I’m super excited to announce our Awesome Aussie Author this week, the fabulous Fiona Palmer. Fiona is a fellow rural Penguin author and her first novel, The Family Farm, was the inspiration behind me putting pen to paper. She has been there for me 110% and is one of the most genuine and down to earth writers I have had the pleasure of making friends with. Her camaraderie towards fellow authors is one to be moved by and she highly deserves her bestseller status.
Welcome, Fiona, it’s wonderful to have you with us today.
I was born in Narrogin, WA and raised in Pingaring, south east of Perth by 350 odd kilometres. I went to the local primary school, there were two other kids in my year for the whole of Primary school and the school only had two class rooms, junior and senior.
(30-40 kids in the whole school)
The most mischievous thing I probably did was driving cars long before I had my licence. We used to drive along the firebreaks next to the railway lines or out on my uncles farm. And gravel pits were great fun to practice reverse spins in.
How long did it take you to get published and how did you feel when you were told you had a contract?
I started writing The Family Farm in 2005 not long after the arrival of my second child. It took three years to write and it was published in 2009 after being picked up by Penguin from their slush pile. They were the first publishers I tried after I didn’t hear back from Allen & Unwin with their Friday pitch.
My publisher couldn’t contact me by phone so she sent me a long email of acceptance. Which is marvellous because I can re-read that whenever I want – If I’d had a phone call I’m sure through my excitement I wouldn’t have remember anything. For me it was a surreal feeling along with excitement. It took a long time to feel real! Until I was holding my book, I was scared maybe I’d dreamed the whole thing. (Actually, sometimes I still think it’s all a dream)
I have my laptop set up in our computer room, on a desk which was originally set up for my sewing machine. (This has long been retired to the cupboard) I don’t know why I have one, I don’t use it anymore!! (bit like my iron) Both my kids are at school full time now so I try to write for a few hours three times a week as I still do two full days work at the local shop. Sometimes though I can go weeks without writing!! Stuff just seems to happen.
My third book is called The Road Home and it’s about Lara and her journey to find where she belongs. She chucks in her city job to head back to Erindale to save it from being sold, where she has to jump in feet first and figure out how to run it.
It’s due for release March 21st.
Where do you find inspiration for your stories?
My inspiration comes from my little town and community. I live in the wheatbelt of WA and it is an endless source of inspiration. I love everything about our way of life and the characters that are in it. And Mother Nature plays a huge part in rural living and therefore in my books. Simple things from piling on a bus to look at Christmas farm gate decorations to sitting under the huge gumtree with a beer on a hot afternoon.
What is your favourite meal?
Love hot chips! When I was pregnant, I couldn’t go past a roadhouse or Chicken Treat for chips. (Insert husband’s eye roll here!!)
Who is your favourite Australian?
Hugh Jackman. Great ambassador for Australia, handsome, and is a great hubby. (Not that I would really know, but from alla ccounts he is very family orientated.) And I loved his Aussie movie Paperback Hero!
Busier than a blue arse fly! (Which we shorten to ‘have you been blue arsing it?’ – had a busy day) I have lots of faves. :)
Where would be your ideal place to holiday?
Most of the time we head to the coastal town of Hopetoun for our holidays. The beach can be so relaxing. And I’ve been to a day spa in Denmark (the town) but I’m off overseas next year to Italy, so that kinda takes the cake.
Cheers, Fee, for inviting us into your world and allowing us a peak into your writes life. It’s been such a pleasure having you.
You can find out more about Fiona at her website
Thought for this week
“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it only empties today of its strength.”
Only 10 more weeks until the release of Jacaranda!
Until next week, keep smiling and dreaming.