Keep You By My Side
Today I am pleased to be able to participate in the one of the final stops on this blog tour for Keep You By My Side by Callie Langridge. My thanks go to Bombshell Books for my spot.
About the Book
Are family secrets the ties that bind or the lies that divide?
The secrets of one family live in the walls of a cottage perched high on a Dorset cliff. But secrets can only be kept for so long.
Follow three generations of a family from war-torn London, to the permissive 60s and liberated 80s. Gertie, Rose and Abi live through joy, tragedy and heartache as they navigate complicated mother-daughter relationships and learn the importance of friends and finding love. When circumstances force them under the same roof, secrets begin to unravel and promises made in love threaten to tear them apart.
How far would you go to protect the people you love?
Today on my blog I have a special treat from the author for you. Grab a comfortable chair and sit down for a few minutes and read all about Callie’s ideas and where they come from.
What’s the question you are asked most as a writer? I’ve pondered this long and hard. I think it has to be where you find your ideas. People are intrigued about the idea behind each story.
I like to take the somewhat clichéd notion of ‘Write what you know’ as a starting point. Of course, each of us comes to writing with a life’s worth of experiences. I suppose it’s only natural for readers to think that a writer’s protagonists are them. Some writers may think this is a little odd. If you are writing about a medieval knight and you are a 21st century woman, how can this possibly be you?
Personally, I think that, as a writer, to divorce yourself from your characters – especially your protagonists, so totally – can be a tad disingenuous. Of course, my characters are not me. Their stories are not mine. Their lives, not the life I have lived. But peel back the layers of the story and you will find aspects of me and my life in them. Who I and, where I have come from, and my experiences. Also, my knowledge – what I have researched and learned. After all, how can you hope to create a world that readers believe if there is not some element of reality about it? If you do not draw on real life and experiences.
For KEEP YOU BY MY SIDE, I drew heavily on the life of my family. When I was a young child, I loved to listen to the stories of my family from before I was born. My maternal grandparents (and paternal grandparents) lived through the Blitz of the Second World War in London. As a child, this fascinated me. My maternal grandfather – John – had been a fireman in the 1920s. At the outbreak of war in 1939, he presented himself at the council offices and signed up for civilian war work. He eventually ended up in the National Fire Service. I grew up on the tales my grandmother told of him arriving home and having to undress on the doorstep to put his clothes in a bucket, as they were black from the fires. There was the story of my punctual grandfather missing his usual fire engine and having to jump on the next one. Only for his usual ride to be hit by a bomb. Everyone onboard his usual ride was killed.
As an adult, and with my knowledge of the Blitz, I can barely imagine the sights my mild and gentle grandfather saw. And it was this that gave me the springboard for the character of Sidney Smith in KEEP YOU BY MY SIDE. I borrowed my grandfather’s experiences and transposed them on a character. Sidney is not John. But my grandfather’s experiences helped enrich those of my character.
This is just one example of where I have taken real life and what I know to inspire my writing. These real life examples give a richness to writing. And I am proud that I can in a little way use my family’s experiences in my writing. My grandfather John was a lovely man. I think he would be quite proud that his real life experiences helped inform the idea for my story.
Now what a lovely way to have ideas transported into a story. I wish I had met Callie’s grandfather and family, I bet they could tell a tale or two.
About the Author
Callie was born and brought up in Berkshire. After a brief teenage spell in the depths of Lancashire, she moved back to London.
Having left school at 16, she studied drama before embarking on a career in marketing. This saw her work in music marketing in the heady days of Britpop in the nineties. She unleashed her creativity in the design of window displays and marketing campaigns for the leading music retailer. More recently she has followed her passion for history, working in marketing and communications for historical and cultural organisations.
On hitting her thirtieth birthday, she decided finally to pick up her pen and take the first of many creative writing courses. A few years later and she has had a number of short stories published and plays performed at theatres and venues across London. Her first novel A Time to Change was published in September 2017.
Her second novel Keep You By My Side will be published in October 2018.
Callie lives in London with her long-term partner, an ever-growing collection of antique curiosities, and more books than any person really needs.
Now I’m sorry to disagree here but nobody can ever not have too many books. Come on we all love curling up with a good book on these dark, cold, autumn nights that are settling in, when we don’t feel like going out and there is nothing much on the TV just yet.
Social Media Links
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CLangridgeWrite @CLangridgeWrite
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/callielangridge/ @callielangridge
Check out the rest of the blog tour with these fabulous blogs:
My thanks to Callie Landridge for my spot on the blog tour.