Letters give writer Walker a kick

Author Yvette Walker with her novel.
Author Yvette Walker with her novel.

The Mt Lawley-based writer, who works at Collins Booksellers in Cottesloe, recently won a prestigious Premier’s Book Award for her first novel, Letters to the End of Love.

Ms Walker said it was great to be recognised on a national level and for people to realise the talent coming out of WA.

‘I try very hard not to flog my own book but they go ‘have you read that’ and I go ‘oh, well I wrote it actually’ and then they kind of freak out,’ she said.

‘It’s not only about me; it’s about getting people to search out their local writers because Perth has a really strong local writing scene and it’s getting stronger.

‘I find that if it isn’t a particularly big Australian name people are more inclined to go for UK or US authors, which I find really odd.

‘The more you buy Australian writers the more they will be able to be published, so I try and steer people towards the Australian titles.’

Walker’s book beat several strong entrants from across the State for the honour of WA’s inaugural Emerging Writers Award.

The novel follows the story of a Russian painter who escapes the Soviet Union under Stalin and relocates to Ireland as well as an English doctor whose partner dies in a concentration camp.

‘The book is made up of love letters, which is probably a little unusual because it is not a writing form many people use anymore ” it’s called epistolary,’ Walker said.

‘It was a way to talk about normal people kind of caught up in huge historical events, so that was the inspiration.’

Walker will now start work on her next novel and appear on stage at the Koorliny Arts Centre later this month for Stories on Stage.