Today I’m very happy to welcome to the blog Australian Rural Fiction author Fiona McCallum

Fiona McCallum colour portrait May 2012 web resolution

Fiona is the author of Paycheque, Nowhere Else and Wattle Creek and her latest release is Saving Grace.

Saving Grace cover compressed

When Emily Oliphant married John Stratten, she thought it was the beginning of an exciting new adventure — standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the most eligible farmer in the district and pitching in to build a thriving agricultural business. Three years later, however, Emily sees her marriage for what it is — a loveless tie to a callous man.

When John’s cruelty reaches new heights, Emily is forced to move out, braving both her husband’s wrath and her mother’s glaring disapproval. With the encouragement of her new friend Barbara, Emily moves into an abandoned property and takes on the mammoth task of turning the unloved house into a home. In the process she discovers a new business venture, meets new friends and finds an inner strength she never knew she had.

Emily’s newfound confidence is soon tested, though, when the owners of the property make her a tempting offer. Will she risk everything and invest in the ramshackle house that has finally given her a sense of purpose? Or will Emily listen to the views of the community — and the voice of her mother — and go back to continue on the road more travelled?

Sounds like a wonderful story which I’m definitely adding to my tbr pile.

Thanks for visiting Flying Pony Fiona!

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  1. What activities (other than writing) get your creative juices flowing?

Anything and everything! Ideas come to me in the shower, whilst out walking, gardening, watching movies, reading books, visiting art galleries and antique shops, etc.

  1. What sort of writing routine do you have –  disciplined or undisciplined, regular or erratic, focused or easily distracted?

When in writing mode I am very disciplined and have a strict routine. On weekdays I start at 8am and write (which also includes reading) until noon. I write by hand and then type up what I’ve written in the afternoon.

  1. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block and if so what do you do about it?

Not really. I’ve never experienced the angst of not being able to write, but there are times when the creative juices aren’t flowing easily. For me when the story doesn’t flow easily, it’s a sign that it needs more percolating and/or that I’ve got too much on the non-writing plate and I need to stop and deal with some things before I’ll be free to write again. While waiting for inspiration to strike I’ll spend my writing time reading.

  1. Which aspects of the writing life do you most love?

I love hearing from readers who have enjoyed my work. I also really enjoy working with a good editor I’ve clicked with. I’ve always been a very solitary writer (i.e. not a member of any critique or writing groups etc.) so it’s wonderful to have someone to discuss the story with and bounce ideas off during editing. Oh, and who wouldn’t absolutely love being paid to live their dream!? J

  1. Which aspects do least love (or detest!)?

Negative reviews! It’s just like being unpublished and having your work rejected all over again! I do try to take them with a pinch of salt because, really, you can’t please everyone all of the time – but it does hurt. One of the annoying things about being a writer (well it’s certainly the case with me) is that we tend to have to be quite sensitive creatures in order to write a story and characters with a decent amount of emotional depth, but then we’re expected to have a thick skin in order to survive the criticism – it’s a crazy old world!

  1. What books and writers have most influenced your own writing?

Since I’ve been seriously writing, Maeve Binchy, Debbie Macomber, Barbara Delinsky.

  1. Can you describe for us your writing process, from getting the original idea to completed manuscript?

I’m a highly structured, organised person so I like to plan out the major plot points before sitting down to write. I won’t start writing until I know how the story starts, the most important things that will happen and how the story ends. Then it’s just a matter of working through the story in chronological order and picturing it like a movie playing in my head.

  1. Please describe your path to publication.

It was a nine year, four manuscript journey filled with rejections from agents and publishers! I got to the point where I stopped submitting because it was too demoralising and it was ruining my love of actual writing. And then quite by accident I met my publisher at a function and soon after was given my break. (It’s a long story.)

  1. What advice would you give to writers who are working towards publication?

Work hard and don’t give up.

You can connect with Fiona at:

Websitewww.fionamccallum.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/fionamccallum.author