Snezana Wood: The Bachelor star reveals there is more than meets the eye in memoir Untold

For someone who has filled 290 pages with the most meaningful and heartbreaking moments of her life, Snezana Wood is terrified of writing.

The very thought of putting the peaks and troughs of her existence in words and on paper, let alone in a book released to the world, was something she couldn’t at first comprehend.

But there is a driving force inside Wood that pushes her towards the challenges she’d rather run away from.

It’s been her secret weapon in tough times. When she was a single mum it saw her through navigating finances and relationships, not to mention a complicated degree in molecular genetics. Then, of course, there was the roller-coaster that was The Bachelor.

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When it came to her memoir, Untold, she used this innate fire to fuel her writing.

“I can’t write. I’m shocking at this. I will never do anything like that. So, of course, I had to do it,” she tells STM from home in Melbourne, just after putting daughter Harper down for a nap.

What spilled out of Wood — a Perth-raised mother of four girls and wife to season three bachelor Sam Wood — is a vulnerable body of revelations of rolling with the punches and rising from the ashes, from finding a middle ground in her cultural crossover between Macedonia and Australia (something she describes as an identity ping-pong match) to her late ADHD diagnosis and a euphoric transformation brought about by motherhood.

entertainment, tv, confidential, snezana wood: the bachelor star reveals there is more than meets the eye in memoir untold

Family picture of Snezana, Sam and their daughters. Credit: Supplied

Knowing there is always more than meets the eye was the sentiment that originally compelled Wood to share her story.

She wanted it to be real though, not told through rose-coloured glasses or as a highlights reel; rather, the raw, stripped-back version that reveals her success hasn’t always been a straight road. Her journey to becoming one of the biggest influencers in Australia (she has more than 330k followers on Instagram) has been far from smooth-sailing.

“There’s always obstacles (but) those are the times that you need to keep pushing through,” Wood says.

“It’s always been an uphill battle (for me). A lot of times I thought, ‘oh my god there’s no end to this’, but I kept going, I persevered, and the other side of that is just incredible.”

The dedicated work ethic of her immigrant Macedonian parents rubbed off on her at a young age. At 13, Wood (nee Markovski) got her first job at a hairdressing salon working Saturday shifts. During the week she and her sister Lidija would help their parents, Marko and Menka, clean a 20-something-storey office building in the evening.

Although she loved Perth, and reflects fondly on weekend trips to Bunbury and Manjimup to pick walnuts and chestnuts, Wood’s school experience was tainted with relentless bullying.

Then at 24 she fell pregnant to her on-again, off-again boyfriend. Even though Wood didn’t know it at the time, falling pregnant was the best thing that could have happened to her.

“Once my daughter was born she gave me a new sense of purpose,” Wood writes in Untold.

entertainment, tv, confidential, snezana wood: the bachelor star reveals there is more than meets the eye in memoir untold

Snezana and Eve. Credit: Supplied

She grew up believing that it was culturally “embarrassing, shameful and disgraceful” for a woman to leave her partner, but having Eve made Wood realise both she and her daughter deserved better.

“Years of being told I wasn’t good enough and being repeatedly put down and cheated on broke me down. I believed it. I was a shadow of myself. I didn’t want any of that for my daughter. As I looked into her innocent eyes, I vowed to rebuild myself,” she writes.

And rebuild she did. Wood walked away, never looked back and turned her tragedy into triumph.

The resilient mother moved back into her parents’ house and juggled being a single mum while studying a bachelor of science in molecular genetics and biotechnology.

She focused on Eve and on herself. It was just the two of them in the beginning, and Wood thought it would always be them against the world.

But as Wood had come to learn, life likes to throw a spanner in the works when you least expect it.

One evening Eve urged her mum to apply for the following season of The Bachelor. With additional encouragement from Wood’s sister, Eve’s wishes came true when her mum sent in an application, thinking nothing of it.

Long story short, Wood was picked for the show in 2015, stole then personal trainer Sam’s heart and walked away, hand in hand, with the love of her life.

“I was scared out of my mind, but I went for it anyway . . . Growth and the good stuff lie on the other side of discomfort . . . You have to chase what scares you. Because that fear? It’s the sign you’re onto something big,” she writes.

As Wood reflects on her fairytale Bachelor experience, she describes it as a roller-coaster of a ride.

“You were pushed into the public eye, and somebody like me who wasn’t ready for that, I wasn’t expecting that. It was quite confronting,” she says.

“When there’s so many people out there who have an opinion on your life or on your journey, who know very little about you, there’s nothing that you can really do or say to change their opinion. It was quite a struggle to try and get (my) head around that.”

Since their unconventional love story began, Sam and Snezana have endured highs and lows, just like any relationship.

The pair were married in 2018, have had three girls together (Willow, 6, Charlie, 4, and Harper, 2, while Eve is now 19), and built online fitness and nutrition program 28 by Sam Wood (reportedly sold in 2023 for $71 million).

entertainment, tv, confidential, snezana wood: the bachelor star reveals there is more than meets the eye in memoir untold

Bachelor couple Snezana and Sam tie the knot. Credit: Instagram @snezanawood

Although all four of Wood’s pregnancies were testing, it was her last with Harper that was most challenging — she had never been so scared in her life.

Wood went into labour four weeks before her due date, then doctors found she had sepsis and blood poisoning. She was rushed to the ICU of another hospital while her tiny baby remained in the special care unit.

“I wasn’t even thinking about myself. I didn’t even realise how unwell I was until quite a bit after the whole situation, my concern was with Harper and leaving her at the hospital and how she was going to cope,” Wood says.

“I really felt torn . . . (it’s) quite a terrifying experience for any parent to go through . . . it just made me realise how precious these little ones are to just enjoy every single second that you have with them.”

Another of life’s surprises was being diagnosed with ADHD at 41, not long after Eve received her own diagnosis.

“As I work through my journey with ADHD, I am in the continuous process of discovering how to best use this superpower,” she writes.

“It is a path of self-discovery and adaptation, about what it means to be intelligent and capable in a world that is slow to recognise the value of neurodiversity.”

When it comes to nurturing her daughter’s experience with ADHD, Wood works to highlight life’s silver linings.

“Eve’s journey isn’t about sticking to the beaten path; it’s about carving her own, using her talents and perspectives. In a world that often walks in straight lines, Eve dances to the rhythm of her own beat, and that’s her greatest strength,” she writes.

entertainment, tv, confidential, snezana wood: the bachelor star reveals there is more than meets the eye in memoir untold

Snezana and Sam celebrating Eve graduating high school. Credit: Instagram @snezanawood

The couple have experienced loss and overwhelming love, and have gone from strength to strength in the process.

Having built a successful online business and gained an engaged audience, Wood has put her science degree and lifelong dream of becoming a police officer on hold.

But she maintains a “never say never” attitude, even when it comes to Perth.

“It’s the ideal place to raise a family, to be honest. We have considered a few times moving back across because we love it so much,” she reveals.

Untold by Snezana Wood is released June 26, $34.99, published by Hachette Australia.

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