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  • Blog

    Today I interview myself about my writing life

    3/26/2019

    Writers on Wednesday - Rose
    Today I thought I’d ask myself the Top 5 questions I get asked about my writing life.
    Something to Savour - Jewel Sisters Series - Monique McDonell - Cover
    1. How’s your writing going?
    This is the question people who know I write but don’t really know about the details ask. It’s the most common question I get.

    It’s going fine. I have another book out next month and my last release was okay although I didn’t promote it properly. It was a novella and I don’t think people really want novellas from me. My January release No Time For Temptation went well and readers are giving it great reviews which makes me happy.

    2. When is the next book out?
    This is the question from my friends who read and love my books.
    Girlfriend, I’m doing my best here. It takes a lot longer to write a book than read a book you know. I’m working really hard here and but you’ll have books in April, May, June so don’t panic. There will be lots to read. I do really appreciate that you love my books and your support makes me cry all the happy tears.

    3. Can I get it in paperback?
    Asked by lots of non e-reading friends.

    You know I used to do paperbacks and they just don’t sell unless you have a book launch or a signing but I have No Time For Temptation in paperback and it will be live on Amazon soon. I’m also ordering duets of the Upper Crust series soon, I promise.

     

     

    Here’s an example!

    Upper Crust Series Any Way You Slice It and Any Way You Dream It - Paperback Duet Example

     

    4. How do you write so fast?
    This is usually asked by other authors who don’t write as quickly as I do.

    Firstly, I have had years of practice at being quick at turning work around in my day job where I’ve basically written all day for a living. Secondly, I’m not bad at time management in general so I’m really good at using 15 minute increments to get stuff done – a Facebook post, some emails, or some behind the scenes activity. Thirdly, I know my best times of day for creativity and it’s good to work these out for yourself. (Mine are 10am -12noon , 2-4pm, and 5-6.30pm) If I can get two one hour blocks in these times I can get 2-3,000 words of a draft done. I try and do a minimum of 1,000 words a day. That adds up. Fourthly, by writing every day I can dive straight back in where I left off which saves time and backtracking. Finally, i enjoy writing (editing and promoting not so much) but I do it because I like it and that makes it easier.

    There is no correct pace to write at. It depends on a lot of things. I like to release regularly because as an indie romance author that helps me with sales, visibility and the pesky Amazon algorithms. Also I read quickly so I understand that kind of reader who wants to read a series back-to-back. That means I need to write quickly and it’s important to me so I make time for it.

    Also I don’t watch TV hardly at all (except the odd cooking show). I haven’t seen a movie since January 2018 and I don’t play sports or have a time consuming hobby. As does meal preparation (we don’t eat take-away) and planning on the home front. Oh yes, and my house isn’t company ready 95% of the time. You’d be amazed how much time that frees up.

    ​5. How do you come up with your ideas?
    Lots of people ask this.

    Ideas are not an issue for me. I have books planned out and so many things I’d love to write that I’ll never get to. The characters appear before me and then I want to tell their stories. Picking the right stories in the right order is the challenge for me as is deciding what people would like to read. I’ll have a plan and then get distracted by shiny new things. Staying focused is the challenge.

    ​If you have any question please feel free to ask me in the comments below.

  • Blog

    Reviving my blog in the second half of 2018 – or I can’t do everything.

    5/29/2018

    Colourful UnicornIn my mind I’m like this sparkling unicorn. Full of magic and miracles and devoid of the impossible.

    Wouldn’t it be nice if that were true?

    I’ve been at this author game for a while now and it is like a game. I think I know the rules and they change – whether it’s Amazon, Facebook or even the recent GDPR changes…something is always changing. Just when I think I have it sorted something new comes along and I have to figure it out.

    The writing is the easy part, at least for me. That’s where the real magic happens. I love starting a new book or a new series because that’s what I’m in this for. I love the characters and going on the journey with them. A lot of the other things are things one must do to sell books.

