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Travel Thursday with Zoe Chamberlain

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Travel Thursday is back and today I'm delighted to welcome fellow Accent author and journalist, Zoe Chamberlain.

Welcome, Zoe. You've spent a lot of time in the U.S.A and travelled to several other countries, haven't you? Can you tell us a bit about it?

Hi Karen, yes I have. When I was a teenager, I took off with just a suitcase full of dreams and went to live in California. 

Hollywood Hills USA

Hollywood Hills, USA

I’m a big believer in fate. I had no idea I wanted to live in California but, by fluke stood at a bus stop one day, I heard about a student exchange programme. I never caught that bus. Instead I went and signed up on the spot, alone and with no idea what awaited me, other than a huge amount of excitement.

Following an 18-hour flight, I arrived into a tiny airport in the suburbs of Los Angeles where I was told a fellow student would meet me. It poured with rain that evening and everyone I met that night was grateful to the English girl for bringing the rain. It was pretty much the only time it did rain though during my entire stay.

My Cali lifestyle was amazing. Soon I was hitching a ride down to Tijuana in Mexico, driving the Pacific Coast Highway up to San Francisco and hanging out with Hollywood directors in Echo Park.

Huntington Beach USA

Huntington Beach, USA

Within a blink of an eye my six semester in L.A was over and so I took to the road, and the skies, to spread my wings further across the States, taking in Hawaii, New York, Chicago, Seattle, Las Vegas and more.

Santa Monica USA

Santa Monica, USA

I returned to England but my hunger for travel grew, resulting in backpacking jaunts around Australia, temple-exploring trips to Tokyo and cookery excursions to Malaysia, even Aurora-chasing expeditions across Norway and Finland.

Kyoto templeKyoto Temple, Japan

You've been to some wonderful places, Zoe. Have they inspired your writing?

What I’ve learnt from my travels is that it is the individuals that make a place: the independent shops, the unique street food sellers and the community camaraderie of a kindred spirits.

And so it is this that inspired me to write my book The Garden of Stars.



 Available from Amazon

What a lovely cover! Can you tell us a bit about the story? 

It is about a mother and daughter, on the run from an abusive relationship, who find themselves in a tumble-down country cottage that’s bursting with character (and very much like my own). Vivian, the mum, discovers that the pretty little town that has provided her salvation is under threat from developers, who want to tear down the black and white buildings, drive out the butchers and bakers and replace it all with faceless riverside apartments and supermarkets.

She comes up with a plan to save her beloved town and gets the whole community involved but there’s trouble along the way, namely a fire, a brawl and a witch hunt that looks set to unearth the terrible skeletons in her cupboard.

It’s a book about why we should preserve individuality and make every little town a place where tourists love to come visit.

And it's also about why it’s so very important for us all to broaden our horizons and share them with our children.

Meet Zoe


Zoe Chamberlain

 A bit about Zoe

Zoe Chamberlain is a journalist, author, member of the Romantic Novelists Association and mum of two. She also runs a parenting Facebook group called Brummie Mummies

Twitter: @1ZoeChamberlain

Facebook: Zoe Chamberlain Journalist  /  Garden of Stars

Amazon Author Page


 Thank you Karen for inviting me onto your blog, it’s brought back some very happy memories.

It's been a pleasure, Zoe.

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