All The Colours In Between: The much-anticipated sequel to 183 Times A Year
It’s not a life, it’s an adventure!
Lizzie is fast approaching 50. Her once angst-ridden teenage daughters, now grown and in their twenties, have flown the nest, Cassie to London and Maisy to Australia. And, although Connor, Lizzie’s sulky, surly teenage son, is now on his own tormented passage to adulthood, his quest to get there, for the most part, is a far quieter journey than that of his sisters. The hard years, Lizzie believes, are behind her. Only, things are never quite as black and white as they seem… A visit to her daughter in London leaves Lizzie troubled. And that is just the start. Add to that an unexpected visitor, a disturbing phone call, a son acting suspiciously, a run in with her ex-husband plus a new man in her life who quite simply takes her breath away; Lizzie quickly realises life is something that happens while plans are being made. Gritty but tender, thought provoking but light-hearted, dark but brilliantly funny, this is a story of contemporary family life in all its 21st century glory. A story of mothers and sons, of fathers and daughters, of brothers and sisters, and friends. A tale of love and loss, of friendships and betrayals, and coming of age. Nobody said it would be easy and as Lizzie knows only too well, life is never straightforward when you see all the colours in between.
Eva Jordan, born in Kent but living most of her life in a small Cambridgeshire town, describes herself as a lover of words, books, travel and chocolate. She is also partial to the odd glass or two of wine. Providing her with some of the inspiration for her novel, Eva is both a mum and stepmum to four children. Her career has been varied including working within the library service and at a women’s refuge. She writes a monthly column for a local magazine and currently works as a volunteer for a charity based organisation that teaches adults to read. However, storytelling through the art of writing is her passion. All The Colours In Between is Eva’s second novel, which, although written as a standalone, is also the sequel to her debut novel, 183 Times A Year.
- What book first ignited your love of reading?
That would have to be the enchanted forest and folk of Enid Blyton’s The Magic Faraway Tree. Enormous, with branches that seem to reach into the clouds, inhabited by different magical creatures with names like Moon-Face, Silky the fairy, The Saucepan Man, Dame Washalot, and Mr. Watzisname, you can’t help but feel drawn into the fantastical world of The Magic Faraway Tree!
- If your current book had a theme song, what would it be and why?
Hmm … I’ve given this a lot of thought and although there is a lot of love and humour weaved between the pages of my second novel, All The Colours In Between, and songs in my head to match, there is also, much like the world feels a bit at the moment, a liberal sprinkling of fearful apprehension. In particular, Lizzie, one of the main protagonists, both a mother and stepmother, senses (as mothers often do) all is not well – especially with her daughter Cassie. Therefore, Richard Hawley’s There’s A Storm A Comin’ would be very apt.
- Which book have you read more than once?
Charles Dickens’, ‘A Christmas Carol.’ Every Christmas without fail.
- Do you plan your writing or go with the flow?
I’m definitely a panster – nothing comes alive for me until I’m sat at my computer and begin typing. Don’t get me wrong, I have an idea what the story is about and where it needs to go but it’s not until I start writing that the revelations come, and characters I’d never thought of pop up and introduce themselves.
- Do you enjoy the editing process?
Yes and no. Sometimes I just want the story to be finished without making any changes but more often than not it needs them. Timelines are easy to mix up, the eye colour of characters can change midway through the story and sometimes I have a tendency to repeat myself. Editing is a necessary evil that provides a polished manuscript.
- If you could what advice would you give your sixteen year old self?
Oh, my goodness – as I write this I am days away from turning fifty! I would tell my younger self a million different things. Most likely I wouldn’t listen, though, anyway! Nonetheless, I would definitely tell my sixteen-year-old self to be more confident, to worry less about life and fitting in with others, and believe in myself a little more – I turned out to be far more capable than I gave myself credit for. I would also encourage my younger self to travel more. The world is full of beautiful places and wonderful people but we have less time than we think we do when we’re young. I suppose I would also tell myself to work harder at school so I wouldn’t have to balance a full-time degree with work whilst caring for two small children as a single mother, later in life. However, sometimes, it’s only when our backs are against the wall that we realise what we are capable of and what we can actually achieve. I would most definitely encourage my sixteen year old self to write more, though – even if it was just a diary. It is good practice and helps you grow as a writer. But above all, I’d tell my younger self to chill a bit more and laugh a lot more. It’s a cliché but life is short, enjoy it while you can.
