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  • Blog

    Growing the #NaNoWriMo word count, ordering print copies and singing along on #MusicalMonday

    11/2/2014

    Crazy Busy Messy Work Space
    November already and that means NaNoWriMo is underway.

    Here’s a little update from me this far. As I type (4pm)my word count is 13, 038 words thus far. I managed 6,000 on Saturday, and just over 4,000 tomorrow. I feel I can probably manage a few more today so hopefully another 4,000 word day.

    That seems like a lot and it is. I don’t write like that normally. The truth is I didn’t have anything I had to do this weekend socially and so I didn’t make any plans. My husband was working and my daughter was recovering from exam week so she was fine with having a mellow time of it. That allowed me the luxury of indulging myself by doing not much besides writing.

    The weeks don’t work that way. I have work deadlines, social commitments, places to take the kid to and from. I like to get ahead when I can so that when reality hits hard I don’t fall too far behind.

    Take a look at that photo up there. That’s my writing space. We’re half way through repainting the inside of our very open plan house. So that means this week I’ll be shunted around in the chaos. Oh yes, I probably should help a little so that takes time. A very good incentive to get head, don’t you think?

    Alphabet Dating, A Fair Exchange and Building Attraction Paperbacks
    Aren’t these pretty? I have paperbacks of my first five stand alone novels. They’ll be live on Amazon any day. I’ll let you know. I also have a box on their way to me as next week I’m having a table with another author at the local Christmas night markets. I hope I sell loads.
    It is always hard to sell e-books at something like that. I like selling paperbacks and one feels very authorial signing copies but the truth is I don’t make any more profit this way. Still, I’m well aware, especially here in Australia, how many people still prefer a paperback.

    And now for musical Monday. Let me find a song to fit the mood of my current project.

  • Blog

    Who am I? Or the author brand….

    2/19/2014

    Alphabet Dating Mug and Kindle EditionMonique McDonell All Books Promotional CardBuilding Attraction Tote and Mug

     

     

     

     

     

     

    This week I’ve read quite a few surveys about author earnings and what makes an author, especially an indie author, successful.

    I find these articles really interesting for a variety of reasons which I list in no particular order:

    1. I’m a bit of an information whore…I love it, I gather it, I covet it.

    2. I have a PR and Marketing background so they how and why and the why not of book sales is interesting to me.

    3. I look at my writing career (when I’m not suffering from writer’s block, deep frustration or the inevitable self-loathing that is part and parcel of writing) as a bit of a puzzle. I like finding the pieces and putting them together…although I think writing’s probably more like a rubix cube…in that there is more than one way to finish it off…(That’s good and bad for me because while I’m not bad at puzzles I’m absolutely rubbish at that multi-coloured cube.)

    4. They’re often written from a very specific point of view – and especially the interpretation of the studies and the comments which I find fascinating. I find most writers to be a lovely accepting bunch, but there are always a few judgemental types out there. Fascinating!

    Anyway, I digress…one of the articles read broke down what these studies said one should do to succeed as an indie.

    These things included:

    – write a series

    – get professional cover design

    – get professional editing

    – release a certain number of books per year and over more than one year

    Finally – and this is where the branding comes in I suppose. The survey showed you which genre’s to write in if you wanted to succeed ie how to brand yourself for success like those very successful authors.

    Chicklit, is what I write and naturally it wasn’t one of those areas recommended for success – of course if I write a chicklit series I would increase my odds (see above) but unless I added some other elements then that still probably isn’t enough. (I do write in other genres and I have been published in them but I do that under a different name.)

    This is where branding comes in. As you can see by my banner, my covers and my collateral I’m very much branded as a chicklit author. I’ve done that on purpose because I don’t want to mislead my readers.

    This is where it gets interesting I suppose because everyone who knows anything about writing will tell you that you must write the story in your heart, you must write the story the characters tell you and you must be true to yourself and your story.

    So how do you match those things up? Writing what you want to write and writing what sells best. (By the way I think people read chicklit and I know plenty of people who sell it – it just doesn’t sell “best”.)

    So what does an author do?

