Player Profile: Lisa Walker, author of Sex, Lies and Bonsai

lisa-walkerLisa Walker, author of Sex, Lies and Bonsai

Tell us about your latest creation…

‘Sex, Lies and Bonsai’ is the story of Edie, a shy, awkward redhead who has returned to her childhood home on the north coast of New South Wales after her ‘perfect’ boyfriend dumps her by text message. It’s been called ‘a quirky love story’, ‘a zany romance’ and ‘a bloody good laugh.’

Where are you from / where do you call home?

I was born in Holland, grew up in Fiji and spent my teenage years in Brisbane. I then worked all over Australia, from the Barrier Reef to the Snowy Mountains. I am now delighted to call the beautiful north coast of New South Wales home.

When you were a kid, what did you want to become?  An author?

My first ambition was to become a dolphin trainer. After that I decided I wanted to become a park ranger and, eventually, I did! Really though, I have always wanted to write, it just took a while for that simmering desire to become a reality.

sex-liesWhat do you consider to be your best work? Why?

I only have two published novels at this stage, ‘Liar Bird’ and ‘Sex, Lies and Bonsai’ and also a radio play ‘Baddest Backpackers.’ I love them all but ‘Sex, Lies and Bonsai’ is my favourite, because while it is a comedy I think it does capture the joy, pain and drama of falling in and out of love.

Describe your writing environment to us – your writing room, desk, etc.; is it ordered or chaotic?

I work in a corner of my bedroom on a small desk which is usually overun with paper. The best part about it is that it has a view of the sea, although that can be quite distracting at times. I have a collection of objects on my desk that remind me of my stories. ‘Liar Bird’ is a ceramic tree frog, while ‘Sex, Lies and Bonsai’ is a small statue of Japanese lucky gods.

When you’re not writing, who/what do you like to read?

I am a very eclectic and whimsical reader. I love a good comedy, but also read a lot of literary fiction. Most recently, I have enjoyed ‘Nine Days’ by Toni Jordan, ‘Black Mountain’ by Venero Armanno and ‘Little Bee’ by Chris Cleave. My goal for 2013 is to read as much Australian fiction as possible.

What was the defining book(s) of your childhood/schooling?

‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’ turned me into an obsessive cupboard dweller as a child. I was sure that one day I would get through the back wall to a snow-covered landscape with a lone lamp post, a faun carrying parcels and a bunch of talking animals. Actually, that feeling is still with me.

If you were a literary character, who would you be?

Lucy from ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’ because she gets to Narnia first!  Who wouldn’t want to be Queen Lucy the Valiant?

Apart from books, what do you do in your spare time (surprise us!)?

I surf at least a few times a week – every day if it’s good. On holidays, I am as active as possible and come back exhausted. I love disappearing into wild places with no internet or phone.

What is your favourite food and favourite drink?

Mangoes and coffee! I’m pretty wholesome really.

Who is your hero? Why?

My heroes are too many to mention.  I admire people who are prepared to stand up for what is right – in particular, those who dedicate their lives to protecting our environment.

Crystal ball time – what is the biggest challenge for the future of books and reading?

The use of computers in various ways impinges on leisure time that would previously have been used for reading. I am guilty of that myself. But it is clear to me that there are still large numbers of
passionate readers out there. The book is far from dead.

Follow Lisa:

Buy the physical book here…

Sex, lies and bonsai

A funny and tender love story from a talented new Australian writer — Sex, lies & bonsai by Lisa Walker

What if you live in the midst of the intense surfing culture of the NSW North coast with a father who is a legendary surfing champion but you are too scared to even go in the water?  And if you start writing erotic fiction but have a massive fear of being found out by the close knit community? These are the sorts of questions Lisa Walker seeks to explore in this funny and charming story about coming out of your shell and letting the world see your rich inner life even when it makes you nearly crazy with embarrassment.

Dumped by text message by her ‘perfect’ boyfriend, heartbroken Edie flees Sydney for the refuge of her childhood home, taking only a wilting bonsai as a reminder of her failure. But in this small coastal town, Edie has always lived in the shadow of her surf champion father. How can she move on from her ex — and from her past?

Her best friend and life-coach, Sally, is full of dubious advice, but Edie finds there are many ways to mess things up on her own. She discovers a new-found talent for erotic writing which is lucrative but cringe-making, finds a job drawing crab larvae but suffers terribly with unrequited lust for her employer, the hunky professor with ‘hidden depths’ and nearly blows it all with the complicated but undeniably sexy musician – Jay.

‘The inspiration for Edie’s story came from a few different places,’ Lisa says. ‘One of these was seeing the way that surfing was so much a part of life on the north coast, I wondered what it would be like to be an outsider – a girl who is scared of the water. While I am a surfer myself, my kids are fairly apathetic about it. In a town like Lennox Head, which has such a strong surfing culture, whether you surf becomes an important part of who you are.’ ‘The other inspiration is that feeling of living in a small town. Darling Head, where the novel is set, is a town of five thousand people. In a town like that, it is impossible to be anonymous. Edie has spent her whole life feeling like the odd one out. I wanted to see what would happen if she just let it all hang out.’  LISA WALKER

This appealing romance with a big dash of humour, a beautiful setting and a cast of memorable characters heralds the arrival of a major new Australian writer of popular women’s fiction.


Lisa lives on the NSW North Coast with her husband and two teenage sons where she surfs, writes and works as a community relations manager for National Parks and Wildlife. She has held a myriad of different jobs including once being employed as an illustrator of crab larvae! She has a degree in zoology, a master’s in natural resource management and a graduate diploma in outdoor education. Lisa is an award winning short story writer; her play Baddest Backpackers aired on ABC RN in 2008 and her first novel Liar Bird was published in 2012. Sex, Lies &Bonsai is her second novel.

Buy the book here…