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  • 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.

  • Blog

    How to get unstuck in 2016 – stop being the glue

    1/2/2016

    Coffee and NotebookA new year, a new notebook.

    Some people hate the blank page, but not me. In life, I love a clean slate and as a writer there’s nothing I like more than starting a new project. I know writers that find all that white space staring back at them scary, but not me. I love it.

    I have a girlfriend who says she’s not a finisher and I think I’m the same. We love to start new things. We love the project. Writing that report at the end, not so much. The handover to the client, not really. Formatting and getting the book out, not exactly.

    I love a new project and I love a new notebook. I get the same on each year in a different colour and I’m on my fourth version of the ones I love now (not the one in the photo). One for every year in a rainbow of colours. They’re a record of my writing life and my life in general – it’s a shame I have the handwriting of a serial killer and no one else will ever decipher them. The fresh notebook symbolizes a new opportunity, a chance to write things anew

    If only it were that easy in life.

    2015 wasn’t a great year for me. I’ll be honest with you it was pretty blah. Flat, flat is probably the best word. (Please let me note I know I’m an incredibly lucky person. I live in a safe and beautiful country and I happen to live in a spectacular part of it. Nothing bad happened to me or my family this year for which I’m extraordinarily grateful.)

    Still, it was a year of waiting, or marking time. Not much new happened. It felt stagnant. I felt flat.

    And here’s the really interesting thing about that, from a personal point of view, no one much noticed. I was quite lonely this year, melancholy for some of it and frustrated for much of it. And no one much noticed.

    There are a couple of reasons for that beyond people having busy all-consuming lives.

    We all play roles in life that’s a fact. There’s a reason there are archetypes and stereotypes in stories because we recognise those people. We know them, heck, we are them. One role I’ve played for a long time is I’m the go-to girl. If you have a problem I’m the one you call. I listen, I help, I step up. People like that.

    Most of us have that person or if we’re lucky, several in our lives. Those people are the glue. They hold together families, friendship groups, workplaces. They babysit, they make you food, they call and ask about your sick mother or your job interview or your broken heart.

    It’s amazing however, how little it works in reverse. Somehow you can be the go to girl but not be the come to girl. (Mon, what does that even mean?) It means people don’t come to me to check on me. They assume I’m fine. They don’t ask otherwise, they just roll with that assumption because it the easy way. First of all they genuinely want to believe I’m happy and cruising along and secondly if they think that then they don’t have to do anything.

    And some of that is my fault as well.

    “She’ll reach out if she needs me.” Yeah, no she won’t. Or probably she won’t. Some people aren’t wired that way and if it takes you three days to call back, if you don’t return texts, if you get on the phone or sit down at lunch and start talking about your own drama the go-to girl is wired to assume your needs are greater.

    So there’s that. So if you have a go-to girl or guy in your life I suggest you make 2016 the year you check up on them just a little. Instigate the contact, it can’t hurt after all.

    And then there’s the second reason – social media with all it’s smoke and mirrors. Liking someone’s Facebook post is not the same as sending them a text. And texting, while convenient, is no substitute for an actual phone call. We all rely on these quick and the easy tools to check in with people way too much – I do too. (If you know me you know I love Facebook and I quite like Instagram as well I’m not dissing them.) We see a photo of someone and their dog or their hamburger and we feel connected to them, as if we know what their day was like. We don’t see the mess in the kitchen or the fight they had with their teenager or their crisis of confidence. Of course none of us post pictures of that stuff.

    That means however that we’re basing our relationships on assumptions and not reality. We have the illusion of connection without the real deal.

    So what does this mean for me? I guess it means in 2016 I have to stop being the glue. I have to stop helping other people to hold it together at the expense of my own needs. Hence the title of this post, I need to stop being the glue to get unstuck.

    So time to open life’s new notebook – the new year – and get writing my own story in a more interesting way.

    (If you’re reading this and you know me for real, in the real non-cyber world. This is a blog post about me and my reflections on the year gone and the year ahead – it’s not about you or how I feel about you.)

    Comments

    Pamela Cook
    12/31/2015 10:08:39 pm

    A very honest post Mon. You are so right about people hiding their real feelings and life situations. We all do it. And you are so right about social media being a superficial connection. I think we all rely on it now because it is easier and quicker but it doesn’t provide the depth of connection a phone call or face to face catch up does. After my experiences in 2015 I’ve promised myself to make more effort in the ways I connect with friends and family – more meaningful conversations and taking more time to be together. Enjoy your new notebooks and I hope 2016 is a better year for you. x
    Reply
    Monique
    1/1/2016 02:22:42 am

    As you know I love me some social media Pam. I just think we need not to rely on it as our only point of contact with the important people in our lives…and we all do it. A new year is a good time to reflect on these things.

