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  • Blog

    Songs for my NaNoWriMo characters

    11/21/2012

    My NaNoWriMo novel isn’t going to plan and frankly the main characters are annoying me…but here is a theme song for each.
    For Ashley – Missy Higgins – Scar.

    For Sophia – Sting – Fields of Gold
    And for the lovely Cat – my favourite character – California Dreaming by the Mamas and the Papas.

  • Blog

    Look – now there are two!

    11/19/2012

    Mr Right and Other Mongrels + Hearts Afire MugsLook what I got!!
    Hearts AFire has it’s own mug too… they’re like non-identical/fraternal twins.

    Now I want to do a giveaway…how should I run it?

    Any ideas??????

    Don’t forget you can get Hearts Afire and Mr Right and Other Mongrels as paperback.

  • Blog

    Sunday catch-up or putting on my helmet and getting back in the trenches

    11/17/2012

    Hearts Afire HelmetGosh I haven’t been a very good blogger this week. I have been crazy busy with work, life and NaNoWriMo. I’ve never known a November as busy as this one. I honestly feel like the silly season began for me at Halloween.

    Don’t get me wrong – I’m not complaining at all -but something has to give and it seems to have been the blog.

    I mean in what month do I normally have a 50h b’day to organise, a school reunion to attend, a stall at the markets and helping on the market committee and a girls’ weekend away? No month actually. And that’s only what has happened so far…you should see what’s coming…

    I must say I’m pretty exhausted and it’s only November 18…still 12 days of NaNoWriMo to go and with all that lies ahead I’ll still be writing on the 30th.

    Still all you can do is batton down the hatches and get back to work so this week I hope to have some fun things back on the blog for you.

    Ok go.

  • Blog

    Q&A with author C.N. Watkins

    11/13/2012

    Awakened - C N Watkins1. What was the inspiration for your novel?

    My inspiration is all the other writers out there that have showed me that I can do it, I can do something that makes me happy.

    2. When did you take up writing?

    I have been writing since I was younger, mainly short stories and just a little here and there but recently decided I would try and write a book, and I did! It’s very addicting because I’m working on book #2 and already have a plot ready for another book after I finish this series.

    3. How important is setting/place in your writing?

    I do all my writing at home, usually sitting in my favourite chair, sneaking glances at my 2 year old daughter playing and giggling. I have tried to write outside home, and it’s not as good as when I’m home. My creative juices just really flow at home.

    4. Do you have a favourite character (s) in your current novel?

    Oh man, well of course Stefan and Jennifer are my
    favourite, because their the main characters. Honestly though, Kennedy, Jenn’s best friend, is my favourite. She just
    has that “I don’t care” attitude and has been beside Jennifer through
    everything, she really teaches you how to be a best friend, and she’s super witty and funny.

    5. What’s the best piece of writing advice you were ever given?

    To remember I am doing this for me, not anyone else. Ever since I have completed this book I have been so nervous when I actually release it that people will hate it but I have to remember that Awakened will not be for everyone, but at
    the end of the day I am doing this for me.

    6. Do you have a schedule for writing?

    With a 2 year old, there is never time for writing! Usually I can only really write after she goes to bed because while she is awake I am constantly running around the house after her or playing with toys or getting bears shoved in my face haha. I also work full time so I get most of my writing done on the weekends when my husband is home and can help out.

    7. Are you a plotter or someone who tends to wing it?

    Oh I totally wing it. I cannot plot and then write, I feel like I am working on an assignment for school rather than doing something in my free time.

    8. Can you name three or four of your current favourite books?

    This might be the hardest question asked, Avoiding Commitment by K.A. Linde is such a roller-coaster book but the author is just absolutely an amazing, gifted author and helped me out a little bit at the start of this. Slammed& Point of
    Retreat by Colleen Hoover left me emotionally drained afterwards, those were wonderful books. beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire, of course I have to include my fellow Okie and I’m still searching for Travis. Last but not least, Easy by Tammara Webber, uh need I say more??

    9. Can you tell me a little bit about what you are working on now?

    Right now I am working on editing Awakened and currently writing Book #2 to Awakened. Editing is proving to be the hardest step out of all this so when I need to take a break, I work on Book #2.

    10. What advice would you give to a fledgling writer to assist them on their journey?

    Follow your dreams and do what makes you happy. Don’t worry about all the critics out there or people who try to put you down, everything will always fall into place.

    You can find C.N Watkins at
    www.facebook.com/CNWatkins

    http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16045880-awakened

  • Blog

    Theme songs for my characters and books

    11/11/2012

    Hearts AfireDid you ever watch the show Ally McBeal? On the song she said that everyone needed a theme song that played in their heads.

    When we write stories authors often have theme songs for books or characters. Certain songs remind you of places or moments of characters.

    Some writers use music to motivate them. I did this a lot for Mr Right and Other Mongrels but not so much for Hearts Afire. I think maybe because Allegra seemed like the sort of girl (like me) who might have her own theme song and Cassie seemed a bit too sensible for that.

    Still there were musical moments. Moments you could play out like a nice video clip.

    For example, if you read Hearts Afire this song might be a good one for Cassie at the start of the book.
    I had lunch with my friend Di today. Although I’ve known here quite a long time, until my books came out this year, she didn’t know I wrote. We had a nice chat about how the process works for me and why she can’t have the next book NOW. (She’s a bit cranky with me because she doesn’t want to wait for the 3rd book and also she would like a sequel to Mr Right and Other Mongrels.) Then as I was driving home I heard this song and I thought it would be the perfect theme song for the second part of Allegra and Teddy’s story.

