“I started writing short stories at the age of twelve and completed my first novel by sixteen,” says English born author and teacher Guy Salvidge.
The recent winner of the 2011 IP Picks Best Fiction Award, novel ‘Yellowcake Springs’, is set to be released in November this year.
SSTU member, Guy, who moved to Western Australia at the age of nine, says he was always a natural when it came to writing stories. As a vicarious reader, it was his dedication that led to him winning a number of writing awards in his teen years.
“…I had the same English teacher for four out of five years of high school, and as I recall she was quite active in entering my work in various competitions during this time. I never thanked her properly for this, so I’ll do it now – thank you Lorraine Daly,” he says.
With a strong passion for writing, Guy went on to study Literature and Creative Writing and completed a Graduate Diploma in Education in 2005 becoming a high-school English teacher.
“I had a number of high school teachers that influenced me in various ways during what were definitely troubled years in my life, and I saw how I could contribute to the lives of others in a similar way. I also had an idea that I could get along just fine with teenagers – this turned out to be correct.”
Now working at Northam SHS teaching tertiary entrance English courses, he hopes more than anything to pass on to his students the notion that if you continue to persevere at something you will succeed if you are willing to work harder and longer than others.
“ The encouragement and advice I received, not only from my English teacher, but one of my Math’s teachers as well, has stayed with me all these years, and thus I know how influential a teacher who takes the time to really help someone can be.”
Drawing inspiration for his novels from his favourite writers and his children, five year-old Ella and three year-old Leon, Guy wrote his award winning novel set in a future where an unchecked global population has created an apocalypse.
“My main purpose in writing Yellowcake Springs was to offer an extreme vision of a Western Australian future that might come into existence through the apathy of those living today. Specifically, I was concerned about the possibility of nuclear reactors being built in Australia, and also the possibility of foreign ownership of mining companies and infrastructure undermining Australian sovereignty. Add to this mix fears about overpopulation and water scarcity and you have the tonic for a fearsome dystopian future indeed!” he explained.
Guy said he was relieved upon finding out the news that his book would be published.
“Winning this award was the culmination of around fifteen years of sustained effort. Yellowcake Springs was the ninth novel I’d written. It was an incredibly long and mostly thankless task, so I couldn’t have been happier to win the award. It didn’t really sink in for a couple of days, but when it did I was incredibly happy.”
The novel will initially be available from the publisher’s website www.ipoz.biz, but will be stocked in bookstores in Perth and interstate.
A signed copy can be purchased from Guy’s website directly at www.guysalvidge.com as well as an eBook edition which will be widely available from websites like Amazon and Kobo.
For Guy who will be spending some time doing a number of book signings as a part of the launch in Perth, Melbourne and his home town of Northam, winning the award has brought a positive outlook on his career.
“…In terms of my writing career I expect this award will raise my profile as a writer, but that will depend on how favourably it is received. In terms of my teaching career, I really don’t know at this stage what the impact will be, if any. I would love to teach creative writing at university level at some stage, and also to complete a Masters in Writing, so who knows?”