  • Blog

    2015 a year in review

    12/30/2015

    Writing hits and misses in 2015
    Monique McDonell Books and Champagne Flat Lay2015 is drawing to a close and that means it’s time to reflect on the successes and failures. Goals met or not.

    I suppose one should start with the positive. If I was critiquing someone else that’s what I’d do. (Funny how we much prefer to focus on our own failures and are far kinder to others than ourselves. Or is that just me?)

    I set myself the objective of writing #1000wordsaday. In fact I set up a Facebook group to support other writers with the same objective. The Facebook group has been wonderfully supportive of each other and of me. Having to post the date and my goals has helped me focus.

    One thousand words a day is 365,000 words in a year. Did I achieve that? Actually I did. I wrote two novellas and five novels this year. I didn’t write every day but I had days I wrote more and I had two months where I did 50,000 word challenges so I definitely met my objective.

    I guess that’s my achievement for the year. And it’s not nothing to set a goal like that and meet it so I’m happy about that.
    Monique McDonell Upper Crust Series Banner
    See this pretty series of books above. My goal was to have them all released in 2015 and that certainly didn’t happen. In fact Book 4 which I hoped to release in November and then December will be out next week. And books five and six will be released by April. I’m behind for a variety of reasons and that’s disappointing but they are all written and that’s something.

    I wasn’t a great blogger this year either, I started well but I definitely lost steam so I hope to get a better schedule set up in 2016 to counter that. (I also didn’t do too well with my newsletters but I guess we can discuss that in my 2016 objectives post later this week.)

    The landscape definitely shifted out there this year. Some things definitely became harder for indie authors. Finding traction and visibility is definitely harder than it was for a lot of authors and finding the right balance in book promotion is challenging.

    It will be interesting to see what 2016 brings for me and the industry as a whole.

  • Blog

    Moving forward and maintaining momentum on a Musical Monday

    9/13/2015

    To be a writer you need to write.
    Any Way You Fight It - Upper Crust Series - Monique McDonell - Original CoverI haven’t been much of a blogger lately and my social media engagement had been down as well, I suspect.

    Sometimes I really fret about that stuff – you can’t sell books without an online presence if your books are sold almost exclusively online. You lose visibility and people forget about you, or so everyone says.

    On the other hand you can’t sell books if you don’t write. Without that stage you have nothing to sell. That’s a fact.

    For the last couple of weeks I’ve chosen to focus on the writing and not get quite so distracted by the business and promotion side. Who knows if that’s a good strategy or not but I do feel more energetic, more engaged with my characters and more enthusiastic about writing so those are all positives.

    Any Way You Fight It, Book 3 in The Upper Crust Series is off at the editor now and will have an October release. Any Way You Plan It, Book 4 in the series is with the BETA readers now and Books 5 and 6 are ready for reading too. And I have a Christmas and a Summer/Valentine’s novella ready for readers as well.

    I guess that means I need to take a little break from the writing and get back to the promotion and other aspects of the writing business because that’s what it is, a business. I already run another small business so I guess this makes me a entrepreneur, with two businesses on the go.

    Like any business this one has goals – I want to get those four Upper Crust and two novellas published by January, I want to get better at organising my promos and newsletter, I have sales goals and marketing goals and now all I need to do is maintain momentum. Yeah, that’s the hard part.

    This song came me into my head yesterday for some inexplicable reason…and it reminded me of Marissa and Mike in
    Any Way You Plan It…so here we go an old Australian ’80s classic by Jenny Morris for Musical Monday.

  • 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

    I only have five minutes, I can’t do anything – oh yes you can!

    6/22/2015

    5 things any writer can do if they only have 5 minutes
    Facebook Screenshot
    We are all time poor and as writers we often struggle to find balance between the writing, the promotion, the social media and our real lives.
    “I don’t have enough time” is almost a mantra we use in modern society. It’s true that if you want to write, a five minute interval really isn’t much use, but what about all the other stuff? What about the horrible nitty-gritty little jobs we put off until we have a long, long list we can’t even stand looking at. Lots of those things are simple five minute jobs.

    1. Create a social media post

    The truth is it really does only take 5 minutes to put a post on Facebook. You can ask a question and add a photo (I just did the one above) and if you have it set up correctly it will link to Twitter as well. You’d really done two things in under 5 minutes.

    2. Schedule some social media for when you can’t be around
    Pop on to Hootsuite or Tweetdeck or whatever social media scheduling platform you use and schedule a post for tonight or tomorrow or some other time you know you will be busy. You can write something about where you’ll be or what’s happening with your life, but you can also link to an old blog post.

