It’s Spring which means it’s time to throw off the heavy clothes and start enjoying the balmy weather, barbeques with family and friends and weddings!  At this time of year it seems appropriate to be talking romance…. Over the next 10 days two rural romance authors join us to talk writing, inspiration and creating within the romance genre. Firstly welcome to Fiona Palmer a rural author from the country wheatbelt town of Pingaring, in WA. Busy mother of two, ex-speedway driver with two dogs, lots of chooks and a fish. Fiona is the author of 2 published works; The Family Farm and Heart of Gold.

As a writer of rural romance do you feel constricted by the tag ‘genre writer’?

No, not at all. Mainly because that’s what I tag my work. It’s a very certain genre and it helps readers know what your work is about. I don’t watch a movie or read a book unless I know a bit about it first, so I’m not wasting my time reading/watching something I won’t enjoy. 

What do you see as having been pivotal or core to your desire to become a writer?

For me essentially it was my passion for my way of life. The country lifestyle and its characters.  I love it that much, that I wanted to write about it and share it with everyone.  Along with the burning desire to create things, whether its making over my garden, re-doing rooms, creating my stories or just feeling the satisfaction of finishing a job.  These things combined are what started my ‘pen to paper’ journey and what drove me to the finish of the first book.  

Apart from the rural setting how much is your writing influenced by what has happened or what is happening in your life?

A lot does influence my writing. For example our area has just been through a few tough years, many needing drought assistance. I’ve watched our tiny town/district shrinks as farmers moved on, and how it affects so many. Not just the farmers, but the contractors – like my father and the businesses that support these small districts. It’s the strong communities who are trying hard to keep their towns together, to support each other in these hard times.   It has inspired my fourth book.  I think Mother Nature tests many people on the land and it forces reactions and strong character traits. And every story needs great characters.   Also my own experiences of working in the area are put to good use.  I have all that information and it’d be a shame not to tap into those emotions.  

What are the three essential ingredients for a strong romantic story?

For me it’s the chemistry between the main characters. It has to have pizzazz and lots of sexual tension.  I also like emotion.  If I’ve laughed or cried, even smiled I feel like I’ve got my money’s worth from a book. And mostly…the happy ever after ending.  If I hear a books ending is not ‘happy’ then I probably won’t read it.  I like reading for pure enjoyment, to be taken on a journey that ends with me feeling contented. It’s my break away from life and I like it to be predictably good.

If you weren’t writing within the rural genre what would you try your hand at?

I have already tried my hand at writing Young Adult.  I have a first draft of a book in a series I’d like to finish.  It’s very dear to me and one day, when life and time permits, I will love to get back to it.  It’s romance, action and adventure with a strong lead heroine. I put this passion to simply just feeding my inner 17 year old.  It hasn’t come from nowhere as I’m also a huge reader of YA books.  Rural and YA, my two biggest buys in books.

To find out more about Fiona please visit her at