On Monday I did something I have never done before. No, it wasn’t get lost – because I’ve done it before and I’m sure I’ll do it again. No, it wasn’t run late – because I do that all the time and I’m sure that won’t stop.
I crept quietly into a hall for my first author talk.
I’m a busy mum of three children, 10, 6 and 8 months old, and in South Australia Monday was the first day back for Term Four. As you can imagine my morning was a little hectic but after checking out Fiona’s tour schedule it really seemed that the only event I would be able to make was Edwardstown at 10am. So I sat and I planned and I worked out how it all had to go and thought I might just be able to do it.
It turns out that had I done some slightly more in-depth planning I would have got the venue right and not turned up in the wrong place with 2 minutes to spare, after stopping to change the baby before heading in. Lucky for me the correct venue was just around the corner, so back in the car we got and headed off. That’s when I took a wrong turn and headed in the opposite direction. The closer it got to 10 the more flustered I got and then, in the way of these things, the worse the situation got.
I am very glad I didn’t do what crossed my mind to do a couple of times and turn around and head straight back home because I would have missed the opportunity to meet the lovely Fiona Palmer in person, whom I interact with online, and her fabulous publicist whom I e-mail regularly.
The hall was beautifully presented by the tireless staff at Collins Booksellers in Edwardstown, they certainly went to a lot of effort to ensure that the setting matched the genre. Which makes me wonder, because it’s late at night and my mind wanders, how they would have set up for one of the more risque genres – the mind boggles, doesn’t it.
But I digress, the hall was filled with hay bales, work boots, a clothesline hung with jeans and checked shirts and there was even a sneaky sheep. The lovely ladies from Collins Booksellers supplied a morning tea which would have been right at home in a Fiona Palmer novel, and it was delicious. Real coffee – I must say I was impressed. Thank you for all your hard work ladies, you did a fabulous job.
The main attraction was definitely listening to Fiona Palmer speak about her work, her inspirations and how she came to be published. I have read two of Fiona’s books, The Road Home and The Sunnyvale Girls, and we have had her on Beauty and Lace multiple times with interviews and guest posts so I thought I knew quite a bit about her career and her routine. Even so, there was lots to learn from her talk about just how small her little home town of Pingaring actually is, where her inspiration comes from and a much more detailed talk about The Sunnyvale Girls and how the Italian POW history in Pingaring fits in with the story.
Fiona speaks well and is an inspiration to hopefuls in that she is more than happy to tell us from the outset that English wasn’t one of her best subjects at school but being spelling and grammatically challenged doesn’t have to be an insurmountable obstacle to being published.
I was able to get my copy of The Road Home signed and pick up a new signed bookmark, because you can never have too many bookmarks – ask any avid reader, as well as put faces to the names I interact with online.
Thanks to Fiona Palmer for coming to South Australia on her national tour. A big thanks to her publisher Penguin Australia for making it possible. And we can’t forget Thanks to Collins Booksellers for hosting the event and making it such a welcoming environment.
This was my first author event, but it certainly won’t be my last.
And it’s only fitting that my first author talk should be by the author of the first Rural Romance book that I read and reviewed. Thanks to Maria for the conversation today that left me needing to know just which book it was that introduced me to the genre.
Enjoy the rest of your tour Fiona, and hopefully we will see you back this way again. I won’t promise you more baby cuddles next time though.