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.
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?
Feel free to drop me a line from the email link on my website www.fionapalmer.com
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.