I'm one of The Culture Show's best new British novelists


The last week has been strange. People have been coming up to me in the small bookshop I work in, looking me in the eye, and saying, "Are you Evie Wyld?"

My first impulse is to lie, say something like, "No, she left ages ago, she was no good." Or, gangster-style, "Who wants to know?"

But, after a bit of panicking, I've eventually nodded.

This is partly because I'm a grown-up and admitting who you are is all part of that.

But it's mainly because, very kindly, Roz, the owner, has a pile of my book at the counter with a sign saying, "Look it's Evie, she works here," with an arrow pointing towards me.

I feel any attempt to lie would be temporary at best.

The reason this has been happening is that I've been chosen as one of the BBC Culture Show's 12 most promising British novelists.

When we met for a photo shoot, the writers I spoke to agreed it's lovely, if a little odd, to be appearing on television.

Most novelists are generally happiest on their own, writing rather than talking.

However, of course, having spent three years writing something, it's wonderful to have people who know what they're talking about say it's worth reading.

I'm especially glad that people have said such complimentary things about the handling of landscape in the book, as that strange, fierce countryside of Australia was something I really wanted to explore.

One of the questions I get asked a lot is how I managed to write in the voice of a man.

It was great, therefore, to find that someone else on the list, Rebecca Hunt, wrote hers as a dog - a male dog.

When I was first thinking about how I might do justice to a story about war and silence, I would always imagine what my Australian uncle, who fought in Vietnam, might think about it. Knowing that he approved was a huge relief.

Having those customers in the shop punch the air and say congratulations is too.

Evie Wyld is one of the authors featured in New Novelists: 12 Of The Best From The Culture Show.

New Novelists: 12 Of The Best From The Culture Show is available in iPlayer until Saturday, 12 March, and is part of Books On The BBC 2011.

Alex Clark, part of the judging panel for New Novelists: 12 Of The Best From The Culture Show, has also written on the BBC TV blog about her experiences on the programme.

Comments made by writers on the BBC TV blog are their own opinions and not necessarily those of the BBC.


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