and don’t want to get up and turn the light on.
Ellen never knew what hit her. But when a drunk driver runs a red light her life is over in an instant. Her small daughter survives – and Ellen, hovering in the borderland between life and the afterlife, can only watch as her loved ones try to pick up the pieces without her. Her husband Marc, struggling with being a single parent. Naomi, her little girl, blaming her mother for leaving her. And Ellen’s mother, full of guilt, slowly falling apart. Ellen isn’t ready to let go. She doesn’t want to say goodbye. She is confused, angry and hurting for her family and herself. And that’s where George comes in. He is her guide through her confusion as she witnesses the devastation among the living. With George at her side Ellen learns that even though she is dead she is not helpless. There are things that she can do from beyond the grave to influence what happens in the world she left behind. But George is new to his ‘job’, and has issues of his own. A working arrangement starts to become something neither of them expects. It is only after death that life can be fully understood.