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  • Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge
    Blog

    Weekly Blog Challenge – Characters who remind me of myself

    Given the topic of this week’s blog challenge I guess I should say  The White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland because yet again, “I’m late, I’m late for a very important date.” Except I’m actually very punctual in real life so that doesn’t work.

    I’d say in this case maybe I should channel a charcter who isn’t a quitter instead.

    This is actually a tricky topic for me. I love so many characters in books but I don’t necessarily think they remind me of me. I mean I used to want to be like Jo March from Little Women becasue she was a writer but she also was a fish out of water and kind of a non-conformist which I am too. She didn’t marry the man everyone expected her too in the end and neither did I and we’re both fiecely loyal but I don’t know if she reminds me of me.

    I rather fancy myself as a bit of a Pippi Longstocking. She had a crazy imagination, red hair and freckles and again was a non-conformist.

    Here’s one of my favourite quotes from her story:

    The children came to a perfume shop. In the show window was a large jar of freckle salve, and beside the jar was a sign, which read: DO YOU SUFFER FROM FRECKLES?

    ‘What does the sign say?’ asked Pippi. She couldn’t read very well because she didn’t want to go to school as other children did.

    It says, ‘Do you suffer from freckles?’ said Annika.

    ‘Does it indeed?’ said Pippi thoughtfully. ‘Well, a civil question deserves a civil answer. Let’s go in.’

    She opened the door an”d entered the shop, closely followed by Tommy and Annika. An elderly lady stood back of the counter. Pippi went right up to her. ‘No!’ she said decidedly.

    ‘What is it you want?’ asked the lady.

    ‘No,’ said Pippi once more.

    ‘I don’t understand what you mean,’ said the lady.

    ‘No, I don’t suffer from freckles,’ said Pippi.

    Then the lady understood, but she took one look at Pippi and burst out, ‘But, my dear child, your whole face is covered with freckles!’

    ‘I know that,’ said Pippi, ‘but I don’t suffer from them. I love them. Good morning.’

    She turned to leave, but when she got to the door she looked back and cried, ‘But if you should happen to get in any salve that gives people more freckles, then you can send me seven or eight jars.’

    Unlike Pippi, I would have probably been hurt and angry rather than defiant in that situation but I love that energy. I loved all of Astrid Lingred’s books as a child but Pippi most of all.

    When my bookclub and I read the Time Travellers Wife, which I loved but remains one of our biggest room-dividers after 13 years, I complained about Claire being a bit of a doormat. My friends all informed me that I was Claire. My husband ‘s job met he dropped in and out of our home-life on a whim and I had little to no control of that which sent the rest of our lives in a constant spin. I wasn’t flattered and it definitely didn’t make me very Pippi-like.

    Mr Right and Other Mongrels
    Mr Right and Other Mongrelas

    In my own books many people have told me that when reading my first book Mr Right and Other Mongrels it was like talking to me, I like to think that was meant to be a compliment but who knows. Allegra the main character did share my dog phobia so there’s that.

    This was a hard one. Pop over to Long and Short Reviews to see what everyone else wrote this week.

    (Please note this blog contains affiliate links).

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • Blog

    Four years – it’s my book and blog birthday

    5/14/2016

    Mr Right and Other Mongrels ScreenshotThis month is four years since I started this blog and four years since I published my first novel Mr Right and Other Mongrels. (I’ll be honest with you, I had to double check that because it feels so much longer than that to me).

    Here is a screen shot of my first blog post. I remember feeling excited and so proud of myself that I had managed to set up my very own blog, all by myself and post something. Meanwhile behind the scenes I was busy getting my first book baby ready. It was a heady and scary time.

    Last night I lay in bed and contemplated the last four years. Sometimes pursuing this writing dream seems thankless and pointless (ask any writer from the most to the least successful).

    Here’s what I worked out:
    – I’ve published five stand alone novels under my own name
    – I’ve published one under a pen name (It was picked up by a publisher that shut and reverted back to me)
    – I’ve published four books in the Upper Crust Series
    – I have been included in a Mother’s Day charity anthology
    – I’ve had commissioned work included in two non-fiction books about writing (One only came out this week)
    – I have two more Upper Crust Books written and ready to go
    – I have a Christmas and a Valentine’s Novella waiting to publish
    – I have two novels under my pen-name ready to publish
    – I have a novella going in a NYE box set

    That’s not nothing. (Meanwhile I’ve run a small business and kept my family going and tried to be a nice friendly community member).

