Monday, July 6, 2015

Interview with Monique McDonell

Please welcome Monique McDonell to the blog for an interview!

tell me about yourself, and your writing.

How long have you been writing? How many published books do you have, and what genres?
I’ll start with the easy part – Any Way You Dream It is the seventh novel I’ve had published. I write stand alone chick lit novels and am now working on the Upper Crust Series which will be a series of six books which will all be released by the end of 2015.
I published the first of my stand alone novels Mr Right and Other Mongrels in 2012. It came about as the result of a writing course I began back in 2008 and I have been writing consistently ever since. In truth though I’ve written all my life from childhood through to university where I got a minor in creative writing as part of my degree. I have a boutique PR agency as my day-job and I write about everything from eye care to baking for that as well.

Do you write in multiple genres or just one? If just one, do you ever consider straying outside your genre?
I write chick lit and romantic comedies. My chick lit stories are more about the girl finding herself and my romantic comedies are about a girl and a guy finding each other. I like to write happy stories that bring a smile to people’s faces.
I do write more serious literary fiction but I save that for short stories.

Are you a plotter or do you write from the seat of your pants?
I’m a combination. Is that plotser perhaps? I usually have an idea for a character and an inciting incident and I write the opening of the book sometimes as far in as the first third just from that idea. Then I sit down and loosely plot the rest of the novel so that I can be sure it all weaves in together, properly.

What is a typical writing day like for you?
I’m doing a challenge in 2015 to write 1000 words a day. I’m really trying to make my writing a daily habit rather than a stop-start on-again-off-again affair. I’ve worked out  work best between 10 and 12 in the morning and 2-5 in the afternoon so I try and get an hour at least from either timeslot and then I reach my goals. I lie in bed at night and run through the scenes I plan to write the next day so I’m ready to go when I reach the keyboard.

Who do you love to read? Favorite authors, favorite books? I love to read most things that are not too dark. I’m a voracious reader and I’m fast. My book club friends always ask me “how long did it take you?” I love Meg Cabot, Liane Moriarty, Kristan Higgins. I just read The Girl on the Train which  enjoyed. I love the writing of Kate Atkinson as well. I have adored every one of her books.

What is something you'd like to accomplish in your writing career next year?

If you could have one paranormal ability, what would it be? I hope flying counts. I really would love to fly. I went paragliding once and it was so peaceful, I bet flying is just like that.

If you could keep a mythical/ paranormal creature as a pet, what would you have?
I would really love a tiny, baby dragon. There’s a picture floating around the internet of an adorable dragon sitting on the end of a finger. I would die to have one of those.  It wouldn’t be too big and I could take it everywhere with me. What an excellent conversation starter.

Tell us a little about your latest release.
Any Way You Dream It is the story of a woman, Lucy, who is having a very, very bad week and then gets bullied into attending her high school reunion by her old high school nemesis.In the process she invents a fake fiancĂ©.  She finds him in the form of a very wealthy friend of a friend and it’s really about their journey to get to know each other in the lead-up to the reunion. It was a fun book to write. Chase is a really sexy hero and Lucy is reluctant to let him in.

What is something that you absolutely can't live without? (Other than family members) It’s a bit tragic but I really need my coffee, I’m just not that pleasant without it.

Could you ever co author a book with someone? If so, who would you choose, and what would you write?
I would love to co-author a book. I’m toying the idea of a linked series where several authors each write about different characters that weave in and out of each other’s books. If Meg Cabot wanted to co-author a book with me, I’d be in.

If you could spend a day with anyone from history, dead or alive, who would it be, and what would you do? What would you ask them?

What are some of your other hobbies outside of writing? I love to cook and I REALLY love to travel.I also enjoy planning trips so I spend lots of time helping my friends plan their vacations, I find them internet deals, flights and accommodation. I would have made an excellent travel agent.

If you were on the staff to have a book adapted to movie, what would you pick? Of my own books – I pick Mr Right and Other Mongrels. I’d like to see What Alice Forgot, by Liane Moriarty, made into a movie. Lucky for me Nicole Kidman just bought the rights.

What is a talent you wish you had, but don't? I can’t sing a note. I really wish that I could.

Favorite color? Yellow

Weather: Hot or cold? Hot

Favorite place to read? In a hammock in my garden.

Favorite meal That’s a tough one. My husband makes great paella. It’s extra good because I don’t have to cook it.

Favorite non-alcoholic drink. I love a glass of red wine. That’s my go to drink. My cocktail of choice right now is a Pimms.

If you could travel anywhere and do anything, no limits or money holding you back, where would you go? My dream is to go from Paris to Venice on the Orient Express it looks so heavenly and maybe I could do some sleuthing while on board. I expect I’d meet some wonderful characters to inspire me for future books.


Book Links:

Sometimes when life throws you lemons, you create a fake fiancĂ©. That’s exactly what Lucy does when her high school nemesis calls. She didn’t mean to lie. Really, she didn’t. But with nowhere to live and a car that has just decided to die on her, the thought of attending the reunion alone is one she can’t contemplate. 
Cherie thinks arrogant, wealthy and way too handsome Chase is the answer to her friend’s dilemma and for reasons Lucy can’t fathom, Chase agrees. The man is too good to be true – he fixes her car, takes her to stay at his place – more castle than house – and seems to find her fascinating. 
Life hasn’t been easy for Lucy and she has a hard time accepting anyone would believe Chase would be with her. Still, he turns out to be the perfect choice and in the month leading up to the reunion makeshimself an indispensable part of her life, which may be the biggest problem of all. 
Lucy knows life is not a fairy tale – she’s living above her place of work, her sister has run off leaving her with three kids and, when the weekend reunion begins, she has to go back to a town where her greatest humiliations took place. 
Will her ‘romance’ with Chase be turn out to be the answer to her dreams or will the whole sham turn into just another nightmare? 

Author Bio:  

I am an Australian author who writes contemporary women's fiction including chick lit and romance. I live on Sydney's Northern Beaches with my husband and daughter, and despite my dog phobia, with a dog called Skip.

I have written all my life especially as a child when I loved to write short stories and poetry. At University I studied Creative Writing as part of my Communication degree. Afterwards I was busy working in public relations I didn't write for pleasure for quite a few years although I wrote many media releases, brochures and newsletters. (And I still do in my day-job!)

When I began to write again I noticed a trend - writing dark unhappy stories made me unhappy. So I made a decision to write a novel with a happy ending and I have been writing happy stories ever since.
I have been a member of the writing group The Writer’s Dozen for eight years. Our anthology Better Than Chocolate raised over $10,000 for the charity Room to Read and helped build a library in South East Asia. I am also a member of the Romance Writers of Australia.
I have written five stand-alone romantic comedies and Any Way You Slice It, the first book in her new Upper Crust series.

To learn more about Monique McDonell and her upcoming books please visit her at

a Rafflecopter giveaway

1 comment:

  1. Good interview! Thanks for the spotlight on Monique and her books - will definitely be checking them out