Fiona Palmer’s new novel Tiny White Lies was released by Hachette on July 28, tackling tough issues in a beautiful Western Australian setting with a dash of humour and Fiona’s trademark country style.
Set mostly in Bremner Bay, WA (which also happens to by Fiona’s favourite holiday destination), the story centres on two best friends Nikki and Ash, and a month away that changes their lives. For Nikki, it’s a chance to reconnect with her social media-obsessed daughter, her video-game addicted son, and her poster-boy husband, who’s hiding a devastating secret. Ash is grieving her late husband, and when she discovers her daughter is being cyber-bullied, she thinks a month at a secluded beach setting – with no internet or phone service – will be the perfect solution. As a mother of pre-teens, I was drawn in by the technology dramas and had quite a few laughs (and a spot of investigative Googling) as the kids taught their parents a few lessons. Intersecting chapters subtly unpeel layers, lies and secrets, with a romantic sub-plot that’ll have you cheering for the couple.
I’ve been following Fiona on social media for several years and love her photos of rural WA, especially sunset shots taken while she’s out working with tractors, headers, loaders and trucks. When she’s not writing or working as a farmhand, Fiona loves welding (says it’s like knitting but with steel!), racing an Ford EL sedan at the speedway, watching her beloved West Coast Eagles and Richmond Tigers play footy, and volunteering as secretary for her local golf club, progress association and the media person for our speedway club.
Thanks to Hachette for the review copy of Tiny White Lies, all opinions are 100% mine. Buy your copy here.
Short and Sweet questions
Current book on your bedside table: The Great Escape from Woodlands Nursing Home by Joanna Nell.
Where do you do most of your writing? In our office room aka the junk room!
Favourite Australian holiday destination: Bremer Bay, WA. White squeaky sand beaches!
What’s your preferred drop? Coffee, with a side of chocolate.
Guilty pleasure? Always chocolate of any kind.
Pet peeve: People who litter! How hard is it to find a bin?
Favourite fictional couple and why? Lizzy and Mr Darcy. She has spunk and he’s dreamy.
If you could pack two non-essential items for a deserted tropical island, what would they be? Books (actually I think that is an essential item) and my friends.
Name an emerging author to keep an eye out for: She’s not emerging, but new to me. I just finished Holly Black’s The Folk of the Air trilogy. It’s one of those series that gets better and better each book.
Established authors who inspire you? Rachael Johns and Anthea Hodgson. These two inspire me to keep going on a daily basis. There’re authors that inspire you with their work and authors that keep you inspired through the hard stuff. Rach and Anthea do this in spades.
Best thing about being a writer? The wonderful people you get to meet at events.
Worst thing about being a writer? Having to sit in a room and write…especially when you’re an outside person.
Do you prefer music, podcasts or silence when writing? I love music, background music that’s mild. It keeps me focused when I pause, and the mind starts to wander. House chill, motivational beats but mellow.
TV/film crush: Chris Hemsworth, nice Aussie guy.
The best non-writing related prize I won was… A Navman from a box of sausage rolls (back when I ran a shop).
Top three tips for aspiring authors? Just write. Don’t second guess. Just get something down and edit later.
What theme do you hope shines through in your writing? Love and the strength to follow your heart and dreams.
Proudest author moment? Holding my very first book over ten years ago.
My favourite thing about writing romance is …. That very first spark of attraction, the lead up and all that sizzle.
If anything gives me flack about writing romance, I tell them… Life is romance. There isn’t many who don’t seek it.
Three fun facts about the author: I live in a four house town in the middle of nowhere and I plan to live here forever. I have a tattoo on the back of my neck, my kids initials and my racing number in roman numerals. I left school after year 11, I hated English and Maths. Still can’t spell, still can’t use numbers very well.
Follow Fiona online:
Buy your copy here.
Maya Linnell was recently shortlisted as the ARRA 2019 Favourite Australian Romance Author for her bestselling rural romance debut Wildflower Ridge. Her second novel Bottlebrush Creek is out now, with both stories gathering inspiration from her rural upbringing and the small communities she has always lived in and loved.
A former country journalist and PR writer, Maya now prefers the world of fiction over fact and blogs for Romance Writers Australia. She loves baking up a storm, tending to her rambling garden, and raising three little bookworms. Maya lives on a small property in country Victoria with her family, her menagerie of farm animals and the odd snake or two.
Follow Maya online