About Monique McDonell: Monique is an Australian author who writes contemporary women’s fiction including chick lit and romance.She has written all her
She has written all her life especially as a child when I loved to write short stories and poetry. At University she studied Creative Writing as part of my Communication degree. Afterwards Monique was busy working in public relations, and didn’t write for pleasure for quite a few years although she wrote many media releases, brochures and newsletters. (And still does in her day-job!)When Monique began to write again she noticed a trend – writing dark unhappy stories made her unhappy. So she made a decision to write a novel with a happy ending and have been writing happy stories ever since.
When Monique began to write again she noticed a trend – writing dark unhappy stories made her unhappy. So she made a decision to write a novel with a happy ending and have been writing happy stories ever since.
She is the author of five stand alone novels including Mr. Right and Other Mongrels and Hearts Afire and the popular Upper Crust Series. Many of her novels focus on an Australian characters meeting and visiting US characters.
Monique have been a member of the writing group The Writer’s Dozen for ten 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. She is also a member of the Romance Writers of Australia. In 2015 had a piece on writing chick lit featured in the successful Australian non-fiction book Copyfight.
She lives in Sydney’s Northern Beaches with her husband and daughter.
To learn more about my writing, her caffeine obsession and her upcoming books please visit her website!
Describe your latest novel in five sentences: Something of a Spark – small town radio DJ who has moved to the city accidentally meets the city fireman who has just moved to her town – talk about a case of bad timing. Can they make it work long-distance or will secrets, lives and sisters keep them apart. This is the first book in the Jewel Sisters romance series. If you like quirky families, sexy fireman and falling in love then this book is for you.
Hard/paperbacks or eBooks? These days I pretty much read almost exclusively on my e-reader. I’m a super fast reader and it means I can finish one book and start another one straight away. I also read a lot of indie authors or authors whose books would be hard to find in an Australian bookshop.
How do you come up with names for your character? Sometimes names are hard but not in this series – the series came about because I had the idea to name each sister after a gem or jewel – Sapphire, Ruby, Amethyst and Emerald.
Tell us about your writing/editing/publishing process: I try and write every day, though I don’t always succeed and when I have a solid first draft I go back through it a few times before it goes to my BETA readers, I’m also in a writing group who help critique along the way. I send it to my BETA readers with a whole list of questions and I really take their advice – depending on the book I have between three and six readers. Then I make the changes and off it goes to the editor, then I make her changes and it gets a proofread before I publish. It’s a process!
Do you have any writing rituals? I almost always write with coffee, and I often drink it from a mug with one of my book covers on it – I find that inspires me. I’m not going to lie, I often have a red wine if I’m writing a sex scene. Mainly, I now know my most effective writing times in the day and I try and make the most of them.
What are you reading right now? I’m reading a lot of romance series right now. I’m always looking for new ones because I tend to binge read one author and then go hunting for the next.
Where did you get the idea for “Something of a Spark”? I had the idea to write the series with each sister named after a jewel and Saffy came to me as a character who had wanted to escape her family and small town. I wanted to write another fireman and I saw Cam (in my mind) jogging down the street and I went from there.
Facebook or Twitter? Facebook, I find it more personal and easier to manage. I miss so much on Twitter while I‘m at work I feel as if I’m always catching up.
Who or what has had the most impact on your writing career? I’m in a really great writing group and have been for over a decade. I think that keeps me going and motivated.
Salty or sweet? Do you mean books or food? (Ha! Ha!) My books are pretty sweet but I like my food salty.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given? Write every day is the best writing advice I’ve been given. Honestly as an indie author I need to publish often and the only way to do that is to have books and get them done quickly.
What are you working on right now? As I type this I’m just about to finish Something to Sing About, Book 2 in the Jewel Sisters Romance series (which is so fun to write) and as soon as I’m done I will start on Any Way You Like It, Book 8 in the Upper Crust Series.
“Something of a Spark” by Monique McDonell
Sometimes keeping a secret is more trouble than it’s worth.
Growing up as one of the Jewel Sisters of Caudal Bay has never been easy for Sapphire Smith. As far as her friend’s and family are concerned she’s now a struggling radio DJ living in Sydney and working part-time as a PA for her best friend country music star Ryan Storm.
But that’s only part of the story.
When an accident in her home town brings real-life hero and firefighter Campbell into her world their relationship starts with a smoulder and slowly begins to spark. Campbell has given up his career as a corporate lawyer for a quieter, more rewarding life. He loves his new town and the welcoming atmosphere as much as Saffy loves the anonymity of the city.
As their relationship begins to heat up one thing is clear – Cam is all about honesty while Saffy has something to hide: her work partnership with Ryan involves more than social media and if the truth comes out it could be a disaster for them both.
Will Saffy come clean before their secret gets out? Or will her desire to keep people at arm’s length see her relationship with Ryan fizzle out before it has a chance to catch fire.