The Perfect Sister: Zoe Miller gearing up for release of 11th novel

By Aideen O'Flaherty

Bestselling author Zoë Miller is gearing up for the release of her eleventh novel, ‘The Perfect Sister’, this month.

The Knocklyon mother-of-three has stayed true to her suspenseful and intriguing style of writing in her new novel, which sees sisters Alice and Holly become entangled in an accidental death case – and Alice begins to uncover years of secrets that Holly has kept hidden.

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Author Zoë Miller

Zoë has seen continued success with her novels, since she started writing 12 years ago, and then quit her day job in 2017 to give her full attention to writing.

On the cusp of the release of ‘The Perfect Sister’, Zoë took some time out to talk to her local paper about deciding to make writing a full-time pursuit, how she feels about being on novel number eleven, and what readers can expect from her new book.

You initially started writing part-time as a hobby 12 years ago, but in recent years you quit your day job and decided to give it your full attention. What was it like to do that?

It has been three years since I left my day job. I spent a long time fitting my writing hobby into my spare time, often using annual leave as a burst of time to concentrate on a block of edits or re-writes. However, you can only burn the candle at both ends for so long.

It was a daunting decision but also a huge relief and a great sense of freedom when I finally said goodbye to a stressful commute and the juggle of managing a day job with a writing career, never mind squeezing out family time.

There were adjustments to be made but it’s been fantastic to have space and time for writing and reading. Writing is essentially a solitary occupation, so I make sure to meet friends for coffee or lunch on a regular basis, and attend book launches and festivals– a lot of which weren’t possible this year.

You released your first book, ‘Guilty Secrets’, ten years ago. Can you remember what it was like the first time you saw it on bookshelves in shops?

I don’t think it ever leaves you, that first, all-exciting moment of seeing your book on the shelves for the first time. It’s a wonderful moment and worth the long, twisty journey from chapter one to publication.

However, it’s also a little scary, like watching your precious child heading through the departure gate of the airport en route to travel the world. You hope it will treat it kindly.

THE PERFECT SISTER hi res 1

Now, just ahead of releasing your 11th novel, ‘The Perfect Sister’, do you still get as much of a rush from seeing your books in shops and seeing people reading them out and about?

Absolutely. No matter how many books I have out on the shelves, there’s no such thing as becoming blasé. I feel as passionately about my latest book as I did about my previous ten.

Each book is a standalone story in itself, with a cast of characters I have come to care about and a plot that mattered to me.

To see what you have written in the quiet of your own home, wrapped up in a lovely package, out in shops and libraries, and being read and enjoyed by people, always brings a glow of fulfilment.

What can readers expect from ‘The Perfect Sister’?

Firstly, a totally pandemic-free zone! I like to write page turners to enable readers to take time out, relax, switch off and escape to another world for a few hours.

The book begins with a news report on the demolition of a Celtic Tiger-era apartment block. Then two sisters find their lives thrown into turmoil when something is found in the basement that prompts the reopening of an accidental death case.

It’s a story of deceit, betrayal and revenge.

How does it feel for you to be releasing your 11th book?

It feels like a wonderful privilege to have another book on the shelves, especially nowadays, when so many people are looking for a break from the stressful times we’re living in.

I’ll be honoured if I can offer some much-needed relaxation and a few hours of escape with ‘The Perfect Sister’.

‘The Perfect Sister’, which is being published by Hachette Ireland, is available now as an eBook, and the paperback edition is out on October 15.

For further details, visit www.zoemillerauthor.com.

Zoë is also taking part in this year’s Red Line Book Festival, for more information visit redlinebookfestival.ie.

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