Paperbark writer speaks

By Ashleigh Fielding | posted on July 22, 2018

ALBANY author Dianne Wolfer took a ‘breather’ from her hectic writing schedule on Saturday morning to set up camp at Paperbark Merchants, chat to fans and sign
copies of her latest novel.

The Dog with Seven Names has been a three-year project for Wolfer, requiring hours upon hours of historic and anthropomorphic research to get all the finer details just right.

The story is told from the perspective of a dog caught up among the drama and fear in north-western Australia during World War II.

The little Australian terrier-dingo cross is the runt of the litter and after her first owner is forced to leave the pooch behind when evacuating, the dog travels with different people and gains seven different names.

“It’s been massive,” Wolfer said.

“There was so much research.

“And it’s been really interesting, because I didn’t realise how far south was bombed in Australia during the war.”

Ms Wolfer said she embraced her inner animal to see the world through the eyes of a four-legged fur ball while doing her research.

“I had to tell the story by scent and hearing,” she said.

“So, I had to smell the Pilbara and hear what the wind sounds like, because Dog would know the history through scent and smell.

“That was the fun part but it was hard, because I had to try and not make it cliché.”

Wolfer said The Dog with Seven Names was due for release in August, but was pushed forward a month, meaning she’s had two books published in three months.

“It’s really unusual, so I’m just trying to catch my breath now!” she said.

Wolfer said amidst preparing for her state-wide tour for Book Week and heading to Sydney to be a guest speaker for The Kids Book of the Year Event, she is ‘going back’ to a story she started 10 years ago to see where it takes her.