Jennifer Gilby Roberts

Women's Fiction/Chick Lit Author

[Guest Post] Sydney as a Character in Mr Right and Other Mongrels

on July 23, 2014

Monique McDonell (author of Mr Right and Other Mongrels from the Have Chick Lit, Will Travel box set) explains the importance of location in her book.



Mr Right and Other Mongrels is set on Sydney’s Northern beaches, specifically at world famous Manly Beach. It’s a place where surf lifesavers, tourists and hard-core surfers mingle on the sand year round.

If you come to Sydney there is a wonderful ferry – aptly named the Manly Ferry – that travels from across Sydney Harbour back and forth to Manly all day. The ferry ride starts at Circular Quay which is nestled between the Sydney opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge and crosses heads down the Harbour, north through The Heads and over to Manly. It’s a beautiful journey and in rough seas doubles as a small roller-coaster ride.

Once you reach Manly you walk down a Promenade from the Harbour to the Manly Beach where you can learn to surf, have a swim between to flags, walk around to Shelley Beach or just sit by the water and have fish and chips.SAM_1590

I set the book in Manly because I live quite close by and visit often. In fact, I used to catch the Manly Ferry in and out to work for a couple of years. Part of what inspired me was that it’s an iconic location here in Australia that I thought international readers might know a little about it ,but like to get to know better.

SAM_1580Also as a tourist we sometimes forget that those iconic destinations have whole communities of people who live and thrive there day in day out, just like Allegra and her friends in Mr Right and Other Mongrels.

I love reading books set in places I’ve never been to because it feels like I get to visit without leaving home. That’s one of the wonderful things about books, as far as I’m concerned, their ability to transport you to somewhere new, whether it’s real or imagined. It’s a way to explore without ever really leaving home.SAM_1554

When I do travel I always try to read a book set where I’m going. When I did an internship in Singapore I read A Town Like Alice for example. I also love reading about books set in places I know or have visited. I lived near Salem, Massachusetts for a while so I love reading books set in that area.

Many of my Sydney readers said they enjoyed reading about places they knew so well in Mr Right and Other Mongrels and some overseas folks have said how much they now want to visit.

I hope you enjoy reading about my home town in this book. I felt like it was really another character in the book and like most of my characters I want you to like her (or him!)

mon web (2)Website:



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