Welcome, Liza. Tell us a little about yourself and what you like to do when you’re not writing.
When my head is not buried in a book, I love hiking in the hills of the rural French village in which I live. I’m obsessed with travel and swimming and play a decent game of tennis.
What was the inspiration behind The Silent Kookaburra?
Growing up in 1970s Australia.
When did first realise you wanted to be a writer?
I loved the idea of being a writer when I was a child, probably due to being an avid reader, but didn’t begin writing until the year 2000.
Do you have a favourite book and/or character?
Favourite book of all time would have to be Gone with the Wind.
Do you ever get reader’s block?
Never! I’ll read anywhere and everywhere.
What was the first book that made you cry?
I can’t remember, probably an Enid Blyton when the Famous Five were in real danger!
What advice would you give your younger writing self?
Pursue photography. Only kidding… I’d have started much younger, and learned the craft earlier.
Can you pinpoint a time when you realised the power of language?
From a very early age, being transported to another time and place through stories.
And just for fun…..
Are you superstitious?
A little bit.
Three words which describe you.
Sensitive, hopeful, harassed.
One thing you can’t live without.
Worst present you ever received.
A cordless keyboard from my husband, who thought it was the best present ever.
Thanks so much, Liza 🙂
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.
Unsettling psychological suspense blending the intensity of Wally Lamb with the atmosphere of Peter James, this story will get under your skin.
Excerpt from The Silent Kookaburra
Knuckles blanch, distend as my hand curves around the yellowed newspaper pages and my gaze hooks onto the headlines.
HAPPY AUSTRALIA DAY. January 26th, 1973. 165-year anniversary of convict ships arriving in Sydney.
Happy? What a cruel joke for that summer. The bleakest, most grievous, of my life.
I can’t believe my grandmother kept such a reminder of the tragedy which flayed the core of our lives; of that harrowing time my cursed memory refuses to entirely banish.
Shaky hands disturb dust motes, billowing as I place the heat-brittled newspaper back into Nanna Purvis’s box.
I try not to look at the headline but my gaze keeps flickering back, bold letters more callous as I remember all I’d yearned for back then, at eleven years old, was the simplest of things: a happy family. How elusive that happiness had proved.
I won’t think about it anymore. I mustn’t, can’t! But as much as I wrench away my mind, it strains back to my childhood.
Of course fragments of those years have always been clear, though much of my past is an uncharted desert –– vast, arid, untamed.
Psychology studies taught me this is how the memory magician works: vivid recall of unimportant details while the consequential parts –– those protective breaches of conscious recollection –– are mined with filmy chasms.
I swipe the sweat from my brow, push the window further open.
Outside, the sun rising over the Pacific Ocean is still a pale glow but already it has baked the ground a crusty brown. Shelley’s gum tree is alive with cackling kookaburras, rainbow lorikeets shrieking and swinging like crazy acrobats, eucalyptus leaves twisted edge-on to avoid the withering rays.
But back in my childhood bedroom, behind Gumtree Cottage’s convict-built walls, the air is even hotter, and foetid with weeks of closure following my parents’ deaths.
Disheartened by the stack of cardboard boxes still to sift through, uneasy about what other memories their contents might unearth, I rest back on a jumble of moth-frayed cushions.
I close my eyes to try and escape the torment, but there is no reprieve. And, along with my grandmother’s newspaper clipping, I swear I hear, in the rise and dump of its swell, the sea pulling me back to that blistering summer of over forty years ago.
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.
Sign up for new book releases and receive a FREE copy of Ill-Fated Rose, short story that inspired The Bone Angel French historical series.
Review Quotes : The Silent Kookaburra
Compelling psychological drama that delves into the dark heart of family secrets. Chris Curran, author of Amazon bestseller, Mindsight.
A tight and tense family drama which engages the reader’s attention from start to finish, and which bears all the hallmarks of this talented author’s fine attention to detail and natural story telling ability. Jaffareadstoo, book blogger.
… sad, tragic and funny, all at the same time. Behind the story of everyday life lurks the shadow of child abuse, madness and murder, but these are dealt with so cleverly that the book doesn’t seem particularly dark. Terry Tyler, Author of The Devil You Know
A real page-turner with fabulously engaging characters and a gripping plot, the outcome of which I did not guess before the final revelation. Claire Whatley, reader.
An amazing domestic thriller with a gripping storyline, vivid dialogue, a palpable sense of place and time, and a compelling cast of characters that I can’t get out of my head. Carol Cooper, Contemporary Women’s Fiction author.
I have to say this was one of the most compelling reads I have read. Carol Ravensdale, reader.
Liza Perrat brings her sureness of touch, vivid characterisation and ability to convey a strong sense of time and place to this story set in 1970s Australia. Vanessa Couchman, author of The House at Zaronza.
It’s a delight to watch an author grow into her talent. I admire Perrat’s historical fiction, but here she really comes into her own. In moving closer to the present and to her own Australian background, she produces a riveting tale of human frailty and deceit that kept me enthralled even as I dreaded what might happen next. C.P. Lesley, author of the Legends of the Five Directions series.
… nothing better than a good twist or two in a plot, but this was a first for me – one final hammer dropping on the very last page that made my jaw drop! Cindy Taylor, BookBlogger.
The mystery keeps you turning the pages; the description transports you to another place, another time; and the characters by turns amuse, infuriate, entertain and conjure a sense of poignancy and regret. Tricia Gilbey, writer and reader.
… as well-written psychological thrillers often do, it makes you question everything you think you know, culminating in a true twist of an ending that both shocks and makes you ask “Why didn’t I figure this out sooner?” Courtney J. Hall, historical fiction, romance and contemporary author.