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  • Blog

    #ChickLitLove and the Fairytale synopsis

    2/11/2015

    #ChickLitLove 2015 promo
    The gorgeous gals that run #Chicklitchat a Facebook group and twitter hashtag I follow (although beware the hashtag now does have lots of ads for teenage phone sex like the rest of the twittersphere) are running a fairytale themed week for Valentine’s Day.

    Now if you follow my Facebook page you know my week has been utterly craptastic but last night I lay in bed and planned my blog post for the #ChicklitChat only to wake up and realise I GOT IT WRONG (it is that kind of week). I was supposed to re-fashion a fairy tale as a chicklit book synopsis, instead I wrote the synopsis of my most recent book as a fairy tale – so here it is.

    A Fairytale Synopsis for Any Way You Slice It, An Upper Crust Novella
    Piper, a lowly baker, follows an unworthy cad to a new Kingdom, for love but instead builds a life for herself selling pies. However, she cannot stay in the Kingdom and enjoy good fortune with her business without a husband, such are the rules of the land. Without a husband she must return home.

    She confides in her friend, Cherie, a part-time matchmaker, that she needs a suitor and Cherie suggests her own cousin, Aaron, a wealthy and respected law-maker who needs a partner to advance his station in life.

    They meet and sparks fly. Why must her suitor be so prince-like and gallant? His flirting and his attempts to win her affections make it hard to remember that this is to be just a contract, nothing more. While resisting his advances she must convince all their colleagues, her future mother-in-law and his persistent ex-girlfriend that this is a true love match.

    When he takes her on an opulent journey, to a glamorous city showing her a life the likes of which she could never have imagined, she must decide what she is willing to risk for love. Will Piper and Aaron get their happily ever after or will theirs merely be a contract of marriage.

    Read Any Way You Slice It, An Upper Crust Novella to find out.
    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MXFOMD6

    Any Way You Slice It - Upper Crust Novel - Monique McDonell - Original Cover

  • Blog

    Why write stories with a happy ending?

    12/14/2014

    Monique McDonell Books and Champagne
    It’s Monday and I usually do a Musical Monday post but as I went to write this the city of Sydney, my city, is under siege and so I thought I might write about something else.

    When I started writing lots of people were surprised that I decided to write chicklit and stories with an upbeat, romantic bent. Not because I’m not an upbeat person, I actually am, but because there is a huge perception, especially in more intellectual circles, that lighter fiction, happier fiction has less value and is less worthy. The truth is I know lots of people who don’t think my writing is worthy and others who think I’m wasting my talents (on the one hand it is nice they think I have talents, on the other hand that’s not exactly very supportive). In fact, some of those would cite the fact that I’ve written several books (if asked) as evidence of that, because one angst-ridden novel is far more valuable than several lighter ones (in their opinion).

    The truth is – and it has certainly taken me a long time to reach this point – I don’t care what they think, and furthermore I think they’re wrong. The world needs more joy, more hope and more optimism.

    Sadness begets sadness, joy begets joy.

    If some of the world’s great writers wrote stories with less abuse, less torture, less war maybe we would have book clubs sitting around discussing love, kindness and forgiveness. Maybe if there were more redemptive tales we’d feel that there was hope for redemption.

    Maybe if the nice guy came first every now and then maybe we’d be more likely to be nice in real life.

    I write stories with happy endings because I want everyone to have one. Do we all want to walk around thinking we’ll never find love, that good won’t triumph or that misery is living in the house next door? I don’t.

    It might seem naive or foolish to some but negative thinking, exclusion and greed are everywhere. I can turn on the television, go to the movies or peruse the best seller list and there they are. The world isn’t improving as a result.

    I want to focus on the power of friendship to improve your day, how a small flirtation can lift your spirits, how planning a grand adventure, a new start or a change can be a thing of wonder. Maybe I write stories like that because I need to believe that is true, or maybe I’m just lucky enough to have experienced that in my own life so I don’t think it’s wrong to expect it in novels.

    I’ll continue to write about and hope for happy endings not just for my characters but for people everywhere.

  • Blog

    The Writing Process Blog Chain

    2/2/2014

    Building Attraction - CoverWhat am I working on?

    Right now I’m working on a shorter piece for an upcoming Mother’s Day anthology. I’ve only just started it so I’m in that nice stage where I’m getting to know the characters and it’s like making a whole new set of lovely friends.

