Give Her the Writing Life

Annabel Monaghan was a writer long before she started penning a column for The Rye Record. As a child, growing up in Brentwood, Calif., she spent hours in her room writing.

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Published May 24, 2012 9:45 PM
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a3annabelTHUMBAnnabel Monaghan was a writer long before she started penning a column for The Rye Record. As a child, growing up in Brentwood, Calif., she spent hours in her room writing.

By Robin Jovanovich

a3bookAnnabel Monaghan was a writer long before she started penning a column for The Rye Record. As a child, growing up in Brentwood, Calif., she spent hours in her room writing. Her father bought her an IBM PC junior when she was 13. She studied English in college. But when graduation loomed she panicked. “I wanted to support myself, so I took a job at Goldman Sachs!”

 

She went on to work at Bear Stearns, as did her husband. That didn’t actually go according to their life plan. Tom got a job at JP Morgan Chase; Annabel’s now a retired investment banker. More importantly, she’s now a published author.

 

The mother of three boys co-wrote a book for girls with another Rye resident, Elisabeth Wolfe, in 2007. “Click: The Girl’s Guide to Knowing What You Want and Making it Happen” is the book they wished had been around when they were teenagers.

 

Monaghan said that she wouldn’t have written another book if it weren’t for her friend Elisabeth. “Writing that book was like the defibrillator.”

 

The idea for the young adult novel she’s written (publication date June 5) came from her old babysitter to whom a3annabelbookthe book is dedicated. “Gretel (Davis) and I were talking about a recent New York City kidnapping and she said, ‘What if the girl is faking it? What sort of person might need to be taken?’ I had my character and pretty soon my plotline.”

 

Her new book is “A Girl Named Digit”. Farrah “Digit” Higgins is smart, 17, and savvy. She may have been named after a bottle blond actress but she’s a math genius who’s figured out how to hide her great brain when she’s hanging out with her peer group and use it when it’s needed most. And it’s needed to break a code for the FBI to stop an act of eco-terrorism.

 

Monaghan acknowledges that she shares a few traits with her heroine: “I’m comfortable with math, not afraid of it, preoccupied with bumper stickers, and I’m okay wearing the same clothes every day.” She’s also something of a classic nerd, which is part of her and her character’s charm.

 

For Monaghan, writing is fun, “unless you have nothing to write about, and then it gets pretty uninteresting.”

 

“A Girl Named Digit” is not a book for girls, says the author. “It’s got as strong a male protagonist as a female. My older boys, who are 13 and 11, read it.”

 

Monaghan likes kids this age, and writing about them. “The age is so fertile with choices. It’s a critical time. They’re wondering who you are. In many ways they’re adults.”

 

Come meet Annabel Monaghan at the Rye Free Reading Room June 14 at 7 p.m. She’ll be signing copies of “A Girl Named Digit”. Monaghan is donating half of the proceeds from the sales that night to the library. Did we mention she’s a nice nerd?

 

The book comes out in France that day, which excites Monaghan because she speaks French. “I hope a trip to Paris comes out of this!” “Click” was published in Korea and Turkey, so who knows where “Digit” will take her next.



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