Thursday, February 2, 2017

Tilly McCormack by Victoria Chatham

For this month we have been asked to introduce the bride featured in our books. I knew from when my publisher, Jude Pittman, first proposed the historical brides series that my bride’s name was Matilda. The rest of it came later. I’d visited Banff Public Library to look for books on Banff and anything I could discover about the town itself.

I explained to the Librarian, Sarah McCormack, why I was interested in these books, and she was so very helpful. The more we talked and the more books she suggested, it suddenly came to me that Matilda and McCormack sounded very good together. I asked her if I could use her surname for my bride and she happily agreed.

I tend to get a bit carried away when building my characters and I had so much material for Tilly that, rather than load my book with her backstory, I chose to leave the majority of it in my research notes. I can tell you that her father was a Scot who made his way to Canada in 1900, leaving his home in Aberdeen in search, as so many were, of a better life in a new land.

Robert McCormack never expected to meet the love of his life shortly after arriving in Montreal, but when he set eyes on pretty schoolteacher Rosemary Delorme he lost his heart. WW1 separated them for awhile, but Robert was one of the lucky ones who came home. Tilly was a welcome addition to their family, and it was with hopes of giving her a better future that they headed west to Alberta and set up farming near Medicine Hat.

Rural life was hard enough, but the dirty thirties made life harder. Having lost her mother, Tilly worked the farm with her father but when he died it was almost a relief for her when the bank foreclosed on the farm. Alone and with no family to turn to, it was imperative that she get a job somewhere. Her father’s bank manager, Mr. Bentinck, was instrumental in helping her get her position at the Banff Springs Hotel.

With her black curly hair and bright blue eyes, Tilly turns heads. She doesn't understand why people find her so note-worthy. She doesn't see herself as attractive, but knows she's well educated, thanks to her parents, honest and hard-working. She's learned to stand up for herself, thanks to her father. Marriage to her is something that might happen someday but when she meets Ryan Blake, someday seems a lot closer than she'd ever imagined it could be. Ryan seems determined to marry her, but there is one small hitch in the plan.

However, Tilly isn’t the only bride in the story. I don’t want to give too much away, but one bride has to keep her marriage secret because of the mores of the time, one bride doesn’t want to get married and the fourth bride…you’ll have to read the book to discover that!


1 comment:

  1. Very interesting post and now I have a better idea as to what I should write for Rose, the heroine of Barkerville Beginnings. :)