SYWTBAW: Getting your work out there

Flying into the unknownA couple of weeks ago I started a new series on the blog called ‘So you want to be a writer?’  It seems I have plenty of things to say on this topic, as I have roughly fifty scraps of paper lying around the house with ideas for posts scribbled on them, but so far they haven’t made it to the blog. (Writer reality number 15: there are more ideas than there are hours to realise them.)

But today I thought I’d liberate one of them from its scrappy home and it’s this:

Writers put it out there.

Their work, that is!

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Introducing Monique McDonell, Author, Self-publisher and all-’round lovely person

Today I am delighted to introduce Monique McDonell, another author I have had the pleasure of meeting through the Romance Writers of Australia.

Monique writes charming, cheering chick-lit and contemporary romance and is currently celebrating the release of her second novel, Hearts Afire.

Hearts Afire contains, apparently, a jilted bride, a sexy fireman, a tropical island, a fear of the ocean, a fear of commitment, a new neighbour, an old flame and a secret identity – which sounds like excellent value for money! 😉  I haven’t read this one yet (it’s on the Kindle TBR pile) but I did read her first one, Mr Right and other Mongrels and liked it a lot.  It’s perfect curl-up-on-the-couch or take-to-the-beach reading; characters you like, situations you can identify with and just enough trouble to make it fun.  I like a gritty crime novel as much as the next person, but sometimes it’s nice to forget about man’s inhumanity to man and escape into a story.  Monique’s books are great for that.

But this post is not just about the contents of her books, lovely though they are.  Monique has produced both of these titles herself and as a newly published author (with a traditional publisher, although a new digital imprint of that publisher), I’m very interested in the process of self-publishing.  I thought you might be interested too and since she’s a lovely person, Monique was kind enough to answer my questions.  So here we go; interview time!

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We’ll all be rooned, said Hanrahan: or why I think we all need a cup of tea and a good lie down

SAID HANRAHAN

"We'll all be rooned," said Hanrahan,
  In accents most forlorn,
Outside the church, ere Mass began,
  One frosty Sunday morn.

The congregation stood about,
  Coat-collars to the ears,
And talked of stock, and crops, and drought,
  As it had done for years.

"It's looking crook," said Daniel Croke;
  "Bedad, it's cruke, me lad,
For never since the banks went broke
  Has seasons been so bad."

"It's dry, all right," said young O'Neil,
  With which astute remark
He squatted down upon his heel
  And chewed a piece of bark.

And so around the chorus ran
  "It's keepin' dry, no doubt."
"We'll all be rooned," said Hanrahan,
  "Before the year is out."

The above is an excerpt from ‘Said Hanrahan’, by Australian poet John O’Brien.  You can find the whole thing (and the rest of the book it came from, Around the Boree Log and other Verses) here.

So why am I quoting poetry, you ask?  Well, you see last weekend, I was flipping through the paper and I came across a piece in which the writer was bemoaning the agony of leaving books in bookstores.  Just like puppies at the pet store, he wanted to take them all home and he worried that the rejected ones would feel sad and abandoned once he left.

So far so good.  I’m sure we’ve all felt like that.

But then he went on to talk about the vast quantities of books, both e-books and paper, flooding the market now and how it was impossible to keep up with them and to choose from so many and  people were self-publishing and you couldn’t tell whether they were any good and… stuff like that.  My eyes started to glaze over and I lost the will to keep reading.  I may have even made a rude noise.

Because I’m tired of hearing it.

Not just this particular piece of doom and gloom about publishing, but all of it.  It seems, no matter where I look these days, blogs, papers, online columns, wherever, if the subject is books or publishing, someone wants to tell me the sky is falling.  Bookshops are closing, publishing is dead, quality is history, the gatekeepers are lost, physical books will soon be no more, art is pandering to the lowest common denominator, literature is going to hell in a handbasket, yada, yada, yada.

You know what?

I DON’T BELIEVE IT.

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