Today it's my pleasure to welcome Zoe Miller back to the blog to kick off the blog tour for her latest book A Question of Betrayal which was published last Thursday.
I’ve stopped panicking when I hear some writers announce that ideas for the next book stream into their head while they’re halfway through writing their current book. I know by now that I need to have a book all wrapped up and consigned to the care of my editor before I can start thinking about the next. Besides, I’m usually so drained after typing ‘The End’ that I need time to recharge the writing batteries. I’ve come to trust in the process and know that happily enough, I’m never waiting too long for new ideas to arrive or characters to appear - they usually spill into that space between sending off a script and waiting to hear word back from the editor.
And so it was that on a holiday in the Algarve, shortly after sending in book six, I was relaxing on a sun lounger reading a newspaper article when I felt the familiar tingle that many writers will identify with - the tingle that announces the flicker of an idea for a story. It’s something that flutters through your veins, images that flit through your head, and with that comes a kind of recognition, as though you already know that you will be spending a lot of time with this germ of idea in the coming months, teasing it out and unravelling what it really means.
I’d rather not reveal what that newspaper article was about for several reasons. All I can say is that for the remainder of the week in the Algarve, the idea glimmered in my subconscious like a shiny new gem, throwing out further sparks and I jotted down the words and images in a notebook. Back home at the writing desk, I threw the ideas together in various patterns time and time again, like assembling pieces of a jigsaw to see what connections I could make. A Question of Betrayal ended up being quite a different story to the one I’d initially imagined, although a lot of the ingredients remain. The story is cross-generational with a dual time frame. There is a mystery at the heart of it, and a betrayal has taken place. It also involves a plane crash, a love affair, and photographs, and part of it is located in the city of Lucerne, Switzerland. As I linked various ideas, Carrie Cassidy glided out of the wings, took up centre space on the page and in my head, and became the young woman who was pivotal to everything. The rest of the characters, along with the plot, fell into place around her. She’s Sylvie’s daughter, Mark’s ex-fiancée, and a threat to someone who doesn’t want her to start unravelling old history and digging up long-buried secrets…
I’ve heard it said that story chooses us in order to be written: I’m not sure if I agree but sometimes you have to write what you’re seeing and hearing even if it makes you uncomfortable – especially if it takes you out of your comfort zone. That’s what happened in the case of A Question of Betrayal. One of the characters and storylines was a bit darker than the kind I usually write, but although I found it difficult at times, it was a central part of the story and I’d no choice but to grit my teeth and write it. After a difficult scene I’d need to get away from it by taking a walk, or listening to music and it was a good excuse for coffee and a treat!
However as the story progressed, I found I had a choice as to how the character would end up and whether or not there would be any form of retribution, or redemption…
Which do you think I chose?
Zoë Miller writes contemporary fiction laced with intrigue and drama. She is published by Hachette Books Ireland and her latest book, A Question of Betrayal, is now out in paperback. When Zoë’s not escaping into her writing world, she juggles her time between her family and the day job.
Find out more at www.zoemillerauthor.com, Facebook/zoemillerauthor, or follow Zoë on Twitter @ZoeMillerAuthor.
She's afraid of the future, haunted by the past . . .
Ever since the deaths of her adored parents, Carrie Cassidy has avoided risk and commitment, fearful of bringing something precious into her life only to lose it again. So now she finds herself working in yet another uninteresting job, and the love of her life, who wanted more than she could give, has left her. Will she ever move on?
Then, a mysterious woman visits Carrie and reveals a secret that forces her to delve into her mother's past. As Carrie learns more about the woman she thought she knew, she finds herself looking at her own life and wondering if she's living it the way her mother would have wanted her to.
Meanwhile there is someone watching Carrie who would rather the past stay buried . . .
A Question of Betrayal is available in all good bookshops or online here. Tomorrow Zoe will be visiting Ana at This Chick Reads so make sure you check out their post.