monique polak

Monique Polak's Books

Tips to get you started writing

  • If you want to be a writer, there’s really only thing you need to do – WRITE!!! This sounds obvious, but it’s amazing how many people say they want to be writers, but never get around to writing!!
  • Don’t worry whether what you write is good or bad, just keep your fingers moving on the keyboard (or your pen moving on the page). When Monique was growing up, teachers told her that it’s “quality not quantity that matters.” But Monique thinks that isn’t quite true; you need to write a lot before you can write well.
  • Be disciplined. If you only write when you feel it, you might not ever finish your project. Try setting aside a certain time of day to do your writing.

Read more: Tips to get you started writing

Nitty Gritty Writing Tips


  • Consider using an outline. Having an outline is like using a road map. It helps you get to where you’re going. But don’t feel you have to stick too rigidly to your plan – sometimes, surprises happen. And like when you’re on a road trip, a detour you hadn’t planned on can be the best part of your trip.
  • Write about things, people, places and experiences that you know. And if you don’t know about them – do your research! (See the Interviewing Tips that follow.)

Read more: Nitty Gritty Writing Tips

Interviewing Tips


Monique has interviewed hundreds of people – ranging from other authors to juvenile prostitutes and police officers. Here are some of her tips to help you get a great interview.

  • 01When you write or phone to request an interview with your subject, let the person know exactly how long you expect the interview to take. Also, give the person an idea of the kinds of questions you’re likely to ask.
  • 02Do your homework! Find out whatever you can about your subject before meeting him or her. Preparing in advance for an interview will show your subject that you are taking your assignment seriously. It will also allow you to come up with better questions.
  • 03Prepare a list of questions before the interview. Begin with basic background questions, such as your subject’s date and place of birth. Work your way up to more complicated questions.

Read more: Interviewing Tips

Writers on Writing


We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.

- Ernest Hemingway

Writing enables you to enter places inaccessible in real life, even the most forbidden spaces. More than that, it invites you to take guests along.

- Ivan Klima, Czech author and survivor of Theresienstadt

I have never thought of myself as a good writer. Anyone who wants reassurance of that should read one of my first drafts. But I’m one of the world’s greatest rewriters.

- James A. Michener

Read more: Writers on Writing