This will be the first time that I have kicked off a Blog Tour, so I am delighted to have been afforded the opportunity to present this lovely Guest Post by the author, which I am sure that, like myself, you will find interesting and inspiring.
Thanks as ever go to the lovely Melanie from Aria Fiction for setting things up so beautifully and to NetGalley for making the downloads so easy to access.
So without further ado, I’ll pass you over to Zosia….
Though she already feels like their daughter, they just have to get through the ‘settling in’ period: three months of living as a family before they can make it official.
But then Eve’s mother, Joan, comes to stay.
Joan has never liked her son-in-law. He isn’t right for Eve; too controlling, too opinionated. She knows Eve has always wanted a family, but is Neil the best man to build one with?
Then Joan uncovers something that could smash Eve’s family to pieces…
Hi! I’m ZOSIA WAND – (Author image by Mark Harrison)
I am an urban southerner living in the north west, I have driven the same car for 100 years and climb Hoad Hill every day, to a lighthouse with no lamp, to look out across the sands of Morecambe Bay.
I make and drape my house in bunting, like fairy lights and fairy tales and continue to obsess about the contents of the perfect sandwich, together with my other passions for good coffee and cake. I might raise my head from a book occasionally to feed my long suffering children, but they don’t hold their breath, suspecting that I prefer my imaginary characters to the real ones that surround me.
I gained an MA with distinction in Creative Writing from Lancaster University in 1999 and have written several plays which have been broadcast on Radio 4. I have also been known on occasion, to write and perform my own work. I love to write and read and run creatively stimulating events and courses for people who share the same passions.
The Accusation is my second novel, with my debut Trust Me having been published in 2017.
Catch up with all the latest news on my website
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“WHY I WRITE”
I was at a novel writing conference a few years ago where we were divided into groups and asked to discuss the question: Why do I write? Each group was given a large sheet of flip chart paper and a marker pen and told to come up with a list.
Our group retired to a corner of the room. Around us there was a buzz of excited chatter, but we simply stared at one another and shrugged. There were four of us, three women and a man, aged between twenty and seventy, with varying levels of experience. Jean, a retired head mistress, described her writing as a hobby; last year she explored painting in watercolours. Trevor, a rather bombastic accountant was determined to write a best-seller that would allow him to retire; his motive was money. Emma, a sweet graduate who had recently returned from university to live with her parents, was interested in therapeutic writing and poetry. I had no idea. I had never considered the question before. I didn’t write for any particular reason, I just always had.
I needed to contribute something, so I thought back, as far as I could remember, to try and identify at what point I decided I wanted to write. There was no such moment in my memory. I remember the delicious pleasure of reading – escaping into fictional worlds with characters that delighted me: Enid Blyton’s Far Away Tree, The Wishing Chair, and then later, The Famous Five and The Malory Towers stories. I devoured these books. I have tried to find a less clichéd word to describe this desperate consumption, but this is what it was. These books fed and terrible hunger. When I was in my twenties, I only read books with female protagonists of my age. With hindsight I can see, I was learning how to be in the world, how to live.
I was the daughter of a Polish mother, living in South East London, where the only other migrants were Pakistani families with a vibrant community of their own. My childhood was spent trying to fit in with the other white children with whom I assumed I had more in common. Later, reading Meera Syal’s Anita and Me, I realised I would have had far more in common with my Pakistani class mates. They, however, with their extended family networks, didn’t need any other friends. I learned to hide anything remotely foreign behind my front door but inside that door was more conflict and instability as my parents raged against one another and tore their marriage, and our family, apart. Enid Blyton’s books provided me with a safe world to escape to. Her stories offered me friends. I don’t remember when I started to write myself, but in primary school I remember writing stories and in my bedroom I kept notebooks of my own. These were filled with opening chapters and new casts of characters that ended abruptly within a few pages. Starting out with great enthusiasm in an explosion of creativity, I would lose interest after that initial session and never revisit these beginnings. It took me years and the support of an MA course to develop the staying power and self-belief required to complete a novel. I was 32. It took a further 5 attempts and 20 years to get a novel published.
Back at the conference, I offered a lame contribution: I write because I love stories – reading them and making them up. We were given bits of blu tack and asked to stick our rather pathetic list to the wall. Once they were all displayed we could take a look at the musings of the wider group.
And there it was, at the top of someone else’s list in bold black letters: CONTROL
This was the moment of revelation for me. That word landed somewhere inside me and suddenly everything was clear. This is why I write. This is how it started and this is why it continues. I write to take control. I was a lonely child in a chaotic environment and I was powerless. My stories allow me to create fictional worlds where I have the power to lead my characters through the chaos to a better place. I explore the dark side of life, but there is a counterbalance. My characters experience challenges and difficulties, but they are also offered sources of kindness and support. They don’t always recognise this, but it is there for them to find.
Rather like life, as I have found.