A writer inspired by nature and human nature

Posts tagged ‘women’s fiction’



I’m delighted to have Fia Essen here at 4writersandreaders today and can’t wait to find out more about the author and her latest book:

Meet author Fia Essen and find out about her lastest novel, ARIEL.

Meet author Fia Essen and find out about her lastest novel, ARIEL.


Nicholas Blomfield talks about Fia Essen’s latest novel

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Fia’s work about Ariel and her struggle to find and develop herself.

Fia has a staggeringly strong descriptive style that I personally loved. It felt as though she had spent a great deal of time considering the characters, their lives, history and personal ups and downs. The vivid and life like descriptions of things gave the story a fantastic atmosphere helping to shape Ariel and her eventual triumph over life’s obstacles. I shall not spoil the plot or give too much away, I strongly advise reading it!

A truly wonderful piece of literature and well worth immersing yourself into Fia’s creative work. I have no doubt this is the start of a long and fruitful writing career – watch this space! Nicholas Blomfield

To begin our interview, tell us a little about yourself, Fia.

I was born in Sweden in 1983. My passport claims I’m still Swedish even though I left Sweden more than twenty-five years ago. I grew up in the Middle East and Southeast Asia. And I spent my teenage years living in a stable. Literally. Horses were my next door neighbors. When other girls my age were perfecting the art of applying makeup and discussing boys, I was either mucking out stalls or on horseback, having the time of my life. Now I live in Athens, Greece with Taxi Driver, my Yorkshire Terrier.

How about your family life?

There’s three of us—me and my parents. We’re a small group of nomads. I’m an only child and Taxi Driver is my only child.

 How long have you been writing and what type of writing do you normally do?  

I’ve been making up stories for as long as I can remember. I have an active imagination. But I didn’t get serious about writing until 2010. What I write now fits into the Contemporary Fiction genre.

Can you give us a brief synopsis of your book?

ARIEL by Fia Essen BOOK COVERAriel is about a half-English, half-American, lifelong expatriate who was born in Hong Kong and now lives in Singapore. At the age of thirty-four, Ariel is in debt and out of luck. She used to have a career, a penthouse, and a group of fun friends. Now she has a dead-end job, a rented hovel of a home, and a rising stack of unpaid bills to keep her company. Just when she is starting to fear she will never be able to get her life back on track, she is contacted by the mysterious Muse Agency. And, suddenly, she is forced to question everything she thought she knew about herself and those around her.

What prompted you to write Ariel?

Every writer has heard the phrase “write what you know” at some point. So that’s exactly what I did. I wrote what I knew. On a personal level, I know what it’s like to be stuck in a rut.

One reader called Ariel “self-help turned fiction”… That’s a genre you don’t see a lot of but it describes Ariel well. What most self-help books fail to mention is that there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to self-help. Every person on the planet is a unique individual. So I began picking bits and pieces of self-help that helped me, advice that suited my personality. And then I put that into Ariel, hoping readers of the story would find something that could help them in their own lives.

Do you have a favorite line from the book?

“Think big, start small, and keep going.”

Who is your favorite character and why?

Ariel is my favorite character. The story is told from her point of view. So, as peculiar as it sounds, she and I became very close while I worked on the manuscript.

What was the hardest part about writing?

I love writing. Writing isn’t hard. The only hard part about being an author is gaining an audience. I’m working on it! I have a long road ahead of me but I’m committed to giving it my all. It’s all part of being an author.

Do you do anything besides write?

I’m the Company Administrator at Essen & Essen, which is a family owned company with interest and ownership in various companies and organizations. We specialize in activities related to business & personal growth, management consulting and interim management services.

How can our readers get a copy of ARIEL?

Ariel is available on Amazon, B&N, and from my publisher’s website.

What’s next for Fia Essen?  

More writing! Solstice Publishing will release Anna this summer. And I’m currently working on a story called Amanda, which will come out in time for Christmas. Ariel, Anna, Amanda… I have a thing for As.

GET SOCIAL with author Fia Essen:

Fia, thanks so much for joining us  today. ARIEL, the story of a young woman caught in a rut, has me tap-tap-tapping my kindle to turn the pages to find out just how she’s going to climb out!

Readers, thanks so much for joining us today. Fia and I would love to hear from you. You’re invited to chat with us (comments below). Be sure to take a look inside Ariel on Amazon and dive right into the pages of a great new book. ~ Bette A. Stevens

Storytelling At Its Best!

Meet the Author:

Susan Speranza

Susan Speranza, author of The Tale of Lucia Grandi, The Early Years.

Amazon reviewers acclaim Speranza’s debut novel as
“great storytelling…[prose] flows with such beauty you are holding your breath to eagerly read each word!”

Hello, Susan. It’s great to have you with me today. Tell me a little about yourself and about your life in Vermont.

I was born in New York City and grew up on suburban Long Island. This became the setting of my novel, The Tale of Lucia Grandi, the Early Years.

Because Long Island is surrounded by water, all the things associated with water such as the ocean, the beaches, boating, fishing and swimming are an important part of the culture there. But that seemed to have so little influence on me; from the time I was a child, I always longed for mountains. The setting of many of the books I read was always rural — full of pastures, highlands, valleys, farms. It took many years – and a divorce – to help me achieve my dream. Eleven years ago I left Long Island, moved to Vermont and never looked back. Now, every day when I look out at my meadow and the mountain beyond, I know this is where I belong. I don’t miss the water or the ocean at all. And if on occasion I want to experience it again, I just travel three hours east to the coast of Maine and I’m good!