    Unlike a lot of authors I quite like social media, I like people and interacting with them. I love hearing from readers and
    I like connecting with other authors.

    I don’t however love doing newsletters and some of the pure marketing aspects of being an author in the 21st century and as I have what amounts to a full-time job sometimes I have to make decisions about how I spend my time. I’m pretty sure I often make the wrong ones or my book sales would be better than they are but a girl can only do so much.

    Still, I do like blogging and I’ve been running this blog for over 5 years now so I have made a vow to myself that I’ll get back in a rhythm as of June or next week.

    Expect: Musical Monday, Taste of Tuesday, Writing on Wednesday all to make a reappearance as well as posts by other authors on these and other topics.

    If you have any questions or suggestions for blog posts please comment below.

  • Blog

    The Write Balance

    1/12/2018

    Vintage Scales
    Last weekend I was at a writing retreat with the gorgeous members of my writing group. It was about starting the year with some real momentum.

    We spent a lot of time on goal setting, pulling together the skeleton of a group project, doing some workshops and yes, even writing. It was awesome and inspiring – and it was also a heatwave and the mercury hit 112 degrees on Sunday but we soldiered on. Go us!

    Let me back-track a little. 2017 kind of kicked my butt.

    Here are some fun facts about me:
    – I released 6 books last year – about 300,000 words worth.
    – I worked 4 days a week for a small non-profit but my workplace was crazy stressful and the truth is I did 5 days a week in 4.I spend my days focusing on global poverty and disease, switching gears can be a challenge.
    – I’m in the sandwich generation. I have a teenage daughter who needs my attention and parents who increasingly rely on me for things both physical and emotional. My husband is lovely but he is the opposite of stressed.
    – I have a reasonable social life although it suffered last year, still I like people as long as I get downtime as well.
    – I have a couple of health conditions that make it hard for me to lose weight (hello PCOS and endometriosis), important that I don’t gain it and of course I gained a few kilos. I’ve always been skinny so this is not good for my morale at all.
    – Oh yeah, I have a spur in my neck and pretty limited movement there so I need to be mindful of that.
    – Oh yes and sleep is elusive as it is for so many.

    Thus I ended 2017 exhausted and feeling like I needed to move again.

    (I’m not saying any of that to complain. That’s what my life looks like. It’s a good life. It’s a fun life and it’s a full life but sometimes you do need to take stock).

    I have 8 projects planned for 2018 and I’m still in that job and if you know anything about the Australian education system add in that my gorgeous daughter is doing her HSC..oh yeah and she plans to go away for Uni (unusual in Australia) so my miracle baby and I have only one more year together. Another big year looms large.

    So back to the retreat – on Saturday morning my friend Pam and I drove to get some supplies and I explained my schedule to her…at my home desk at 7ish, off to work, home to juggle family, back to the home desk…so I said “Well I’m awake at 2am I could go to the gym then because I’m awake, but I’m nervous about being there alone.” We had a chuckle and yet when we did our goal setting it came up again. I was considering it.

    I came home and I really gave it some serious thought. I even discussed it with my husband.

    And then on Tuesday I stopped, looked in the mirror and thought. “Are you insane? You can’t go exercise at 2am, do your job and all this other stuff…What are you thinking?”

    What I was thinking was I have no other time. Still, I have to find time. 2am is not an option.
    So I went and got myself a new Fitbit. Step 1.
    I stocked my pantry with lots of healthy things – I can embrace the superfoods as long as no one mentions kale.
    And I bought a book Called “Two Minute Exercises”.
    Everyone has two minutes and every one has two minutes five times a day. That’s my theory and that’s my plan.

    This post is to keep my mildly accountable – I’ll come back in a month and let you know if I failed.

    Lots of writers are like me. We sit too much especially those of us with desk jobs as well, our bodies suffer and women, well lots of us put ourselves last. I know lots dictate their novel as they walk and I’m looking at that for April/May. For now, this is my plan.

    You might be like me and want to join me. You’d be very welcome.