    As writers it’s easy to focus on what doesn’t happen but sometimes it isn’t a bad thing to focus on the positive and reflect on what has been achieved. Writing can be lonely (that’s why writers are so grateful when you tell them you liked their book or leave a review – it is everything to us).

    So if you’ve stayed with me on this journey, thank you. If you’ve read my books or followed my blog thank you. If you ask about my writing when you see me, thank you. I do appreciate it.

    Mr Right and Other Mongrels is now on sale for #99cents if you haven’t yet read it, now might be the time.
    https://www.amazon.com/Right-Other-Mongrels-Monique-McDonell-ebook/dp/B0086L8NBS

    The Upper Crust Series Promo Banner Original Covers - Autumn

  • Blog

    Life’s a beach

    2/25/2016

    At least mine is…
    It’s summer in Sydney and I happen to live in one of it’s lovely beach areas. I’m not really a sun worshipper because girls with red hair (sadly) are not designed for that sort of activity – big hats, sunscreen and long sleeves are more in my wheelhouse but I love the beach.

    This week Travel Zoo released its list of best beaches in Australia and I was not surprised to find two of my favourites in the Top 10. As you’ll see Shelley Beach and Manly Beach are often in my photos.
    https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/TravelersChoice-Beaches-cTop-g255055-a_Mode.expanded

    Anyway, I thought I’d share some of my own more recent beach shots with you so you can get a taste of life her on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. We have a small boat we like to explore Sydney Harbour on so I’m lucky that I get to photograph it from land and sea.

    I often go for a walk at the beach to clear my head when writing and when it’s not so hot (we’re having a heatwave right now) I also like to go and write down by the water.

    My most recent novels aren’t set here but both my first two both have scenes on the Northern Beaches – Hearts Afire just towards the end and Mr Right and Other Mongrels is a set in beautiful Manly.

    So enjoy the photos and if you feel the urge to escape to the beach via a book consider one of those.

    Shelley BeachPelican in the ocean

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Manly Beach WalkOcean Swimming Northern Beaches

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Monique McDonell and Husband drinking champagne at the beachCoastal Flowers

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The Pittwater Northern Beaches

    Northern Beaches Headland Ocean View

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Beach View

    Northern Beaches Beach

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • Blog

    The book of your heart and hoping it finds readers

    8/2/2015

    A Fair Exchange - Cover
    Some of my experiences from US High School inspired this novel

    This week we have a Japanese exchange student staying with us. It has me thinking about my own experiences living in the US as a 15 and 16 year old. It’s a pretty obvious trigger of course.

    It’s also exactly 30 years since I made that journey…so many triggers.

    My novel A Fair Exchange drew on my experience as an exchange student. There are certainly some resemblances between the main character and myself and I did end up on the Massachusetts North Shore. Like Amelia’s character I struggled for a prom date but the story is fiction.

    Many of the really funny things that happened I didn’t appropriate because I wouldn’t want to tell anybody else’s secrets.

    The book is however, of all the books I’ve written, is the book of my heart. (Well aside from Mr Right and Other Mongrels which was my blessing and my curse). That’s true because I got to go back in time and revisit the joy of being young and brave and taking on the world.

    Matt, the male character in the book, while not even remotely based on anyone I know is my favourite male I’ve written and I like that Amelia struggles along the way because I know so many women who were bright and shiny at sixteen who lost their way as life went on. I wanted to write a happy ending for all those women. The book also has great female friendships, I should mention that.

    Yet here is a truth writers don’t like to discuss. That has been my least successful book. My favourite and no one much has read it. Heartbreaking really from a writer’s point of view. Was it the timing? The cover? The story? The blurb? The marketing? Do my readers not like stories where people get a second chance at love? Check, all of the above?

    It’s so sad to think the thing you most want to share is the thing that languishes. This happens to writers more than you might expect. We all want everything to go well and we know it won’t but I’m sure many writers would name unlikely choices as their books of the heart.

