'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Tuesday 30 October 2018

12 Curly Questions with author Fleur McDonald

1. Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you.
I love French onion dip and tinned oysters on the same biscuit, while drinking wine!

2. What is your nickname?

3. What is your greatest fear? 
 I really dislike the dark, even at 44. If I’m the only person in the house, I tend to sleep with my dog in the bedroom.

4. Describe your writing style in 10 words. 
Authentic, conversationalist, realistic… I don’t think I need 10 words!

5. Tell us five positive words that describe you as a writer.
Driven, perfectionist, imaginative (well you’d hope I had that one!), hardworking and empathetic.

6. What book character would you be, and why?
I always love George from Enid Blyton’s Famous Five. I thought those kids had such a great childhood, being able to disappear deep in the countryside and solve mysteries. That’s what I wanted to do. In fact, I started my own secret society, just like the Secret Seven, but the other members, Gillian and Katrina and I never found any mysteries to solve. Much to my disappointment!

7. If you could time travel, what year would you go to and why?
Probably somewhere in the 1920s — where the fashion was gorgeous and the dancing incredible.

8. What would your 10-year-old self say to you now?
Always believe in yourself. You can achieve great things without having to have anyone alongside of you. Learn to be comfortable with you and by yourself.

9. Who is your greatest influence?
This is a really hard question because I have so many. It might be easier to answer: the people who influence me are successful authors and business people, who conduct themselves with integrity and help out the newbies on the scene.

10. What/who made you start writing?
I first started writing children’s books in 2004, for my son who is autistic. I was trying to help his attention span and concentration by writing about things he knew; the working dogs, pet calves, sheep yards. It took me 16 years to get those kids' books published and, I have to say, when I finally held the book version in my hand I cried! In 2005 I was given Jillaroo, by Rachael Treasure, for a Christmas present and I realised there was a hunger for rural stories and I was in the perfect place to write them; I was a farmer and understood the life. With my love of mysteries, I decided to try and write a story about stock stealing. Allen and Unwin bought Red Dust on the first three chapters, never even asking for an entire manuscript. Thank God, because I wouldn’t have been able to give them one!

11. What is your favourite word and why? 
 Procrastinate… Because I do it often.

12. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Wow, how are you supposed to answer that when you don’t know what books will be coming out in the next 12 months?! However, I guess I’d say, if there was only one author I could read for the rest of my life, it would be Michael Connelly.

Fleur McDonald has lived and worked on farms for much of her life. After growing up in the small town of Orroroo, in South Australia, she became a jillaroo before spending 20 years farming 8000 acres, east of Esperance, WA. Fleur likes to write about strong women overcoming adversity, drawing inspiration from her own experiences in rural Australia. She is the best-selling author of books including Red Dust, Blue Skies, Purple Roads, Silver Clouds, Crimson Dawn, Emerald Springs, Indigo Storm, Sapphire Falls, The Missing Pieces of Us and Suddenly One Summer. Fleur currently lives in Esperance with her two children, an energetic kelpie and a Jack Russell terrier. For more information, see www.fleurmcdonald.com.