One of the best things about being a writer is all the lovely writers and readers you get to meet. Last year I had the pleasure of meeting Fiona Macarthur. We hit it off immediately and I can’t wait to catch up with her again. In the meantime I’m very happy to welcome her to the Books Spark Joy series. In her compassionate, pacey fiction, Fiona McArthur’s love of the Australian landscape meshes beautifully with warm, multigenerational characters as she highlights challenges for rural and remote families, and the strength shared between women. Happy endings are a must.


Books Spark Joy, Fiona Macarthur, @PamelaCookAU

Over to Fiona …

Thanks for having me, Pamela, ‘cause I had a ball poking through my bookshelves and actually found more books than expected. I’ve been culling for a while now and happily give away a lot.

Noted while culling – that some old books can transport me to moments in time. As a pre-teen, zoom back to my dad discussing the latest Modesty Blaise book with me and how much better she was than James Bond. No culling of that collection of stories written by Peter O’Donnell and always, wistfully, as I re-read. And Dick Francis. We both loved those. Pretty sure he’s where my heroes came from.

I also suspect Modesty is where my strong, independent women are born, a can’t-kill-her-with-a-stick-woman, yet a woman with practical kindness for others, except the bad guys. Which is why I’ve started to collect the full set of Madeleine Brent women’s fiction P.O’D wrote under that pseudonym (why did I not know this?) and I love discovering each new book. These are my breathe-in and sniff new paperbacks.


Books Spark Joy, Fiona Macarthur, @PamelaCookAU


Then there’s my collection of Regency Georgette Heyer romances. Zoom back to a young wife and mum, such a genteel world to escape to amidst four little boys and housewife mayhem. My darling husband would buy each new reprint that appeared until I had the whole set. Followed by the biographies. Now I have an Anne Gracie set as well for more regency love.

I do keep a little collection of my fave M&B romance novels too – those ones you can’t forget – like Jennifer Crusie’s early ones. Charlie All Night, Sizzle, Getting Rid Of Bradley. OMG I giggle just thinking about those. And Bronwyn Jameson’s Princes Of The Outback. Swoon. And Kelly Hunter, and…

Then there’s the pile of TBR’s in print – such fab books from fab Aussie authors – love them curled in a chair on the verandah to disappear between the pages when I’ve written “the end”.

Please don’t talk about the TBR’s in my kindle, and Kobo and i-books. But, so very handy on the phone when waiting somewhere. Though, in my defence, I am up to date with my audiobooks, but then, I love those in the car and it’s where I discover new genres and do most of my reading. I drive a LOT. Such fun to find a new genre adventure from recommended audibles. Sometimes, often, I just don’t want to arrive at my destination. Sorry. Can’t get out of the car yet.

Thinking about it, I don’t usually read physical books while I write, though I might poke through a craft book if I feel something’s missing, although I’ve moved onto the podcasts and visual Masterclass more often now for craft.

My binge reading happens after I’ve finished writing a book. The joy of it. Freedoooooommmmm. Half a dozen books at least. (Makes me think of Braveheart) Sigh. But I’ve just started writing a new book so I have to wait.


Books Spark Joy, Fiona Macarthur , Mother's Day, @PamelaCookAU


That’s me. My story. My bookshelves. The photo is in my writing room. There’s some quirky shelves, lonely planets and my M&B Italian translations for when I can read Italian, my TBRs, Craft, Research and dreaming, woo-woo books, and my ‘zoom’ collections that are very tattered from use.

Happy bookshelfing, people.




Fiona’s Latest release is Mother’s Day.

Books Spark Joy, Fiona Macarthur, @PamelaCookAU


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