  • Blog

    Miss Chicklit 2015 – Celebrating Chicklit May

    5/10/2015

    Miss Chick Lit 2015

    Miss ChickLit May Pageant – featuring Miss Allegra Johnston from Australia.
    Introduction: “Hi, my name is Allegra Johnston, and I’m representing the Nation of Australia! I run a second-hand bookshop and I’m passionate about vintage fashion and saving the environment, so I’m saving the planet one retro dress at a time, right. My dream is to make sure everyone around me is happy and has plenty to read…and world peace, I’m all about world peace. Is that right? Is that answer okay. I have never actually seen a pageant because I grew up without television…did I do okay?”
    Allegra Holding Books Illustration
    Doris DaySwimsuit
    I’m a not a huge fan of swimsuits in general, which is kind of a problem for me as I live at gorgeous Manly Beach in Sydney.

    I do love vintage fashion and look at the delightful and perky Doris Day in this swimsuit. I have one just like this for the pageant. It’s demure enough that I don’t feel naked and it has all this amazing sculptural boning inside it. I’m a girl with a curvy figure and this sort of swimsuit is perfect for me.

    You’ll never catch me in a teeny weeny itsy bitsy polka dot bikini or even worse a crocheted one (my hippy mother still wears those in her fifties, heaven help me!). This however is a swimsuit I can feel comfortable in, and a little bit sexy.

    Talent
    My talent today harks back to my childhood. I’m doing an acoustic guitar medley of Joni Mitchell songs. My voice is sadly not as haunting as hers but I hope to capture her essence. I’ll be singing Both Sides Now, Big Yellow Taxi and I Wish I Had a River (to Skate Away on).

    Interview
    What unique thing have you done to help the environment?
    You may not be aware of this but I grew up on a commune so I spent most of my childhood building solar homes and organic farming – basically I had to build my own home and grow my own food or I didn’t eat. I’m not sure how unique it is but I haven’t met too many other kids who have done it.

    ***If you want to know more about me you can read about me in the novel Mr Right and Other Mongrels
    Mr Right and Other Mongrels
    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0086L8NBS

    Sephora Gift Card
    WANT TO GO IN THE RUNNING TO WIN A BEAUTY GIFT CARD?

    The Grand Prize for this international drawing will be:

    US/Canada winner – $100 gift card to Sephora

    UK winner – £65 gift card to Lush Cosmetics

    Australia winner – $125AUD to Mecca

     

     

    How to enter: Answer this question in the comments below and LEAVE YOUR EMAIL so we can contact you if you win.

    What unique thing have you done to help the environment?
    A winner will be chosen via Random.org on Monday, May 18th.

    For more chances to win and to meet the other Miss Chick Lit Pageant Contestants visit these wonderful author pages:

    Comments

    Pippa Franks
    5/11/2015 12:43:25 am

    Great post Monique! 🙂 x

    Nicole Skalij
    5/11/2015 01:25:49 am

    ….hmm I recycle every week and use my com-poster to help my gardens.
    Reply
    Monique
    5/11/2015 11:27:49 am

    You need to leave your email to go in the draw Nicole.

    Whitney Dineen
    5/11/2015 01:57:57 am

    Darling!

    Celia Kennedy
    5/11/2015 04:27:14 am

    Loved this… brave to take on a whole nation. I think I need that swimsuit… but I have no musical talent.

    I became a Landscape Architect that specialized in ecologically friendly resort development (true dat)!

    Bethany Clark
    5/11/2015 04:50:30 am

    I really do not do anything unique per say, but my 5 year old is very in to recycling now and he shows me what to do every day!
    Reply
    Monique
    5/11/2015 11:28:52 am

    I love how earnest kids are. (You need to leave your email to go in the draw) You can leave it in this form if you prefer

    Catherine Lavoie
    5/11/2015 06:37:28 am

    Great post! 🙂 Love that Doris Day-inspired suit!

    Rachel
    5/11/2015 09:06:19 am

    I love the title of your book! can’t wait to read it

    Tracy Krimmer
    5/11/2015 09:18:22 am

    Great post!

