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Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Alice, a Memoir by Alice Gilmore 💕 Guest Post, Book Tour & Gift Card Giveaway 💕 (Memoir)

Few, if anyone, could have had a life like Alice Gilmore. It was almost unbelievable yet carried on under the cover of a respectable middle-class existence.

You might strongly disapprove of what she did, but Alice was determined. She overcame insurmountable obstacles to keep the love she longed for.

Her single-minded fight to live out her love makes a gripping, riveting story that one eminent literary person called ‘staggeringly readable’. It is shocking. Her methods will upset some, but are you with her or against her? Your decision.

This is no misery memoir. It’s a story told with joy, wit and fervour – the astonishing story of the overwhelming love Alice Gilmour was determined to live out.

Why I became a writer and the journey to publication

I am not at all sure that I am a writer – certainly I don’t regard myself as a professional. But professional people have said such complimentary things about this book that even if I call myself an amateur I must be at least a reasonable one.

I started to write because I had to tell my full story for my children in case truths that I have hidden from them were to come out. They had to hear it from me first. Once having written it for them – is it my apology to them? My excuse to them? I am not sure – I wanted others to read it. And when they did, their reactions, in various ways, took me utterly by surprise, though they shouldn’t have. Somehow I had kidded myself that my life was ordinary. But, clearly from those reactions, it was not.

So I sent it to a book person who I knew. She loved it and sent it to a well known literary agent who flipped. He was so enthusiastic that he thought publishers would grab it and we would have an auction for the rights. Eventually, out of twelve top publishers six showed considerable interest (some of the remarks of the ones who rejected it nearly made my hair curl. One wrote an endless email explaining that whoever wrote this needed psychiatric help along with Alice, the protagonist. Another said, ‘Brilliantly written, gripping story, I hated it.’ Well, at least you knew where you were with that one). Of those who were interested one by one they fell away after they had talked to colleagues. The general excuse was, ‘we can’t see an audience for this. It is not quite romance, not quite pornography, not quite a thriller,’ and so on. But surely your audience is people. People who can enjoy part romance, part thriller, and so on. Do we all fall into these tidy little categories? No, of course not, which is why so many books, plays, films are passed over by hard-nosed professionals only to become mega hits precisely because we are not little boxes, we are untidy, glorious people. The only genre that constantly counts is ‘human interest’, either to write or read.

I am going to tell you our story, my darlings. It is really only for you three and one other (you know who) but I can’t help hoping that the world will read it, which is why I shall probably publish it. But not for some years. When you’re fully grown up and have flown the nest. God knows what they will make of it, the world I mean, whoever they are, but I am not suggesting that any rules or taboos should be changed by our story, or new rules made. Leave all that alone. Our story, perhaps I should say my story, just is. You could tritely call it the exception that proves the rule. Perhaps that is just what it is: unique. I doubt that but it is certainly extraordinary. I have carefully chosen those words. Any old event of yawning banality is called ‘amazing’, ‘fantastic’, ‘unbelievable’, ‘fabulous’ in our current jargon. Whatever else people may call my story it is certainly extraordinary.

It is, above all, a love story, an all-consuming love story, though I have never felt consumed by love, rather continually renewed. But isn’t that what love should do to you? Consume you and renew you constantly like the phoenix. And it brought with it another constant emotion: fear. And pain. The fear of pain. The fear of the pain of losing it, this wonderful state. The word love doesn’t fully express what I/we felt. Another word that is more or less totally debased.


If you want to know about my life and background read this book. I can scarcely add to what I have written about myself in there. I earnestly hope that the rest of my life is too uneventful to even consider writing anything else, I am no novelist. The life I have described was full enough and rich enough for me. God knows what I would come out with if I had to invent. If you find you need a good chef I shall consider anything not too energetic – which rules out most jobs in the kitchen.


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