 Well, Susan, when you’re hankering for a taste of the coast, give me a call; it would be great to share a cup of lobster stew with a fellow author.

I never refuse invitations, so be careful…that’s how I wound up in Vermont. My friend kept inviting me up, so after several years of visiting Vermont, I moved there permanently – and I bought the house next door to her!

The invitation’s an open one, Susan… Tell us a little about your family life.

Well, after a very unfriendly divorce, I took an eight-year hiatus, at which point I met a wonderful man (a fellow New Yorker transplanted to Vermont) and we are now engaged. There is definitely life after divorce.

I have many children but they are of the four-legged variety… years ago I took up the hobby of dog showing and breeding and have produced many Pekingese champions. The dogs I have now are the great-great-grandchildren of my original (or foundation) dogs. They sometimes seem to cost as much as human children — I think I have singlehandedly put all of my Vet’s offspring through college. Unfortunately, I can’t claim them as dependents at tax time…

How long have you been writing? What type of writing do you normally do?

I’ve been writing all my life. Even as a child I found communicating through writing easier than speaking. If I needed to say something important or explain something, I found I could do it better through writing, where I could measure my words and tame my thoughts. As a child I would write books and stories — imitating the books I loved. Some of them I’m sure involved copyright infringement as they were imitation to the point of plagiarism, but it was good practice and eventually, I learned to be original. When I was an adolescent, full of drama and raw emotion as most adolescents are, I found writing poetry was more fulfilling. I never really wrote for anyone but myself. The first work I wrote for public viewing was The City of Light — a fantasy or allegory — about the end of the world. That book has recently been reissued as an eBook. The Tale of Lucia Grandi is my first novel.

Can you give us a brief synopsis of your new book?

In this novel, a dying old woman is asked to tell the story of her life and so she tells about growing up in a troubled, warring suburban family in the 1950s and ’60s. It’s written as a memoir, where Lucia is the silent observer recording incidents in her family and illustrating the conflicts between them. Her conflict with her family grows as she grows, leading to the final crisis.

What prompted you to write Lucia Grandi?

I had so many stories I wanted to tell, but I’m not really a short story writer. A few years ago, while I was waiting to have my car repaired, an 83-year-old woman came into the waiting room where I sat by myself. She began talking to me — and before I knew it, she was telling me the story of her life. I thought of that afternoon when I searched for a framework in which to set the stories I wanted to tell. It seemed very compelling – an old woman looking back on a life she claims was not very interesting; yet, as the novel progresses, the stories she is telling are very interesting indeed.

Do you have a favorite line from the book?

There is actually a line Lucia (the narrator) says several times throughout the book in slightly different ways: “It was simple, really, all I needed was a kind word, a human touch – which never came…”

Who is your favorite character and why?

This is a difficult question in the same way that I find it difficult to answer people who ask me if I have a favorite dog. I always say no — I love them all (and I do!); but I am closer to some than to others. The same with my characters. I love them all, but some I had more fun with, and some were more challenging, harder to get right. With the mother, Ruth, it was difficult to find that balance; it’s easy to characterize someone as evil or selfish, but even such people as these occasionally have some redeeming qualities. Ruth was characterized as hard, cold, domineering; but there are many moments when her vulnerability slips through. I had to make sure that I didn’t make her one-dimensional. I had a lot of fun with Lucia’s sister, Lynn – the eternal drama queen. Again, I had to work hard at preventing her from becoming a one-dimensional character.

What was the hardest part about writing your book?

The hardest part about writing this book was finding the time to write it in the midst of an overwhelming, demanding life. I tried to get up at 4 a.m. to write, but I’m not a morning person. I can’t think straight that early. So I had to settle for writing on weekends, holidays and summer vacations. That’s why it took me six years to write my first novel.

Do you do anything besides write?

Most writers have day jobs — and mine is a high school librarian. The advantage is that I get a summer vacation when I can write every day. Writing a book seemed a natural extension of being a librarian; after all those years of being the keeper-of-the-books, I finally wrote one.

How can my readers get a copy of LUCIA GRANDI, The Early Years?

It’s available in print and as an eBook from Amazon and Barnes&Noble. It’s also available from the publisher, Brook House Press: www.brookhousepress.org. It can also be special-ordered through local bookstores.

What’s next for you, Susan?

The ending of the book requires a sequel. I’m not overly fond of sequels, but it was either that or writing an 800 page book, which I really didn’t think the public would go for. Hopefully, it won’t take me another six years to write that one!

Thank you, Susan Speranza, for sharing your  story with me today. It was great to find out more about you and about your superb novel. I highly recommend Susan’s book to fiction lovers everywhere. Susan Speranza’s tale will hold your attention from the first word to the last:. This story of the human yearning to be loved, to be safe, cared for and understood, is told in words that will tug at your heart. My copy of THE TALE OF LUCIA GRANDI, The Early Years arrived at my doorstep last Tuesday. Don’t miss out… Order yours today!

Some links:




Author Interview by Bette A. Stevens

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