    I think you just continue to be yourself. I mean, maybe you don’t have the blinding success of someone who loves to write erotica but then again maybe the wheel will turn and next year the surveys will tell people to start writing chicklit. Either way I don’t think you succeed when you’re disingenuous and certainly not in creative pursuits.

  • Blog

    New Year, New goals…or why I hate the talking GPS

    1/2/2014

    Building Attraction - Monique McDonell - CoverThe new year is an excellent time to look back on what one has achieved and what one may not have.

    I’m a person who enjoys setting goals and making plans. I’ll be honest with you there are lots of goals I don’t meet and plenty of plans that get left on a list of paper, but that almost doesn’t matter to me.

    Having a plan gives me something to work towards and it’s like a map showing me the way. Sometimes I ignore the map and take a side-road but that’s fine with me, I just like knowing I have the map.

    For the record I really don’t like those GPS devices that talks in a car. It drives me nuts. I want to yell at it and say “Stop nagging me already.” I’m a bit that way in life as well. If I say I’m doing it then I’m probably doing it and you asking me “how’s it coming” will stop me in my tracks.

    Last year I released two books under my name and another under a pen name – that’s about half what I set out to achieve. Still not a bad outcome while running a small business and keeping a family happy.

    This year my goal is to release two full-length novels and two novellas, oh yes and a box set. (As well as a couple under my pen name). We’ll see if that all happens. I think it will.

    I also hope to be a bit more consistent with my blogging. The last third of the year my work sapped much or my creativity and I lost track a bit, I also didn’t market my two 2013 releases as well as I should have. I guess we live and learn.

    In a perfect world I’ll write 1,000 words a day. Of course I won’t make it every day but it’s a reasonable goal. Writing every day is the best way to stay in a story and keep your mind in the mind-set of your characters. All writers know this, but ask around, not all writers succeed. Life intervenes, stories stall, characters rebel and confidence can fade. Still, much better to have the goal and fall short than have no goals at all.

    So onward….to 2014 and another year of making up new friends in my head.

  • Blog

    Building Attraction – blog blast

    11/13/2013

    Building Attraction - Book Blast - Monique McDonell - Banner
    As part of the launch of Building Attraction I have had the lovely Jaidis at Juniper Grove Books help me arrange a blog blast/tour.

    What that means is that Building Attraction will be featured on a number of wonderful blogs on November 14 & 15 (US time) and that you can visit them to go in the running to win an Amazon GC.

    This is the list of all the wonderful bloggers who are hosting on the tour. I hope you stop by their blogs and support them.

    Book bloggers do a wonderful job letting readers know about new releases and supporting authors so I urge you to support them. Take a look around their pages…you might find some other wonderful new authors to support yourself.

    Building Attraction by Monique McDonell:

     

     

     

    Link to your book blast page: http://junipergrovebooksolutions.com/building-attraction-monique-mcdonell/

  • Blog

    Finding yourself hidden in your own book

    11/7/2013

    Building Attraction - Monique McDonell - Coverhttp://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GD0B4UQ

    People often ask writers how much of their stories are based on their own lives. In my own case I’ve drawn on aspects in all my books because it is easier to write what you know. In some cases it’s experiences I’ve had in others it is aspects of my personality.

    For Building Attraction I honestly didn’t think there was much of me in there at all when I wrote it. That’s a funny thing actually. As an author you just write and then of course you have to draw people, scenes and settings from somewhere but a lot of what happens can be quite unplanned.

    Then I went back to look at it with fresh eyes as I did the edits.

    Have I worked in a PR consultancy very similar to the one in the book? Why yes, yes I have.
    Does that boarding school resemble the school I attended, not that I was a boarder, complete with nuns that used to chase down the peeping toms? Why yes, yes I did.

    So I guess I drew on more of my experiences than I might have imagined.

    I’ve never been a rural girl working to save my farm. I’ve never been responsible for teenage siblings either but still, there are elements of me in this story as well. It’s amazing what you discover when you read a book, even your own.

  • Blog

    Building Attraction – release day – giddy up!

    11/4/2013

    Building Attraction - Monique McDonell - CoverAt last the day has come BUILDING ATTRACTION is live on AMAZON.

    Saddle up and head on over there to get a copy.

