Stories stay near home

Headshot of Shannon Smith
Shannon SmithThe West Australian

With her new book Secrets Between Friends launching in September, Wheatbelt author Fiona Palmer is stepping away from her collection of much-loved rural novels.

Albany will get a sneak peek at the book when Three Anchors and Paperbark Merchants host the book launch.

Ms Palmer said our historical town was chosen because it holds a special place in her new tale of romance, family dynamics and friendship.

“With so much history and the new Anzac memorial centre, I knew I wanted them (my characters) to dock in Albany; it’s a great way to share a special part of WA with the rest of the world,” she said.

Get in front of tomorrow's news for FREE

Journalism for the curious Australian across politics, business, culture and opinion.


“I spent my holidays in Albany as a kid with my grandparents in Collingwood Heights. Some might remember seeing them in the paper years ago for the wooden horse out the front called Woody that my grandad made.

“So I have very special memories of Albany.”

Ms Palmer said that even though this would be her ninth book release, there was a surreal feeling knowing the country was awaiting her work.

“It’s still a bit hard to believe as most of the time I’m still a working mum from the small town of Pingaring,” she said.

“It’s not until I go on tour or see my book in the shops, does it hit home. “It is nerve-racking with each book that comes out. There is fear, nervous wait and hoping people enjoy it, being scrutinised and hoping it sells well as it’s still a job where you need an income.”

Although in the midst of this release, she is under way on a women’s fiction and another rural story.

“Time is my problem at the moment; I can’t quite fit in two books a year with seeding and harvest to fit in as well,” she said.

“Being born and raised in a farming community, I love being out in the paddock just as much as writing, so it’s a balancing act to fit both in.”

The book will launch at Three Anchors on Middleton Beach, a fitting location to welcome it to readers, being a feature in the story.

“My first was in Pingaring’s tiny CWA back in 2009, I think it was. I’ve never had one before of this calibre,” she said.

Attendees will receive a discounted early copy of Secrets Between Friends, the chance to win prizes, ask questions about the stories, writing and publishing.

“It’s a time I get to thank the readers, my supporters, friends and family for helping me through each book,” she said.

It will kick off at 6pm September 9 with a complimentary drink on arrival.

Tickets are available on paperbarks.com.au.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails