Today we're thrilled to share a guest post from Bianca Zander, author of The Predictions, on sale May 5th! The Predictions is a stunning novel of one woman’s attempt to outrun the destiny that is predicted for her, moving from a remote New Zealand commune in the waning days of 1970s free-love experimentation to the heady music scene of 1980s London.
Gaialands, a bucolic vegan commune in the New Zealand wilderness, is the only home fifteen-year-old Poppy has ever known. It’s the epitome of 1970s counterculture—a place of free love, hard work, and high ideals…at least in theory. The reality is complicated and sometimes fraught, especially as its children reach adolescence. Poppy is drawn to handsome sixteen-year-old Lukas, who’s increasingly skeptical of Gaialands and the adults who shape its rules.
Today Bianca is sharing her inspiration behind the book. Read an excerpt from The Predictions here, and check out this cool Spotify playlist of songs Bianca chose herself! Pre-order The Predictions today.
What inspired The Predictions?
Many moons ago when I was in my early twenties, I went to see a fortune-teller who made a prediction about me that I hoped would not come true.
I had gone to see her with all the usual twenty-something questions, most of which I hadn’t had the courage to voice out loud. But she had guessed.
She studied my palm intently, then after a time looked up. “When you are older, you will be on your own.”
“On my own?” I repeated. “As in, alone?”
“Yes,” she said. “But not lonely. You’ll choose to be on your own.”
Choosing to be on my own was no consolation. At that time in my life, I was single, childless and despite leading what appeared to be a hectic social life, lonely all the way to my bones.
I could not have been more dismayed.
But despite her prediction—or perhaps in defiance of it—in the years that followed, I strove to create the life that I wanted. A life filled with meaningful connections, children and a mate.
I worked hard to meet new people, and, like the self-help books advised, worked even harder to change anything about myself that might hold me back.
Hardest of all, I tried to ignore her stupid prediction, but I found that in moments of weakness—and when life didn’t change overnight—it gnawed at me. What if she was right? What if no matter what I did, I was destined to be on my own?
It seemed to me that once a prediction had been made, it could influence your actions whether you believed in it or not.
This is precisely the quandary faced by Poppy, the 15-year-old heroine of my second novel The Predictions.
In the novel, Poppy is predicted to find true love in a faraway land, a forecast that leads her to abandon Lukas, the boy she grew up with on the commune, who might just be the real love of her life.
Believing too much in fate puts Poppy’s future happiness in jeopardy, but in case you were wondering, it didn’t put paid to mine. Twenty years after that dismal prediction, I am married with two young children and could not be less lonely if I tried. In fact, most days, I dream of five minutes on my own.