Author Interview: Monique Mulligan

Click to rate this book!
[Total: 1 Average: 5]

Wherever You Go by Monique Mulligan was a hit with our Beauty and Lace club members.

Fans of the book will be impatiently waiting for Monique’s next novel. It’s called Wildflower, and it’s due for release in March 2022.

While you wait, you can get to know the author. Lucky for us, Monique Mulligan took some time out of her busy schedule to chat with Beauty and Lace.

Read on to learn more about her:

Tell us a little bit about Monique Mulligan…

I love hats and wear lots of them – literally and figuratively – and like most people, my life is a balancing act (in my newspaper days, I had a weekly column called Balancing Act). I’m a wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, author, interviewer, and founder of the Stories on Stage program in Perth.

Workwise, I’m a former journalist, news editor and publisher, but these days I work part time in marketing and publicity. When I’m not working you will usually find me a) writing b) reading c) cooking and d) taking photos for my cat’s Instagram page.

I love travelling and taking photos of beautiful places, flowers, and cool things that catch my eye and when I retire, I’d like to learn to paint!

When I’m socialising, I’m usually behind a camera or in a corner hanging out with other introverts and making mental notes for stories. When I’m at the hairdresser, I make notes for characters!

Where do you get your inspiration?

The real answer is anywhere. Or everywhere. A word, a song lyric, a moment, a feeling, a circumstance, a picture, a person, a holiday, a conversation (whether direct or overheard), my life … the list is infinite.

My first novel Wherever You Go was inspired by reading a newspaper article about a family who had tragically lost all their children in a car accident overseas. I wondered, what would that do to a relationship? How would someone go on after something like that? Would they stay together or fall apart? What would their story be like a few years later? Can you outrun grief? From that starting point or seed, I wove together a story of moving to a small town after a tragic event.

My upcoming novel Wildflower (March 2022) started with a macro photo of a wattle in bloom that I took while bushwalking. The name Acacia came to me, and with that, the image of a young girl … and it went from there. That picture was my desktop background while I wrote the first draft.

wherever you go

Who are your readers?

My readers are mostly women who love a good story that stirs the emotions and makes them think. However, plenty of male readers were drawn to Wherever You Go because it tells the story of a marriage from both the wife and husband’s point of view.

I’ve had some beautiful feedback from male readers who really connected with Matt.

You’ve worked as an editor and journalist. Was writing a book always something you wanted to do?

Yes! But I always put it off for “one day”. One day when the kids are older. One day when I get through this challenging period.

And then, one day I had a lightbulb moment. If I didn’t seize the day, I’d never make this dream come true. So, I did. I started by writing short romances for anthologies, while working on The Novel in the gaps of life.

As you know some of our members have read Wherever You Go as part of our book club, will we be hearing more from Matt and Amy?

It was so lovely to read the reviews from the Beauty & Lace Book Club. Thank you to all who read and reviewed my first novel – it’s such a time of nervous anticipation, I can tell you.

And yes, I have started a book to follow Wherever You Go, but it hasn’t quite come together yet. All I can say at this point is that it picks up a few years later and follows Bonnie and her feisty daughter Ashlee’s journeys more closely. And I’m a very slow drafter!

We heard you have a new book in the works, what can you tell us about it?

A story of friendship, truth and challenging the status quo, Wildflower is about the impact of domestic violence in a time when no one thought it was their business. Set mostly in Western Sydney in 1979, and picking up again twenty years later, it asks the reader, “When is it time to speak out?”

It’s due for release in March 2022 through Pilyara Press. The cover is absolutely stunning, but I can’t share it until December!

What are you currently reading?

I have a couple on the go! The Hush by Sara Foster, which is riveting! I’ll probably finish it tonight, so the next books on my pile are The Art of Happiness by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler, Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi.

What do you love most about Perth?

I moved to Perth from Sydney in 2002 and it took me ages to get used to living here. I thought I’d be here two years and … I’m still here. I love the coast, wildflowers and Kings Park, and the ability to escape “down south” for weekends of wine, food, and stunning landscapes.

Plans for our own “escape to the country” in the beautiful area of Bridgetown, Western Australia are now under way.


What advice do you have for someone who wants to write a book?

  1. Find your way. Writing is not a one-size-fits-all journey. There’s a lot of trial and error and more than one right way. I’m a slow-drafting pantser!
  2. Read as much as you can in the genre that you want to write in. Learn about the genre and its readers – you need to know them both.
  3. Publishing is not a race.
  4. Don’t compare yourself to others. Your journey is yours and yours alone. Comparison only kills joy.

Tell us about the Stories on Stage programme…

I founded Stories on Stage in 2012 in order to offer literary events at the arts centre where I work. It was a way to get something I loved – books and reading (I was reviewing books regularly at the time) – onto the program and use my interviewing skills in a way I enjoyed best. Plus, I cook a tasty supper for most events so you get food plus conversation!

Since then, I’ve interviewed 100+ Australian authors (including an online series when we were in lockdown) on stage including Craig Silvey, Natasha Lester, Kim Scott, Rachael Johns, and many more! In November I’m hosting a special Stories on Stage event for Pride WA’s PrideFEST, featuring Craig Silvey and Holden Sheppard. I’m excited and nervous! Four days later, I have another event with Sara Foster.

Who are your favourite authors?

It’s always hard for me to answer this because I love so many books. But standouts are Daphne du Maurier, Shirley Jackson, Sarah Waters, Laura Purcell, Hannah Kent, Charlotte Bronte and Kate Morton.

Where can our readers follow you?

I’m on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and my website.

If you sign up for my e-newsletter, you get to download a free eBook!

One thought on “Author Interview: Monique Mulligan

  1. I always love hearing about Monique’s stories and her busy life. I loved Wherever You Go, and as someone who also enjoys bushwalking, I can just imagine the moment of looking at a sprig of yellow wattle and thinking: ‘how cool is the name Acacia?’
    Can’t wait to read the new book.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *