I’d like to thank author Fiona Palmer for contributing this guest post about her writing life. Country born and bred, Fiona grew up in Pingaring, Western Australia; her parents carted grain, spread fertiliser and sprayed for local farmers and she spent many childhood weekend’s on her aunt and uncle’s farm. Country life has led to a variety of roles for Fiona – she’s driven tractors, been a rouseabout (odd jobs on a farm) and been a speedway driver … all this before settling down to marriage and motherhood – and writing. Rural life is what she knows and she’s now making a name for herself writing rural romances. Her first book, The Family Farm, turned out to be the first of many … Fiona’s latest book The Sunnyvale Girls is released today. You can keep up with Fiona at her website, on Facebook and on Twitter. Her latest book The Sunnyvale Girls is released today.

As I sit here in my skinny leg jeans, shirt and grey scarf at my computer, (maybe a small amount of make-up, too) I ponder what events will happen next. Where will my mind take my characters? I pick up my fountain pen to jot down some neat notes and then get back to typing madly. Sounds glorious, doesn’t it? Well, that’s the life of a writer. And I can also sing as well as Ariana Grande because, of course, I sometimes sing while I write. It helps the ideas flow. Which is great as I have friends coming over for a coffee soon, lucky my house is spotless and my kids so well-behaved. When they get home from school they feed themselves and are so courteous of ‘mummy’s work time’.


Yes, I am having a dream. One that disappears the moment my tired, dry eyes open and my body refuses to wake up. (That’s what happens when you read late … because let’s face it, who has time during the day?) Hubby’s gone to work, kids are up watching TV, which means I’ll have to turn it off and listen to the complaints until they leave. I get dressed quickly, track pants, my favourite hoodie and thrust my feet into my ugg boots.

20140912_154752_resizedFor a moment I sigh … there is nothing more perfect than my ugg boots. I make our bed quickly and head into the kitchen while avoiding all mirrors, as I can’t afford seven years bad luck when they crack from the sight of my sleepy face and bird’s nest hair. It’s early, because my kids catch the bus to the next town, so I try to focus on making their lunches while checking they have packed all their homework and have brushed their teeth – and hair (my daughter is just as bad as me!).

When they have gone, I breathe a sigh of relief and go about cleaning up the house, put some washing on and have my emergency starter cuppa to sit down and read emails. Then I check the chooks, collect eggs (there are lots as I forgot all week) and then think about washing the dog because she’s rolled in something foul. (I decide against this… maybe I can bribe the kids with money to do it?)

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Now I really must get onto some writing, the day is passing quickly. But first there are the few hockey emails to forward, then printing the golf cards up for the weekend, as well as making a batch of pumpkin scones and curried egg for sandwiches. Then I have to swap my canteen shift at school because I’ll be on my book tour, as well as registering the kids for summer sports. I have lists everywhere and stray bits of paper all over my computer room with very messy, sometimes illegible writing. I try really hard to be neat and organised … not sure what happens.

By now it’s lunchtime and I haven’t even opened up Word! I squeeze in some blog reading while munching on my lunch and then another check through Facebook, Twitter and Booktopia just to see if my friends’ books are out yet. Finally I feel I am ready to tackle my story.

I reread my last chapter, get reacquainted with my characters and write a few sentences. Then I feel like some chocolate. Maybe a coffee will fix the craving. So I go boil the kettle. By the time I get back and manage to write a few pages the kids have thrown open the door ‘Hi mum, we’re starving, is there anything to eat?’

I look at my measly offering of words for the day and sigh. Maybe I’ll write more tomorrow?



Monique Mulligan

Monique Mulligan

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