The Yowie Drive-by: Thoraiya Dyer

Thoraiya (rhymes with Himalaya) Dyer is one of the Australian spec-fic scene’s up-and-comers. She is one of TPP’s Twelve Planets, the author of Edward Teach (TPP), a vet and an Aurealis Award winning author (“Yowie” from Sprawl). Her work has also appeared in After the Rain (FableCroft), and will appear in Futures and Apocalypse Hope. She is also Talented and Very Nice  :-D.

1. The inspiration for ‘Yowie’ came from …
…working as a vet in Medowie. I was told to watch out for the Medowie Yowie by my friends. My boss. The Williamtown RAAF base dog handlers. Is there a yowie in Medowie? I bought a brilliant book on yowies by Tony Healy and Paul Cropper. Medowie wasn’t in it. There was, though, a snippet about a Yowie who returned lost objects. 

And then I left work and had a baby, and every time I went to get her weighed at the clinic, I had to fill out the questionnaire to see if I had post-natal depression. Do you feel trapped? Always, sometimes, never. Do you feel like life is hopeless? Always, sometimes, never. Do you feel lost? Always, sometimes, never. The story came together by itself.

2. If I didn’t write, I would …
…be a veterinarian. When I was learning to do surgery, I was morbidly fascinated by the fact that if I accidentally cut off my fingers on a scalpel or the electrocautery, my dream of being a writer could never come true. Forget about not being able to do any more surgery. It was writing that worried me, even though I had absolutely no time for it then. Other students were worried about getting kicked by horses or crushed by cattle, but I knew I’d still be able to write in a wheelchair.

Painting? I love painting. I’ve had the thought that when my eyesight starts really failing (genetics sucks) and I can’t read any more, I’ll take up impressionism.

3. You get to go anywhere and anywhen: describe your day.
I’m going to the Great Library of Alexandria. With some kind of translatey-scanney device and the day to myself perusing papyrus. Then I’m eating roast pigeon and drinking pomegranate juice and watching the Great Lighthouse from a decadent feast at Cleopatra’s Palace.

Or, you know. I’m going to the future to see what humans evolve into. Tough choice.

4. Where did Edward Teach come from?
A certain person was pushing me to write something gritty. I asked myself what I was afraid to write about, and realised, ironically enough, that it was her. Well, not specifically. I was afraid to write about Muslims and Jews. So I made myself do it. It came out piratey because my copy of “The Pirate Primer” had just arrived, and I was geeking out about breaking all the rules of grammar. House-bound, paranoid that my child might drown in a bucket of water, I was dreaming about sailing ships and far horizons.

As for the grammar, it got fixed in the final version so that normal people wouldn’t getannoyed and set fire to the book. Matt Chrulew would have been sad if that happened. But I still wrote a story with Blackbeard in it. YA-HARR!

5. Donuts or danishes?
Hot cinnamon donuts, YUM (and this is why low-carb will never inherit the earth).

She doth blog here.

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