In 2012 she secured her first publishing contract with Xcite Books, the erotic imprint of Accent Press, and a year later signed a deal with HarperCollins.
Zara now writes fun, romantic romps set in the British countryside that she loves so much.
She splits her time between a country cottage in a Cheshire village, surrounded by family, friends and assorted animals, and an apartment in Barcelona.
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Hello Zara, welcome to Booky Ramblings of a Neurotic Mom
Was there anything particular that inspired you to start your journey of being an author?
I’ve always scribbled down stories, but a lovely encouraging letter I got from an editor at Michael Joseph when I was sixteen spurred me on to actually submit for publication again.
What would you say is the hardest part of writing/publishing a book for you?
There’s always that bit when I’m about half way through and I think I must have been completely bonkers to ever have thought this would be a good book. If I then read a review from somebody who doesn’t like one of my stories at all, it’s a disaster. Wine, chocolate and a long walk are then in order, before I take a deep breath and interrogate my characters to find out what the missing part of the puzzle is.
If you could only read four books for the rest of your life, what would they be?
Wow, that’s a tricky one! Well… Lord of the Rings (the trilogy! Haha is that cheating or can I count the boxed set as one?),
The Horse Whisperer,
Bridget Jones (can I have the set?),
Tschiffely's Ride - a book nobody else I know has heard of, but it’s an inspiring story that I read years ago and really need to read again.
Do you and your main character share any personality traits?
I suppose I am a bit like Lottie in some ways, like her I’m a fighter and if I say I’ll do something then I do my damnedest to get it done! I can also be a bit scatty like she is, I share her love of animals and can’t resist a man who can make me laugh.
If you could live in any book what book would it be?
Bridget Jones Diary – then I can have Colin Firth and Hugh Grant to myself, what do you mean they’re only in the film?
Where do your ideas for your books come from? Dreams? Music?
Usually from people – either somebody I’ve observed, read about, or some incident that has happened to somebody I know. It raises questions in my mind that need answering.
Any advice for aspiring authors?
Treat it like any other job; writing can be magical but you still need, more so than ever these days, to be business-like – turn up for work every day, find a way round problems, stick at it and don’t expect to be promoted to CEO on your first day. And believe in yourself, you can do it – take on board constructive criticism but don’t believe the doubters.
A Very Country Christmas
A short Christmas story of three courses.
Love is in the air in Tippermere as Lottie dreams of a white Christmas with no trimmings – other than her hot and hunky eventer, Rory. But things are never quite that simple on the Tipping House Estate.
Festive fervour takes over and it isn’t all seasonal peace and goodwill as expectations rise and it soon escalates from cosy dinner for two, to all the trimmings for ten!
With missing turkeys, loose horses, troublesome terriers and randy huntsmen, Lottie is hard pushed to find time for a kiss under the mistletoe, let alone find the opportunity to woo Rory with her sexy Santa costume.
But there is only one thing Lottie really wants for Christmas, and only one man can deliver it…