I hope you are all having a fantastic day!
I have caught up with Fiona Palmer today, a fellow author from Penguin, and asked her a few questions. She is a fabulous lady and writes fantastic stories about the Australian country way of life. She is the best selling author of The family Farm and her second book, Heart of Gold, is hitting the shelves on february the 28th so make sure you grab yourselves a copy!
Which authors inspired you most to begin writing?
I don’t actually have any as I was more inspired to write the story I had in my head. And at that time I had babies so I hadn’t picked up a book in years. But I could probably say the Danielle Steele books I read in my early teenage years set the scene for my love of romance and happy endings. It was also the Rachael Treasure book, Jillaroo, I read after writing my first story that made me realise I had a chance at getting it published and that other people liked rural books too.
How did you feel the day you received the news that you were going to be published?
Absolutely floored! Disbelief at first, in between little squeals from the part of me that was hoping it was not just a prank, then lots of open mouth gaping before jumping around and getting my mum to read it! My fab news came via email, which I printed out and it never left my pocket for days. It had so many creases in it from every time I pulled it out to read it and check it was still real!
Explain how it feels to drive a speedway car?
Amazing! Well at first its bloody nerve wracking. I suffer from nerves quite bad, my heart sits in my throat as it pounds away (even before I get to the speedway track). My foot jumps nervously in the car against the clutch pedal as I wait to put it into gear for the first lap before the green flag. Then the racing itself is total concentration and it’s not till I’m back at the pits, taking off my helmet, that the adrenaline hits. I ride a wave of excitement, reliving the race with the boys…who hit who and who won etc. The nerves are bad but it is so worth it. You couldn’t wipe the grin off my face if you tried. Then when we pack up and head for home I pass out minutes into the trip as the night of adrenaline takes its toll. (Don’t worry, I don’t drive home!! Hubby does that.)
What made you decide to become a writer?
I didn’t really decide to become a writer, but more of a story teller. I still don’t feel comfortable with the term ‘writer’ seeing as I’m a failed English student who still can’t spell properly. But I love telling a story involving the country and the way we live, as we have some unique things that I feel are worth telling. I wanted to write a book that I’d enjoy and it went from there.
What time of the day or night do you prefer to write?
Mostly during the day, usually after lunch before the kids get home from school. I can’t write at night, or read much, as my eyes get to dry and scratchy…and I love my sleep. I don’t seem to make it past 9.30 most nights. Night time I also like to keep free to be with my husband, and kids as I don’t see them all day.
Where were you born, raised, schooled?
Born in Narrogin, but lived and raised in Pingaring. Hence my feet are firmly embedded in this soil. Pingaring had a primary school, where I went, but it closed in 1998 so my kids have to catch a bus into the next town for school. I then went off to Narrogin Senior High, boarding at the Residential College for year 8 to 11. I left after year 11, as school wasn’t my forte, and went home to find work. I later went to Alexander College in Perth for a six months secretarial course, which led to my job at the Lake Grace Shire. My list of jobs is huge, so much work around if you’re prepared to do anything.
Tell us a little about your newest book Heart of Gold.
It follows CJ and her struggle to keep her family going at the cost of her freedom. How she falls in love, learns to shear and deals with depression. It’s as much her journey as its Lindsay’s, the new shearer in town.
What is your favourite meal?
Must say I can’t go past a roast or hot salty chips.
Who is your favourite Australian?
Hmm, that’s a tough one. So many great Aussie’s doing great things. How many brownie points do I get by saying my husband?!?
What is your favourite Aussie Saying?
You bloody beauty! (I use this one the most)
So hungry I could eat the crutch out of a low flying duck.
If you could pick your ideal place to have a holiday where would it be?
Over in Townsville to visit my only brother and his family or somewhere tropical to veg out and read by a huge pool or a crystal clear sea.
What advice would you give aspiring writers?
To write. Don’t get too bogged down in trying to get things perfect. Just sit and start writing down your idea. Always remember you can go back and fix it later, so it doesn’t matter if its dribble. Better to have something on a page than nothing. If you have finished one, put it away for months then get it back out to read. You will easily pick up parts to improve this way.
I hope you enjoyed the snippet of Fiona's life as a writer.
Keep smiling and dreaming.