Zoe Somerville


Zoë writes occasional online pieces about literature and the process of becoming a writer.

Drowning in Literature

In The Night of the Flood, I write about a catastrophic storm surge which led to terrible flooding along the East Anglian coast in January 1953. This is a real event, although not a hugely well-known one. In the flood, 307 people died in England in various horrific ways – being swept away by a wave, old people dying of hypothermia in cold water, babies being pulled from their parents’ arms. These were real deaths, but the more I researched the flood, and wove the raw material into my novel, the more interested I became in how floods and drowning, or more generally, death by water are portrayed in literature. Read the article.

The Process of Writing The Night of the Flood

I wanted to describe the process of writing my debut novel in a way that would be helpful to other writers so I thought I would tell it as a narrative. This story, like most classic tales, is in three acts. Read the article.

The Stresses of Being a Debut Author Published on 3rd Sept 2020 in the UK

When I first signed the contract for my first novel to be published, in September 2019, I was too busy celebrating to think about the date it would be published. After having spent my whole life dreaming of this moment, and four years writing my book, The Night of the Flood, it was a minor detail. It also felt like a long time away. A whole year! Read the article.