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About Charlotte Vale-Allen

Charlotte Vale-Allen On Writing



    Acts of Kindness
    Claudia's Shadow
    Daddy's Girl
    Dream Train
    Dreaming In Color
    Fresh Air
    Gentle Stranger
    Gifts of Love
    Grace Notes
    Hidden Meanings
    Intimate Friends
    Julia's Sister
    Leftover Dreams
    Love Life
    Matters of the Heart
    Meet Me In Time
    Mixed Emotions
    Moments of Meaning
    Mood Indigo
    Night Magic
    Painted Lives
    Parting Gifts
    Perfect Fools
    Pieces of Dreams
    Running Away
    Somebody's Baby
    Sudden Moves: The sequel to Fresh Air
    Sweeter Music
    Times of Triumph
    Where Is The Baby?
    The Young Person's Dreambook

    Katharine Marlowe Titles
    Heart's Desires

Daddy's Girl

Island Nation Press

Katharine Marlowe


by Charlotte Vale-Allen

book cover for Daddy's Girl

On Writing Daddy's Girl

After I had been through many versions of the manuscript (written over almost a decade) I decided that for this book to have validity it would be necessary not only to show the past but also to give a picture of the present-illustrating how the events of my childhood affected me at the time, as well as later in life as an adult and a parent.

Given that I wrote the book in the first place as a document that I hoped would be useful to others who'd suffered abuse and also to professionals, I felt it was very important to present detailed portraits of the child I was and the woman I grew to be (in large measure as a result of trying to cope with the long-term effects of the abuse.) As well, I thought it was vital to illustrate how fallout from the abuse can be felt down through the generations, if one fails to exercise awareness and caution.

So the book weaves back and forth between past and present (the present being 1979, when the final version was completed). I also had to decide at the very start whether I was going to dole out snippets of truth or be completely truthful and address the issue as fully as I was able. There seemed no point to writing an autobiographical account of incest if I was going to be anything less than completely truthful. It was not difficult to tell the truth, nor was the writing of the book a cathartic experience, as many have imagined it to be. The fact is that I had long-since confronted my personal demons and had managed to relegate the past to the past-something exceedingly difficult for many victims of any/all forms of abuse to do.

A few years ago in correcting the page proofs of a new British edition of the book, I reread DADDY'S GIRL, and was gratified by what I'd written. (Often, with my novels, I am not at all happy when I reread them.) I think that as an author I have little, if any, objectivity about my work once it's completed and so am not necessarily a good judge of it. But I am proud of DADDY'S GIRL. Since its publication in 1980 it has been of help to a lot of people. And, ultimately, it's my way of returning some measure of the kindness and attention people showed me when I was working my way along the rough roadway toward my future.