By Courtney Warren
BC Staff Writer
Vicki McCarty Compton will be signing copies of her new book "Three Little Girls: Hope's Escape" on June 3 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Cotton Row Bookstore.
Compton is originally from Cleveland and was a teacher and administrator for 38 years.
She said the death of her mother prompted her to write Hope's story.
"My mother had just died and I was really depressed. I thought what could I do to take my mind off my mother's death so I started writing. When I first started I had not brought it together, I had written several chapters before I realized what I was writing about," said Compton.
She added once she had finished the book she then went back to make sure her work focused on the theme of the disabling affects of enabling.
"Hope's Escape" is the first in a trilogy and each book begins with the death of the main character's mother and then flashes back to her earlier years.
It is about the Christmas family and focuses on the three daughters.
When one develops a substance abuse problem at a young age, the eldest of the three must learn how to deal with the issues the sibling's problem causes.
"The middle daughter develops a substance abuse problem at a very early age, fifth grade. She starts with alcohol and then pot and then others drugs; it goes throughout her life. This one is about Hope and living with that type of things going on in the house and young parents not knowing what to do so they enable the child.
"Once the enabling starts, it explodes. Hope feels that the lives of she and her family, goes down the drain because of that one sister and her main avenue is escape," said Compton.
Hope focuses on making good grades in school and attending college in order to get out of the house.
Compton said she got her inspiration from life in general and through her teaching career.
"I've been a teacher for 38 years and the stories I've heard from parents when I've caught their children with drugs or drinking gave me inspiration. The parents saying 'my child didn’t do that' or 'my child doesn’t lie,' when the child is caught red handed and the kid would look at the parent and say 'that’s not mine' the parents always believed them every single time," said Compton.
"When I go to a funeral and hear about the death of someone who had been an alcoholic since an early age and the people at the funeral saying every family has got one. I got to thinking about that and the people I knew growing up, I knew lots of kids like that," she added.
Compton said her writing begins after creating an outline.
"I thought about it, made an outline, studied that outline for days and then just plunged into it. I was the oldest and I thought would go to how I felt if I was in that family," she said.
Despite being the oldest sibling like her main character, Compton said several scenes were difficult to write because her character acted so differently.
"Hope wanted to get revenge on her sister. That was hard for me to write because I'm not typically a vengeful persona and I had to think what a vengeful person would do, so that was difficult for me," she said.
Compton said she hopes readers will find something relatable in the story.
"I hope they’ll read it and be able to relate it to what they’ve seen throughout their lives whether they're young or old. That they understand what Hope was going through and relate maybe a part of their lives to the theme of the book," she said.
Compton has been writing since she was in high school but this is the first time she has shown her work to anyone and taken it as far as publishing.
"I've been writing since I was in high school but I did it in secret. I wrote stories and poems, song lyrics even thought I'm not a musician. I would hear a song in my head and write words I thought would fit. I felt like it was a finished product and it was ready for others to read and enjoy," she said.
Compton said when allowing her family to read the book she had to make sure they understood it was not actually about them.
"I had to make sure my family understood it was totally fiction. When they read it they wanted to relate the characters to themselves. It's not my family. I wasn't taking them and turning them into fiction. I had to think about that with my hometown, which is Cleveland. I didn’t want people to read it and think 'oh is that what the McCarty family was really like?' It's not, because people get killed and all kinds of stuff that never would have happened in my family," she said.
McCarty is very excited to be doing a book signing at Cotton Row Bookstore.
"I'm thrilled. I couldn't be more thrilled. I'd like to know that people I grew up with could read it and like it and say 'good grief I didn't know you could write,'" she said.
McCarty chose to use the pen name "Dasie Rose Aster" to maintain privacy if the book took off, however after being told she needed to share it with others, she realized she would have to reveal herself.
"I went online and typed in flowers from the south. I went through them and found three names I liked and I switched them around until I decided which order I wanted them in. I chose Dasie Rose Aster because daisies and asters are similar," she said.
For more information about the book signing or the get a copy call Cotton Row Bookstore at 662-843-7083.