    Glynis Astie
    5/11/2015 09:34:48 am

    Nicely done, Monique! I thoroughly enjoyed visiting with Allegra again. 🙂

    Gina Henning
    5/11/2015 10:58:43 am

    I love “Wish I had a River” by Joni Mitchell and cute suit!
    Reply
    Monique
    5/11/2015 11:27:03 am

    That song always makes me mist up!
    Reply
    Monique
    5/11/2015 11:26:23 am

    Thanks everyone for the comments. I have a retro swimsuit similar to that which is black and white check…quite flattering.

    Monique McDonell
    5/11/2015 11:29:55 am

    TO BE ENTERED IN THE DRAW YOU MUST LEAVE YOUR EMAIL…
    You can leave it as Monique (at) gmail.com if that makes you feel more secure.

    Danielle
    5/11/2015 11:53:34 am

    I’ve reused food containers to make holders for things like my makeup – floyddg@hotmail.com

    steven weber
    5/11/2015 04:28:36 pm

    I take shorter showers

    Tracie Banister
    5/12/2015 06:56:18 am

    Fun post, Monique! I think that Allegra and Willa (from my book, Twin Piques) would get along well since they both love vintage fashion!

    Jessica Meddick
    5/12/2015 07:06:56 am

    I recycle.

    shireen
    5/14/2015 07:45:48 am

    Hi,
    I self published a Meatless Protein Cookbook on Amazon encouraging people to eat less meat, to save on energy, land, and water.
    Thanks

    shireen
    5/18/2015 04:20:54 am

    I’m shireen, this is my comment, I’m adding my email address:

    Arielle
    5/14/2015 09:06:43 am

    I wish I could say that I’ve done something unique to save the environment but the only thing I can think of that I do is recycle. I do my best to recycle all paper and plastic products and have influenced my family to do their best to separate recyclable bottles and cans too. I’m open to some clever and creative ideas though!

    -Arielle

  • Blog

    Three years since my first blog post – look how far I’ve come. (An uncharacteristically self-congratulatory blog post)

    5/5/2015

    Mr Right and Other MongrelsI was talking to my mother today and I said I’d been at this blogging and self-publishing game for three years. I came on here to check and May 5th is the birthday of this blog. So three years exactly.

    I remember being terrified and excited and overwhelmed – not much has changed there.

    That month – May 2012 – I was bravely preparing to self-publish my first novel Mr Right and Other Mongrels. I had no idea what I was doing. I didn’t know a single person in real life who had uploaded a work of fiction to sell online. I knew almost no one (certainly here in Australia) with an e-reader. I knew nothing.

    What a gift ignorance can be.

    If I knew how much I didn’t know I probably wouldn’t have jumped off the cliff. Ask any indie author and they will talk about what a steep learning curve it is. Not only that just when you think you know what you’re doing the rules change. I’ve had to unlearn and relearn things many times in the last few years.

    Forget what you knew yesterday – it’s wrong today.

    I often think “Monique, you lazy chick. You’re just not doing enough.” (I’m not that kind to myself, I’m a little judgmental, not so great at celebrating the fabulous.)

    So here is what I have achieved in three years:

    – I’ve written and published six full length novels and one novella under two names.
    – I’ve contributed to two charity anthologies and had a piece in a non-fiction publication.
    – I’ve had a novel included in an international author box-set.
    – I’ve written another five novels that will be released this year.
    – I’ve had over 100,000 copies of my novels downloaded (sadly they haven’t all been paid for but 100,000 plus people have a copy of my books).
    – I’ve hosted countless authors on my blog and kept it running for three years.
    – I’ve handled all my own marketing and PR.
    – I’ve hired cover designers, editors and book formatters to help make my books look good.

    – I’ve guest blogged all over the internet.
    – I’ve done signings and author talks, both of which terrify me.
    – I’ve made hundreds of new friends, both readers and writers.
    – I’ve given loads of advice and support to authors looking to head down this path.
    – I’ve kept going when I wanted to quit.

    I’ve done this on my own, I certainly haven’t done it all right. Some things I’ve done I would undo. Some day, some moments, some choices would be best erased.

    Still, today I choose to focus on the positive. The list of what I have achieved looks pretty good to me right now.

    If you know another author like me who is alone, starting out and fumbling in the dark then – be kind to them. They probably don’t talk about their journey with you because they are pretty sure you’re not that interested but listen to them, support them, buy their books, leave them reviews…it does matter, at least to them.

