Socks, teaspoons and other things I won’t mention - Colette McCormick - My Brother's Keeper Blog
Today I'm delighted to be taking part in the Blog Tour for Colette McCormick's 'Not My Brother's Keeper.' Over to Colette and her guest post about the inspiration behind her new novel:
'Not My Brother’s Keeper' was born out of a throw away comment when my eldest son left home and his brother volunteered to go into the bedroom and ‘clear up the mess’ that had been left behind. There was something about the comment and the way that he said it that set the wheels in motion. Obviously, there’s not much of a story in the socks, teaspoons and other things that I won’t mention that are regularly found under a young man’s bed so I needed a different mess that had to be cleared up and that’s where Michelle came in.
It was suggested to me that it is a story of right versus wrong. Maybe – but it wasn’t my intention to comment on morality. I was just telling the story of how two people, from the same background, react to the same situation in different ways. It’s about the lives they lead and how they deal with the fallout of their decisions. I also wanted to look at the family as a whole because what happened affected all of them.
I wondered if it really is possible to completely break the links with those that you are closest to. How can you turn your back on them and just walk away? At some point, wouldn’t you want to know what had happened to those that you had left behind? But would you have the courage to go back and face them? Following on from that is the question of how your family react when you do re-establish contact. Would they welcome you back with open arms? Speaking as a mother I would be thrilled, and I would see my prodigal son’s return as my prayers being answered but I wasn’t sure that everyone would feel the same way.
I wanted Simon to have the final word in this book because for me his opinion is the most important. He is the only one that wasn’t in on the secret and how would he react when he found out?
I’m the first to admit that I’m not a planner when in comes to writing books. I prefer to give the characters life in my head, give them a situation and let them show me how they would react. If I’d decided that Robert was the kind of guy who would stay and deal with what was happening, it would have been a very different story.
When I started writing the book, the thing that I was most aware of was not making Robert and Tom recognisable as either of my sons. As it turned out they quickly developed their own characters and I realised that I had been worrying about nothing.
Thank you, Colette, for writing such an interesting guest post. It's amazing how one throw-away comment can be the inspiration for a whole book!
About 'Not My Brother's Keeper'
My brother. Not my responsibility.
Robert and Tom are practically identical - same height, same hair, equally good looking - but Tom never had the same confidence as his older brother, and for that reason, he is in awe of him. When Robert's girlfriend, Michelle, tells him that she's pregnant, Robert disappears leaving Tom to clean up his mess. As Tom spends time with Michelle, reassuring her that she is not alone in this, the both begin to fall in love.
Sixteen years later, without warning, Robert comes home and Tom has to find the courage to stand against the brother he idolized.
About Colette McCormick
Originally a city girl, Colette has made her home in one of the many former mining villages in County Durham. When not working as a retail manager for a large children’s charity she will more than likely be writing, even if it’s only a shopping list. She also enjoys cooking, gardening and taking the dog on long walks in the countryside near her home. She has been married for almost forty years and has two grown up sons.
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