My guest on the blog today is author Eunice Nascimento. I love getting a glimpse into other people’s childhoods and Eunice’s sounds fascinating. Plus, of course, she’s chosen a fabulous first photo that I can only applaud! 😉
Os Famosos Cinco – Enid Blyton
What a throwback! This book cover is very important to me. It’s the first fiction book I read. I was about 13. We didn’t really have fiction books growing up, only a school book with the history of our country and occasionally, my maternal grandmother’s stories. Lucky for me, my father spent a few years studying in Portugal and befriended a family with young children. On his return to Mozambique, they gave him some books – all Enid Blyton’s Famous Five. I read and re-read these books until I was tired of them. Two years later, I was even more fortunate to move to England, where I discovered the library in the park near my house and became addicted to reading.
This is one of three of my fan photos. It’s myself and Nalini Singh, one of my favourite authors. It was taken at Forbidden Planet in London at the first and only book signing I’ve attended which wasn’t organised by my local library. I was terribly anxious about meeting Nalini, the other fans and the whole event that I nearly didn’t go. I’m so glad I worked up the courage to go because not only was it fantastic to meet Nalini, I actually enjoyed chatting about Nalini’s books with the other fans (mostly younger than myself, lol) and discovering we shared similar thoughts on her writing.
The two little girls in the picture are my nieces, playing a game I used to enjoy when I was about their age. The photo was taken in Quelimane, the capital city of Zambezia, a province in Mozambique (a country in South East Africa). I attended the first three years of school in Quelimane and later as a teenager, spent some holidays there. To this day, I remember the scorching sun blazing through the windows and waking me up at five in the morning, dancing in knee deep rain in my underwear (I was blissfully unaware of the existence of swimming costumes) and playing games with sand balls that my grandmother made for us. In the evenings we would often sit by the fire in the outside kitchen while my great-uncle, who had only one arm – I don’t know why this was fascinating at the time – imparted some worldly wisdom. As well as being my childhood haven, Quelimane was also the place of my first crush and where I stayed before I moved to England and my life changed irrevocably.
A photo that literally makes me smile. This short story collection is my first published work of fiction. At the time of publication, February 2018, I was overjoyed I’d managed to put together an anthology, create a cover and navigate amazon’s publishing process. Although I can now see the wisdom of leaving the book cover creation to professionals (new cover being finalised as I type), I’m still very proud of what I achieved when I put out this book.
Pen to Print (Debut Novel)
This photo represents a very proud moment in my life. Every time I look at it, I’m reminded of a monumental fact: I started and finished a full-length work of fiction. I’d tried to accomplish this feat before without success – the furthest I’d accomplished was chapter two and I think this was down to a lack of support. It seems I’m the kind of writer who needs a drill Sargent otherwise I procrastinate. As luck would have it, in 2014, my local library started Pen to Print, a project funded by the Arts Council aimed at identifying local writing talent and providing opportunities to produce quality writing for publication. The main competition of the project was the Book Challenge and although I was only long listed, I found my drill Sargent in the brilliant local author who delivered the free year long, monthly creative writing workshops that among other events, were a part of the project. Part of the workshop was to talk about the progress of our work – this together with listening to other aspiring local authors sharing each stage of their work (including wordcount), motivated me to finish my novel by the end of the project year. After a couple of years of tweaking, I finally submitted it to the NWS (New Writers’ Scheme run by the Romantic Novelists’ Association) this summer.
Thanks so much for taking part, Eunice! These were fascinating pictures. It certainly made me think when I read that you didn’t have any fiction books until you were thirteen. I’m so glad you were given The Famous Five books. This is why I love this feature – I find out such interesting things about my guests! Loved hearing the stories behind your photographs. Thank you for sharing.
Born in Mozambique, Eunice Nascimento became addicted to books at the age of fifteen after settling in the UK. Twenty years on – after working as an admin team leader, a HLTA and in various customer service roles – she wrote her first short story which was shortlisted for her local town’s Arts Council Pen to Print Short Story Competition and kickstarted her writing career.
Eunice’s heart-warming collection of short stories Smile Again and the first book in her Felton Ridge Firefighter novelette series – Love by Chance – are now available on Amazon. When she’s not fixing her characters’ love lives, Eunice is usually dancing salsa, watching movies or reading.
Stay connected with Eunice on Facebook
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A kind deed can change your life in unexpected ways…
Advertising copywriter Lidia Silva has deep scars in her heart. She is on a long break from relationships. So when chance leads her to gorgeous firefighter Matt Watson and sparks start to fly, she musters the courage to suggest the only solution viable – a fling. But Matt hasn’t completely stuck to the rules and it isn’t long before their fling becomes an affair of the heart and Lidia’s left wondering if she can find the courage to take a chance on him.
Love By Chance is a contemporary, romantic novelette. It is the first book in the Felton Ridge Firefighter Series.
You can buy Love By Chance here.