Local author Zoe Miller to release ninth novel

AUTHOR Zoe Miller is releasing her ninth novel this week entitled House Full of Secrets.

Living in Knocklyon, Miller has been writing in her spare time since the tender age of six but put her dreams on hold when motherhood came knocking later in life.

Zoe Miller Collage

With her children grown up, Miller started pursuing writing as a career once more whilst juggling a full time job.

She eventually formed a partnership with Hachette Books, Ireland and in 2009 saw her first official novel, Guilty Secrets published.

How has the writing experience been over the years?

Easier in the sense that I know it involves about nine month’s solitary confinement! I have developed a great relationship with my editor and agent. I know that when I hit a wall at 20k words or end up in a plot hole at 50k words that I just have to persevere.

It has become harder because I try to set the bar higher with each novel by writing a richer and more satisfying story and ignore the inner critic.

Do you feel compelled to write about your hometown?

It is a deliberate decision on my part to write stories with locations that showcase the best of Dublin and our lovely country. The Compromise is set partly in Howth, Rival Passions in the beautiful Wicklow landscape, and A House Full of Secrets is set against the wild and wonderful backdrop of county Mayo.

A lot of books also include scenes based in foreign locations.

What can readers expect in terms of the general plot?

The Blake family have been summonsed back to their childhood home after many years apart, but relations are far from perfect and even the walls of the house are shimmering with secrets.

Someone is determined those secrets will be exposed so there are lots of twists and turns, with consequences for everyone.

Are there any characters who you particularly enjoyed exploring?

The character I most related to and enjoyed writing about was Leo Blake, the patriarch of the family. His scenes literally flowed from my fingertips into the pages of the book, with little or no re-writing. It was a joy.

Did you branch out in a different direction this time?

I write a different story every time, but all my stories revolve around family dynamics / relationship problems and redemption. I like to explore these issues through layers of intrigue, suspense and drama.

My inspiration for this novel sprang partly from the haunting and remote location and imagining a family at odds with each other being coerced back for a weekend.

Are there any planned sequels?

There is no planned sequel for now, I’m working on Book Number 10 and doing my best to ignore the pesky inner critic!

Who are your big inspirations in the world of writing?

I’m very privileged to have some inspirational friends from different walks of life, but in the world of writing I think anyone who sits down and writes a book is an inspiration in terms of the dedication, guts, creativity and discipline required.

I have a few writer friends and I enjoy their work as well as the work of Tana French, Jojo Moyes, Maggie O’Farrell and Kate Morton.

Any ambitions for the future?

I have recently quit the day job to write full-time, it was a long-held dream and mostly it’s bliss but it’s not without some challenges.

My goal is to write even more compelling stories now that I’ll have extra time to devote to both reading and writing. Ambitions for the future? Anything is possible…

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