Yael Maree has had the privilege of living in numerous countries before settling in beautiful Melbourne. Mother to three, she loves reading, writing and learning about language and culture. Yael enjoys reading the classics with The Count of Monte Cristo and A Tale of Two Cities amongst her favourites. She reads across most genres and enjoys works by R.E Fiest, Gabriel García Márquez, Khaled Hosseini and Markus Zusak.
Yael’s debut novel When We Vanish is a delightful tale of a relationship tested by fear, love, rejection, and the desire of two individuals to be seen for who they truly are.
When We Vanish was launched in August 2018 during the Canberra Writer’s Festival.
She’s been kind enough to answer a few questions for me, and her answers are really honest and wonderful. Enjoy!
Tell us a bit about your latest book.
My debut Book When we Vanish was published in August 2018. It follows a man so mundane and lost within his own life that unbeknownst to him, he becomes invisible and is one day seen by a girl so lonely that her emptiness within, mirrors his emptiness without.
When their paths cross they go on a journey of self-discovery and what they find is so much more.
The story deals with themes of our desire to be seen in this word as who we really are, and our need to be acknowledged and loved.
What was the inspiration for the story?
When I wrote this story, I had just had my third child in five years. We had just moved cross country again and I was yet to meet many new friends. With my husband working six days a week and me being nothing but mom 24 hours a day I began to feel diminished as a person, as me. And I felt like I was disappearing within my own life. I also felt lonely having no friends or adults to really be around and with the tiredness and constant feel of being drained it all felt bigger and heavier and harder. And so, I sat and wrote this story and poured out of me.
Tell us about your main character. Why should we fall in love with them?
My main Characters are Alexander and Sophie. They each struggle with their own battles. And each is trying to find meaning within their own lives. I think they are relatable and real but have been thrown into a bizarre situation where their paths align and they both suddenly need the other.
Have you always written, or is writing something you’ve come to in adulthood?
I have always written. I have notebooks upon notebooks with small snippets of work, short stories, quotes and words that I love that I have collected over many years.
What was your favourite book as a child?
As a child and even as an adult the Count of Monte Cristo
Can you recommend another female author we should read?
Margaret Atwood and Anne Rice
What was the last book you read and loved?
I have just finished Crossing the Lines by Sulari Gentill it was beautifully written, thought-provoking and wonderful, and that ending…
Do you have a favourite quote by a female author?
“I have already lost touch with a couple of people I used to be.” – Joan Didion
Tell us three fun facts about yourself, that other people might not know?
I have lived on four continents and speak four languages – three of them fluently
In my past life, I have been a hotel manager, restaurant manager, waitress, pub manager, English teacher, PT and Massage therapist with a great love for anatomy and physiology. (I’m very nomadic and can’t sit still).
I write under a pen name and have been doing so for a few years.
Do you have a favourite illustrator of children’s books? Why?
N/A – although I love the illustrations in the Grumpy bear series!
What are the best and worst pieces of writing advice you’ve received?
Best piece: always keep learning.
Worst piece: follow a certain writing rule or structure. For me, literature is art, you are given a canvass to create a masterpiece. Imagine a world where all the art is closed in by a perfect white border, where would all the great artists of our time be? You need to break the rules and explore the world beyond the canvass, splash on the floor and break the mould for only when you challenge yourself and find a way to be brave can you really create art.
What is your favourite song by a female singer, and why?
The genre I listen to is not dominated by females and although I do enjoy Arch Enemy whose vocalist is female they are not my favourite band.