    Monique McDonell Upper Crust Series Banner
    Comments

    Kerrie Paterson
    5/5/2015 04:23:07 pm

    Wow, what an awesome list of achievements! Well done!!
    Reply
    Monique McDonell
    5/5/2015 04:32:39 pm

    Thanks Kerrie, I think as writers we sometimes forget to look at what we’ve achieved. 🙂

    lily malone
    5/5/2015 04:41:15 pm

    I’m with Kerrie – well done Monique. I’ve read Hearts Afire of yours and I really enjoyed it.
    Reply
    Monique
    5/5/2015 05:53:37 pm

    Thanks Lily…I know your output has been amazing these last few years. I can hardly keep up!

    Pamela Cook
    5/5/2015 05:10:47 pm

    Nice to see you acknowledging your achievements Monique. And they are massive! You constantly inspire me with your ever increasing word counts, brilliant networking skills and fabulous PR abilities. Not to mention the fun books you write and keep us all entertained with. And the support you give to all your writing buddies, including me. I know it’s been tough at times but hang in there – I’m sure you’ll reap the best is yet to come.
    Reply
    Monique
    5/5/2015 05:54:31 pm

    Thanks Pam…I appreciate having you in my corner, reading my work, taking my calls and listening to me moan. I could not have kept going without you.

    Deb Nam-Krane
    5/5/2015 09:59:15 pm

    Happy anniversary, congratulations and good job!
    Reply
    Monique
    5/6/2015 08:43:41 am

    Thanks Deb…you’ve been a great supporter on my journey.

  • Blog

    What I’ve learned writing a series and #MusicalMonday (It’s only the beginning)

    4/27/2015

    Any Way You Dream It - Upper Crust Series - Monique McDonell - Original CoverBook two of my Upper Crust Series – Any Way You Dream It is now with the editor. Yes, I know, those of you who actually read my blog and read my books know it should have happened a while ago, but it has finally gone.

    “Why the delay?” I hear you cry.
    “Good question.” I reply.

    The truth is apparently I am really bad at writing BOOK TWO in a series. Book one is fine and book three is fine. I’ve written two series now (one under a pen name) and I’ve experienced the same issue with both. The whole series has stalled because of Book 2.

    I don’t exactly know why that is. Well, I do, I think in my effort to make the main character in that book different from the main character in the first book in the series I tie myself in knots.

    Additionally, I think book two brings about fear of success (what if everyone loves it?) and fear of failure (what if everyone hates it?) into play in a strange and disturbing way. By the third book I seem to have pushed through it and the interplay between the characters carries me through. By then I’m one of the gang (I’m probably Thelma not Daphne but I’m in the gang) and there is a gang, a group of characters I know well and enjoy spending time with.

    At least now we know. In the Upper Crust Series the good news Any Way You Fight It, Book 3 is done and will be released quickly after the second. Books four and five are also nearly done.

    I really love Chase, the hero in Any Way You Dream It and Lucy is a girl who deserves a happily ever after (HEA) so I think you’ll love the book like I do. (And Six books in the series will have been released by the end of this year, so I really hope you do).

    Now let’s turn up the music because it is Monday.

    I love this song and have since I heard it back in the olden days…it’s a great love song and it features in my first novel Mr Right and Other Mongrels…my first book baby.

    Comments

    Laurie Baxter
    4/29/2015 11:06:57 am

    Ooh, yay! Very excited to hear this! I really enjoyed book one. 🙂

    Sandie Docker
    4/30/2015 07:59:13 pm

    The curse of the second book!!! But to have 6 box released by the end of this year – yay you!
    Reply

  • Blog

    Overwhelmed and underachieving on Musical Monday

    9/21/2014

    Sleeping HippoIs it really Monday again? Did I really not put up a single blog post in a week? I guess that’s two yeses.

    I’m such a slacker! (That’s me in the picture!)

    Lately I’ve had that overwhelmed and underachieving feeling. I get it every now and then and I can’t quite shake it off. Sadly it doesn’t spur me on to do more it just kind of immobilises me.

    Little things and good intentions slip by unattended to, unfulfilled. Opportunities are squandered.

