Joanita Wibowo


5 minutes with author Fleur McDonald

5 minutes with author Fleur McDonald

In 5 minutes with author, Over 60 asks book writers about their literary habits and preferences. Next in this series is Fleur McDonald, rural literature author and speaker. In writing her books – 12 of which are rural fiction – McDonald draws inspiration from her experience of growing up near Orroroo in South Australia and working and living near Esperance, Western Australia to manage her 8,000-acre station. Her latest addition to the Detective Dave Burrows novel series, Without a Doubt is out now. Over 60 spoke with McDonald to discuss Michael Connelly’s best title, her favourite TV character, and a common phrase she couldn’t get her head around.   

Over 60: What is your best writing tip?

Fleur McDonald: Just to keep writing. You can’t edit an empty page. If you write every day – even if it’s only for an hour or so, you’ll find that you get into the flow much more easily, than if you’re a bit haphazard.

What book(s) are you reading right now?

Normal People by Sally Rooney, Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton and The French Photographer by Natasha Lester.

What is your favourite literary character?

Harry Bosch from the Michael Connelly series. I also love Raymond Reddington from the TV series The Blacklist – I know he’s not a literary character, but he’s fictional!

What book do you think more people should read?

The Poet by Michael Connelly. Such a great suspenseful and thrilling read. I think it’s his best book.

Paperback, e-book or audiobook?

Paperback, and then audio in that order. I don’t think I’ve ever read an e-book!

How many books do you read each year?

Oh, tricky question. I have no idea! Probably not enough because my to-be-read pile never seems to decrease at the rate I would like it to!

If you could only read five books for the rest of your life, what titles would you choose?

The Poet by Michael Connelly, Jillaroo by Rachael Treasure and three books that haven’t yet been published, because I’m sure there’s lots more good ones to come!

What is your least favourite trope?

I’ve never understood or liked “Call me anything, but don’t call me late for dinner.” It’s just weird!