• Blog

    And now for something completely different – COPYFIGHT


    Copyfight CoverToday I’m sharing something very different but very exciting with you.
    See this book here with the funky cover? Well guess who made a small contribution to it?

    Did you guess me?

    Now look at all the other cool people who contributed.
    I quote the back cover.

    John Birmingham, Linda Jaivin, Marc Fennell, Clem Bastow, Lindy Morrisson, Justin Heazelwood, Elmo Keep, Dan Hunter, Angela Bowne and others fire up the copyright debate like never before.

    One Click - Monique McDonell - Copyfight ChapterSo I’m one of the ‘and others’ and very proud to be one.

    This is a wonderful book that looks at the issues we face in the digital age when we all want to download it, read it, watch it and listen to it anywhere, anytime. The book examines how we deal with this now in terms of copyright and the affects it has on the individuals who created the original work.

    My piece is here called One Click For Chicklit.

    Edited by the very talented Phillipa McGuinness and published by New South Publishing It is available in all good bookshops.

    I am thrilled to have been included in this wonderful book.

    There is a panel discussing the book at the Sydney Writer’s Festival so if you’re planning to be there you should put the event in your diary.

    EVENT TITLE: Copyfight
    DATE: Friday, 22 May 2015
    TIME: 1.30-2.30pm
    VENUE: Sydney Dance 2

    Meanwhile, go grab a copy!

  • Blog

    What time is it? Sydney Writers’ Festival Time


    Pile of BooksThis week is The Sydney Writers’ Festival. Do you love a good Writers’ Festival? I do.
    Why? I hear you ask.
    First of all I love books and I love reading so I love hearing some of the people who wrote those books talk about the stories and what inspired them to tell those stories.
    Now that I write there are lots of opportunities to learn at the Festival. Yes there are sessions geared specifically to craft and authors but sometimes something sparks in a regular session that you take home and it helps you as go on with your own writing.
    I love the bookshop. Even though I now read lots of my books electronically I love to be in a room surrounded by real books. I have my eye on a couple I know I want already but I will no doubt come home with a couple of extras.
    Usually I attend the Sydney Writers’ Festival with my writing friends. It is a great opportunity to catch up with people I know and to also meet new people. Sometimes you bump into unexpected people or pass them as they rush down the hallway or street to another session.
    This year I’m going in Thursday, Friday and Saturday. I never make it to every session I plan to go to (see the bit about the friends) and some years the queues are ridiculous and one simply doesn’t have time to get from one session to the next (see the comment about rushing). I like to book in for a couple so that I’m guaranteed a seat and my day has some structure.
    It should be a fun few days. Hopefully I’ll be back with pictures next week.

  • Blog

    2013 the writing year that was


    Mr Right and Other MongrelsIt’s New Year’s Eve and as we all know it’s a time for reflection if we choose to let it be.
    Looking back on my year a whole lot happened in the writing zone for me.

    I blogged pretty much the whole year and with pretty consistently. Along the way I got to meet and interview loads of wonderful authors and grill them about their writing process and learn about their books so that was a whole lot of fun.

    In May of course, I launched my first book Mr Right and Other Mongrels which was quite a trip! It’s been en entirely positive experience and I learnt so much from going through it.

    I also learnt that even you would think getting the second book out afterwards would be easier – surely I learnt something from the first one – that was not the case and Hearts Afire ended up taking three extra months to hit the shelves as a result of a series of delays. That’s why when people ask me when is the next book out I’m now very reluctant to say a date or even a month out loud because I’m now aware that I could be speaking nonsense.





    Hearts AfireAnyway Hearts Afire eventually hit the shelves in October and that has been a whole lot of fun as well.

    Thanks to all of you who bought, reviewed, blogged, tweeted or shared the news of my books to the universe. I deeply appreciate your support.

    I’ve learnt a bit more about promotion via social media along this journey and have met some amazing people out there in cyber-space which has been lots of fun. I’ve met some wonderful authors and some cool readers as well.

    I’ve also done lots of wonderful things as part of my writing year. I had a great weekend away with members of my writing group back in February.

    I attended several events at the Sydney Writers’ Festival in May and hung with some wonderful friends and authors.

    I went to the Gold Coast for the RWA in August where I had an amazing time and met some wonderful authors – some whom I had ‘met’ in cyber space and some who were entirely new to me. It was a wonderful experience.

    I’ve also been lucky enough to attend book launches for several old friends this year including Edwina Shaw and Pamela Cook.




    So if 2012 was anything to go by I expect to have an exciting time in 2013!

    Here are a few snapshots of the year that was.

    Writer Friends Group PhotoSome of the Writers’ Dozen in Milton in February for a writing retreat.

    Monique McDonell Kindle Digital Launch Mr Right and Other Mongrels
    Virtual book launch for Mr Right and Other Mongrels.

