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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Author Interview: Yvonne Eve Walus

The Long and the Short of It is very happy to welcome Yvonne Eve Walus who has written over twenty books. She runs the gamut in her writing from soft scifi, to mysteries, to women’s fiction and poetry. She said, though, that her favorite is always the one she’s busy with at the moment. “Of the already published ones,” she told me, “Murder @ Work is the closest to what I enjoy reading.” Murder @ Work is a cozy mystery. When we did the interview, she was reading another cosy mystery Too Late for Angels, by Mignon F. Ballard. As an interesting sidenote: it was a book chosen for her by her three-year-old son at the library.

I asked Yvonne how she came up with the titles to her books. “I’m a great admirer of Philip K. Dick’s titles,” she said. “I mean, who can resist a book called Do Androids Dream of Electric Sleep or We’ll Remember it for You Wholesale? So, I am for something as memorable as that.” She added, “Then the publisher says it won’t fit on the spine so I end up with Murder @ Work.”

Yvonne has a prequel to Murder @ Work coming out toward the end of this year from Echelon Press entitled Murder @ Play. It’s also a cozy mystery. “We have an anonymous letter, a dinner party organized to mend old rifts, and a body,” she said. “Among the suspects are: a Tarot reader, an actress, a lawyer, a computer geek, and an ex-member of Battalion 32.” This book, with its colorful cast of characters is set in South Africa of the 1990s, during its journey to democracy. Yvonne told me “it’s a slice of an era past, as gone with the wind as though it happened a century ago.”

Yvonne told me her favorite author is Terry Pratchett, who writes the Discworld series. “If anybody ever says that there are no original ideas in books,” she said, “they should read that series. I also admire his quirky sense of humor.”

On a more personal note, Yvonne shared with me a strange handwriting habit she has. “I’m right-handed, but I write my small a clockwise, which makes an extra semi-circle and is really inefficient.”

With a smile, she described her heritage as “inter-continental” explaining, “I was born and raised in Poland. When I was twelve, my family and I emigrated to South Africa. Your teenage years are usually your formative years, so it’s no surprise I consider South Africa my second homeland. For the past ten years, I’ve lived in New Zealand, and people ‘back home’ tell me I’ve become a real Kiwi.”

She’s also done just a bit of traveling, as evidenced by her answer to my question about the strangest thing she’s ever eaten. “A durian fruit that smells like moldy socks and tastes of strawberries in Singapore? A bird nest soup in Malaysia? Cow’s stomach in Poland? Tea with butter and salt in a Tibetan restaurant? You tell me.”

Finally, I asked Yvonne, “If you could wish for anything, what would you wish for?”

“That’s easy, and I’ve always wondered why people in fairy tales never thought of it,” she told me. “I want all my wishes to come true. A caveat having watched that horror movie with a monkey’s foot: provided they come true in the spirit, not in the letter, and do not hurt anybody.” Then she added, “But, okay, I’ll settle for my books being on the New York Times top ten.”

You can keep up with Yvonne on her website, http://yewalus.kiwiwebhost.net.nz

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