• Blog

    Welcome to 2017 – may it be full of books and laughter


    Fall in Love with the Upper Crust Series Banner - Original Covers

    Any Way You Want It - Upper Crust Series - Monique McDonell - Original CoverWelcome readers to the new year.

    I for one am very happy to be kissing 2016 good-bye. I usually do a little recap of the year that was but this year I’m moving on and looking ahead rather than looking back.

    Not that I’m not proud of what I managed to accomplish in 2016 but it didn’t feel like much. A lot of two steps back and one step forward. I will say that I was particularly pleased with the finished novella Snowbound, A Chicklit Christmas Novella and if you haven’t yet read it and you enjoy my books I urge you to get a copy for a fun read.

    I’m very happy to announce that Any Way You Want It, the fifth book in the Upper Crust Series is out this week. I love this book because I adore the main characters. Chloe and Moose have both appeared in previous books as minor characters and now they get their own story which I just loved writing. I think Moose might be my best book-boyfriend yet which is no small call and especially hard for a character called Moose to pull off.

    I have a Valentine’s Day novella I’m hoping to release in February and then the final book in the Upper Crust Series, for now anyway.

    After that we’ll see. I have another series started and a couple of stand-alone novels so we’ll just have to see what speaks to me. (If you have any thoughts on that, let me know). Either way the next batch of books are set back in Australia although they have strong American connections.

    That’s it, for now, Any Way You Slice It I hope 2017 is a good year for all of us.

  • Blog

    The major importance of minor characters

    Alphabet Dating CoverI’ve written about my love of minor characters before because I often find them to be some of the0 most interesting people in books.

    Of course their role is often to operate as sounding boards or opportunities for the main character to let the reader know how they feel – tell the best friend and tell the reader at the same time – or even as a way to get independent information about the main players – hello two old women gossiping in the hairdresser about the main character.

    In my own writing I love the minor characters. My books are riddled with friends, relatives and colleagues of the protagonists. I enjoy creating people who I would like to have in my own life and I especially enjoy writing those fun characters that it’s good to spend a few pages with but I wouldn’t want around for Christmas dinner each year.

    My most recent novel Alphabet Dating features many male characters who only show up for one date – to play gold, see a movie or maybe take in an art gallery.

    I don’t enjoy books where the characters seem to have existed in a bubble before page one. Everyone has connections in their life, positive or negative, that impact who they are and how they react – a weird neighbour, an office nemesis or a best friend.

    Maybe its like real life where I don’t like to imagine anyone sitting alone on their birthday I like characters who have full lives. I don’t mind if they’re running away from the mob, falling in love or facing the zombie apocalypse I would like to think someone was worrying about how it turned out for them.

    What about you? How important are minor characters to you in fiction?

    Alphabet Dating is available on Amazon


    Mark Henwick
    6/10/2013 05:19:30 pm

    I don’t like to think of them as minor characters unless they genuinely have a walk on-walk off part. At least some of the secondary characters must have the flavour of major characters. It gives depth and can be useful to keep the reader guessing where the story is going. It’s also vital in most series to have strong secondary characters that give continuity and provide some of the incentive to keep reading.

    6/10/2013 07:28:42 pm

    I love minor characters too – both when reading and writing. Seeing how a character treats others and what their friends are like really helps us to get to know them.
    6/11/2013 06:01:36 pm

    I agree with you Mark. Secondary characters is a better name :)Though wouldn’t have worked for my heading!)

    I agree Patsy seeing characters through each other’s eyes does give you insight into them.


  • Blog

    Secondary or minor characters – such fun!


    Question Mark and PenI was thinking yesterday about the role secondary or minor characters play in stories and how much fun some of them are.

    Pride and Prejudice has all those sisters and relatives for example. Where would the story be without Lydia? Little Women well yes it is Jo’s story but imagine it without Beth or Amy. It just doesn’t work does it?

    I love writing minor characters who come in with their energy and opinions and turn people’s lives upside down.

    In Mr Right and Other Mongrels Justin (who is very loosely based on a wonderful friend of mine – just by way of personality) is one of my favourite characters by far. I also adore Teddy’s parents Joyce and Bob. I named them after a friend of mine’s equally lovely parents (that’s the full extent of the resemblance as, for example my friend, and her whole family are American).

    Main characters have to sustain a whole story but minor characters, who of course have their own stories off page, can be as outrageous or gentle as you please and unlike the prtagonists you don’t need to keep throwing trouble at them.

    So today’s question is…who are some of your favourite secondary or minor characters in fiction?