  • Blog

    Preparing for NaNoWriMo the 2017 edition

    10/21/2017

    NaNoWriMo 2017 Participant Badge

    Way back in 2012 I did a series of blog posts about how to best prepare for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).

    NaNoWriMo, if you don’t know, is global online challenge where people commit to writing a 50,000 word novel in a month. According to their website I’ve succesded 5 out of the last 6 years so I guess I’ve learned a thing of two along the way.

    You can look at the tips I shared back then. I divided them up into weekly topics and I just reread them all and I stand by the advice I gave so take a look.(Heck I even created a meal plan for you!)

    They were:
    Part 1 – Plan Your Writing
    Part 2 – Plan Your Life for NaNoWriMo
    Part 3 – Plan the month of Writing – or tips to
    succeed.
    Part 4 – Plan to Care for your Body ( A Guest post from physiotherapist & author Terri Green)

    All these years later I know the key tips for my own success are:
    1. Get a lot of words down on day one – this year I launching a book, hosting an online book party, going to my writing group and lunch for a writing friend (I think we can all agree if I get my 2,000 words down I should be happy).

    2. Try and do at least 2,000 words a day so that you’re never behind and you have some words in the bank. I know for me Christmas celebrations seem to start in November so my social life gets nutty as the month moves along – it helps to be ahead.

    3. Let people know so then when you turn them down for something you can say “Remember I have a 50,000 word novel to write” and also I like to be accountable. I’m not a fan of public failure.

    4. Don’t fly blind – I’m not much of a plotter but even a few notes help. Write down even five or six scenes you think you want to include..and add to the list as you go. Cross one off and add one.

    5. Sprint. A writing sprint is where you set a timer for a set amount of time , for example 30 minutes, and you write. I find 30 minute 45 minute and 1 hour sprints work for me. With a couple of sprints I can make my daily word count.

    6. Don’t reinvent the wheel – this may not be true for others but the years I failed I switched to a cozy mystery and a women’s fiction novel. The slightly different styles of books were harder for me than chicklit and romance and I struggled.

    I know some people think this is a ridiculous exercise and no one can write a decent novel in a month. What I say to that is – who knows what someone else can achieve in a month? Who knows what they might create or what joy it might bring them? Who knows what they’ll learn about themselves, about their writing style or the lessons they’ll learn that they can take with them into 2018?

    It may not be for everyone but I love the challenge, the sense of achievement and the annual lesson on how much time I waste the rest of the year.

    My final advice is to have fun. Seriously – if it’s not fun you’ll quit. If you’re not enjoying it that will come through in your writing and that’s no good either.

    Have fun, get writing and let me know how you go.

  • Blog

    Time for an update on my writing life

    9/29/2017

    Long time no blog…
    Jewel Sisters - Something of a Spark - Original CoverIt seems like it is ages because I’ve done any blogging here in earnest and I suppose that’s because it is. Since I went back to work last year I seem to have less and less time to do all the fun extra parts of my writing life.

    I like blogging because I like writing but it gets pushed aside in the favour of the need to actually write the books, which is logical enough I suppose but still not idea.

    I’ve had this blog going for over five years now, so I don’t want it to feel neglected. Like everything else I just need to get myself organised and get it done.

    As I write this Something of a Spark, the pretty cover of which you see to the left, is off with the editor (out later this month) and I am busily working on book 2 in the series, Something to Sing About.

    Writing a new series has been fun, I’ve been doing the Upper Crust series for a while now and even though I love it some of the fun for me is meeting a whole slew of new characters and I can do that with a fresh series.

    I am working on the eighth book in the Upper Crust Series and I will be writing a spin off series in 2018 so I’m not done with those characters yet.

    The new series takes place between Australia and Nashville with a bit of Napa thrown in for fun. I have a cousin in Napa, I wonder if I can visit her in the name of research?

    I also have a book coming out for Christmas in a multi-author box set. I haven’t done that before so fingers crossed it is a good experience for me, because I’m signed up for another one next year as well.

