Voula Grand – Novelist & Psychologist
“It is easy to forget how mysterious and mighty stories are. They do their work in silence, invisibly. They work with all internal materials of the mind and self. They become part of you while changing you. Beware the stories you read or tell: subtly at night, beneath the waters of consciousness they are altering your world.” – Ben Okri
My desire to write stories was awakened when I was three years old, and my failure to speak led my anxious parents to seek medical advice. An early memory: Dr Caddock, peering at me over his spectacles as my mother haltingly explained: “she has never spoken a single word, Doctor.”
To my mother’s profound relief, he simply pronounced me bored and in need of stimulation. I was granted special permission to join the library a year ahead of the normal age of four, and my love affair with books began, though it was several decades later, after a long diversion into psychology, before my ambition to write fiction would come to fruition.
In my work as a professional psychologist, practicing in the business world for more than twenty years, I have both provided and received a wide variety of psychological teachings and therapies. I have listened to the life stories of almost a thousand people, helping them explore, in depth, their personal meanings and myths.
This professional experience combines with my personal joys and miseries: marriage, motherhood, divorce, and bereavement, to convince me that our life-long emotional experiences largely determine our moods and drive our actions.
My special interest is in the human dilemmas we face as adults: our struggles and quests to know and do what is right, and how hard that can be; and how we can make ourselves suffer so much in the attempt. This is what I aim to explore in my fictional writing. Stories raise questions, unbidden, to our conscious minds, leading us to places in ourselves that are long forgotten, buried beneath the decades of worldly life, and social conditioning: especially true during the adult years of mid-life, during a natural “taking stock” as we review our past, consider our future, and identify the highs and lows of pride and regret.
An abiding passion for understanding human nature infuses my work and writing, whether through the science of psychology, or the art of fiction: two very powerful ways of exploring the human psyche.