Today I'm interviewing Colette McCormick about her writing life as part of her Blog Tour for her new novel, Ribbons In Her Hair.
Me: Hi, Colette and welcome to Shelby Writes. First of all, can you tell us what, for you, is the best thing about being a writer?
Colette: Hi, Lynne. For me, the best thing about being a writer, is being able to get away from the real world for a while and live in a world that exists only in my head.
Me: Have you always written fiction?
Colette: I wrote travel articles for My Weekly for a while but fiction is my first love. I sent my first children's story off when I was about 12 and received a lovely rejection letter from Penguin. I started my first novel a year or two later. I wanted to be an author when I grew up - but I also had a phase where I wanted to join the police force!
Me: Can you tell us a little more about your journey to publication?
Colette: It was long. I sent my first novel to a publisher when I was about 18 but became disheartened when it was rejected. Thirty years later, with my family raised and my career stable, I was able to give it another go. When I had a life-threatening illness in 2013 I knew that I had to give writing the attention it deserved if I wanted to get a book published. I'd been 'dabbling' with a manuscript for a few years prior to that and when I was well enough I focused on making it the best it could be. In 2015 I was offered a three-book deal by Accent Press and 'Ribbons in Her Hair,' is the second of those books.
Me: What is a typical writing day for you?
Colette: Because of my full time job, I don't really have a typical writing day. I try to fit in at least an hour or two of writing each day, and double that on my days off. If I'm on holiday from work and not away, I like to get a full day or two of writing in and that is a real treat.
Me: Do you aim for a particular word count?
Colette: I have a little smile to myself if I manage 1,000 words a day but I don't get hung up about it.
Me: Laptop or longhand?
Colette: I prefer longhand, mainly because I love writing with my fountain pen, but the reality is that most of the time it's the laptop.
Me: Music or silence?
Colette: I actually prefer the television on. I often have the cookery channel on in the background.
Me: Do you have a writing room or do you prefer to write somewhere else, for example, a library or coffee shop?
Colette: Nine times out of ten I write sitting on the end of the sofa with my laptop on my knee. I'd quite like a writing room but it's just not possible at the moment. I might make notes in a coffee shop but I wouldn't get the laptop out.
Me: If you could give some advice to your younger self when you were just starting out on your writing journey, what would you say?
Colette: I would tell them not to listen to the person who said that the publisher meant that your book was rubbish when what they actually said was that 'it showed promise.' I would tell them to believe in themselves more.
Me: Thank you, Colette for giving us such an interesting insight into your writing life.
Colette: My pleasure. Thank you for joining the Blog Tour for Ribbons In Her Hair.
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
To purchase Ribbons In Her Hair, please click on the link below or copy and paste into your browser:
Colette McCormick was born and raised in Sheffield but moved to County Durham in 1982. She has a job as a shop manager for a leading children's charity which pays the bills but writing books is the job she does for pleasure. The first piece of work that she saw in print was the short story 'Elaine,' in the anthology 'Sexy Shorts for the Beach' published by Accent Press in 2006. Since then she has had stories and articles published in books and magazines in Britain and abroad. She now concentrates on writing books. When she's not working or writing, you'll probably find her gardening or cooking. She dreams of one day having a cookery book published.