Growing up isolated on a dairy farm outside of Brunswick Junction meant creativity was a necessity for Philip Salom as a child.
But his talent for daydreaming has not gone to waste, with the author one of 12 finalists for the prestigious Miles Franklin Literary Award.
Speaking to the Times from his Melbourne home, Mr Salom said growing up in the South West had shaped his writing career.
“I think that childhood in particular where very little happens encourages you to imagine a lot and I have no doubt I became an imaginative child because I needed to,” he said.
“I became someone who daydreamed in my head about things I might want to do.
“I read about painters and artists and thought I’d like to be an artist, it seemed very different from a boy on a dairy farm.”
I’m very pleased to have walked across from one form (of writing) to the other and been recognised for it.
Mr Salom’s latest novel, The Fifth Season, is a haunting tale about “a writer who is pre-occupied with the phenomenon of found people, a mural artist with a missing sister, and an old book that bears a striking resemblance to real life events” and was influenced by his time spent in Bunbury.
“That sense of the South West coastal life is very much in the novel,” he said. “I don’t think I would’ve written it had I not lived in such a place.”
Coming from a poetic background, Mr Salom was surprised but honoured to be listed again.
“I’m very pleased to have walked across from one form to the other and been recognised for it,” he said.