Posted in Book Reviews, The Zanzibar Moon, Writers, Writing tips

A wonderful review, new life and working for RWA


Sorry I’ve been absent from this blog. To say a lot has been going on is an understatement. I made a big move, began new jobs, decorated a lovely home (including home office), helped the dog adjust to the move (she’s snoring under my chair right now. I guess that means she’s settled), finalised some ghost writing jobs, tried to add to my manuscript (unfortunately not often enough), worked long hours, took in the sights of the new town, had visitors, celebrated another birthday (mine), saw more of the grandchildren and numerous other things that seem to keep me from this blog.

I promised myself a couple of weeks ago that I would write a post. Finally here it is.

In April I took on the role as Administrative Assistant at RWA (Romance Writers of Australia). Wow, I could hardly believe I could get this dream job and another with Design Stuff. Working from home with the collaborative, wonderful bunch of people at RWA has been amazing. I love that I get to help other writers live their dream, guiding them to an OWL (Online Writing Lab), which Facebook or Google group to join, how to become a member, what the membership provides and how to purchase tickets for the Melbourne Conference 2019 among other things – is a joy.

So you can see I have been busy but yes I am still writing. I am an author. The next book will be finished (eventually) and published for you to read. Bear with me.

At one of the events I was involved in this year Books by the Beach (Mooloolaba) I met lovely Ann-Maree Howarth. When she said she reviewed books I offered her a copy of The Zanzibar Moon. Here is her excellent review:

Ann-Maree Howarth’s Reviews >

The Zanzibar Moon

The Zanzibar Moon
by

Donna Munro (Goodreads Author)

40675160

Ann-Maree Howarth‘s review

May 31, 2019
really liked it
What an adventurest tale this book was from a heartbreaking New Year’s Eve to all the wonders of Africa. This has been the first paperback I have read in a while and I must say I really missed this form of reading. Donna Munro is a new author to me, an this is the very first book she has published. As an Australian, I really enjoyed the Australian lingo and quirks along the way. The flow of the story was good, it will hold your attention and keep you wanting to read and find out more. The author did also include a lot of African words and meaning to give you a very authentic feel to the story and you just might learn a few new words of African along the way. This kind of reading might be a bit of a distraction at first but stick with it the story will flow better after the author has given us a full description of Africa and the characters within it.
During this story will find our heroine travelling from her little suburban home in Australia to the dynamic country of Zanzibar where she is volunteering to find herself again. Alkina finds herself an empty nest and a too-time cheating husband at the start of a new year so she decided to fulfil her dream of going to Africa.
Dr Don Cloutier wanted Ali.
Kendwa wanted Ali.
Shaun wanted Ali.
Even Roger wanted Ali back.
Ali fell in love with the magic of Zanzibar and loved her job at the shelter helping the single mothers open up the old resort to support themselves and their children.
Will she find magic in the arms of another man? Could she just have a holiday romance and then return home to her children and friends? Or will this working holiday change her life forever?
“Maybe there is magic on Zanzibar after all.”
This book is full of wonder, magic, sadness, hope, regret, strength, sorrow, joy, love, chemistry, family, heartache, wildlife and most of all adventure that will fill you as you read. There was some part of the story I went really……but it was not my story to tell but the authors. It was a lovely change to the books I have been reading and I totally enjoyed this book even though I have had it sitting next to my bed for the last few months.description
Thank you Anne-Maree, you made my day when I read this review.
You can read more reviews at Anne-Maree’s blog Reading for the Love of Books.
Posted in Kendwa's Secret, Marketing books, Publishing, The Zanzibar Moon, Writers, Writing tips

Library Talks are a terrific way to engage your readers


Ever since I was a young aspiring writer I dreamed of being an author. Originally it was only about getting my stories to readers, but the more I learned about the career I discovered authors need to do more than write. They have to promote their work with marketing and publicity. Sometimes they even have to speak in public (I know that’s a shock, right?)

For your stories to be read you have to gain an audience. When I was working for a small publisher I marvelled at one author’s resilience trudging from bookstore to bookstore, sometimes barely selling a couple of books (hang on a minute who trudges to a bookstore. I skip with joy. Books, books and more books!).

This author was determined to let readers know she was there. Book signings, launches, author talks, radio interviews – anything – she put her hand up to do it. It would have been preferable to be on her bum writing the next book, in fact, some of the events she went to she would have rather had her teeth pulled, but eventually trickles of books began to sell. Soon she had a loyal readership because of her persistence.

Anyhow, the reality is that if you write a book you want people to read it. Right?

I do. I want to share my stories with as many people as possible. I want them to laugh, cry, giggle, gasp, squirm and feel every emotion I have conveyed on the page. This brings me to author talks.

Updated version of the slideshow from our author talk. This could help writers and interest readers who want to understand how writers write.

After many years of helping other authors plan them, I finally undertook my own as a published author with my dear friend Katrina MacDonald. We decided we wanted the talk to be engaging as well as about our books and the way we wrote them. An author talk isn’t something you can just turn up to and wing it. There needs to be some preparation to make sure the audience doesn’t yawn, fall asleep or worse, walk out of the room, shooting you a disgusted glare.

Katrina, the better public speaker got things started. We’d designed a slideshow together (not as easy as it seems with one, Katrina not me, on dialysis and one, me, working numerous other jobs). We managed to pull it together in time for our author talk. (Please note the main character is the protagonist and the spanner-in-the-works kind of character is an antagonist.) With slideshow clicking through and both of us adding insights and observations the people attending looked engaged and responsive. Though (yes I confess) I was not looking forward to public speaking as I hadn’t done so for a while, it ended up a fun experience. I think having Katrina as a sounding board helped. She’s a pro. I relaxed and so did our audience.

They weren’t shy at question time either, asking about our lives as writers. We had a mix of readers and aspiring writers and authors. We had planned the slideshow to engage them all. We also put out questionnaires asking for their email (build your database of readers) for them to go into a lucky draw (a lovely box containing The Zanzibar Moon, bookmarks, coffee cup and candle) which was a pleasant surprise for them. Thank you to our family, friends, readers and new readers and writers who attended and made the event give me a skip in my step instead of trudging home. You’re all awesome. Thank you to those who bought my books too. I hope you thoroughly enjoy them and become part of my tribe of readers as I’m sure you will of Katrina’s when it is released.

Katrina MacDonald and Donna Munro in front of the display table at the Author Encounter at Elanora Library 18th January 2019.

As soon as Katrina’s book Ourimbah Road is launched you’ll be informed here and on the blog she fine-tuning.

My own Elephant Creek is also expected sometime this year.