Blog Tour Guest Post: Ten Things You Need to Know About #AskMetoDance Author @SylviaColley @MuswellPress #RandomThingsTours


Sylvia Colley's extraordinary understanding of a woman's struggle to deal with grief, the denial, the anger, the loneliness, is described without sentimentality. A beautifully written and moving story.

Guest Post:

Ten Things You Need to Know About Author Sylvia Colley

1. When I see the word ‘Blog’ I have to lie down. I panic. Then I curse myself for being so - well- stupid and wish I was part of the younger generation. But probably I’m just lazy.  

2. I keep chickens on my allotment at the bottom of the garden. Brown ones with names like Queenie and Jumper. I sit and watch the way they scrabble at the earth and continually peck up bits of this and that, their heads dipping and rising, their tails upwards. Busy Busy.  And it’s been really useful in the novel I’m writing at the moment because one of the characters is an artist who paints like a modern Stubbs and he does paint chickens sometimes.

3. Now I come to think of it, animals feature in all my books. In Lights on Dark Water the cat, Fido, the only reminder of Anna’s husband left in her life, is stolen and dumped by some roadside by a jealous work colleague  and in Ask Me to Dance (just published), an old, simple-minded monk who had been brought up cruelly in a Catholic boys home, is allowed to keep a wild rabbit - brought in to the kitchen by the monastery cat - much to the disapproval of some the brothers who make life very difficult for him  

4. I drink whiskey, not all day, (although I am tempted now I have to write this blog)

5. I make silver jewelry and my slogan is IMPERFECT BUT UNIQUE.

6. On holiday I always paint the wildflowers in a toothbrush glass. Water colors. I don’t think much of them at the time and then months, perhaps years, later, I come across them and think ‘actually I really like them’. They’re quite good and I find a frame from somewhere and put one up. My house is full of my paintings, of my girls amongst other things, because I can’t afford to buy anyone else’s!

7. I love singing and dancing A LOT.  If I go to a musical I can hardly stop myself from JUMPING ON THE STAGE, so although it is not an autobiography Ask Me To Dance was just the title I wanted because as a child, the protagonist, Rose, only gets noticed by her mother when she dances. I had great difficulties finding a good title for what became Lights on Dark Water but Ask Me to Dance was perfect from the start.  Dancing is symbolic in the novel as well as literal.  

8. Instead of getting on with my writing I go shopping or decide to make soup. It’s all there in my head, the people I mean, but I find any excuse not to get it down on paper. I’ve always made up stories, all day, every day, in my head. That’s probably why I’m so hopeless at general knowledge. I daydream too much 

9. My latest novel Ask Me To Dance is NOT a romance.

10. What fascinates me and what I try to explore in my poetry and novels is how we cope with loss; the masks we wear to hide behind and how we deal with our sense of powerlessness over things that happen which are out of our control. When someone says they have enjoyed or been moved by my work, I am absolutely thrilled. My great champion, Piers Plowright says my latest novel, Ask Me To Dance, is all heart. 

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