    Hearts Afire Paperback Cover Preview
    Hearts Afire paperbacks!

    Favel, Monique McDonell and Edwina Shaw

    Catch up with Favel Parrett and Edwina Shaw in Sydney. Two of the Joondi 8.

    Pamela Cook and Monique McDonell at Book Launch for Blackwattle Lake

    With the lovely Pamela Cook at her December book launch.

  • Blog

    Writing a book – so much of the work comes afterwards


    Girl Holding Books Illustration
    It’s very exciting writing a book. I love writing. At the Sydney Writers Festival I was amazed when a couple of authors on a panel said the blank page scared them and they much preferred the re-write. My lovely friend Pam Cook elbowed me and said “That’s the opposite of you.” So true.

    I think that’s why I love doing NaNoWriMo each year. A blank canvas and a month to create a new world filled with new friends who go off on new adventures. It’s also probably why I never manage to join in the follow-up month they do in March for editing.

    Anyway, it certainly is an achievement to write a book but the hard part isn’t that. The hard part is getting it published and even if you go the indie publishing route like I have it’s still quite hard.

    Let’s face it, there’s a lot to learn. Book cover design. Formatting. Uploading to various sites (yes it will be yup elsewhere this week.) Working out how those sites market and rank books. Marketing and promotion of the book.

    In this area I do have a slight advantage in that I have a background in the area but given so much of the marketing is actually done on the internet there’s so much to learn.

    So far what I’ve learnt is that there are lots of wonderful people out there in the twitterverse and online who are happy to review your book, interview you, retweet your information and so much more. It’s amazing how generous and helpful people are, especially other authors.

    I guess my point is just because something is difficult and daunting doesn’t mean it’s impossible and that you shouldn’t do it. It just might mean you have to work a bit harder than you expected to get what you want.



    Whitney K-E
    6/12/2012 12:07:38 pm

    All very true, Monique. My sister has plans to write a series and I’m encouraging her to start blogging now. And she has yet to start.
    But it really is about word of mouth and making connections.
    6/12/2012 06:49:46 pm

    I agree she really should start sooner rather than later. I had a blog and shut it down a couple of years back in a slump and I really regret that now…

    Pamela Cook
    6/13/2012 12:49:29 pm

    You’re on a massive learning curve Monique. Soon you’ll be advising others on the whole process of e-publishing. Like you say sometimes the most daunting things can push us put of our comfort zone and make us realise we’re a lot more capable than we think we are.
    6/13/2012 01:01:00 pm

    It is certainly a massive learning curve Pam. Learning new things is fun but also very time consuming and it doesn’t leave much time to write the next one.

  • Blog

    Sydney Writer’s Festival, sore fingers and what’s coming next


    I spent Thursday and Friday at the Sydney Writer’s Festival. I had a great time at The Forest for the Trees session on Thursday and then at the Is Chick Lit Dead session on Friday morning featuring Toni Jordan and Kathy Lette.

    I did a great blog post (well I don’t know if it was great but was informative) about all this and somehow the computer ate it. It’s gone.

    I managed to rip off part of a finger nail yesterday which was I must say – very painful! Anyway it’s making typing very tricky indeed. So tricky that I honestly don’t think I have it in me to re-type it.

    Instead I will share some random facts about my experience.

    * Even though I have never submitted a short story to a literary journal I found the session about that very informative and interesting.
    * I loved the session with Chad Harbach and Elliot Pearlman. I haven’t read any of their books but they were so lovely and generous with their thoughts and information I definitely will now.
    * I caught the bus in to the city purely by chance, with author Ber Carroll. We had a great chat about publishing and I taught her a short cut from Wynyard to the Walsh Bay. I really am pretty good in the city. That must be why I am constantly stopped by tourists for directions.
    * This was the third year I have ended up hearing Toni Jordan speak. She is a great speaker and if the characters in her books are anything like her you couldn’t help but enjoy spending time with them. (I am now reading her book Fall Girl).
    * The trivia quiz at the Hoopla/Stella prize lunch taught me I have huge gaps in my knowledge of Australian women writers.
    * Kathy Lette said I looked familiar. I said “Oh yes well in 1987 when you were about to write the Australian character Pippa for The Facts of Life you interviewed me and some other AFS exchange students about our experience. But I somehow don’t think that’s it.” We both shared a collective “that was a lifetime ago” moment.

    This week
    * I will add another chapter to the Art of Romance story.
    * I am guest posting on another blog, run by the lovely Juliet Madison…so I will share that here. You will be able to read an extract from Mr Right and Other Mongrels.
    * I have a couple of author interviews to post as well.

    Rachael Johns
    5/19/2012 05:45:51 pm

    Thanks for sharing Monique. The SWF sounds fab and I hope to make it one day.