    It is very annoying.

    Maybe it is because the sun is finally out, after an insanely wet winter, but I feel like I started shaking that off again over the weekend. I made a few plans for myself. Plans that don’t require me to work in with others and that I can quietly look forward to.

    I’m a planner by nature, but I’m married to the man least likely to make a plan. His gravestone could read “Here he lies, he didn’t plan to die.”

    Don’t get me wrong I like to be spontaneous but I also like some structure. A girlfriend and I say we like “organised spontaneity”. I’m happy to go off on a whim but damned if I don’t want to take the bus schedule, some snacks, bandaid, some ibuprofen and a jacket just in case.

    Putting a few plans in place both for my work life, my writing and my home life help.

    Meanwhile I’m plugging away at Book 2 in the Upper Crust Series and deciding which book to write for NaNoWriMo in November. It will either be Book 3 in the series or the sequel to Mr Right and Other Mongrels (if you have an opnion, do let me know).

    This song is very much the soundtrack in my mind at least for Book 2 in the series. So it’s today’s Musical Monday offering. And it really is a beautiful song.

  • Blog

    Everything I know I learned on the Internet (well, most of it)

    9/9/2014

    Laptop and Coffee CupI wish that being an author was as easy as writing a book. That is not to say that writing a book is easy at all, because truthfully it isn’t. How many people have you heard say “I have a great idea for a book” or “I’m going to write a book one day”? How many of those people actually write the book? Not many.

    That’s not the point. If you want to write a book then you sit down and you write it. It might take you years, or even a lifetime, but in the 21st Century that is the easy part.

    These days you need to be a marketing expert to be an author, and it doesn’t matter if you are traditionally published or indie, you still need some marketing chops.

    You need to understand branding, author platforms, SEO, blogging, Tumbler, Twitter and Facebook to name but a few things. You need to be able to set up a website and a mailing list and perhaps even a Street Team. And algorithms – they’re going to come up a lot in conversations. (If you’re anything like me you didn’t become an author because you’re into algebra so yeah, what is an algorithm again?) It’s a lot to take in.

    You may not use all this information but you need to absorb it at the outset so that you can then decide which bits are for you and which bits you are going to run away from screaming. You don’t have to do it all but you do probably need to choose what you do wisely.

     

    And here’s the really super annoying thing. Just when you think you have it sorted, the rules will change.

    Here’s an example. When I published my first novel Mr Right and Other Mongrels back in May 2012 it was quite a thing to get people to tag your book on Amazon and to like those tags. I’d tag it as chicklit or fantasy or horror and then others liked/agree that the book was indeed in that category. That helped people find your book (visibility) in the Amazon shop. Yeah, that system doesn’t exist anymore. Hours wasted.

    Want another one? I have around 850 people who have liked my Facebook Author Page. That did not happen overnight and it did not happen by accident. That took a whole strategy. That took hours of time. I’m going to presume that at least half those people might have wanted to see what I posted from time to time. In 2014 Facebook has moved the goalposts. Now a mere handful of those people who signed up and said they were interested in my books and ramblings about coffee see my posts. You probably don’t see them most of the time. Now Facebook wants me to pay to send this information to people. And even then it doesn’t reach most of them.

    How did I know I needed to tag books? How did I know I needed a Facebook Author page? The internet. And how did I learn I needed to relearn this stuff, the same way.

    When I published my first book as an indie author I knew exactly NO ONE in real life, who had gone the indie route. I was alone in a big, book-filled universe flailing about for answers. I did pretty well considering.

    I found Facebook Groups to join who have given me advice and helped promote my books. I got myself on Twitter and learned the dos and don’ts of negotiating that space. I have a blog and I know about Price Pulsing as well. (It sounds quite sexy but it’s not.) I have finally got my butt in gear and I have a newsletter mailing list – man I wish I’d gotten onto that before Facebook changed things up.

    It’s tiring for authors these days. Lots of us are sweet, introverted people who like to read and drink beverages of the hot and cold varieties while chatting about said books. We can’t so mostly, they’re just like me and they keep pushing forward and adapting to the changes.

    I’m glad the internet is there to help me. Being a writer isn’t the lonely and isolated pursuit of sitting in a garret it used to be. Though, I will say, despite the success stories you read about (again more than likely on the internet) most authors, both indie and traditional, still struggle to make money.

