This week’s Author Spotlighter went from being a third generation speedway race car driver to a best selling Rural Romance novelist! Hello Fiona Palmer, and welcome to the Author Spotlight! Can you tell us how a woman makes such a transition?
LOL I’m not sure I even know the answer to that. Driving was just something we did as kids and with my dad’s family all involved in Speedway it was a natural progression. Writing was the one that came out of left field. Not even I could have predicted that career. But I so glad I stumbled into it.
What was the best part about speedway racing? Do you still do it?
I loved racing, especially being the only girl with all the guys. The adrenaline after a race, the smells and the sounds. I loved it. I gave up racing when I got pregnant with my daughter but when my son is old enough to race we will probably get back involved. My dad still races.
You’ve had a variety of jobs in your life, how have these inspired in regards to your writing?
They have given me experiences I can write about in all my books. It’s easier to describe the sounds and smells when you have plunged your own hands deep into wool or had to stop the tractor because hydraulic oil is spurting out during seeding. And it’s also these moments that I appreciate and realised just how much I love my life. Like crisp foggy mornings when the smell of fresh turned earth can invigorate your senses.
Of all the characters you’ve created, which is your favourite and why?
Jonelle, because I would love to be a mechanic. I’d love to be able to restore an old car, like a Mustang or an old Torana. And she still races Speedway!
What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received?
Just start writing. It’s the best advice because I find sometimes it’s the hardest thing to do.
What’s the best thing about being an Author?
I’m at home. I’m here for the kids. I can go to their school events and help out at canteen. I can help out with our community and be on committee’s. I have flexible time. I have time to myself.
When you’re not writing, what do you do in your spare time (if you have any!).
Read and watch movies. That’s how I relax or unwind. But there is always something I should be doing instead.
How long does it take you for each stage of the writing process – first draft, editing and polishing?
First draft is usually three to four months. Editing another month or more. This also depends on how busy the publishers are and then the last proofreading stage could be another month. I usually set myself a high weekly word rate. It used to be 5000 words a week, but then I did 10,000 words in a week and realised I could handle that. So that’s my new weekly target.
Do you have any works in progress you can share with us?
I am yet to start my next book. I’m waiting until I get back from Italy and then I’ll dive in head first. But I’m writing a Young Adult/New Adult series I can share with you.
Here is the beginning of ‘The New Recruit’
‘Bloody Hell, I knew I shouldn’t have come,’ mumbled Jaz as the sweaty, skimpy clothed bodies danced around her.
For one, she was under aged and wasn’t technically allowed in the nightclub. Two, she’d lost her best friend, Taylor, he’d gone to get drinks and vanished in the smoky, strobe-lit room. Three, she’d noticed a very drunk girl, one she knew but didn’t like, getting carted off towards the exit door by two creepy- looking blokes. And four, she could have been back at Anna’s house in her pjs eating popcorn, watching a movie and minding her own business.
If only she could mind her own business now! But Jasmine Thomas had the problem of smelling foul play. How she had the ability to sniff out trouble, she wasn’t sure. Her best friend Anna would say it was because she created most of it herself. Sadly she was probably right?