    2. How does my work differ from others in it’s genre?

    That’s an interesting question. My female protagonists are always Australians so I suppose that’s a point of difference for non-Australian readers, who in fact make up the majority of my readers. I think my books generally have a strong female friendship component that most women can hopefully relate to. It annoys me immensely to read about characters who seem to have no one in their life, even in romance, if the character is so amazing that this guy thinks she’s amazing he can’t possibly be the first person in twenty-something years to have noticed. I hope the books also have a strong sense of place, except for one book they’ve been set in Sydney so far and I like showing readers around my home town.

    3. Why do I write what I write?

    I didn’t always write women’s fiction, chick lit or romance (half the time I’m still not quite sure what to call what I write – I probably should work on that). In fact my short stories tend to be quite dark. The reality is it takes a long time to write a book and you have to spend lots of times in the world you create. I don’t want to spend all my time in a dark place. I made a conscious decision to write books about people that I would like to spend time with, books that make people smile. I think being happy is a great thing to aspire towards and turning towards the light rather than the shadows is healthy, so I try to have the energy in my books. My books don’t necessarily have a happily ever after but they certainly don’t have a misery ever after.

    4. How does your writing process work?

    When I write a character appears to me in a certain situation. For all of my books the main character has appeared to me in opening scene and I start writing from there. Usually when I’m about a third of the way through I do an outline for the rest of the book. It’s not super specific, more like sign posts to help me get to the end. When I’m writing I usually write every day. I find that’s easier for me than dipping in and out of a story. I love the initial creation of a story, it’s exhilarating. The re-writes are a whole different ball game.

    Keep the chain going:

    As part of this blog chain I had to tag three authors who will post their won answers to these questions next Monday 10th February.

    Leigh Bennet

    Leigh Bennett is an Australian author who lives in Melbourne’s hilly and rugged outer east with her husband, three sons, 2 beagle x cavalier dogs and any number of chickens.

    Currently a stay at home mother, she has worked in the public service, education, road and music industries.

    She enjoys reading, cooking and writing stories full of fun, drama, love and always with a happy ever after.

    Her first novel, Flirting with Magick was released in February 2013 and she is currently working on her next romantic tale.

    Social Media Links:

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LeighBennettWriter

    Twitter: @LeightaBennett

    Blog: http://abroomwithaview.blogspot.com.au/

    Karen E. Martin, M.Ed. is a full-time freelance writer/editor. She has been in the publishing business since 2004, working on books and publications for major and independent publishers, universities, businesses, and private individuals. Prior to entering the field of publishing, Ms. Martin worked as a Senior EFL Fellow (English as a Foreign Language) for the U.S. Department of State in Romania, a Junior EFL Fellow for the U.S. Department of State in Jordan, and a teacher-trainer for the U.S Peace Corps in Mauritania, Jordan, Romania, and Morocco. Ms. Martin served as a Peace Corps volunteer for two years, teaching English in the Errachidia Province of Morocco. This is Ms. Martin’s first novel.

    https://www.facebook.com/karenmartinauthor

    http://www.karenemartin.com/blog/

    http://www.amazon.com/Karen-E.-Martin/e/B00GL664QG/

    Monica Donnelly

    Monica is an Australian author who writes contemporary coastal romance.
    She has always been a hopeless romantic who believes in love at first sight and ‘happily ever afters’. She does however, also know that the path to true love is not always smooth.

    Her Henley’s Bluff romance series charts the romantic entanglements of the Doherty family and their friends in the sea-side town of Henley’s Bluff.

    http://www.monicadonnellyromanceauthor.com/
    https://www.facebook.com/MonicaDonnellyauthor

    https://twitter.com/DonnellyMonica

    Comments

    Jenn J McLeod | House for all Seasons
    2/2/2014 02:06:48 pm

    Like you, my HEA is Happy Enough Afterwards. 🙂 I have trouble seeing you as a dark writer!
    Reply
    Monique
    2/2/2014 02:24:25 pm

    I think everyone does Jenn. Too perky! Too many exclamation marks!

  • Blog

    Chick Lit Christmas Giveaway 2013

    12/2/2013

    Chick Lit Christmas Giveaway 2013 Promo
    This is an amazing give-away for American readers who love chick lit and REAL PAPERBACKS.

    You have a chance to win 29 wonderful books delivered to your very own front door. How exciting is that?? I would be beyond excited. (Of course I am not able to enter being one of the authors and living in Australia).

    It’s pretty simple to participate just follow these Rafflecopter instructions and you can have loads of chances to enter!!

    You have to be in it to win it!

    Just think what a wonderful Christmas present this would be for you (or if you have friends who loves to read you could always give the books away!)

