My dad’s first professional game of football was played for Walthamstow Avenue in the 1930’s. His dad took him to Limehouse to learn the game of Mahjong at a very early age. His family were Costers - not coffee makers, but costermongers, marketeers of fruits and vegetables. My grandfather raced greyhounds at White City. My mum’s family were seamstresses and dockside factory workers. My whole family evacuated from London during and after the Blitz. It’s this fabulous, colourful, chequered, rich history that I write about and every one of my stories has a link to a personal experience that I learned as a child from my family, although they were usually enjoying a knees-up too much to realize their experiences would be documented in the Millennium.
So today is very special, as Bella is one of a kind. Bella Doyle is my central character in Christmas to Come and a true Eastender. Her story is gritty and sometimes heartbreaking, but isn’t that just life for all of us at one time or another? Life isn’t perfect, but there’s no turning back. My mum’s favourite saying was just this; make the most of what you have and you won’t go far wrong. Bella senses at eight-years-old, she has to make the most of what she has - her younger brother Terry and a friend who she can call on in times of trouble. If she doesn’t, it’s all over for her and her already damaged brother. And she knows it!
So if you read Christmas to Come, remember that from somewhere in this little street kid’s life, comes the true nature of survival. Perhaps more for Terry even, than for herself, Bella makes a life-changing decision. I hope you enjoy her story - launched to today with AMAZON and published with a cover that accurately represents my Bella, just as I wrote her.
Happy reading everyone!
Love Carol x