    This is a tough business so I’m always looking at new ways to reach readers so hopefully the box sets help.

    If you really want to keep up to date with my books your best bet is to follow me on Facebook or sign up for my newsletter…that’s where all the real secrets are revealed.

  • Blog

    An Introverted Writer’s Very Extroverted Week

    8/27/2016

    Thanks for the explanation Myers-Briggs
    Beach and Pier - 2016
    I am a a very friendly person. That’s a fact. I really like people and it breaks my little heart to see someone sitting alone or sad in a corner. My husband can tell you I’ve ruined more dinners with my anxiety over the fact that the couple at the next table don’t seem to be talking – it freaks me out.

    As a result people are always amazed when I describe myself as an introvert. There is universal confusion about the fact that introverts are shy people. I’m not shy but if you meet me I’d much rather talk about you than me. I’m going to ask you questions and maybe not give very long answers when talking about myself and my real interests. (Though I will usually share a cracking yarn with you).

    Those Myers-Briggs tests explain that introverts need time to recharge between events and experiences. We need some space around us. Hence you’ll find a lot of writers who are introverts. It doesn’t mean we lack social skills (although some absolutely do) but it means we work well alone and we’re not that excited to be the centre of attention. We like a little quite around us. Turn off the radio and television when we come to visit please!

    With all that in mind I find August to be my most taxing month. I think half of my known universe has a birthday in August (including my daughter and I) which means a whole lot of socialisation – lunches and parties – and I usually attend the Romance Writers of Australia Conference. I’m already at capacity normally.

    So let me tell you about my week.

    This time last week I was at the #RWAus16 Conference in Glenelg, South Australia. On the Thursday I somehow managed to be organising a lovely Barossa Valley (wine country) tour for fifteen people, ten of whom I had never met. That really was fun but when you put your hand up to organise something you feel responsible for other people’s enjoyment and that can be stressful.

    As it turned out we had a great day and I think everyone got along well. Having left home at four in the morning to get there some of the details are a tad sketchy for me but I think everyone had fun.
    Next up we checked in to our apartment which was awesome. Five women in a four bedroom apartment, five women who didn’t all know each other and I was the only link through. Again – no pressure. I’m so lucky to say that almost everyone I’ve met on my writing journey is a delight and these ladies, many of whom are already in my writing group, were no exception but that’s a lot of togetherness.

    Friday was all about meeting people – I did a pitch, I helped a friend who came in as a journalist find her contacts for her story and I met writers I only knew from the internet. That’s a lot more for one little introvert.

    And then Friday night we dressed up for the cocktail party – fancy dress is actually good for introverts in my opinion. Dressed as someone else you can relax. Three of us went as old-fashioned cigarette girls and won second place in the fancy dress competition. Introverts don’t really want to go on stage and get a prize in front of 400 people but they do it.
    The rest of the conference is a bit of a blur but it was lovely to make new friends and catch up with old and see some good presentations. I especially enjoyed presentations by Kerri Arthur, Fiona McDonald and an intimate session where the publisher Esi Sogah from Kensington, New York. It’s a blur because that’s a lot for an introvert to take in.

    Then I came home and it was my birthday. It’s lovely to have a birthday and in a world where people are increasingly disconnected birthdays make people reach out and touch base.

    Finally I started a new role at a non-profit – in their office, with actual human beings, as opposed to working from my home office which I have done for years.

    That’s epic for an introvert. It’s a really positive move for me. You can have too much alone time. It makes you stagnant. Sometimes we need people to recharge us. (Maybe not so many people as I had this week but still it’s a good plan).

    Yes that was certainly a big week for introverted old me. It was a good week and a varied week and I don’t regret any of it but I sure was ready for a nice, quiet weekend.
    Turns out life didn’t get any quieter after that
    I wrote this blog post a month ago – a whole month. I guess that tells you how life has been tracking for me.