    Amazon US
    Amazon UK

    If you don’t have a Kindle you can download the Kindle app from Amazon for your tablet, smartphone or computer!.

    Competition: Take a photo of you and your copy on your Kindle/iPad/device and post it at my Virtual Book Launch on FB and you could win a $10 Amazon GC.

    Book launch is here. Stop on by!

    https://www.facebook.com/events/390588931074795/?ref=2&ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming

    Building Attraction –Single Tittle Romantic Fiction

    Hers has been a life of too many responsibilities and his has been a life of too few. Could the thing that initially repelled them from each other finally be the ultimate source of attraction?

    Holly Adams has two jobs in the city, two petulant teenage sisters to support, a farm with a big mortgage and a terrible secret that propels her forward. Brad Winchester has a reputation for being a spoilt playboy who has abandoned his family business but he also has a secret that has finally brought him home.

    When they are forced to together at work (Holly works at the cut-throat PR Consultancy that handles his family’s account Winchester Homes – They don’t build homes, they build dreams”) a series of misunderstandings has them
    at odds.

    Still while working together they learn they have more in common than either might have imagined – common friends, family loyalty and dreams of something different. When life keeps pushing them in each other’s paths they must decide whether this is an attraction that might be worth building on after all.

    ***
    If you read it and enjoy it please leave me a review on Amazon US and/or Amazon UK. I am always very grateful when someone does.

  • Blog

    A competition for the launch of Building Attraction

    10/31/2013

    Building Attraction - Monique McDonell - CoverI’m launching Building Attraction this Tuesday, November 5, 2013.

    That’s exciting news isn’t it? Well I think so- hence the big print.

    Did you know that also happens to be a very big day in the Australian calendar – Melbourne Cup Day. If you don’t know it’s a very famous horse race – it’s Australia’s version of the Kentucky Derby. People have long, lunches, bet on the fillies and possibly have a champagne or two.

    As you can see from the cover here is a horse or two in Building Attraction.

    Here’s the book blurb:
    Hers has been a life of too many responsibilities and his has been a life of too few. Could the thing that initially repelled them from each other finally be the ultimate source of attraction?

    Holly Adams has two jobs in the city, two petulant teenage sisters to support, a farm with a big mortgage and a terrible secret that propels her forward. Brad Winchester has a reputation for being a spoilt playboy who has abandoned his family business but he also has a secret that has finally brought him home.

    When they are forced to together at work (Holly works at the cut-throat PR Consultancy that handles his family’s account Winchester Homes – They don’t build homes, they build dreams”) a series of misunderstandings has them at odds.

    Still while working together they learn they have more in common than either might have imagined – common friends, family loyalty and dreams of something different. When life keeps pushing them in each other’s paths they must decide whether this is an attraction that might be worth building on after all.

    ***
    Would you like to win a copy of Building Attraction and a prize?

    There are two ways to win:
    1. If you’re a regular follower of my blog, my Facebook author page or on twitter this one isn’t to hard (Hint: pretend it is my horse)… Guess what I named the horse in the novel? That’s it. What is Holly’s horse called? Tell me in the comments
    section and which prize you would like with your e-book – a tote or a mug!

    2. Choose your own name for the horse and I’ll choose one at random. Tell me in the comments section and which prize you would like with your e-book – a tote or a mug!

    Simple….leave a comment here on the BLOG…the prizes are an e-book and a mug or an e-book and a tote – you choose your prize.

    Good luck and I hope you back a winner.

    Building Attraction Tote and Mug

    Comments

    Nic Herrmann
    10/31/2013 04:25:51 pm

    Mmmm sorry Monique I clearly don’t read your blog😥

    Karen Mate
    11/1/2013 11:33:50 am

    Sapphire. I would love to have one of tote bags and an ebook!
    Reply
    Monique
    11/4/2013 03:12:06 pm

    Karen looks like you won! 🙂 I’ll send you the book via Amazon…I’ll need you to e-mail me your address so I can send the tote bag!

  • Blog

    Musical Monday and the theme is family

    10/13/2013

    Building Attraction - Monique McDonell - CoverMy soon to be released novel Building Attraction looks a lot at the role family plays in life for better or worse. What will people do for their family or what won’t they do? Everyone’s different in this regard.

