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!)
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.
An Interview with Monique McDonell
I grew up in Sydney, Australia and I still live there. I have lived in other places from the US to rural Australia. I’m very lucky because I live near the beach – you can see the Pacific Ocean from my street but my house backs on to the bush. Despite living in the city we have possums, wallabies and all manner of wildlife in our yard which is rather amazing.
Sydney is a big city (over 5 million people) but I always think it’s rather like a small town because someone always knows someone.
What is your favorite part of writing Sweet Romance?
My favorite part of writing Sweet romance is the relationships between the characters. I really enjoy writing the minor characters and friends in the story as well as the main characters. I love starting a new book, it is as if I’m creating my own new circle of friends.
Who or what inspired you to become an author?
I was a voracious reader as a kid and I always wrote stories and poems. I don’t think there was ever a time I didn’t write from about the age of 5. My mother kept all my writing and gave it to me a couple of birthdays back. it’s amazing how claer the memories of writing some of those stories was.I got away from it for a while in my twenties but I always found my way back to writing.I had this idea that i would be like babara Taylor Bradford and write sweeping sagas across multiple generations. It hasn’t quite gone that way, well not yet!
If you weren’t an author, what would you be doing?
I still work in my day job as a Marketing and Communications Manager for a global non-profit. Before that I ran my
own PR consultancy for about six years. truthfuly if there was still a demand for old fashioned travel agencies I’d be running one of those. I love helping people plan their vacations.
Do you have any pets? Please tell us about them!
I live in a pet-free household much to my daughter’s annoyance. We had a dog for 12 years (despite my having a crippling dog phobia) but he passed away a year ago. I can’t imagine having a bird in a cage that looks out at all the birds flying free through our yard and we can’t have a cat because we’re very committed to bringing native birds and animals back to the bush beside our home.
Have you found your own real life happily ever after?
I have been married for a ridiculously long-time to my husband. We met on a tropical island on the Great Barrier Reef. I was on vacation and he was filming for a TV show, he’s a cameraman. We’re the ultimate opposites attract couple because I’m very organised and he’s very relaxed, he’s very outdoorsy and I’m not but we’re both really outgoing and enjoying entertaining and travel and meeting new people.
What is one book that impacted or changed your life that you think everybody should read? Tell us about it.
My most beloved book ever is Little Women. I related to Jo because she had red hair (as do I) and wanted to be a writer more than anything. i also love the family dynamics in that book. I can’t believe there are too many people who haven’t read it.