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  • Blog

    A Musical Monday year in review

    12/30/2018

    Musical Monday

    2019 a year in review

    I tried to think of a song to sum up the year and it’s hard to go beyond Seasons of Love from RENT. (Also when is RENT coming back to the stage in Australia it was awesome?) After all, kind of like me the song measures the year in love and cups of coffee.

    This year has been a really mixed one for me in terms of both life and writing. It hasn’t been catastrophic, and I am well aware I lead a very fortunate life, but just like everyone some years are harder than others and this one has been a bit of a slog.

    Let’s start with the not so great writing-wise. I had some plans for some collaborative projects that I was excited by this time last year that fell through – one was a multi-author book and the other was a box set that got cancelled. I was excited by the prospect of not working alone so much, because being an indie author can be pretty lonely. In the end those projects falling through taught me a valuable lesson that I’m often better off on my own working at my own pace.

    I had a target to release a certain number of books in 2018 and I didn’t reach it. In fact I only released three books in 2018 under my name and two under a pen name. That was disappointing and the result of a tough day job that left me no time for anything creative at the end of the day. To be honest i felt out of sorts and like I was swimming through mud from about February onwards.

    So when I think about my writing goals for 2019 I think of this song.

    So moving on what went well? No one wants to dwell on the negative.

    I released the Something to Sing About, from the Jewel Sisters Series just before New Year last year and yesterday I finished the third book in that series Something to Savor so it will be out in February and the final book Something Worth Saving will be out in March.

    I released two books in the new Courtside Romance Series in July and November with two more to come in early 2019.

    Courtside Romance Banner
    The highlight of the year was definitely the release of Any Way You Like It, the final Book in the Upper Crust series. I had a great time with the unicorn themed promotions and the book was really well received. Let’s be honest completing an 8 book series is no mean feat. I did a whole playlist for the book which was fun but this Ed Sheeran song most encapsulates Dave and Tasha’s story and the whole experience of writing the book for me.

    So 2018 was also a fantastic year for me in terms of new opportunities and professional development

    I was chosen to write a book for the No Brides Club Series for Sweet Promise Press which I’m super excited about. It did give me a collaborative experience which I had been looking for. I also joined a group of authors and we established the Coffee Talk on the Boardwalk Facebook group. We’re releasing a series in 2019 and we’ve had a lot of fun with readers naming elements of the town Cinnamon Bay where the stories will be set.

    In July I was in Washington DC for my day job and I hopped over to Denver to visit a friend and meet up with fellow authors attending the RWA (Romance Writers of America). I was able to meet up with the awesome authors who were present from the ChickLItChat Facebook Group for dinner and the next night I met with Melissa Storm the Publisher from Sweet Promise Press and some awesome sweet romance authors.

    In November I was in LAs Vegas for the 20Booksto50k writers conference and I met lots of amazing and inspiring indie authors there. I made some great connections with people I plan to work with and collaborate with moving forward as well as gaining lots of knowledge on how to better market my books – now I just need to implement it all. Finally in December Laura Chapman, a fellow chicklit author was in town and we spent a glorious day talking all things books.
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    And I just worked out I read in excess of 200 books in 2018 – okay even I’m blown away by that!

    So what lies ahead for 2019?

    You may not know this about me but I do love a plan. I don’t always stick to my plan but I do like to start out with one. My plan for 2019 is to release a book a month between now and September. The books include for starters a Valentine Novella, No Time For Temptation for the No Brides Club – out January 25th! The last two Jewel Sisters and Courtside Romance novels will be next and then my Cinnamon Bay novel for the Coffee Talk on the Boardwalk series.

    I’m really excited about the year ahead. I’ve quite my day job and will be looking at new things work wise in 2019. Hopefully I’ll have a little more balance and creative energy.

    I’m keen to explore dictating my books so that I can walk and write – You can’t write a book a month, work, run a family and exercise any other way – or I can’t anyway.

    I’m looking to aim high in 2019. What are your plans? Goals? Aspirations?

    We started with a show tune so I figured we’d go out with one. Happy New Year. Thanks for reading and best wishes for a fabulous 2019.

     

  • 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.