I am an Australian author who writes contemporary women's fiction including chick lit and romance.
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 when 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 am the author of six stand alone novels and novellas including Mr. Right and Other Mongrels and Hearts Afire and the Upper Crust Series. Many of my novels focus on an Australian characters meeting and visiting US characters.
I live on Sydney's Northern Beaches with my husband and daughter where I enjoy drinking copious amounts of coffee and long walks on the beach.
Every writer’s journey is different. I feel like an old hand now. I’ve been writing for ten years seriously (I always wrote but ten years ago I took a year-long course and haven’t stopped since) and I’ve been published for five.
As a result, it feels like I’ve had a lot of advice and a lot of time to sift through it all to determine what does and doesn’t work for me. That’s not to say that I can’t learn new things but I already know for example that I’m a plotser – I start writing and partially plot, that I prefer writing the first draft to any other part of the process, that getting up at 5am doesn’t increase my productivity and that handwriting journal pages is a waste of time because I can’t read my own writing.
Trial and error have taught me these things and I think everyone should try new techniques every so often to see if there are any new ideas out there for them, or even just to be sure they have the best methods in process for them.
I’m an indie author and to be honest most of the authors I know in real life are traditionally published. I’ve been really lucky to be part of a wonderful real life writing group for over ten years. This writing group, which evolved out of that writing course I mentioned earlier, was great for me because they have kept me accountable, read my stories, helped bounce ideas around and cheered me on when I wanted to give up.
What I noticed however, as time went on, was that at some point, despite all of us being on the same journey, our paths diverged. A couple of authors in the group had one book published and essentially stopped writing, a couple of other people went on to do Masters and Doctoral degrees in creative writing which changed their focus, another of my friends is traditionally published and writes one novel a year.
For me as an indie author who predominantly sells ebook, in order to gain any traction, I need to write and publish several books a year. I need volume and to get that I’ve learned I need to be accountable.
In doing some online research about productivity I discovered that successful writers have a routine and that they know which times of day they are most productive. That was big for me. Now that I know when I write best I try and leave that time free to write. Everyone is different I’ve met writers who are morning people and writers who are night owls – you need to know what works for you.
Another thing I worked out is that if I write a thousand words a day at the end of the year I will have 365,000 words. Not exactly revolutionary thinking I now but for me it was a bit of a lightbulb moment. Even if I only write 300,000 (so I get 65 days off) that is still five books.
Having determined that would be a good idea for me to do that I made two other decisions; one was that I needed support to succeed (a community of people cheering me on) and secondly I probably wasn’t alone in wanting support for my writing goals. I also knew that writers use Facebook effectively to build community and share ideas so I decided to set up the #1000wordsaday Facebook group at the start of 2016.
We now have just shy of 300 members made up from writers from all over the world – lots from Australia like me, but from all over. It’s a community of people supporting each others journey and it includes all the active members of my real life writing group as well.
So, I suggest that if like me you need support you might like to find a real life writers group or join an online one like mine.
Any Way You Build It
When single-mother Sarah pulls up in front of the house her aunt left her she has three goals; help her kids be happy and healthy, find a job and stay away from men. The last year has been a hellish roller-coaster and now she needs to create a stable life where everyone, including her, has their two-feet firmly planted on the ground. What she didn’t count on was a sexy neighbour who made keeping her focus and her balance way too hard.
Todd has two rules, never date locals and even more importantly never date women with kids. Growing up with his own mother and a revolving door of ineffectual step-fathers Todd has vowed never to put anyone in that position. He’s perfectly happy living his life with his Peter-pan syndrome undisturbed – until Sarah and her two adorable children move in across the street and turn everything upside down.
Todd isn’t the kind of guy who can stand back when someone needs help and Sarah clearly needs a lot. When Sarah gets injured Todd has no choice to step in and be a good neighbour who lends a hand, because he’s definitely not helping her because he likes her, after all that would be crazy.
Opportunity, proximity and attraction mean two neighbors determined to remain single have quite a struggle on their hands.
If you like tree houses, indoor camp outs and shameless flirting you’ll love Any Way You Build It.
Any Way You Plan It is Book 6 in The Upper Crust Series
Book 1 – Any Way You Slice It
Book 2 – Any Way You Dream It
Book 3 – Any Way You Fight It.
Book 4 – Any Way You Plan It
Book 5 – Any Way You Want It
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Monique-McDonell/e/B0086R9S2U/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1
Where to Buy Any Way to Build It
I'm generally pulled in a million different directions and I wouldn't trade it for the world. Here's a glimpse of my life - hope you enjoy it! And if there's a big lapse between posts, well, that's the way life goes in Amy's world.