    Some days I would prefer a return to the old days and but most days I take off my luddite hat and embrace the new opportunities out there.

     

    Comments

    Jessica
    9/9/2014 04:34:18 pm

    Wow!! I feel ur pain! I’m so super new to the world of blogging and it’s a major learning curve. Even having groups and communities with other bloggers it’s still all just one huge learning experience. Getting likes, having followers, learning about how to get authors to find u or up find them! It’s really fun, but it’s so much work!

    I tell people, for someone who doesn’t work, I sure am busy all of the time. My family assumes I sit in my room do online shopping or just play all day LOL haha haha. If only. I still don’t know half of what I need to! SEO, that’s super new to me, algorithm NOW U got me scared!

    I do product reviews as well and constantly people want to know how many unique visitors do I have lol. Umm well, I had 3500 page views last month does that count? Lol. Great post!! 😍
    Reply
    Monique
    9/9/2014 05:00:22 pm

    I know it does take hours and then you think hmmmm, did I actually achieve anything today?

    SEO is confusing. I think I’m getting more used to that but maybe I’m just fooling myself…;)

    I think that counts btw Jessica.

    Julie Valerie @Julie_Valerie
    9/24/2014 11:54:52 pm

    I couldn’t agree with you more!

    I just finished listening to a podcast about this topic while driving home from a school carpool. On the one hand, it’s great that the traditional barriers to publishing have been lifted, but yes, that comes with a whole host of things authorpreneurs have to do and learn.

    I think Facebook’s decision (post IPO) to monetize their site through advertising was a HUGE mistake for them. Why in the heck would I work my tail off to get “likes” (which I always felt was like being back in high school) when only a small percentage of my “likes” will even see what I post? I often think about posting a good-bye post to my readers on Facebook to announce I’m shutting down my presence there to focus on other things…

    Thanks so much for linking this blog post to the Hump Day Blog Hop (always the last Wednesday of the month). I read with great interest and totally agree 100% with everything you said. Loved it.

    Cheers!
    Reply
    Monique
    9/27/2014 10:47:02 am

    The whole Facebook situation is ludicrous to me. It has definitely had a massive affect on my book sales. I’m just not reaching people that I used to but I’m certainly not paying to get likes for a page no one sees.

    Thanks for organising the Hump Day Blog, Julie 🙂

    Lori Schafer
    9/25/2014 02:01:30 am

    Sometimes I feel as though being a modern writer is bit like being a parent – a thousand jobs rolled into one. And while it’s beautiful and heartwarming watching your little one learn to walk and talk and ride a bike and one day even drive, in the meantime you still have to change them and feed them and wash their clothes and make them do their homework and yell at them for breaking curfew. Rewarding, but exhausting nonetheless.
    Reply
    Monique
    9/27/2014 10:47:54 am

    It does feel like that – every time I release a new “book baby” I hope it will be liked and accepted and find it’s people.

    Winfield
    9/27/2014 05:46:32 am

    I can understand how you feel. I’ve only seriously started taking writing in the past 2 years. Since I’m not the most outgoing person in the world, it is difficult for me to get myself out there where all I want to do is read, watch, write and other individual activities. The amount of stuff that an indie author has to do if they do go the self-publishing route has made me nervous… I’m just trying bit by bit, not trying to rush things.
    Reply
    Monique
    9/27/2014 10:49:14 am

    Winfield I think that traditionally published authors find themselves in similar situations now too. They do get support from publishers but smaller authors still need to do lots of the heavy lifting themselves.

  • Blog

    Have Chick Lit, Will Travel Launch Day!

    7/24/2014

    Have Chick Lit Will Travel CoverI am very excited to be part of this lovely box set with authors Jennifer Gilby Roberts and Geralyn Coracillo.

    I’ll be featuring both ladies on the blog over the next few days so you can learn more about the women behind the stories.

     

    ***

     

    Have Chick Lit, Will Travel

    A new box set of three great summer reads from up and coming chick lit authors.

    Fancy getting away from it all this summer? The chick lit tour bus is about to depart!

