It's Monday. And I don't know about you, but it's one of those multiple cups of coffee kind of days. If you're in need of some much needed literary escape like I am, I've got just the thing for you. Monica Leonelle invited me to the Blog Tour for her trilogy Socialpunk. It's been loads of fun, and I wanted to share it with you (because y'all are my favorite people). :)
I had the privilege of having a short interview with Monica, and I think you'll enjoy it and her book.
Many thanks to Monica for including The Writer's Block.
Monica Leonelle is a well-known digital media strategist and the author of three novels. She blogs at Prose on Fire and shares her her writing and social media knowledge with other bloggers and authors through her Free Writer Toolkit.
What made you want to become a writer?
- I don't feel like people choose to be writers; sometimes writing is just the way you express yourself. I definitely got to the point where I didn't feel like I could do anything else with my life. I mean, I love marketing and editing as well, but that's because they involve writing.
- People who want to be writers just write all the time. They can't help themselves. I used to sing all the time in my school choir and for some reason after high school I just gave it up. I was good—I had solos, parts in the musical, etc. But I gave it up anyway. I could never make it as a singer because I didn't have enough passion. Most people can't make it as writers because they don't have enough passion.
- That would have to be Jace from the Mortal Instruments series. He's so hot and funny. (Well, aside from the most recent book.)
- If you're on the fence about reading Socialpunk, the book is original and fast-paced and like nothing you've ever read before; if you enjoy stuff like The Matrix, Inception, Minority Report, or the Terminator movies, you might like this book too.
Who is your favorite character in Socialpunk? Why?
- I would have to say Ima, as she's the main character and the book is told entirely from her point of view. What I love about her is how much she changes from the beginning of the book to the end. She feels very guilty and is constantly struggling with right vs. wrong. She's probably one of my favorite characters out of all the ones I've written.
- However, I think I would be Ember. She's one of the Socialpunks and she's very beautiful. She has long hair that is literally rainbow-colored—each strand is a different hue. She seems kind of terrible in the first book but hopefully she redeems herself with readers in later books.
Where did you draw your inspiration for Socialpunk?
- I wouldn't say any one thing is my inspiration, because that doesn't create anything new. You create new things by combining inspirations from all sorts of different sources and then adding your own touch or twist. But if you want to be inspired, you should expose yourself to all sorts of media—books, television, movies, radio, art museums, you name it. If you are writing one book you should consume at least ten books, ten movies, ten TV shows, ten songs, etc. to prepare. It doesn't matter if they are related or not—in fact, the more diverse, the better. And how much fun is it that I just told you to watch TV in order to do work? You're welcome for that.
- Writers should inject their marketing directly into their manuscripts. Writers often think of marketing as this separate thing from writing, but it's not at all. 80-90% of books are sold through word-of-mouth and most of the marketability of a book is right there in the manuscript. So even if you are going the traditional route, if you are serious about getting published you should hire an editor to go through your book and see how marketable it is. Traditional publishers are looking for marketable books. It's a business and they need to make money.
- Then, you launch your book by asking people to read it. If it's any good you'll start getting word-of-mouth for your book. My goal is to give away one thousand copies of the book during its launch. I'm maybe a fifth of the way there so far? It's a lot of work, more than most people realize. I write about this stuff constantly on my Prose on Fire newsletter, so if these concepts interest you, you can check it out here: Prose On Fire.
Ima would give anything to escape The Dome and learn what’s beyond its barriers, but the Chicago government has kept all its citizens on lockdown ever since the Scorched Years left most of the world a desert wasteland. When a mysterious group of hooded figures enters the city unexpectedly, Ima uncovers a plot to destroy The Dome and is given the choice between escaping to a new, dangerous city or staying behind and fighting a battle she can never win.
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