    This week I actually feel I might be finally getting my rhythm back and a sense of normalcy. Hopefully that means I can get my writing and blogging back on track too.

    This year has been one of those where every plan I’ve made has pretty much had to be changed at the last minute – from what I make for dinner to when I’ll release a book.

    I’m rolling with it but I do hope to get some control back soon.

    I have two more Upper Crust books and a Christmas novella I’d like to release this year….perhaps only two of those and the Christmas anthology I’m in is a more realistic goal.

    For those of you who have hung in with me, thank you.

    Now I better get my introverted self out of the house for the day.

  • Blog

    Zigging and zagging and keeping on going

    7/5/2016

    Can you even believe it is July? No really, can you? I just can’t.

    I used to believe that old adage “time flies when you’re having fun” but this year has been boring at best and craptastic at worst for me – depending on the day, and I still can’t believe it’s half-done. So I guess time waits for no man or woman to get herself together and start moving forward. Good to know.

    It’s summer of course where many of my readers are but it is winter here in Sydney and I am just not a winter girl. I like my sun shining, my breezes warm and my toes not frozen thanks very much. I’m lucky I don’t live in Norway or Wisconsin because I for sure would suffer from seasonal depression and I really feel for those people who have to endure long, dark winters.

    Really here in Australia we are very lucky that our climate is so mild. On the other hand where I live half the people don’t have decent heating and most of the cafe’s are designed as if the temperature was never below about seventy-five degrees or the mid-twenties in celsius so venturing outside can be chilly.

    Still this is good writing weather.

    I am about to send book 5 in the Upper Crust Series off to the editor. I’m a bit behind but it’s coming and Book 6 is ready to go behind it. I also have a Christmas novella ready to be edited and I have a story going in a New Year’s multi-author box set so there will be a few new releases from me in the latter part of the year. Oh and I have a Valentine’s novella ready to go too.

    A few people have said The Upper Crust Series needs a seventh book to tie up all the loose ends so I better get working on that as well.

    Meanwhile I have started a new series I’m really excited about and I hope my readers will be too. I’m writing the first two books simultaneously (I do like a challenge) and I’m going to be pitching it to a few traditional publishers and if they’re not keen that series will start releasing in 2017.

    I always feel like I’m marking time but I guess maybe I’m zig-zagging rather than running on the spot.

    And if you do like my Upper Crust Series all the books are on sale now so….pop over to Amazon and grab yourself copies while they’re a bargain. Author.to/MoniqueMcDonell

    The Upper Crust Series Promo Banner Original Covers - Autumn

  • Blog

    36 Real Authors Talking Writing and Publishing – a book #giveaway

    6/21/2016
    How to Be An Author - CoverEarlier this year I was on one of the many Facebook groups for authors that I belong to and another member Ashton Cartwright asked for people who’d like to be involved in a book to help other writers.

    Naturally I said yes and now the book is available as both an e-book and a paperback. I’m one of the 36 authors who contributed to the book.

    (If you’d like to win a copy enter below).

    Now that the paperback is available I thought I’d ask Ashton about how the project came together. Don’t you just love the cover? So pretty!

    1. Ashton, how did you get the idea for the book?
    I’ve been writing and publishing books now for about four years, and I get asked a lot of the questions, generally the same questions and fairly often; things like “How hard is it to become an author” or “I’ve got a good idea for a book, but don’t know how to start.” or even “I’ve written a book, but don’t know how to get people to buy it.”

    So I thought it might be a good idea to write some of my answers down, in the hope that new authors would get a bit of benefit from it, and would hopefully avoid some of the mistakes that I’d made in my own publishing career.

    2.Where did you find the authors?
    I was very fortunate to be a part of several excellent online author groups, both for Australians and for international authors. Writing and publishing is a community in which everyone tends to do their best to help one another, particularly for self-published or indie authors. When I mentioned in a couple of places that I was looking for some authors to give their advice to new writers, there were lots of people very happy to oblige. (35 plus myself in fact!)

