Colette McCormick is my Guest Author today along with George, from Things I Should Have Said and Done…
Published 20th May 2021
It is my pleasure to welcome Colette McCormick to my blog today as my Guest Author… well, I had intended her to be my Guest Author but, as you will see, it has not turned out that way.
George, one of her characters, has decided to push his way forward and take over today. I hope you don’t mind, but Colette and I thought it best to let him have his say:
When it comes to the characters in THINGS I SHOULD HAVE SAID AND DONE it’s Ellen that usually gets the limelight. She is the one who died after all, it’s her death, her family so maybe that’s the way that it should be. That said, the book would not be possible without one very important man so if you would indulge me, please allow George to tell you a little bit about himself.
Hello, I’m George and this is the first time I’ve ever been allowed to speak about myself so I’m a little nervous.
Like I said, I’m George, just George (if it’s good enough for Kylie and Rhianna it’s good enough for me) and I am the Greeter that was allocated to Ellen when she died. There are some that would say that she drew the short straw when she got me and to be honest it’s a fair argument. She was my first client so she was always going to be a bit of a guinea pig and to make matters worse I got held up and I wasn’t there when…well when she died. It’s safe to say that we didn’t get off to the best of starts.
It’s lucky for her though that I was there at all because I almost didn’t make it into the book. After reading one of its very early incarnations an agent suggested that I was ‘unnecessary’ and said they would like to see the first three chapters again but with me not in it. If Ellen thought she was in a pickle with me, she should have seen the state she was in when she was on her own. Anyway, said agent still didn’t ‘love it enough’ to take the book on so I won a reprieve. Colette didn’t mind that rejection because she didn’t want to write the book without me in it. She loves me you see and it turns out she’s not the only one. The reviews might call me a ‘novice’ or ‘inept’ which are both fair comments but I know that those readers love or at least like me really.
I’m the first to admit that I don’t always play things by the book but the way I see it, some of the rules in the Greeters Handbook are daft. It’s just my opinion but they don’t make sense. There can’t be a ‘one size fits all,’ approach to death because everyone is different and everyone’s issues are different. I helped Ellen to deal with hers in the best way that I could and I’m alright with that.
For reasons known only to Colette, the way that I look is not really described in the book and given the fact that I am a fictional character I can’t really describe myself either. All I know is that when she started writing this book Colette envisaged Sean Bean playing me in the film version, or at least how he looked when he was playing Richard Sharpe. After seeing him in Games of Thrones it was clear that that particular ship had sailed so Ewan McGregor was the next choice. The current favourite is James Norton. He’s a good-looking lad, I’d be alright with it.
It’s been lovely meeting you and a pleasure talking to you. Maybe we can meet again between the covers of THINGS I SHOULD HAVE SAID AND DONE. I’d like that.
See what I mean, he’s taken over the Guest Author post. Apologies one and all. Colette, you need to take your characters in hand; give them an inch…!!
Now George has decided to clear off for a while I thought you might like to get to know Colette – after-all, she created him. He cannot be allowed to hog the limelight all the time.
At last, Colette:
Colette was born and raised in Sheffield but now lives in North East England. She has had a wide range of jobs from ledger clerk to school dinner lady and lots of things in between but in 2001 she found her calling in the world of charity retail. After working for CR UK for 10 years she now works for Barnardo’s and while it’s a job that she loves, writing is her real passion. When she is not working or writing there is a good chance you will find Colette, baking, gardening or walking the dog in the beautiful countryside that Co Durham has to offer. She has been married almost forty years and has two grown up sons.
Thanks Colette, and now please share an extract from your latest book, THINGS I SHOULD HAVE SAID AND DONE…
I forced myself to take some more deep breaths. I pushed my chest out as I took them in and puffed my cheeks as they came out. I didn’t do it consciously; it was like my body was working on autopilot and it did what it needed to keep me functioning.
I knew that the answer, whatever it was, was at the front of the crowd, and for the first time since the light thing happened, I was focused. I knew I had to get to the front of that crowd and I wasn’t worried about who I upset to do it.
I expected that I would have heard at least the odd grumble as I barged my way through, but no-one said a thing. In fact, I met no resistance at all. It felt like everyone was moving out of the way so I could get through.
‘Naomi,’ I shouted again and I heard a sob in my voice, ‘Naomi, I’m coming.’
And there she was.
This is what we call the Book Blurb for THINGS I SHOULD HAVE SAID AND DONE…
‘It is only after death that life can be fully understood.’
Ellen’s life is over in an instant when a drunk driver comes out of nowhere and hits the car that she is driving.
She never knew what hit her.
But Ellen in only young, she isn’t ready to die and there are loose ends to tie up before she can move ‘beyond the light.’ Luckily she isn’t alone, she has George to look after her. He’s new to the job and his methods aren’t exactly orthodox but together they set about dealing with Ellen’s issues.
There is Marc, the man that Ellen still loves. She watches him struggle with life as a single parent as she herself struggles with the realisation that Marc needs to move on without her. There is Naomi, the child that Ellen left behind, the child that becomes Ellen’s link to those that still live. And there is her mother whose life is falling apart.
Ellen looks for ways to help and with George constantly at her side she learns that even though she is dead, she is not helpless. There are things that she can so from beyond the grave to influence what happened in the world that she left behind.
No-one ever said that being dead was easy.
Wow! That is powerful stuff.
These are photos of those who Colette imagines as her characters. some imagination! Wow!
If you would like to know more about Colette and her books, please click on her links for Social Media and her Buy Links:
Now that we have got you all excited, let’s see what the critics have to say:
REVIEWS FOR THINGS I SHOULD HAVE SAID AND DONE
“I simply can’t recommend this book highly enough. Tragic, comic and uplifting by turns, full of mesmerising characters so realistic everyone will be able to identify with them, from the sweet innocent child, to the controlling occasionally deliberately spiteful mother, the grieving broken husband. And then – the final masterly touch – George – the inept apprentice. This is a book that I know will stay with me for years – it’s already on the pile of “to be re-read every year”. Please, just look inside the first few pages, if you need more persuasion.”
“The leads are likeable and McCormick clearly holds great affection for all her characters.
This is a gentle, warm-hearted read and it is as comforting as chicken broth on a cold afternoon.”
“In today’s society it can be hard to acknowledge and accept the possibility of an afterlife so if Colette McCormick’s book brings solace to even one person, then I think the world will be a better place.”
“The characterisations throughout are superb and book well written, I cannot rate it highly enough.”
“For many who have suffered a bereavement ‘things I should have said and done‘ is a book that will give light and hope in its pages.”
“McCormick spins a moving tale of life interrupted, the unfinished business of love for one’s family, regrets and consuming yearning. Ultimately, it is a life-affirming tale of surviving a personal catastrophe and moving on.
There are many heart-rending moments. I must confess that I welled up a few times. But there is also plenty of humour and hope. George, the apprentice angel, provides some loud-out-lough comic relief and I chuckled a lot at some domestic situations which were both realistic and hilarious. McCormick has a good eye for details and situational comedy.
Overall, The Things I Should’ve Said and Done is a poignant story, told beautifully and with great assurance. Despite its paranormal theme, it is credible and true-to-life.”
“I loved every second I spent reading this book and I never wanted the story to end.
A life that ended in a second and a family split from grief.
Everything can change in a heartbeat but love prevails from the other side.
“The characters are well written and I was drawn into the story straight away; I couldn’t stop reading.”
Colette, congratulations upon the publication of THINGS I SHOULD HAVE SAID AND DONE. Good Luck.
Thanks so much for being such a fab guest – Oh! And thanks to George too, without whom this would obviously not have been possible.