I have the honour of welcoming Sylvia Petter to the blog today, as part of the blog tour for her novel, All The Beautiful Liars, arranged by Rachel’s Random Resources. I’ll tell you all about the book in just a sec, but first, let me introduce you to Sylvia.
Have you always wanted to be a writer?
No, I wanted to be a vet, but I was too short and lousy in maths. So, I did languages at uni and started travelling at twenty.
Why did you start writing fiction and when?
I was trained as a translator but wanted my own words. On the way up an international corporate ladder I did an MBA module on planning and managing change and decided to find something I could do for the rest of my life. Writing.
How did you start?
I was in Geneva at the time and I looked around for a writing group. I found a group just coming into its own run by the writer Susan Tiberghien. I say Susan gave me the right to write as I thought I didn´t have the right to write fiction, not having studied English literature. Funny the barriers one puts in one´s own way sometimes. Then I went online and worked for several years in Alex Keegan´s online Bootcamp -it was like doing an MfA.
What made you want to write a novel?
Issues kept appearing in my short stories and I wanted to find out more about my family. But there were so many dead ends that the only way to do it would be as a novel.
How long did it take?
It took over 25 years. Oh, I did other things: published three collections of stories, one of which erotic tales under a pseudonym, tried my hand at novellas in flash, worked with other writers, tried poetry and flash fiction, wrote another novel, a novella, but I kept coming back to my original draft which itself was morphing.
Do you have an agent?
I secured an agent with the first draft of my novel and she nurtured and supported me in my writing over the years to help both me and the novel develop. I dedicate All the Beautiful Liars to her even though we have now parted ways. So now I no longer have an agent, and I doubt I would find such wonderful support again.
Thanks so much Sylvia for taking the time to talk to us today. Now, here come all the details about All The Beautiful Liars.
How true are the family histories that tell us who we are and where we come from? Who knows how much all the beautiful liars have embargoed or embellished the truth?
During a long flight from Europe to Sydney to bury her mother, Australian expat Katrina Klain reviews the fading narrative of her family and her long quest to understand her true origins. This has already taken her to Vienna, where she met her Uncle Harald who embezzled the Austrian government out of millions, as well as Carl Sokorny, the godson of one of Hitler’s most notorious generals, and then on to Geneva and Berlin. Not only were her family caught up with the Nazis, they also turn out to have been involved with the Stasi in post-war East Germany.
It’s a lot to come to terms with, but there are more revelations in store. After the funeral, she finds letters that reveal a dramatic twist which means her own identity must take a radical shift. Will these discoveries enable her to complete the puzzle of her family’s past?
Inspired by her own life story, Sylvia Petter’s enthralling fictional memoir set between the new world and the old is a powerful tale about making peace with the past and finding closure for the future.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Sylvia Petter was born in Vienna but grew up in Australia, which makes her Austr(al)ian.
She started writing fiction in 1993 and has published three story collections, The Past Present, Back Burning and Mercury Blobs. She has a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of New South Wales.
After living for 25 years in Switzerland, where she was a founding member of the Geneva Writers’ Group, she now lives in Vienna once more.
For more information on the book, make sure you check out the other books taking part on the tour.