A lot of people have asked me why it's taken me so long to release The Boy Who Rescues Pigeons. The answer is simple and yet exceptionally emotionally complex.I wrote the book back in 2009 or thereabouts and edited it ready for publication. But I didn't publish it. I couldn't. I wasn't emotionally ready. But I am now.
But the core of the story is actually about my dad. Or rather my step-dad, Gerald McCammick. He took me in as his daughter when I was six and strove to provide a physically safe environment for me. I make the distinction here because ours was not always an easy relationship. Both of us were emotionally scarred by life and there are things that regardless of how hard you try, you never fully recover from. So we trundled along with the occasional drunken rage on his part and teenage truculent slamming of doors on mine.
I'm not seeking to trivialise these moments. They were part of our lives. A big part. But they also never really shook the bedrock that our made-family was founded upon. We both knew we loved each other.
Of course there is much more to this story than I've put down upon this page. But that is for another time. Or perhaps never.
When I wrote the book I told my dad that I was dedicating it to him. He just smiled and said, "Oh aye, very good Carmen." But I know how much it meant to him. It didn't matter that I couldn't bring myself to publish it for so long. We both knew the dedication was forged in each line of text I'd written. Publishing the book wouldn't give it any more validation than it existing in the first place. And when my dad died a few years ago, it didn't matter that I still hadn't brought out the book. The time wasn't yet right.
So what made the time right now? I don't honestly know, except that deep inside I recognised the change. I'm 56... and six. I'm still that little girl. I still rescue pigeons.
The Boy Who Rescues Pigeons is available from June 1st, in time for ordering for Father's Day. Take a look at all my books here.