    Comment

    Betina Miller
    11/12/2012 10:25:17 am

    I remember the theory of everyone having a “theme song” for themselves from the show Ally McBeal! 🙂 As a matter of fact, I’ve had two supervisors who I picked theme songs for.

    I just started Hearts Afire last night – I agree, that song seems to fit Cassie. I’m only a few pages into it, but I already like the book!

  • Blog

    Struggling with #NaNoWriMo – a song for you

    11/8/2012

    My NaNoWriMo has stalled but I’ll be back on deck tomorrow. Life intervened as I knew it would. Lots of people are looking and blank pages and screens and thinking “I’ve got nothing!”

    Or they have too many thoughts and can’t make them sensible on paper…

    For all of us writing and struggling and persisting a song Just Jack – Writers Block. Have a fabulous day. I hope your muse shows up for coffee.

    Comments

    Imelda Evasn
    11/8/2012 07:26:46 am

    November is always tricky for me, but that’s why I took up the challenge – so I wouldn’t give up altogether. Back on the horse shortly!
    Reply
    Monique
    11/8/2012 07:31:49 am

    Maybe we can hop back on and ride off together to a quite place where we aren’t interrupted.

  • Blog

    Market stall and other information

    11/7/2012

    Mr Right and Other Mongrels Mug and Book, Hearts Afire BookIf you are in Sydney and want to come and get a signed copy of either of my books and go into the draw to win a Mr Right and Other Mongrels mug then I’ll see you tonight at:

    Beacon Hill Night Markets
    6-9pm Tristram Road Beacon Hill, Sydney
    They’re in and around the school’s Multi-Purpose Centre.

    In other news yesterday I was loading a new keyboard and mouse on my laptop so I wouldn’t be crippled ny the end of #NaNoWriMo and the computer ate about 2,500 words of my book. I picked myself up and am now at 17,250 words…we’ll just pretend that didn’t happen.

    If you see me at the markets and my nail polish is chipped that’s because I spent the day helping set them up, and am running the raffle, my daughter is running a dog treat stall with friends and time to re-paint has eluded me. Hopefully not.

    Also this is a three cup of coffee day…be warned I may be a bit hyped up.

    Also I have Hearts Afire and Mr Right and Other Mongrels mugs in transit…I’ll run a give-away for them soon…just not sure how to run it…suggestions appreciated.

    Don’t forget the books are available in paperback and as e-books on Amazon. If you’ve read the books I’d love it if you would review them. I really take people’s input on board.

  • Blog

    General writing chit-chat

    11/5/2012

    Let’s start today with a link. I am featured on Books by Banister today. I’m talking over there about how much of a writer you might find in a character.
    http://traciebanister.blogspot.com.au/2012/11/guest-post-monique-mcdonell.html

    In other writing news I’m chugging along with NaNoWriMo. I’m ahead of schedule which is great and sitting at the 16,500 word mark. What I do know is true for me at least, and it’s something I put in one of the preparation posts I ran in October, is that I need to keep the momentum going. My weekend of busy days stalled me so that yesterday I was floundering.

    Today I’m back on track, although my characters are not exactly sticking to the vision I had for them which is fine. Basically, I like to start with more of a framework than a plot and have them stay in the frame. At the moment we have arms and legs and possibly even a head out of frame. Perhaps they’ll come back or maybe I have to tell a different story than the one I envisaged.

    Oh and here’s my banner for my stall on Thursday….pretty cool isn’t it?

    Monique McDonell Books Banner for Market Stall
    Comments

    Pamela Cook
    11/5/2012 01:50:46 pm

    Love it when the characters do their own thing! Good luck with the rest of Nano. And I love that banner!
    Reply
    Monique
    11/5/2012 01:56:25 pm

    Thanks Pam!!

  • Blog

    Get back on the page characters…stay in the story.

    11/4/2012

    Writing a book has some pretty clear phases for me anyway…the first euphoric phase of NaNoWriMo has passed me by now. I’m at 15,000 odd words and the easy bits I planned are already on the page.

    Now I’m in that phase where I have to work a bit harder to keep the story moving forward so that the characters don’t wander off in all directions. A bit of wandering is fine but this book has three main characters and it’s probably best they all stay in the same story or I’ll be in a bit of a mess at the end of the book.

    I want to shout at them “Get back on the page. Stay in the story.”

    I don’t know how my crowd

    So while I’m busy doing that, here is a song by Travis – Writing to Reach You for a sunny Monday.

  • Blog

    Paperback of Hearts Afire available on Amazon

    11/1/2012

    Hearts AfireToday’s exciting news is that the paperback version of Hearts Afire is available on Amazon.

    It’s on there for $7.99 so it’s not a big spend. It would make a lovely Christmas gift as well. If you pop by the page please click the like button.
    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009V2UKWQ

    My paperback copies are on their way to Sydney and I hope to have them at the Beacon Hill Night Markets next Thursday Nov 8th where I will be selling and signing them along with copies of Mr Right and Other Mongrels and Better Than Chocolate.

    At the markets Hearts Afire will be $10 (to cover postage) and Mr Right and Other Mongrels will be $15.

    All profits from Better Than Chocolate go to the charity Room to Read. So far we’ve donated over $7,000 to this wonderful organisation through sales of this anthology.

    http://www.roomtoread.org/

    Here is some information about the Beacon Hill Night Market – they’re in Beacon Hill, Sydney not Beacon Hill, Boston for my American readers. Though if Beacon Hill Boston has markets I’d be more than happy to come along.
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Beacon-Hill-Night-Market/171480442927603?ref=hl