AUSSIE MONTH with Monique McDonell
Describe yourself in one word:
What is your background with regard to writing?
I did a minor in Creative Writing back at university and then put creative writing aside for many years although I work in PR so write for a living anyway . I started writing creatibely again when I did a course at the NSW Writers’ Centre – Write a Novel in a Year and I haven’t looked back.
Tell us about A Fair Exchange and what inspired this novel?
This novel is about a woman who was an exchange student and meets up with the boy who broke her heart years earlier when she was a teenager. I was an exchange student myself and this book is an homage to the people I met during that period of my life.
What are you reading right now?
I’ve been reading some Melissa Foster books lately. I have Australian authors Sarah Belle and Ainslie Paton next on my to be read pile.
Number one thing to do on your bucket list?
To ride in a hot air balloon is on top of my list.
Best thing about being an Aussie?
I think our relaxed lifestyle and our “she’ll be right, mate” attitude is wonderful, we’re laconic optimists which I love. It would be remiss of me not to say that our beach culture is another thing I love, I’m at the beach almost daily year-round to walk or write or meet friends and I feel so lucky to be able to do that.
What you want readers to know about the romance genre?
I want readers to know that the romance genre is broader than they probably imagine. There is something in the romance genre for everyone for example Pride and Prejudice is a romance and A Fault in Our Stars is a romance. Romances can be funny, heartbreaking, breathtaking and suspenseful. I like romances because life is really all about love and relationships and so are romance novels.
What have you got in store for your readers in 2015?
I have a big year planned. I have two books coming out in my Upper Crust series in February and March and then two more in the latter part of the year. And I will also have two other novels and a Christmas novella out during the year.
What were your big achievements of 2014?
I completed four manuscripts in 2014 which sets me up well for the year ahead and I published two books. I felt like I was treading water but when I look back I guess I was really swimming.
A Fair Exchange
Who hasn’t wondered about their first love? What happened? What went wrong? Where are they now?
What if you got a second chance?
Amelia Armstrong is about to find out. What a shame her long-lost love, Matt, has returned (looking way too good and acting way too sweet) when her life is a shambles and she has finally decided once and for all to put herself and not whichever man is currently in her life, first.
How do you balance that desire to recapture that loving feeling with the need to finally be the best version of yourself? What if this really is the one, how do you choose when to stand your ground and when to cut your losses? Amelia takes a journey from Sydney to New York and back again trying to find the answers while negotiating with pop-divas, ex-lovers, crazy teenagers, a well-meaning cousin and the tabloids.
A Fair Exchange is a story about being a grown up when, maybe, you’d much rather be sixteen again.