Today I am joined by Australian writer Liza Perrat.
Liza is the author of The Silent Kookaburra, ‘a haunting exploration of the blessings, curses and tyranny of memory’
Liza kindly answered a few questions about herself and her novel in the following Q & A..
For those who don’t know already, could you tell us about yourself and your book(s) please?
Originally an Australian nurse and midwife, I have now been living in rural France for over 20 years.
I’ve written a French historical trilogy –– The Bone Angel –– three standalone stories exploring the tragedies and triumphs of a French village family of midwife-healers during the French Revolution (Spirit of The Lost Angels), WW2 Nazi-occupied France (Wolfsangel) and the 1348 Black Plague (Blood Rose Angel).
My 4th novel, recently published, The Silent Kookaburra, is a psychological suspense story set in 1970s Australia.
So why did you decide to change from writing historical fiction to Australian psychological crime?
After three historical fiction novels dealing with the same family, in the same village, I was worried that another one might just be too much of the same thing. I also felt I needed a complete change, to refresh my writing. I will most likely return to writing historical fiction though, one day, as I love that genre.
Did your Australian background help in writing this story?
It certainly did. I grew up in Wollongong in the 1970s. Having first-hand knowledge of the place, the flora and fauna, and the mentality of those times, really helped. Though when I called on friends to help with memories from that time, I realized each of us remembered different things, which was nice and nostalgic.
So what is The Silent Kookaburra about?
All eleven-year-old Tanya Randall wants is a happy family. But Mum does nothing besides housework, Dad’s always down the pub and Nanna Purvis moans at everyone except her dog. Then Shelley arrives –– the miracle baby who fuses the Randall family in love for their little gumnut blossom.
Tanya’s life gets even better when she meets an uncle she didn’t know she had. He tells her she’s beautiful and could be a model. Her family refuses to talk about him. But that’s okay, it’s their little secret.
Then one blistering summer day tragedy strikes, and the surrounding mystery and suspicion tear apart this fragile family web.
Embracing the social changes of 1970s Australia, against a backdrop of native fauna and flora, The Silent Kookaburra is a haunting exploration of the blessings, curses and tyranny of memory.
Purchase Link ~ The Silent Kookaburra
Can you share your writing process with us, in a nutshell?
Basically it’s like building a house: slog and labour through the heavy work of first draft foundations. Build up the walls to get the whole structure in shape. Then remove all the debris (cut the fluff and purple prose). Finally, furnish and decorate the house: playing around with every word, sentence and paragraph to make it sound and look “nice”.
How do you pick your characters names?
I try and choose names that are suitable to the type of character, the historical era, the story. When I have used French names, I try and find names that English-speaking readers can pronounce easily.
How can readers keep in touch with you?
Via my email at firstname.lastname@example.org
About Liza Perrat:
Liza grew up in Australia, working as a general nurse and midwife. She has now been living in France for over twenty years, where she works as a part-time medical translator and a novelist. She is the author of the historical The Bone Angel series. The first, Spirit of Lost Angels is set in 18th century revolutionary France. The second, Wolfsangel is set during the WW2 Nazi Occupation and the French Resistance, and the third novel – Blood Rose Angel –– is set during the 14th century Black Plague years.
Her latest novel, The Silent Kookaburra, is a psychological suspense, set in 1970s Australia.
Liza is a co-founder and member of the writers’ collective Triskele Books.
Liza reviews books for Bookmuse.