    3. Did you learn anything interesting about the authors – something that they all had in common, something that separated them or anything surprising?
    The thing that most hit home with me was that even though we each had a different story to tell, we still had a lot of similarities. Nobody in the book had written an instant bestseller and made millions of dollars. Some of us were able to write full time, but we worked really hard at it to make it happen. Some of us were just starting out, and were also working really hard at it to make it happen. I think a lot of times people assume that if you write a book, your work is done. You just get to sit around at home, waiting for handsome royalty cheques, and signing autographs when people meet you in the street. The truth is usually far different from that. Every author I know that has had even a modicum of success has had to work hard for it; they’ve had to stay focused, stay committed, and just keep learning, writing, and moving forward. Being a writer is definitely not a quick path to success, but it is definitely worth all the effort. 🙂

    If you would like to get your own copy either e-book or paperback you can buy it here.

     

    Comments

    Renee
    6/19/2016 04:58:20 pm

    I’d love to know, when did you decide to start writing an actual book? Was there a defining moment?
    Reply
    Monique
    6/22/2016 10:23:39 pm

    Renee, I always wrote but I took a course at the NSW Writers’ Centre – First Page to First Draft, where you would write a novel in that year so that was when I decided to take it seriously…that was about 10 years ago and that book became Mr Right and Other Mongrels.

    Jean
    6/21/2016 03:13:42 am

    This sounds inspiring, I’d like to know how authors stay so focused and get things finished
    Reply
    Monique
    6/22/2016 10:25:18 pm

    That’s a great question and I think (as reading this book with feedback from so many writers will show) everyone is a bit different. In my case I hate to fail at something – so once I set myself a goal I like to get there. I’m not always there in the desired time-frame but I do get there. Focus is really hard. Some people find it harder than others.

    Susan Mehr
    6/21/2016 01:15:03 pm

    Do you find writing a journey inside your own imagination?
    Reply
    Monique
    6/22/2016 10:26:07 pm

    I have a very active imagination, which is a good and a bad thing I suppose.. Writing gives that a nice focus.

    Valerie
    6/21/2016 04:18:06 pm

    Sounds like a great book. Can’t wait to read it.

    Heather Goldsmith
    6/22/2016 02:33:39 am

    One, only one? Um, ok, how long did it take from when you wrote your first book to when it was ready to be sent to a publisher, and was it accepted? Ok, that’s two really, sorry. 😉
    Reply
    Monique
    6/22/2016 10:28:15 pm

    From the time I started my first novel until I started sending it out was about 3 years. That book was Mr Right and Other Mongrels. It made it off the slush pile at agents and publishers all over the world (well UK, US and Australia) and they all said – we like your writing, send us whatever else you have, but we can’t sell chicklit. That’s what I write so I went the indie publishing route instead.

  • Blog

    Sometimes it is easy to forget – why I write

    6/15/2016

    Hearts AfireYesterday I was responding to a blogger about an upcoming promotional opportunity and she wanted a summer themed book. My Upper Crust Series isn’t especially seasonal (except Book 6 which isn’t out yet) but lots of my stand alone novels are.

    It got me to thinking about those books and how I got started writing and well, why I write.

    Reasons I don’t write (ie thinks that are not motivation for my writing):
    – financial success (Despite what you think most writers don’t make a living from it)
    – fame (For every author’s name you know there are thousands you don’t)
    – recognition (Ah considering at social gatherings even the people who know and love me barely acknowledge my writing we can leave this off the list)
    * Disclaimer at various times I have thought my writing might bring me one or more of these things but I no longer believe that.

    So why did I start writing and why do I continue?
    I wrote as a child and in my twenties but then I stopped. Time, motivation and need were all lacking then. (I’ll be honest my twenties rocked. I had a great social life with lots of friends in and out of work and lots of them lived near by me. we had disposable incomes and we ate out, drank like fish and danced until dawn often. Good freaking times!)

