Today I’d like to welcome rural fiction author, Fiona Palmer to the blog! Fiona has kindly agreed to give away a copy of her book, The Road Home to one lucky person, anywhere in the WORLD!… see the end of the interview for how to enter.
1. Welcome Fiona, please tell us about your new release, THE ROAD HOME:
It’s centred around Lara and her brother Noah and his best friend Jack. Noah, being the son, got to go to Ag School and stay on the family farm while Lara was sent away to boarding school in the city (and never came back). Then Noah has to sell Erindale and Lara ends up being the solution to keeping the farm in their family, swapping her business heels for work boots. While she’s trying to learn how to run the farm, as well as solving a few inconsistencies, she’s also trying to figure out why Jack dislikes her, even though they hit it off in their first meeting. But Jack has his own issues to deal with after running away from New Zealand. Can these two come together over the land they both love? Well you’ll just have wait and see as I can’t give away too much.
2. What do you love most about being an author?
I love creating. I love writing stories set in the bush that are as believable/real/relatable as possible. I’m very passionate about where I live, the characters I meet and our way of life and just really want to share that with everyone. (Oh, and did I mention I can create/invent the nicest blokes…all modelled off my husband of course!) And no, he didn’t pay me to say that.
3. How do you keep coming up with new ideas and storylines?
You know, I really don’t know!! I’ll think ‘Crap! What am I going to write about next?’, but before I can stress an idea has popped into my head. Sometimes a news story can trigger it or something I do or hear. At the moment I’m about to finish my fourth book and I already have another two books that are starting to take shape in my head. So far, so good.
Great settings- What’s a rural book without wonderful landscapes (and wildlife). You need the dirt, the sky and the air in detail.
Characters- Some of the kooky old battlers can make a book. Sometimes it’s the hard physical struggle that can make a man…or so I’m told.
Mother Nature or the weather.- Rural life revolves around this, and she’s unpredictable which makes for great, believable storylines.
5. Do you write detailed character profiles before starting a new book, or do you find the characters come to life as you write?
I like to find some pictures of my characters so I’ve got something to physically look at. In my mind I’ve already started to detail them a bit and the rest comes as I write. So it’s a bit of both really.
I had one character who I’d thought would be outgoing and fun but as I wrote this new section all of a sudden he’d decided to do something hilariously out there. Almost pushing it too far. But that really showed me the person he really was. If any of that makes sense. Sometimes I only seem to make sense to myself. (Too much talking to my characters. They totally understand me.)
6. Describe yourself in three words:
Easygoing, punctual, tomboy. (I can wear a dress. I wore one on my wedding day. I just don’t like to as I feel funny. )
7. How long does it usually take you to write the first draft of a novel?
Around five to six months, if the research is easy enough (and there are not too many family/life distractions).
8. Now that your latest book is released, what are you working on next?
I’m working on a story set in the town of Bundara, about the local mechanic Jonelle and the new banker, Daniel who comes to the drought stricken town. I’ve really enjoyed writing this one as it’s a bit close to my heart with a speedway scene and the references to cars. And the town characters are just wonderful. I’ll be finished in the next month and then it will be shipped off to the publishers…fingers crossed they like it too.
Thanks for joining us, Fiona!
To be in the draw to WIN a copy of THE ROAD HOME, simply leave a comment for Fiona below (open internationally)
Winner will be drawn on Monday 2nd April and notified via email, and the winner must respond within one week. Good luck!