West Australian author Fleur McDonald has a head full of stories and a heart that gravitates toward social issues. Fleur’s rural romance and women’s fiction novels have sold over 500,000 copies, and she takes her role as an advocate for women just as seriously as her writing. A Western Australian representative for Australian Women in Agriculture, a working member behind the scenes on the National Rural Women’s Coalition and a Rotarian, Fleur is also the founder and chair of a not-for-profit organisation called Breaking the Silence which helps families affected by domestic violence. Where The River Runs is Fleur’s twelfth book. Her latest offering brings the magic, but also the stark realities, of rural life into focus. Both of my recent ‘Fleur’ reads have featured subplots based on small country towns I know well, and this is one of the endearing factors that keeps her loyal readers happy!
The story centers around concert pianist, Chelsea Taylor, as she returns home to rural South Australia with her young daughter. Haunted by the ghosts of lost loved ones, a tight-lipped father, and townsfolk who hold her absence against her, Chelsea needs to make peace with her past before she can plan any sort of future. A romance and several little mysteries run through the storyline, bringing the ever-popular Detective Dave Burrows into play. Like many ‘Detective Dave’ fans, I enjoyed learning more about his character and the intricacies of his life outside of the police force. Where the River Runs was released by Allen and Unwin in early November.
Short and sweet questions Current books on your bedside table: Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty, Time Management for the Creative Person by Lee Silber and The Mindful Leader by Michael Bunting Where do you do most of your writing? On my verandah where I can see the sun, sky and trees and birds flitting around me. Favourite Australian holiday destination: Going back to my parents place, in the Flinders Ranges What’s your preferred drop? Lake House Chardonnay or Oyster Bay sauvignon blanc Guilty pleasure? Chips from McDonalds (don’t tell my kids!) Pet peeve: People saying they’re going to do things, then don’t follow through Favourite fictional couple and why? Father Ralph and Meghann from Colleen McCullough’s The Thorn Birds because they truly loved each other, no matter the restrictions If you could pack two non-essential items for a deserted tropical island, what would they be? It’ll have to be three; wine, coffee and books! Name an emerging author to keep an eye out for: Not sure if you’d call Rebecca Done an emerging writer as she’s written two books, but I’m late to the party! I loved her first novel ‘This Secret We’re Keeping’. Established authors who inspire you? Michael Connelly, John Grisham and Kimberley Freeman (Kim Wilkins) Best thing about being a writer? Everything I do can be classed as research and therefore a tax deduction… 😉 Worst thing about being a writer? Trying to tie in all the sub-plots and make them useful! Do you prefer music, podcasts or silence? Music – Amy Shark and Garrett Kato, Podcasts – Conversations with Richard Fidler and Booktopia Books podcast Favourite perfume: I don’t wear any TV/film crush: Raymond Red Reddington from The Black List and Harry Bosch from the series Bosch The best non-writing related prize I won was …Year 7 Champion long distance runner… It was a bloody long time ago! Top three tips for aspiring authors? Read, write and read What theme do you hope shines through in your writing? Hope Proudest author moment? Walking through the doors of Allen and Unwin and realising I have a real life publisher! My favourite thing about writing romance is… Hmm, tricky. Probably making it possible for two people who should be together, actually that. Together. If anyone gives me flack for writing in the romance genre, I tell them… have a read of my books and see what you actually think.
Website: www.fleurmcdonald.com Facebook: Fleur McDonald Twitter: @fleurmcdonald Instagram: @fleurmcdonald