    Good luck!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Comment

     

    Julie Bobrow
    12/2/2013 04:41:23 pm

    This is a fantastic offer!

  • Blog

    Taste of Tuesday – why chick lit is like French Onion Dip, in a good way!

    8/19/2013

    French Onion DipI’ve recently returned from the Romance Writers of Australia Conference in Perth. Even though I’m Australian Perth still is a long-haul. (Did you know it was the most isolated city in the world? Probably not.)

    And do you know what is more isolating than being in Perth?

    The answer is -being a chick lit author at a romance conference where ‘everyone’ says chick lit is dead, especially when you don’t believe it is.

    Especially when you must answer the women at the conference, not the publishers or the powers that be, but other authors when they ask you what you write.

    “I write chick lit but that you can’t call it chick lit that you have to call it women’s fiction,” said I.

    And they said “Why?”

    And I said. “Apparently no one reads it anymore. I was told that last year and the year before too.”

    And to a one they say “But I love chick lit.”

    It’s a conundrum to be in a room where you’re being told what you write is out of fashion and yet you’re surrounded by people who say they like it. It’s harder still when you love it yourself.

    Chick lit was like the French onion dip of the conference. It’s not very trendy, you won’t see it on a menu anywhere because it’s been pushed aside by hummus and guacamole and even beetroot dip but still there’s barely a woman who when left alone with some French onions dip and crackers won’t take a bite. Not only that she’ll have another dip. She may even find herself embarrassed by the fact that she ate the whole bowl and loved it.

    She may even find herself grabbing a small tub at the supermarket next time she’s there because she forgot how much she really enjoyed it and how much she had missed it.

    Now she may not serve it up on Saturday night (or in the case of the book, recommend her whole book club reads it) but she will enjoy it.

    I think that’s chick lit right now. It’s not widely available or celebrated but people do like it. It’s not trendy but people still read it.

    You know why that is? To my mind at least, it is because chick lit books are about women trying to find themselves in this crazy world with the help (or hindrance) of friends their friends, family, co-workers and lovers.

    That’s also the story of every woman who was at the Romance Writers of Australia Conference. They were an amazing, wonderful, vibrant group of women who were busy making new friends, building careers while trying to balance family and work. They were trying to find their way, where they fit in and how they could move forward on their journey.

    I didn’t hear anyone talking about their own boyfriends or lovers or needing men to complete them. They were talking about their jobs, balancing that with their families and trying to become their full and happy selves (or happier because there were some gloriously happy people in that room).

    That’s why I believe chick lit (and French onion dip) can both survive because we enjoy them and they are a part of our own stories, even if we may not always admit it.

    (If you would like to come over for a Jatz cracker, some French onion dip and to borrow a book, do let me know!)

    6 Comments
    Deborah Nam-Krane
    link
    8/19/2013 08:35:15 pm

    I would totally come over for crackers and dip if you and I lived close by!

    And I think that’s it exactly- chick lit isn’t dead, but it isn’t trendy like it was a few years ago. Oh well. I think the same can be said for certain kinds of mysteries- and yet people still read them.

    Keep writing what works for you- the internet is filled with stories of writers who started writing to be trendy and are miserable.
    Reply
    Ainslie Paton
    link
    8/19/2013 08:50:20 pm

    Nice one, Mon. Don’t they say, don’t write to where the market is because it will have moved before you get there? Well, that.
    Reply
    Louise Wise
    link
    8/19/2013 11:49:15 pm

    Grrrr it annoys me when I hear people (usually literary snobs) say chick lit is dead. Of course it isn’t. Give me onion dip over the hummus any day!
    Great post!
    Reply
    Anne R.Allen
    link
    8/20/2013 02:20:12 am

    Chick lit is alive and kicking her stilettos! It’s just got to be called rom-com now. But with a new Bridget Jones coming out this fall, I think chick lit will be able to speak its name again. Some people do hate it. I’ve got a troll attack on my bestselling chick lit boxed set right now. People keep giving it one stars because they say my heroine is stupid. No. People who don’t understand an unreliable narrator are stupid. And you could say that of every comic heroine from Lucy Ricardo to Bridget Jones. But they’ve knocked me down to three stars, so I guess they think they’ve killed chick lit.
    Reply
    Monique
    8/20/2013 08:53:23 am

    I don’t understand why some people see the need to spend their time in destruction when to be productive and creative (like us) is so much more rewarding.
    Reply
    Monique
    8/20/2013 08:52:16 am

    I agree you have to write what you enjoy and you have to write the story you want to write and hope it finds it’s audience.