Writing a way of life for local author

Francesca MannGeraldton Guardian
Author Kitty Boyes will launch her third novel, Her Brother’s Keeper, at Geraldton Regional Library.
Camera IconAuthor Kitty Boyes will launch her third novel, Her Brother’s Keeper, at Geraldton Regional Library. Credit: Francesca Mann

Gruesome murders, secret tunnels, hidden treasure, a missing child and a dash of romance — Kitty Boyes’ book series has everything.

Next month, Boyes will launch the third book in the Arina Perry series, Her Brother’s Keeper, at Geraldton Regional Library.

The series; fourth instalment, Her Grandma’s Ghost, is nearing completion, and she hopes to have it out by the end of the year.

Although the 65-year-old has always loved reading and writing, she never thought she’d one day write a book, let alone four.

“I never would have thought in my wildest dreams that I’d be a writer myself one day,” she said.

“When I was a kid we had a lot of respect for our elders, and anybody who was a doctor or policeman was highly revered.

“Among those were actors and writers, and to me writers were always right up there.

“I admired them very much.

“I never thought I’d ever get to any kind of level like that.

“It’s pretty cool.”

Boyes’ series centres on Arina Perry and the old motel she inherits and restores on the West Australian coast.

Set in a fictitious town around Geraldton, Jurien Bay and Kalbarri, the gung-ho protagonist inadvertently becomes entangled in a web of danger and mysteries only she can solve.

When Boyes wrote the manuscript for the first book, Her Mother’s Sins, 25 years ago, she had no idea if it would see the light of day.

After working with the City of Greater Geraldton for nine years, the mother-of-three took voluntary redundancy in 2015 and rediscovered her original story.

“I was cleaning out my filing cabinet and there was this stack of papers,” she said.

“I had started writing a love story, so I started re-writing that and thought it was really awful.

“I started writing something else and it was incredible.

“I don’t know where the inspiration comes from, it just happens.

“The story tells itself.”

What started as a romance novel quickly transformed into a suspenseful murder mystery, with plenty of twists and turns keeping readers hooked.

Working once a week with Outdoor World, Boyes said she had plenty of time to write, self-publishing a new book each year.

Originally from The Netherlands, Boyes and her family moved to Australia when she was six.

Although she wasn’t exposed to many books as a child, Boyes vividly remembers the first time she had the chance to write a fictional story.

“I was in grade 4 and the whole class had to write a story on what you did on the weekend,” she said.

“My home life was pretty uninteresting so I thought I’d make something up, which I’d never done before. The experience was so interesting that I just kept writing and writing.

“It gave me a sense of freedom and I think that’s what set me off.”

As a child, Boyes moved around the country a lot, mainly living between WA and South Australia.

About 32 years ago the grandmother-of-six moved to Geraldton and said she was content living here.

Boyes’ book launch on July 1 will be the first time she has publicly promoted one of her novels.

Although she is nervous about the launch, she hopes other people will like her stories as much as she enjoys writing them.

“It’s taken me a very long time to work up the courage to do it,” she said.

The launch of Her Brother’s Keeper will start at 2pm on July 1 at the library.

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