Bestselling Australian author Fiona Lowe has just had her thirty second book, Home Fires released and it couldn’t be more topical. Conscious as we are in Australia of the threat of and devastation caused by bushfires, which are becoming more intense and dangerous, Fiona has written a book that delves into the psychological aftermath of victims.
With a background in health as a midwife, sexual health counsellor and a family support worker, Fiona is very experienced to write novels about family and relationships. A recipient of the prestigious USA RITA award and the Australian RUBY award, Fiona’s books are set in small country towns, featuring real people facing difficult choices and exploring how family ties and relationships impact our decisions.
Fiona spent her early ears in Papua New Guinea where, without television, reading was her best form of entertainment, inevitably leading to a lifelong love of books. She didn’t set out to be an author, but always had conversations with fictitious people in her head. She started writing when she was thirty and her first child was born. In the plots to her stories, she said; “I like to put characters into challenging situations to see how they react”.
Her latest book –‘Home Fires’ opens eighteen months after a small town is devastated and at a town meeting politicians are saying they now should be OK. But they weren’t OK. Fiona looks at what was happening with people before the fires and how those fires impacted differently on different people.
Fiona researched ‘Home Fires’ extensively and drew on her own experience when as a young student nurse she was involved in the Ash Wednesday fires of 1983. At that time, she found herself attending to fire fighters with their injuries, especially smoke affected eyes. The book took seven months to complete finish the first draft and close to a year to complete.
When she first started writing, it took ten years to have her first book published and after her third rejection, she became as she says, “steely determined” to be a published author. What followed was a series of twenty-three medical romances while living in America, then she wrote Boomerang Bride which she felt was too good to sit on her computer, so she sent it to Harlequin Press. A publishing contract with Penguin Books resulted in ‘Daughter of Mine’, released in 2017, birthright in 2018 and now ‘Home Fires’.
“Home Fires’ was not easy to write said Fiona. “Relating back to my own experience and what I learned of victims struggles, caused some health problems. When I was writing the fire scenes, I had really bad chest pains, so it took its toll.”
Fiona is married with two grown up children and lives in Geelong. She continues to write prolifically – she just can’t help herself. www.fionalowe.com.