Ten Terrifying Questions
1. To begin with why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself – where were you born? Raised? Schooled?
I was born in Sydney at 3 am – a mischievous time to be born. As a baby, I relished eating dirt and held an inquisitive yet shy disposition. My shy demeanour as a young girl did not catapult me into the realms of super model stardom when I started modelling during school, I felt more comfortable behind the camera winning the photographers’ prize at school. I lived in Manhattan for three years after graduating from fashion design college and worked as a fashion assistant for Vogue, Allure and Mademoiselle and, yes, working for Anna Wintour is unerringly like the movie The Devil Wears Prada.
I have recently returned to Sydney from Los Angeles, living in one of Charlie Chaplin’s 1920s treehouses, where he used to house his Hollywood starlets. It was where I wrote Unzipped. I have sadly experienced much tragedy as both my sisters have passed – death is so cruel to everyone involved, and not a day goes by without thinking about how much I miss them; I feel awkward without them. I have a French Bijon Frise/Poodle called Shadow – a human dog of sorts who loves to try to make me jealous by flirting with my girlfriends (he is a lot like my ex-boyfriend, actually!). I like to dream and create, which is lucky, as I am writer.
I am also very fortunate to surrounded by so many magnificent friends that I feel truly loved and supported. My love of writing and experiencing life’s twists and turns and turn-ons is my vocation so stay tuned-in for my next novel.
2. What did you want to be when you were twelve, eighteen and thirty? And why?
I had no idea what I wanted to be at 12 but I had already written my first children’s novel and an autobiography.
At 18 I wanted to be a successful businesswoman but could not decide on which industry.
At 30 I felt a bit lost as to my life’s purpose, until I tapped into my inner 12-year-old and began my research for Unzipped. I realised then that I am happiest when I’m writing.
3. What strongly held belief did you have at eighteen that you do not have now?
At 12, I trusted my gut instincts, which became my code of honour. My code kept me strong, as I knew what I believed in was right for me. Along the way outside influences allowed me to stray from my code and path. Today I follow my original code and no one will ever change that.
4. What were three big events – in the family circle or on the world stage or in your reading life, for example – you can now say, had a great effect on you and influenced you in your career path?
Event 1) Being named Manon. My name ignited a sharpened interest to write and research about the wonderful world of seduction and sensuality.
Event 2) Breaking up with my fiancé, who had discouraged me from following my dreams and writing Unzipped.
3) Being published by Random House Australia, who believed in my dreams.
5. Considering the innumerable electronic media avenues open to you – blogs, online newspapers, TV, radio, etc – why have you chosen to write a book? aren’t they obsolete?
Tradition is important to me and books are tangible, tactile and they feel beautiful between one’s fingertips. I also receive immense joy seeing my name and book cover in a store window, which will also live on the shelves of libraries for future readers – the internet cannot offer that sensation of touch.
6. Please tell us about your latest book…
I wanted to understand what makes women irresistible to men and to explore what a young woman could achieve if she spent time awakening her femininity and tapping into her sensuality: will she enjoy life and love much more than if she were to neglect her desires out of shame or fear?
Unzipped teaches women to treat themselves with respect and shows them how to get the most out of their bodies and relationships. My material comes from years sharing saucy secrets with amazing women and men and by watching, asking, experimenting, discussing and formulating tips and tricks. It’s fun, it’s serious and it’s essential.
(BBGuru: publisher’s blurb – Mmmm. Let’s talk about sex . . .
Unleash the sexy, modern woman within yourself and discover a world of sensuality and sexual pleasure that will drive you and your partner wild.
This little book of treasures unlocks your feminine sex appeal and introduces you to the fine art of seduction – for maximum effect.
Pearls of wisdom to keep you ahead of the sexy pack include:
– Sustaining a healthy mind and body;
– Developing a powerful yet feminine confidence;
– Boosting your sex appeal;
– How to become a sensual goddess;
– Playing out your innermost sexual fantasies;
– The ultimate orgasm and much, much more.
Unzipped will have you swinging your hips like a supermodel, whispering those naughty one-liners, looking the part and owning your sexiness. Tune in, turn on and make out.)
7. If your work could change one thing in this world – what would it be?
8. Whom do you most admire and why?
Beyoncé. She is hard-working, composed, loving, cheeky, sexy, true to herself and has stuck to her dreams. An inspirational woman.
9. Many people set themselves very ambitious goals. What are yours?
My immediate goal is to finish the novel I am working on, fall in love, bear two children. I also want to write a TV sitcom and a perhaps a movie or two.
10. What advice do you give aspiring writers?
Ask yourself: what is the essence of who you are? Is there a story that you want to share? If so, dictate your thoughts, write them down, form chapters and get published. Have fun, give back and make your literary mark in history.
Manon, thank you for playing.
About the Contributor
While still in his twenties, John Purcell opened a second-hand bookshop in Mosman, Sydney, in which he sat for ten years reading, ranting and writing. Since then he has written, under a pseudonym, a series of very successful novels, interviewed hundreds of writers about their work, appeared at writers’ festivals, on TV (most bizarrely in comedian Luke McGregor’s documentary Luke Warm Sex) and has been featured in prominent newspapers and magazines. Now, as the Director of Books at booktopia.com.au, Australia’s largest online bookseller, he supports Australian writing in all its forms. He lives in Sydney with his wife, two children, three dogs, five cats, unnumbered gold fish and his overlarge book collection. His novel, The Girl on the Page, will be published by HarperCollins Australia in October, 2018.