Wow we are so lucky in Australia!! We have so many awesome writers and I am happy to present our next Guest Blog of the week! Fiona Palmer- author of 'The Family Farm' has written a post about life on the farm and how that interacts with her writing. To celebrate this our weekly giveaway is a signed copy of her book 'The Family Farm' So comment to your hearts content to be in it to win it!!! I will draw it on Thursday 4th Nov.
I was born and raised in the country, in a tiny five house town called Pingaring, 350km south east of Perth…so it’s not surprising that I’m a die hard country girl. (But that doesn’t mean I listen to country music and wear cowboy boots. I like all music and love my Blundstone boots)
I had the whole world to choose from after school and I decided to come back to my roots. There is something about living in a small community, where you know everyone and it feels safe. The way a community can rally together as they battle Mother Nature. She can be devastating in a flood or a drought and there is nothing you can do to stop her.
I love that my kids can drive their buggy and play in the bush…yes they do run wild and free but they are happy. I love being amongst the land, feeling and seeing each season as it changes. The smells: rain on dry dirt, soil freshly turned at seeding, wildflowers and eucalyptus in the air in spring…yes I could go on. It is this passion I have for where I live which started my writing. I was never a writer wanting to write words, I was a girl with a passion for the land who wanted to share it through stories.
I have this active mind, which is always making up little stories and I can remember doing this at school. Writing wonderful stories…well I thought they were good but my teacher thought otherwise. You see I only scrapped through English as my spelling, grammar and punctuation was bad… and that’s putting it mildly. I was never marked on my ability to create a story, so therefore I never thought I was any good. But the urge to keep creating never died and when The Family Farm story started to form in my mind I took the plunge and typed it out.
Izzy was based on my friend Rachael who works on her family’s farm. She was much smarter than I was and could have gone on to uni but she came back to the land. Her abilities on the farm inspired Izzy, there isn’t anything she can’t do. And that appeals to me, women who can take care of themselves. I was brought up that way and can change a tyre (even off the rim to fix a tube).
There are so many funny quirky things that can happen out here and they’re the yarns I love to fit into my books. I had to cut out quite a few shearing stories in my second book Heart of Gold. Because I have city and international readers a lot of what I write about has to be explained really well. My editors will have heaps of little comments on my manuscripts asking what this saying means or what is that?
Until then I thought everyone knew what a pair of moccasins were and what flyblown meant. So it’s been quite a learning curve for me and my editors. But I’m always ready for emails (via www.fionapalmer.com) if anyone has any questions about something they didn’t understand.
I didn’t really think I’d ever get my first story published until a friend gave me one of Rachael Treasures books. After reading Jillaroo I was like ‘yes, I can do this, there is a market for country books’ and that’s what spurred me on. So the first publisher I wrote an enquiry letter to was Penguin, who publishes Rachael. Low and behold, they must have been thinking the same thing and now I’m a published author. (I still can’t believe it) Farm lit has really taken off, I know of three new authors with ‘rural’ books coming out next year and I’m totally excited. I will be supporting them and putting details up on my website when I can. It’s a great genre to be involved with.
So if you need an escape from the city then keep your eyes out for the farm lit books.
Definatly check this lady out!! Her blog address is included in the post!