    Calling at:

    * Los Angeles, USA, to stumble into some outdoor adventures in She Likes It Tough;

    * Sydney, Australia for a harbour tour and a trip to the beach in Mr. Right and Other Mongrels; and

    * London, England to enjoy Pimms, strawberries and, of course, tennis in After Wimbledon.

    But it’s not all about the scenery. There’s plenty of time for falling in love, tackling big challenges and finding the courage to go after what you want. Our three tour guides are pretty tough women – even if they don’t know it – so come enjoy the ride while they deal with men, media and mothers in this international chick lit boxed set.

    These three novels have a total list price of $8.97, but for a limited time the collection is on sale for only 99c!

    The set includes:

    SHE LIKES IT TOUGH by Geralyn Corcillo

    “Hilarious story that is well paced and very original. You don’t want to miss this sassy crazy romance!”

    Lost in Chick Lit

    When a freak fast-food accident almost kills scaredy-cat Lisa, she decides it’s time to get a backbone and really start living. But how is she supposed to get tough after a lifetime of watching from the couch?

    Jack Hawkins, that’s how. When Lisa finds out that the outdoor extremist needs a clueless urbanite to test his top-secret line of beginners’ adventure gear, she makes the most outlandish deal of her life: she will be his test dummy if he helps her become brave.

    But are there enough wild adventures in the world to help Lisa find the grit to pursue a career she really wants or the nerve to stand up to her bullying family? And what about going after the man who’s not afraid of anything… except falling for Lisa?

    Winner of Best Indie Book and Best Humor Book at the Rebecca’s Reads Choice Awards 2013.

    MR RIGHT AND OTHER MONGRELS by Monique McDonell

    “Truly loved every minute that I was reading this book!”
    Smitten With Reading, Amazon Top 1000 Reviewer

    Quietly and independently wealthy, Ally Johnson runs a charming second-hand bookshop in beachside Manly and is blissfully happy doing it. Heck, sometimes she even goes downstairs from her flat to run the shop in her Chinese silk pyjamas. It sounds perfect. But when dog-phobic Ally is rescued from an exuberant canine by Teddy Green, Australia’s hottest TV celebrity, her life begins to change dramatically!

    Despite her best efforts to resist his charm, Ally finds herself falling for him. Supported by her eccentric family and her fabulous gay friend Justin, Allegra embarks on an on-again, off-again romance with Teddy, complicated by his jealous ex-girlfriend, fashionista Louisa, and her own narcissistic hippy mother Moonbeam.

    Will Ally be able to overcome her insecurities and find happiness with Teddy, or will his celebrity lifestyle prove to be too much?

    AFTER WIMBLEDON by Jennifer Gilby Roberts

    “A sumptuous summer read that will delight everyone, even those who aren’t into their tennis.”
    Best Chick Lit

    After 12 years on the pro tennis tour and four years with her sort-of boyfriend, Lucy Bennett has had enough. She wants real life… and real love.

    Her life, her decision. Right? Well, no one else seems to think so. With opinions on all sides, Lucy’s head is spinning. And she’s stumbling right into the arms of long-term crush and fellow player Sam. Shame her boyfriend – his arch-rival – would sooner smash a racquet over their heads than agree to a simple change of partners.

    As the Wimbledon Championships play out, Lucy fights for her life on and off the courts. But what will she be left with after Wimbledon?

    ~~~~

    Each book is written using the language conventions of the author’s home country.

    One click this great romantic comedy box set now before the price goes up!

    Amazon: http://mybook.to/HCLWT

    Have Chick Lit Will Travel Box Set Image

    Comments

    Geralyn Corcillo
    7/24/2014 06:05:40 pm

    What a trip it has been putting together this box set with these two fantastic authors and their highly entertaining books!

    Jessica
    7/25/2014 12:29:52 pm

    ThNks so much for letting me be a part of your special day! Bought the book and can’t wait to sink my teeth in!! Wishing U guys much success!

    Jessica
    7/26/2014 04:57:17 pm

    Thanks so much! I can’t wait to read your book!! I have to admit, I purchased before skimming the blurb… I had already purchased and read Wimbeldon, so I figured any books paired alongside it should be up my alley! Now having read the blurb, can’t wait to dig in!! 😍. Congrats on your collaboration!