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Archiwum - Wrzesień 24th, 2015

Blog Tour: Q&A with Zoë Miller

24 wrz

Today I am absolutely thrilled to be able to welcome Zoë Miller to the blog! Zoë’s last novel, „A Question of Betrayal”, was published last week and I have truly loved it – you can read my review here. Thank you so much Zoë for answering the questions in such a lovely way, and thank you Joanna for making it possible to happen!

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Zoë Miller!

 

1. Hello Zoë, can you please tell us few words about you?

 First of all, thanks for having me on your blog! Writing has always been my passion since I was young. As a child, I loved reading so much that it inspired me to write.  I scribbled away wherever and whenever I could, and now, years later, I’m delighted to be published by Hachette Books Ireland and I combine writing with the day job and my (very supportive) family. A Question of Betrayal is my seventh book to be published by Hachette, and the excitement of holding the finished book in your hands never diminishes.

 

 2. Can you please tell us shortly about your new book, „A Question of Betrayal”?

 Carrie Cassidy is the main character in A Question of Betrayal.  As the book opens, Carrie is in a bad place. She hasn’t come to terms with her parents’ death and it’s affecting her in many ways. She works in the offices of a glitzy fashion group, but she’s not happy in her job. Her engagement to the lovely Mark has fallen through. Then she is told that her mother betrayed her father in the early days of their marriage. Unravelling what happened takes Carrie on a journey that forces her to face her fears and brings her to the attention of someone who doesn’t want her meddling in the past…

 

3. What inspired you to write „A Question of Betrayal”?

 Reading a newspaper article on holidays sparked ideas for this book, although the story led me down quite a different path than I had first planned! Both my parents have passed away by now and I was interested in writing around that theme. It can be far more difficult than you’d think to come to terms with what is unfortunately a natural and inevitable progression in life. But life does go on, even if it has changed. I was also inspired to write about the power of music to heal and soothe. Life would be incredibly dull without it.

 

 4. How does your research look like?

 I find the Internet invaluable when it comes to research, although for particular life and death details / procedures, it’s essential to talk to someone in the know – as I discovered to my alarm when writing a previous book. (I had to change the story line and rewrite large chunks when I found out that a crucial detail on which the story hinged was incorrect). For A Question of Betrayal, I was lucky enough to have already visited Lucerne in Switzerland, and I took out my photographs to refresh my memory when I was writing those scenes.

 

5. How much of you is in your main characters and how much of your characters is in you?

 My characters are entirely made up, they are not based on anyone else, either real or fictional, including me! Having said that, aspects of yourself, and characteristics you subliminally soak up from your family and friends sometimes – unintentionally – steal across the page. The funny thing I find is that after I have completed a book I sometimes see people in the supermarket or shopping centres that are just how I would have pictured a particular character.

 

 6. How did the title got chosen?

 The title was chosen during a discussion between me and my editor. I didn’t have a working title – it went straight from Book 7 to A Question of Betrayal.

 

7. What do you want people to take away from „A Question of Betrayal”?

 I hope readers find the book an entertaining escapist read that whisks them away from everyday life, an emotional, page-turning experience, characters they can identify with who stay with them after they’ve closed the book – in other words, everything I find enjoyable about reading.   

 

 8. Was it hard to write books about secrets? Does it involve more work, more plotting?

 I love writing books about secrets and intrigue! There are so many complex layers to A Question of Betrayal, including old secrets, that it took lots of plotting and planning to make sure it was watertight and all held together. The help of my editor and copy editor was invaluable as objective pairs of eyes to help ensure the story flowed and was understood.

 

 9. Your books are about families and secrets they keep. Did you find inspiration in your previous writing or do you start each new book with  „carte blanche”?

 Each book is a new beginning. I also try to make each book an improvement on the previous one in terms of the reading experience.  Writing my previous books has taught me not to panic too much if I hit difficult spots during the long process of getting120K words down on paper – it will come together!

 

10. How do you plan your writing? How carefully did you plan this novel in advance?

 I always have an outline plan and I develop a story arc for each character. I know where they are at the beginning of the book, and I have a good idea of where they’ll be by the end. (Mostly!) I don’t always know the nitty gritty of how they’ll get there, I find I get ideas in the middle of the writing process itself and the story can evolve in unexpected ways. Before I began to write A Question of Betrayal I spent at least two months fleshing out the characters, getting to know them in my head, and planning the various turning points.

 

11. Have you always wanted to write novels?

 Absolutely yes!

 

 ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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.

 

A Question of Betrayal: 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 

 

 
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Napisane w kategorii 2015 Releases, Blog Tour

 

Blog Tour: A Question of Betrayal by Zoë Miller /Book Review

24 wrz

A Question of Betrayal by Zoë Miller

 

Publisher: Hachette Ireland

Publishing Date: 17th Spetember 2015

Source:  Received from the publisher, thank you!

