Fiona’s Family Farm

Fiona Palmer

Fiona Palmer

Fiona Palmer’s first novel, The Family Farm, has been a big hit since its release in July 2009. She’s currently working on her second novel and has taken time out from her busy life to visit my blog.

So welcome, Fiona!

Firstly, I must thank Helene for the opportunity to guest blog on her site.  I am a huge fan of her work. I loved Border Watch as it was such an engaging book and I couldn’t put it down.  I can’t wait for the next one.

Helene and I met setting up our site with Bronwyn Parry and Fleur McDonald.  It’s wonderful to have that network of writers at the click of a button.

It is good! We all write very different stories with strong Australian settings.

We share a love of Australia, although the part I love is very different.  We have flat lands, which are sometimes dry and harsh, but also have beauty in each sunrise and sunset.  I am very passionate about this outback place where I have lived my whole life, but it’s not just the land, it’s the small community atmosphere that makes it home.  It’s a great place to bring up my two children who ride their bikes and play in the bush behind our house (without their mum worrying about them).

I also love that Helene is a pilot, as there are so few women in her field. Flying was something I wanted to do as a youngster, I even took aeronautics in school (it was my best scoring subject lol) but at that same time, I had the opportunity to race speedway. (This is the main reason why I never went far from home).  I raced for seven years at the Narrogin Speedway club amongst the men right up until I was three months pregnant with my daughter.   Racing is in my blood. I was driving a go kart at the age of three and my dad, and grandad, have both raced speedway.  I guess I grew up in my dad’s shed.  I love doing things that the boys can do, or at least having a go! I love getting my hands dirty…when I was little, I would put grease and dirt over me so I could look just like my dad.

Fiona, I’m in awe of someone motor racing while pregnant!! And I can totally relate to the ‘growing up in Dad’s shed’ comment. I didn’t go as far as applying anymore grease and dirt, but I did wear a singlet, just like Dad, when I was a little tacker following him around…

So how did that lead to writing?

Well it wasn’t ever clear cut in my mind.  I barely passed English, but besides the grammar and spelling, I knew I had an active imagination and enjoyed making up stories for English.  But it wasn’t until I was about twenty-five that a story developed.  I began to write it down in between looking after a baby and a nearly three year old, whilst working full time, hence The Family Farm took over three years to finish.  But it was thanks to the ASA mentorship program that got me on my way.  I was lucky to have Janet Woods who gave me the right guidance, so after another draft I sent it off to Penguin.

I didn’t realise Janet Woods had been your mentor – lucky you! That must have been a fabulous experience. What’s next for you, Fiona?

Soon The Family Farm will also be printed in Germany which is very exciting!  But for now I am busy like Helene writing my second novel….hopefully it will measure up to the first.

Feel free to drop me a line from the email link on my website

Thanks, Helene!!

Good luck with your second book, Fiona, and the upcoming release of The Family Farm in the German market. It’s always great to hear other people’s journey to publication.


11 thoughts on “Fiona’s Family Farm

  1. Thank you all for your comments and in particular Helene for having me on her wonderful site.

    I agree Helene it’s great to have the support in our foursome, i’ve heard it’s very rare…except in the romance community.
    Can’t wait for the day we get to actually meet!

  2. Hi Jen, love your review of The Family Farm (not sure how I missed that either… have re-instated the RSS feed to you wonderful blog…)

    Fiona really does capture the spirit of the rural community and it’s fun being part of a foursome of Aussie writers. We’re getting some
    great feedback!

  3. How did I miss this post. Thx Helene. I’ve just finished The Family Farm and posted a review on my blog. I really enjoyed it. I love that the four of you – Bron, Fleur Fiona, you – are so different as authors. You know my goal is to join you all on your FB site – one day!!!!!

  4. Suzanne, the cover is so evocative of the outback blue isn’t it. And I have to agree with Sonya and Sandy, Canberra on a clear early winter’s day (apart from being freezing) has a clear sky that seems to go on forever.

    Thanks for dropping by!

    And a big thank you to Fiona. Hope the editing is going well!

  5. Sandy, you’re right, it’s like Canberra’s sky isn’t it?

    My father competed in rally driving (when I was born I made it into the motorsport magazines!), but the talent didn’t pass to me. I make a great spectator though!

    I ordered The Family Farm a couple of weeks ago, and it still isn’t here. Stupid bookshop.

  6. Thanks Suzanne, i was so happy that they found a picture with wheat on it. Harvest is a great time of the year. xx

  7. It’s a nice cover Fiona, very eye catching with that golden harvest of wheat in the background. It reminds me so much of outback and the times I spent there.

    Suzanne 🙂

  8. Hi Sandy, Thanks i’m glad you like the cover. They changed the B format cover slightly making the sky a deeper blue with a sunset. Yes my kids are all over the place and often ride their bikes to my parents place just down the road…i’m very lucky. My kids are spoilt as they have a buggy of their own, which my son in particular loves to drive…all day if he could. LOL I’ve finished the manuscript for the second book, just doing edits and changes at the moment to hopefully make it more engaging. Its on shearing so i will have to post videos and lots of pictures for those who’ve never seen it before. Thanks Sandy for dropping by to Helene’s site and leaving a comment. xx

    Thanks also Karly, can’t wait to hear all your behind the scene stories!!

  9. Hi Fiona and Helene, That blue on your book cover Fiona reminds me so much of the big, blue sky over Canberra. All in all a very enticing book cover, you must be pleased with it. You lucky devil – getting to actually race speedway! My dad did that when I was young, every Saturday night and it must be in the blood ’cause I love driving. I can just imagine your kids playing around the farm, you rip off a whistle and they coming streaming in from all over the place. Hope the words flow well for your second book and good luck with the first.

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