Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Consequences by Colette Freedman (Guest Post)

The Affair #2
Adult, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
Publication.Date:January 28, 2014
Pages:366 (paperback)
Published By:  Kensington
Website:Colette Freedman 

The Consequences on Goodreads

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The end of an affair may be only the beginning. . .

Over the course of one tumultuous Christmas Eve, Kathy Walker confirmed her suspicions about her husband's affair, confronted his mistress, Stephanie, and saved her marriage. She and Robert have eighteen years, two teenagers, and a film production business between them--plus a bond that Kathy has no intention of giving up on. Yet though Robert is contrite, Kathy can't quite silence her doubts.

While Robert reels from his wife's ultimatum and his mistress's rejection, Stephanie makes a discovery: she's pregnant. Her resolve to stay away from Robert wavers now that they could make a real family together. And in the days that follow, Stephanie, Robert, and Kathy must each reckon with the intricate realities of desire, the repercussions of betrayal, and the secrets that, once revealed, ripple through lives and relationships in thoroughly unexpected ways.


A writer I know once told me that every idea starts out very simply: and then the writer instantly goes and makes it harder.

The Affair and The Consequences are very simply stories – a wife discovers that her husband is having an affair. However, she had accused him previously and, in that case, had turned out to be wrong. So, before she makes another accusation, she sets out to find the evidence she needs to confront him.

It’s a simple story: a woman’s search for the truth.

So, how would you make that harder for yourself? Simple: instead of telling one story, tell the three stories: the wife, the husband and the mistress. In an affair there are three distinct points of view. Each principal character has a unique perspective on the relationship, so telling the story from just the wife’s or mistresses, or even husband’s POV would be denying the other characters their voice.

The easier story would have been to tell either the wife’s tale or the mistresses’ story. The harder – but far more satisfying story – was to tell all three. And that is what I chose to do.

Creating the outline came first. These two books (and the third which I am working on now), needed to be plotted so that they meshed completely. I needed a time frame. Different times of year have different energies. A story set in the heat of Florida’s summer “feels” different to a tale set in Boston’s dark winter months. I chose to set the first book in the week leading up to Christmas, where everyone is under holiday pressures and strain, which adds an extra layer to the story. The second book, The Consequences, is set in that odd week between Christmas and New Year. It also allowed me to finish the story on New Year’s Eve, so that the characters can go into the new year changed and altered by events.

Electing to repeat sentences and then couch them with the chosen character’s POV was a stylistic choice. It allows us to see how differently people can hear exactly the same conversation ... and then interpret it entirely differently! Words are one thing; however, it is the subtext which is truly interesting.

Writing the characters, I did not find it difficult to get into the heads of the three characters; it was refreshing to simply concentrate on one person per section and allow the others to take back seat, to step off the stage into the wings. I enjoyed all three characters for their individual strengths and flaws and when I finished one section, I found myself missing them.

In each of the three sections of The Consequences (and The Affair too,), each participant in the triangle has his or her own section, his or her own arena in which to play, explore, laugh, cry and question. They have a stage on which they are the lead actor. Similarly, in the other stories, they get to be a supporting character.

In The Affair, we meet the wife first, in The Consequences, we meet her last. She begins and then finishes these two books, but she is not the sole driving force. (And, as an aside, Robert, like most men, is always stuck in the middle and his story is bracketed by the women’s tales.)

Writing the books, I always wanted to make the three characters sympathetic. It was easy to feel sympathy for Kathy, the wife. Making both the husband and mistress equally sympathetic was a little harder. Giving them their own sections, where we also get to experience their sides of the story, allows the reader to fully realize that there are not only two sides to every story, because in an affair, there are three.

An internationally produced playwright with over 25 produced plays, Colette was voted “One of 50 to Watch” by The Dramatist’s Guild.

Her play Sister Cities was the hit of the 2008 Edinburgh Fringe and earned five star reviews: It has been produced around the country and internationally, fourteen times including Paris (Une Ville, Une Soeur) and Rome (Le Quattro Sorelle). The film version has been optioned and is in pre production.

She has co-written, with International bestselling novelistJackie Collins, the play Jackie Collins Hollywood Lies, which is gearing up for a National Tour. In collaboration with The New York Times best selling author Michael Scott, she wrote the thriller The Thirteen Hallows (Tor/Macmillan).

Her novel The Affair (Kensington) came out January 29, 2013. The play of the novel earned both critical and commercial success as it toured Italy February through May 2013.

Her novel The Consequences (Kensington) comes out January 28, 2014

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