Recently Fran Spears reviewed ‘Sisters and Brothers’ by Fiona Palmer, before readers were also given the opportunity, thanks to the generosity of publisher Hachette Australia, to win a copy of the book. So it seemed only fitting to learn a little more about author Fiona Palmer.
Who is Fiona Palmer?
I’m a country-raised mother of two teenagers, farmhand, ex-speedway driver, chocolate lover and happy-go-lucky author.
What was your favourite book as a child and why?
I remember loving ‘Little Monster at Work’ by Mercer Mayer. Maybe it made the future seem so full of possibilities with so many jobs. I couldn’t wait to grow up and have a job.
What book made the most lasting impression on you?
Mem Fox’s ‘Reading Magic’. I read it just before having my kids, perfect timing.
Is there a book you think ‘I wish I had written that’?
Harry Potter. This series brought me back to reading after a busy time in my life. It brings the imagination alive – plus those sales!
What are you currently reading?
‘Pachinko’ by Min Jin Lee for our local bookclub.
What are you writing at present?
My next book for Hachette, which has no title yet, but I’m over half way through and loving it.
Are you a planner or do your books form organically?
Must plan! I can’t start a story without having a synopsis written out. Even if things change as I write I still need to plan out the basics first (control freak tendencies).
What was your first job?
I was a roustabout. Good money and hard work in the shearing sheds but I loved it. There’s something about the smell of lanolin and a shed booming with great tunes that makes a good day.
When I’m not writing I’m …?
Working out at the farm, which I love. Welding, using power tools, driving trucks and loaders, seeding crops and then harvesting them. On weekends I’m off to Speedway to watch my dad and kids race (hopefully, I’ll be back racing soon too).
What is the most outrageous thing you have done in your life?
Shaving my hair off when I was young, racing speedway at 16, I accidentally ironed my face. I have many moments lol.
What brings you joy?
I have a large weird, funny, kooky, lovable family that are my world. My cousins are like sisters.
Is there a book you keep re-reading; something that never gets old for you or where you still find nuances?
Yes, ‘Immediate Fiction’ by Jerry Cleaver. It’s the only craft book on writing I have and I find I still need to re-read it often. Brilliant book.
Is there a character you really identify with, either in one of your books, or another author’s work?
In my latest book ‘Sisters and Brothers’, I have a character called Emma. She’s a hard-working nurse with three kids. She’s a little rough around the edges but she has a heart of gold. Loves her family and puts them and her marriage first and she doesn’t care about social pressure or appearances. She loves her Ugg boots too. I have lots in common with Emma.
Are you looking forward to ageing? Why/Why not?
Yes and no. I look forward to watching my kids grow up and having their own families. I look forward to retirement, joining the Grey Nomads and travelling our great country. I don’t look forward to the body breaking down and not being able to do the things I used to.
Sisters and Brothers, by Fiona Palmer, is available in printed, digital and audio editions from the publishers, Hachette Australia.