Genre: Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Paperback

 

 

 

Synopsis:

On a windswept beach in County Cork, a woman rescues a young man from the sea. A gifted musician, Luis Meyer’s life has fallen apart and he’s determined to end it all, until an angel of mercy pulls him from the water. . . More than 30 years later, Carrie Cassidy is lost following the deaths of her adored parents, John and Sylvie, in a tragic accident.  She’s flitting from one job to another, unable to move forward, unable to forget the past. She can’t even commit to Mark, the love of her life, who has now moved on. And then, one day, she receives a visit from a mysterious woman, with a revelation about her mother that sends Carrie reeling. . . As she delves into Sylvie’s life during that fateful summer of 1980, Carrie finds a woman struggling to come to terms with her choices, a newlywed who, it seems, was head over heels in love with another man. Determined to find out the truth about her mother, Carrie will have to confront painful, possibly dangerous truths—and the only person who can help her is the one she’s hurt the most.

Rating: 5/5

 

„A Question of Betrayal” is my second Zoë Miller’s book. I’ve read and absolutely enjoyed „A Husband’s Confession”, and I remember how much I liked the way this book was written, how the secrets were revealed, and that it was about family and relationships – just what I like most! Since then I’ve been following all the info about Zoë’s new release and couldn’t wait for this book to arrive on my doorstep.

What absolutely took me by surprise was the way the plot developed. I don’t want to tell what exactly has surprised me so much because I don’t want to spoil the book for you, so let’s just say the sudden change in the focus on the characters was so very unexpected for me. Yes, I must admit, I was surprised and a little confused at the beginning, but in the end it was a great turn, absolutely not expected, and in the long term I really appreciate how the author did this. It is a complex story, but it’s very clearly written and I didn’t have any problems to follow its course, even when the narration changed and jumped to the 1980 and back to the present – no confusion here, everything was clear.
And what’s more, the plot is constructed in my favourite way! It’s so layered, we can say that the book follows two different threads, two different stories: the first one about Carrie, and the second, slowly developing, about Luis, Beth and Carrie’s mother, Sylvie. This, what at the beginning seems to be totally different thing, slowly turns out to be connected, the stories intertwine and make for a very gripping read with a very satisfying finish.

The same as in the previous book, Zoë Miller has incredibly well portrayed her characters. She gave them personality, complexity and soul and made them like real people – nice, friendly, or totally unlikeable. At the beginning I really didn’t know what to do with our Carrie, I couldn’t understand her completely. She has pushed almost all the people away from her, she was afraid to commit, and I didn’t like the way she has treated Mark, first her boyfriend, and then her ex – boyfriend. Yes, in the long term, perhaps she was afraid to commit because she was scared to lose the next beloved person, as she has lost her parents in this tragic accident, but she was an adult, it happened some time ago, and truly, it was not a reason to push him away in such a way? She has also undermined herself, telling Mark deserves better, and I wasn’t sure where does it come from, this conviction that she’s not good enough. But slowly, as we get to know Carrie and her history, her past, I found myself warming to her and understanding her – not support maybe, but understand.
The loveliest person in the book was, I think, Mark, Carrie’s ex – boyfriend. There was so much hope, strength in him, and I truly fell for him, and I was really angry with Carrie sometimes, with the way she has treated him, as he didn’t deserve it. I was as confused as he was when Carrie has broken up with him, I can’t say I didn’t see it coming because it was already fait accompli, but nevertheless the reasons she has listed just didn’t sound true. And when we are already talking about male characters in the book, Luis was one of the most significant ones there, but I can’t say I liked him as much as Mark. Well, of course, we can’t compare them, they were two different people but Mark sounded to me so genuine and honest, while Luis, with his wisdom and good advices was a little too perfect.

Zoë Miller has truly exceeded here with writing her characters. Some of them might have only been mentioned, might have been only short on the scenes, like Maria, Luis’s wife, but they all were so realistic and three – dimensional. There was something magic in them, and I quickly found myself very hooked with their lives and their past. And I feel like I even know Carrie’s parents, even though they are dead – and the last scene, THE SCENE… It had me in tears. In tears. It was beautiful and so poignant. Just like the whole book.

„A Question of Betrayal” is such a clever book, full of twists, turns and secrets, but the number of them doesn’t overwhelm the reader, not at all. It is so cleverly plotted and really, hats off to the author for making it not too difficult to follow story, with all the twists. She’s not afraid of adding more and more mystery and totally changing the flow of the story, and I incredibly adored it, as I didn’t know what to expect next. Really, when you think that you know everything, that you know what’s going to happen, the author then throws you off the course, and then you just stop thinking and predicting. It is a brilliant feeling! Also, the fact that the characters are not this what we are thinking, until they also take us totally by surprise and we get to know the truth – what can be better?

I must be honest with you, I was truly for giving this book 3 or 4 stars at the beginning, with its relatively slow start, and a main character that I couldn’t connect to, and storyline that seemed so usual. But then it happened – the characters developed incredibly, the author thrown a bomb or two on our not expecting this heads, and there were more dark secrets in this story than we usually get in a book, and secrets that we’re not able to predict or connect the dots between them, and this all written with amazing feeling – and so, without further ado, I am sure that this novel deserves those big, fat 5 stars. Highly recommended!

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