- Do you read your book reviews?
Yes, I do. It’s an amazing feeling to read a review and know that your words have touched someone, whether it’s moving someone to tears, making them laugh out loud or, as has been the case with both my books, simply making the reader feel as though they are not alone in their struggles with life. I’m also happy to read the less complimentary reviews too, especially if the criticism is constructive, sometimes it confirms the tiny nagging doubts you’ve tucked away at the back of your mind and you can learn from them, at other times you simply have to concede that your story just wasn’t for that particular reader. Then there are the really bad reviews – ones where the reviewer has nothing nice to say at all – I tend to ignore those.
- What is your opinion on social media and it’s unique gift of connecting writer and reader instantly?
Social media now plays a massive role in both our professional and personal lives, providing various platforms that enable us to learn someone’s life story just by checking any one of their various social media pages. However, it undoubtedly continues to divide opinion. Used responsibly, I believe social media is a great tool to connect reader and author. Readers can express how they felt about a writer’s work and authors can keep their readers up to date with just about anything and everything, whether it’s posting a chapter from their current work in progress, an idea for their next novel, dates of upcoming book releases, to the location of book launches and signings. Nonetheless, there is always a downside to such immediate access, especially by those who use it to voice their own disparaging and insulting remarks. Cyberbullying is a huge problem and one addressed in my current novel. In my opinion more needs to be done to prevent it. Bullying, of any kind, whether at home, in the workplace or at school, face to face, or behind a screen, is simply unacceptable. I always try and live by the adage, if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. It doesn’t mean you can’t share your ideas or voice your own opinion, it’s more about how you express those thoughts and the words you choose, that matter. Common courtesy costs nothing.
- If you could give one literary villain a happier ending, who would you pick and why?
Again, like some of your other questions, I gave this one some considerable thought and to my mind there are no literary villains whose ending I would make happier. I may be open to persuasion but in my humble opinion, the villain of most works of fiction is a villain for good reason He/she is an important component and without them we wouldn’t be able to see how good the hero/heroine is or understand the dangers or conflicts a person or community faces. To change the fate of a literary villain would surely equate to an entirely different story altogether? However, that said, there is a minor villain in my first novel, 183 Times A Year, who does actually redeem himself in my second novel. There are also many other many lesser villains in literature who we all dislike with a passion that don’t get the cuppance they deserve. A few that spring to mind include Mr Wickham from Pride and Predjudice, and Tom and Daisy Buchanan from The Great Gatsby (although granted this is to prove the novel’s point, which is that the rich and careless are shielded by their privilege).
- If your book could come with a preemptive message for the reader, what would yours say?
Life is neither easy, or black and white, especially if you choose to embrace it by seeing all the colours in between. But if all else fails, remember – it’s not a life, it’s an adventure!
- What are you currently reading?
Fifty Years Of Fear by Ross Greenwood.
- Where did you get the inspiration for your current novel?
Although written as a standalone, All The Colours In Between is the sequel to my debut novel 183 Times A Year, a modern day exploration of domestic love, hate, strength and friendship set amongst the thorny realities of today’s divided and extended families. Initially it was the women in my life, including my mother, daughters and good friends that inspired me to write my debut novel, and they continued to inspire my second novel, as did the idea of modern family life in general, whether it’s the one you start out with, or the one you gain along the way. All The Colours In Between is a tale of love and loss, of friendships and betrayals, and coming of age, with a liberal sprinkling of humour.
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Merry Christmas from Kelly & The Team, thank you for all your support and love in 2017.