Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Because Of You by Helene Fermont - Guest Post

How desperate are you to get the one you love?
When Hannah and Ben meet at a friend's party, he knows she's The One. But Hannah's in an intense relationship with Mark and planning to return to her native Sweden to embark on a teaching career.

Desperate to make Ben fall in love with her, rich spoilt heiress Vanessa sets in motion a devious string of events that ultimately changes the course of four people's lives indefinitely.

Hannah is the love of Ben's life, yet Vanessa will stop at nothing to claim the man she is convinced is her destiny.

Because of You is a dark, morally complex and cross-generational story of enduring love, fate and destiny.  

Living in Two Very Different Cities: London and Malmo

I used to wonder what it would feel like to live in different cities. Well, that’s exactly what I did for many years!
After living in the UK and growing up in Sweden, it comes naturally to me to adapt to life in both my home town of Malmö, and my adoptive town, London. Both cities are very different and yet both are home to me and my family.
As an author and native Swede, living in both cities is challenging but very exciting.
My life in London
In London I’m surrounded by multi-cultural events and wonderfully diverse people and cultures, not forgetting the constant buzz of life in a city that has so much to offer. Sometimes it feels as if I’m in a movie, experiencing amazing things that encourage me to write my novels.
At times it also feels overwhelming to have so much around me, different experiences and enormous opportunities to explore and acquaint myself with. On one hand it’s exciting to visit new places, galleries and museums, art exhibitions and stage productions. On the other hand, it can be incredibly stressful to keep up with new and up and coming events.
I love to explore different parts of the city, the village atmospheric communal spirit. My favourite areas are too many to mention here so I’ll settle for just a few…
South of the border: Richmond and Barnes appeal to me, perhaps because they are reminiscent of Sweden. I love the River Thames, parks and commons. I love walking in Richmond Park at the weekend watching the beautiful deer and having Fika (coffee break ) in a lovely cafe. It clears my head to walk and take stock of my latest novel, characters and get new, fresh ideas and inspiration for my next novel.
In North London my favourite areas are Hampstead, Belsize Park and Camden. These are areas buzzing with activity. Less outdoorsy activities than south of the river, yet with just as much to offer culturally.
But what I really like about London is the unexpected opportunity to meet and mingle with people from different backgrounds. It enriches my life to be part of other people’s lives and cultures and learn new things. It also helps to create new characters and settings and plots for my books.
Life’s never boring in London yet can be stressful at times when I’ve got a lot to deal with, work, writing and spending time with loved ones. The latter matters most as it’s their encouragement and support that enables me to do what I love.
My life in Malmö
When in Malmö, it never ceases to astound me how calm, clean and organised everything is. From the moment I land on Swedish territory the air is so much cleaner. It smells fresh outside and the sky’s usually not as dark as in London. The streets and pavements are wider, and people cycle on designated cycle tracks as opposed to busy London roads.
Nearly everyone loves the outdoors, irrelevant of season and weather conditions. There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes!
Meeting up for Fika with family and friends, talking and getting cosy in front of an open fire, mulling over recent events, a love affair and anything that springs to mind that’s worthy of discussing are part of daily life.
Swedes tend to do things in moderation, hence the expression Lagom, which indicates life’s at its best when not doing too much simultaneously. It also means we enjoy the present and don’t worry so much about the future all the time. Lagom applies with how we live, our customs and diet. Enjoying the here and now is more important than living up to expectations of what might happen in the future and how we’ll fare in years to come. No highs or lows, just living in the moment and mentally preparing for the future.
Swedes frequently come across as reserved and shy, but once you get to know us you’ll discover we’re loyal and make great friends for life. Superficial stuff is all too common nowadays yet Scandi people tend to shy away from superficiality and connect on a deep level. We love to read and have long conversations. Starting a meaningful dialogue and conversation that continues from where it started is considered to be an attractive trait and a good recipe for lasting relationships between friends, family members and loved ones.
The food’s lovely and nourishing as well. Swedes love to experiment with different cuisine but we also like to eat the simple, delicious dishes that we’ve inherited from past generations. Personally, I love fish, gravadlax, all kinds of fish recipes handed down to me from my mother and grandmothers, homemade rustic recipes of meatballs, Ikea’s are good but not as great as my home made inherited recipe!
Just like the numerous famous restaurants and chefs in London, Malmö’s eclectic offer of eateries, cafes and wine bars represent local and international cuisine at its very best. Visiting a fish restaurant by the beach, bringing a bottle of wine and wearing casual clothing while enjoying the last rays of sunshine and the soft wind from the sea is a wonderful and relaxing way to wrap up a day watching the sun go down with friends.
Midsummer’s Eve is a lovely celebration of summer and life in a city that’s expanded a lot since I was a little girl. Listening to musicians perform outside in the People’s Park in front of a huge audience is very Swedish and a tradition. If you’ve read my books, you know how much I admire some of them.
Malmö is the city of parks, commons and beaches. Limhamn’s Harbour is just as beautiful and lovely to spend a summer’s evening as the famous harbours in the rest of Europe. Tourism isn’t as big as it is in London, so with a small population of 300,000 inhabitants in and around Malmö, there’s plenty of space to walk and explore the beautiful countryside, parks and beaches. The architecture is very special too.
London is wonderful for discovering new inspirational places and meeting people from all corners of the world. Malmö is where I recharge my batteries and find the inner strength and motivation to finish what I’ve started and move onto the next project.
Both cities are a privilege to spend time in, yet Malmö has a special place in my heart. It’s where I was born and lived until I moved to London in the 90’s.
Perhaps you’re torn as well between different cities? If the answer’s yes, remember home is where your heart is with the people you love.
I’m fortunate I got to live in two equally wonderful places.
And don’t forget to live Lagom and in the moment!

Author Bio

Hélene Fermont writes character-driven psychological crime fiction with a Scandi Noir flavour. Known for her explosive, pacy narrative and storylines, she has published three novels – Because of YouWe Never Said Goodbye and His Guilty Secret – and two short story collections – The Love of Her Life and Who’s Sorry Now? Her fourth novel is due for release in the summer of 2019. After 20 years in London, Hélene recently returned to her native Sweden where she finds the unspoiled scenery and tranquillity a therapeutic boost for creativity. Enjoying a successful career as a Psychologist, when she’s not working her ‘day job’, Hélene spends her time writing, with friends and family, or playing with her beloved cat, Teddy. All three novels can be purchased via her website helenefermont.com/books/  

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