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Author spotlight: Monique McDonell

4 February 2019

We’re featuring a wide range of Australian authors participating in ARR2019 in venues across Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. 

Today we’re having Elevenses with Monique McDonell, author of 22 romances in the genres of sweet romances and chicklit. She will be attending ARR2019 in Sydney.

When did you first realise you wanted to be an author?

I have always wanted to be an author. I had my first poem published in the children’s section of the paper at 11. I did a creative writing minor at university, but I stopped writing in my late twenties before taking it up again in earnest a few years later.

Why romance and not a different genre?

I love literary novels, and I had a go at writing a few, but in my thirties I found myself at home a lot with a small child. I was reading quirky, laugh-out-loud romances at night when I couldn’t sleep. I decided I liked books with happy endings and characters I would want to be friends with, so I set out to write them.

What was the first romance you read and why did you love it?

I don’t remember exactly but I was a big Barbara Taylor Bradford and Danielle Steele fan as a teen.

What is the single most important characteristic for an aspiring author wanting to be a published writer?

I’m a huge believer that everyone has time. I think time management and prioritising your writing is key. I wrote my first novel in half-hour increments while my daughter watched Play School, and I got it done in a year.

What is your favourite part of creating a story?

My favourite part of writing a story is character creation. Creating new characters is like inventing new friends for myself. I adore it!

What is your best tip for fighting writer’s block/writer’s fear?

I’m a big believer in writing your way through it. Find a scene you know will happen in your story and write that—there has to be a scene you’re excited about somewhere. Go ahead and write the fun bits.

Pick a favourite (bold your preference):

  • series or stand-alone?
  • ebook, paperback or hardcover?
  • first person or third? BOTH

Who has been an inspiration to you, in life or your writing career?

Is it wrong to say Oprah? I do have every copy of her magazine. As a writer I’d say Liane Moriarty—she wrote a lot of books before her big break, courtesy of What Alice Forgot being chosen to be in the O magazine … see there was a link there.

Tell us about your latest release in 100 words or less

When six friends make a pact not to let love get in the way of their careers, the No Brides Club is born. But could meeting the right man at the wrong time cause them to break their vows to each other?

In No Time For Temptation, Georgie Price moved to New York after spending her teen years as America’s Sweetheart. Hoping to reinvent herself she starts a cooking show that becomes an overnight success. Liam Stone worked hard to be someone worthy of her hand. Now a successful advertising executive himself, he’s finally ready to share his feelings … but will Georgie want to hear them? Can she ever see him as more than the little boy who grew up next door? And if so, might their love story prove to be her greatest accomplishment yet?

What else will you be working on in 2019?

I have a book coming out every month in the first half of 2019. I’m really excited about everything the year will hold for me and my readers.

Please recommend an Aussie romance you read recently.

Kirsty McManus has a really fun series out called the 90s Flashback series. Book 1 is 1996 and the follow up is (you guessed it) 1997.

If you haven’t booked your ticket for ARR2019 yet, you can buy one here.

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