    That’s not even dealing with the issues of crazy extended families or difficult in-laws or unresolved family issues.

    (Sidebar -Yes I know it’s late – I’ve been a bit unwell for the past few weeks and then I got a big client at work that has required me working lots of hours so something had to give. I’m sure my editor is pulling her hair out right now as am I…but we’re nearly there).

    Anyway I thought I’d choose some songs about family as a result,

    Here are a couple of songs to set your toes tapping this Monday.

    Here we have Sister Sledge with a 1970’s classic We Are Family. If there’s a person on the planet who doesn’t know this song I’d be surprised.
    I love this version of Hey Ho. I really like the original version but these girls are amazing and the fact they’re sisters, just adds another layer. (Oh yeah and if someone can find me a hairdresser that makes my hair look like Connie Britton
    Happy Monday.

  • Blog

    At last the cover reveal for Building Attraction out mid-October

    9/28/2013

    Building Attraction - Monique McDonell - Cover
    Building Attraction by Monique McDonell

    Hers has been a life of too many responsibilities and his has been a life of too few. Could the thing that initially repelled them from each other finally be the ultimate source of attraction?

    Holly Adams has two jobs in the city, two petulant teenage sisters to support, a farm with a big mortgage and a terrible secret that propels her forward. Brad Winchester has a reputation for being a spoilt playboy who has abandoned his family business but he also has a secret that has finally brought him home.

    When they are forced to together at work (Holly works at the cut-throat PR Consultancy that handles his family’s account Winchester Homes – They don’t build homes, they build dreams”) a series of misunderstandings has them at odds.

    Still while working together they learn they have more in common than either might have imagined – common friends, family loyalty and dreams of something different. When life keeps pushing them in each other’s paths they must decide whether this is an attraction that might be worth building on after all.

    Comments

    Rachael Johns
    9/28/2013 11:20:57 am

    Sounds great and the cover is fantabulous!
    Reply
    Monique
    9/28/2013 11:53:27 am

    Thanks, Racheal. I think it might be my favourite cover so far!

  • Blog

    Time to get back in the saddle (or back to the desk)

    7/11/2013

    Los Angeles Trolly TourWell I’m home safe and sound after my lovely research trip and vacation.

    Now it’s time to get down to some serious hard work…maybe not today while the jetlag is messing with me…but tomorrow.

    I thought I’d give you a little update on the research trip and what I have planned for the later half of 2013. (Am I the only one who is absolutely blown-away by the fact it is July? My guess is probably not.)

    First up I have the cover for the next novel Building Attraction which I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE and I’ll be revealing that in the next week or so. I’ll also be sending that book to the beta readers in the next couple of weeks and then off to the editor so I am hoping for an August release. My birthday is in August, maybe I’ll give myself a book launch for my birthday.

    Look forward to some excerpts and teasers in the lead-up to it’s release.

    The research trip was super fun and I met some very cool people as well as seeing some great sites. I visited a lot of places that will definitely end up in the sequel to Mr Right and Other Mongrels.

    I did lots of things I think Allegra would do when she moved to L.A and I visited some great places I know she would adore. I also had some pretty funny experiences that I think she might have (of all my characters she is the one most like me…even if I am several years older, married and was not raised by people with any hippy like tendencies at all!) I visited some really beautiful gardens to help me do some research for what Teddy might be up to in L.A as well.

    Hopefully now I’ll get my writing and blogging groove on again.

    I’m always looking for authors to interview here on the blog so if you are one, let me know.

    In the latter part of this year I’m also planning to add videos to this blog. Yes that’s what you all want in your life isn’t it? Me talking about books and writing. First I need to get my hair done, work on a flattering camera angle and maybe even have a make-over…well I’m, not really having a make-over but I did bring a bucket load of make-up home from the US. (I could do an entire blog post on my adventures in make-up shopping and the price gauging of the Australian consumer on make-up, but I shall resist!)

    So that’s where I’m at…lots of plans for my novels and my blog in the next six months so stay tuned, or keep reading and if the urge hits, le