Monique McDonell Day 5

A Circle of Friends

Did you ever read that book by Maeve Binchy,  A Circle of Friends? One of the things I enjoy most about writing is how you get to create character – I always say I’m writing myself some new friends. When I started writing I wrote quite dark angst-ridden characters and I never finished a story because they frustrated me so much. I decided if I had to hang out with them for months on end my characters would be fun and the kinds of people whose company I would enjoy.

One of the things I really enjoy in writing a series is that not only do you get to write the characters you get to revisit them throughout the series. It means that I get to keep my new friends and I get to watch the friendships between the characters develop and grow.

The first three books in the Upper Crust Series are set in Boston and the friends are inter-connected
through Piper who runs Pied Piper’s Pies. The first book – Any Way You Slice It - centers on Piper and her need to stay in America to grow her business.  Any Way You Dream It tells the story of Lucy who has worked beside Piper to build her business and has been so busy helping her family and working her personal life has ceased to exist. The third book Any Way You Fight It tells the story of Cherie who matched both Piper and Lucy up with their perfect partners but who can’t quite seem to find love herself.

I love the way the tables turn in the third book and the friends are up in her business, meddling and
pushing her to come out of her shell and take some romantic risks. That was really fun to write because that how friends are in real life, one minute your dishing out the advice and then all of a sudden you find yourself on the receiving end.

That’s how life is and in writing a series I can explore that more fully than in a stand-alone romance
where the focus is usually on the two love interests alone. In fact that I think that’s why linked series
books are so popular right now. We all like to check in with old friends and see how they’re doing and how their lives are moving forward.

I hope you enjoy the friendships in these books as much as I did. Frienship, romance and pies, what
more could you want really?

About the author – Monique McDonell

I am an Australian author who writes contemporary women's fiction including chick lit and romance. I live on Sydney's Northern Beaches with my husband and daughter, and despite my dog phobia, with a dog called Skip.
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 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 have been a member of the writing group The Writer’s Dozen for eight 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. I am also a member of the Romance Writers of Australia. I was also had a piece in the Australian non-fiction book Copyfight in 2015.

I have written five stand-alone romantic comedies and three books in the Upper Crust Series ;Any Way You Slice It, Any Way You Dream It and Any Way You Fight It.

To learn more about Monique McDonell and her upcoming books please visit her at

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