    In my early thirties I had a child and struggled with the notion I was lucky to get that one and wasn’t getting anymore, my husband was away around 50% of the time and most of my friends weren’t married or were just married and didn’t have kids. I was alone a lot. And I’ll be honest with you, I didn’t love it.

    Then my imagination came back to help me. Writing allowed me to create the sorts of friends I wanted to hang out with every day, the sorts of friends I had but missed. I got to write fund dates, romantic scenarios and parties. I drew on things I knew from my life, the good bits.

    My early novels particularly Mr Right and Other Mongrels and Hearts Afire had aspects of my personality in them, and my life. Dog phobia is all me. Living by the beach, that’s my life. Meeting a hot guy on a tropical island – hey I did that. My writing was a really good way to draw on my experiences and the better, more fun parts of myself that were kind of taking a back seat to my day-to-day reality.

    Yesterday got me thinking about those characters and how much I loved them. I wondered why and realise it is because they represent the best parts of my friends, my life and my twenties. That’s probably why Cassie and Jack from Hearts Afire remain among my favourite characters. They made my life less lonely more full and they didn’t settle, they were characters who bounced back.

    I’ve always had a vivid imagination and a somewhat quirky world view….drawing on this was a way to connect my past to my future.

    My reasons for writing have changed over the years. I’m more pragmatic – although I still crush on lots of my own characters and mainly write characters I could see myself sharing a glass of wine or a plate of nachos with. Now though, my writing is a daily practice and an extension of who I am now rather than who I used to be.

     

    Comments

    Pamela Cook
    6/15/2016 01:26:22 am

    Great post Monique. Love your honesty. I agree, creating characters we love to hang out with is a huge part of the fun of writing. I always love meeting your imaginary friends. Look forward to meeting many more!
    Reply
    Monique
    6/15/2016 02:22:43 am

    Thanks Pam. That’s the fun part, right? Creating those characters…I have a few more imaginary friends up my sleeve yet.

    Betty Uchytil
    6/15/2016 06:21:21 am

    I loved Mr Right. It was just like talking to you. Now in your later novels it’s like you are telling me an amusing story. I am amazed that you have all of those characters in your head!
    Reply
    Monique
    6/15/2016 04:56:46 pm

    Thanks Betty, I think the voice in Mr Right and Other Mongrels is the closest to mine. Lots of people have said when they read it that it was like talking to me, which I guess is a compliment, if you liked the character 😉

  • Blog

    Putting on your big girl’s panties aka getting on with it – WHATEVER IT IS

    1/26/2016

    Manly Wharf and FerryLast January I was a whirling dervish of momentum and productivity. This January, #notsomuch. I usually take January off but last year I began the #1000wordsaday challenge and managed to get some great forward motion.

    This year I don’t seem to have had that. It’s summer vacation here in Australia in January. That means sleeping in, long lunches, lazy days. It means no routine, catching up with friends and family. It means the kids are home, the television is on and as soon as you settle in you can be sure someone will want you.

    Of course much of that is just an excuse in my case to put off doing what I am not be that inclined to do anyway. The truth is I do have time to write a book blub, to edit a chapter or to write my #1000wordsaday.

    Maybe I just haven’t felt like it. Or maybe after achieving my many of my personal writing goals I just don’t have the motivation to create new ones. All of the goals I’ve failed to achieve have to do with commercial success. I don’t have control over that. All of the goals I have achieved relate to productivity, deadlines and content.

    It’s possible that after running on the treadmill with limited success I need to rest.

    Would I stay on a diet if I didn’t lose weight? Would I stay on the treadmill if I didn’t get fit? No, I wouldn’t. I’d stop and look at my methods and have a serious re-think, so maybe that’s why I haven’t been so productive this January.

    Maybe pulling up my big girl panties means stepping back and re-evaluating how I spend my time and energy so that writing is a joyous and creative experience again. So that’s what I’m doing. I’m giving myself permission to step back and think until February.

    And then, I guess we will see what shakes out.