    3. Share the love
    Social media is about being social. Take the 5 minutes and visit the Facebook page, Amazon author page or blog of an author or other person you follow. Leave a comment, like their page, send them a message. Or you could go and retweet their lastest tweet. Do something for someone else. You can easily do that in 5 minutes. It will make someone’s day and create good will.

    If you follow hashtags on Twitter such as #MondayBlogs or #BYNR or #Fridayreads go and have a look at who is tweeting what in that hastag

    4. Ask for a review or guest blog spot
    If you are a writer you probably have a list of people you need to approach for a review or you’ve discovered a new blog you think will help you reach your audience. So take 5 minutes and write to the blogger of reviewer in a quick email. You have your book cover and blurb already to attach. You know what you want to say. You can do that in 5 minutes.

    5. Make a list
    Grab a pen and paper or which ever app you use for lists and make a list. Here are 5 you can write in under 5 minutes:
    a basic to do list
    a list of blog posts you’ve already written that you could re-share on social media
    a list of blog topics to write in the future
    a list of Facebook posts
    a list of people who have supported you who you could show some social media love to with a Facebook share, retweet or some other social media engagement.

    Comments

    Sandie Docker
    7/29/2015 12:43:23 pm

    Such good tips. It’s so easy to make excuses not to do things because there’s no time. There’s always something you can do.
    Reply
    Monique
    7/29/2015 01:09:33 pm

    I agree Sandy. Sometimes all we have is 5 minutes but we can usually find something constructive to do with them.

    Julie Valerie @Julie_Valerie
    7/29/2015 01:17:29 pm

    WOW. This is such a fabulous list. Imagine what 5 days of doing these 5 things would look like – a whole lotta stuff getting accomplished, that’s for sure.

    Great list. Awesome list. (Any chance you’ll brainstorm another list?) So incredibly helpful and such great ideas!
    Reply
    Monique
    7/29/2015 01:32:10 pm

    Julie I will brainstorm another list – maybe a 10/15 minute list. I often have 15 minutes….

    Melissa Field
    7/29/2015 02:34:13 pm

    These are great tips, even for when I do have time!!! Social media is something I often blow off because I simply don’t feel like it. When I think of it as a five minute daily investment, then it feels much more enjoyable. Thank you!
    Reply
    Monique
    7/29/2015 03:13:21 pm

    I agree Melissa it can be overwhelming – social media feels like a merry-go-round that never stops spinning. Breaking it down into small achievable tasks really helps.

    Sandrine Piat
    7/30/2015 01:28:21 am

    Wow! what great advice – and it actually feels like its really do-able 🙂 I have to admit that I am definitely one of those people who never have time to do anything and when you break it up that way, it really seems like there is a little time to fit everything in. Thank you 🙂

    Pauline Wiles
    7/30/2015 01:46:54 am

    Loved this post! I am constantly telling myself that a small amount of time is not enough to get anything worthwhile done, and of course that’s just not true. I’d love to see your 15-minute list. Meanwhile, I’ll be sharing this one.

  • Blog

    How can it be June and other questions for the universe?

    6/3/2015

    Time flies whether you’re having fun or not, right?

    Miss Chick Lit Winner
    It feels like this is one of those blink and you miss it years. One minute it was mid may and then bam we’re into June. (June in Australia means winter and I am SOOOOOOOO not a fan of winter, hence the not having fun!)

    May was a busy month with #ChicklitMay, the Sydney Writers’ Festival and the release of Any Way You Dream It. But somehow I feel like I missed that last week entirely. Not sure what’s up with that. It’s a bit like raising a child. I’m sure my daughter is still meant to be ten and not fourteen.

    Anyway, I had that thing I have after the release of every book – a rather counter-intuitive slump. You’d think one would be euphoric but it never quite pans out that way for me. The last two books have had major editing hassles that sucked any joy I might have expected right out of the experience. If I ever manage the energy to send a book to an editor again it will be a personal triumph.

    I think I’m back in the saddle. I’m doing a #50k30D challenge with the Romance Writers of Australia and so far I’m flying along with book 6 in the Upper Crust Series (13,000 words as of half an hour ago). Of course that means book 3 will need to get to an editor (see above paragraph) before the others can follow. I hope to have the whole series out this year. Any Way You Fight It (book 3) will be out in July.

    I’m enjoying writing about this couple. Todd and Sarah have been bouncing around in my head for a while, waiting their turn. Todd and his brother Mike appear in Any Way You Slice It and Mike gets to tell his story in book 4.

    In other news Allegra placed in the Miss ChickLit pageant as Miss Retro Rad and Mr Right and Other Mongrels had it’s third birthday last week. That’s quite a milestone.

    Lots of guest posts and giveaways this month so make sure you keep stopping by the blog. Or sign up for my newsletter for more chances to win.