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Book: Just One Year by Colette Smith

Book Review: Just One Year by Colette Smith

star rating  5 stars, 1 review
categories: Book, Violence, Music, Theatre, Adoption, Drugs, Family Relationships, Control, Poison Pen, Life Changing, Womens Fiction

Colette Smith

Author Colette Smithabout this book: The book is about three young women who move out of home and in together. Their lives change dramatically; Anna, a nurse, leaves the profession to front a rock band. Very soon she hooks up with Greg, a band member and more than occasional drug taker becomes a big problem as the band starts to earn the notoriety they only dreamed they could achieve. Greg is quick with his fists and unfortunately Anna is slow to dodge the abuse she receives at his hands. Can she sustain a career with Greg as his drug taking spirals out of control? Ronnie is a young woman who doesn't really have much faith in herself. Thankfully, others have and she finds herself taking lead roles, both in her theatre group and in her job. She lands a lead part in Chicago and much to her surprise it leads to a future she had always dreamed of. Her promotion in work dovetails with her Chicago role and she finds that for the first time in her life she can actually feel herself a winner! But the appearance of Lawrence as her second in command puts a spanner in the works. Can she hold it all together, and can Lawrence cause her to once again feel a failure. Clara is a quiet and gentle girl, a schoolteacher, and was adopted very early on in life. Her world is turned upside down by the appearance of her birth mother. She learns that there is an ulterior motive for her appearance, one that she finds difficult to accept. As her acceptance of her mother creates a new dimension in her life, so, too, does her engagement to Paul, a teacher colleague and life seems to be going from good to wow! But things don't always turn out the way she wants! Can she cope when Paul tries to control her life and can she get her new half-sister to even vaguely accept her?

• What inspired me to write the book
Not sure I was actually 'inspired' to write this book. It sort of evolved out of a tiny thought and the need to write something that was vaguely commercial and more importantly that I had faith in. It really was an experiment in sustaining my writing and it grew from there. The knowledge of the girls' characters and the visualisation in my mind of the girls' house, the parents' houses, the theatre where Ronnie plays Chicago, the Karaoke Bar where the girls' met every week became so familiar that I really felt I was looking at a play performing in front of me.

• Primary readers
It's a womens' book. Not chick lit. A little dark, a little edgy, some humour.

• Title
The title came naturally from the fact that the book looks at the girls' lives over one year.

• Cover
2nd edit cover was different from first. Professionally designed. Got a view from an unusually kind and helpful publisher (who doesn't publish fiction) who seemed to find some merit in the story and the writing but found absolutely none in the cover which I designed myself Rethink time! The professional cover is great; the girls look just as I had pictured them.

• Hardest part of writing book
Keeping up the momentum with the temptations of the beautiful area of Mojacar in Spain where I live.

• Did I learn anything from writing the book
Of course. I learned that if I want to be a writer I have to be very focused and blinkered in terms of time. I also learned that I do not necessarily have to qualify every line of writing. So many things I have thought of in my writing that are making the writing of my second book, Echoes of my Father so much easier.

• Anything specific to say to readers?
Yes, please read my book. Please enjoy my book.

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 An Excellent Read

This is the author's first book, and an excellent read. Great descriptive writing brings the characters alive. Looking forward to reading Colette Smith's next novel. [by jan lawson]

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