Last year, when Kristin Hannah's Firefly Lane came out, I was lucky enough to have the chance to interview her. Her new book, True Colors, a story of three sisters, has just been released. Kristin took time from her touring schedule to write a guest blog. Thank you, Kristin!
Thanks for this opportunity!
First and foremost, True Colors is the story of a family. The Grey sisters have always been very close. Since the death of their mother, and in the shadow of their cold, disapproving father, they banded together and became best friends. There's Winona, the eldest, who longs for her father's approval more than anything; Aurora, the peacemaker, who wants everyone to get along; and Vivi Ann, the undisputed star of the family, a beautiful dreamer who will risk everything for love. But when a stranger comes into town, and Vivi Ann follows her heart, a chain of events will be set in motion that will threaten everything they care about. Loyalties will be tested and secrets revealed, and a terrible, shocking crime with shatter both their family and their beloved town.
Like so many of my books, True Colors is an exploration of women's relationships. I find that the older I get, the more I care about the importance of women sticking together. Having raised a teenager, I know I couldn't have made it through some of those harried, crazy, stressful times without my sister and my girlfriends standing by my side. And in this book, I wanted to explore sisterhood in closer detail. My last book, Firefly Lane, focused on girlfriends; so turning my attention to sisters was a natural progression. This book is really about how sisters can hurt each other and heal each other, how we can make choices that have far reaching consequences.
What really new for me in this book is the legal drama element. As many of you know, I was--am--a lawyer. Up until now, I haven't used that background much in my writing, but in 2008, I realized I had something to say about the legal system. Unlike most of the lawyers who write novels, I wasn't interested in the crime as much as the aftermath. This isn't a novel about solving a crime or tracking a killer. It's about what happens to a once close family when two sisters find themselves on opposite sides of the courtroom. What happens when you don't agree with your sister about a man's guilt or innocence? That's what interests me: the human side of a legal battle.
People also often want to know if a given book is "personal." With True Colors, the answer is a little. After writing the deeply personal Firefly Lane, honestly I was ready to take my own life out of the equation just a bit. I gave away so much of my own life in Firefly that I wanted to tell a story that was a little less about my own memories and recollections. That being said, of course, my books always contain a big chunk of who I am, and True Colors is no exception. The most personal part of this book is the setting. It's set on a beautiful, forgotten corner of Washington state, where I have spent a lot of time and once lived. Additionally, it is set in the "horse world," and this is a world I know very, very well. Like many girls, I grew up in 4-H, showing horses and taking lessons. When I was a kid, my horse was my best friend in the world, and you'll definitely see that side of me in True Colors.
Thanks so much for giving me the opportunity to talk to your readers about True Colors. I hope they enjoy it. And please, I encourage anyone who wants to to stop by Kristinhannah.com and join the blog conversation.
True Colors by Kristin Hannah. St. Martin's Press, ©2009. ISBN 9780312364106 (hardcover), 400p.