Interview: Monica Leonelle, the Girl Behind Socialmob Novel

4:38 AM
Writing could be anything. From marketing world to literary. Monica Leonelle, the author of Socialmob, tells her journey and experience to Miss Reith...

MRJ: First of all, tell me a bit about yourself...

ML: After spending years as a Marketing Director at various start-ups, I now consult writers on getting word-of-mouth marketing for their books. I’ve helped improve the writing of an Inc. 50 CEO, a late-night TV show host, and several A-list bloggers. I also specialize in independent book marketing via blogger outreach. You can learn more about me at proseonfire.com

MRJ: What was your childhood dream? Is it a writer, like you are now? What makes you write book?

ML: I've wanted to be an author since I was in third grade, so to some extent, yes!

MRJ: I see your other background besides writing, is around marketing and stuff. How could you finally land to the field of words?

ML: I feel like I mostly write because I can't help it. I love to write and that's how I express myself, day in and day out. I can never understand how people want to be writers or authors when they don't write. I always think, "Then why aren't you writing every day?" I organically average at least 2,000 words a day writing. When I'm finishing up a manuscript, I average closer to 5,000 words a day. This is just what I do, so I never believe people who say they're going to write something but just don't have the time.

MRJ: And how is your day and life like with writing and marketing stuff at the same time? How do you manage the time?

ML: I'm a "burst of energy" type of person rather than a "little every day" type of person. So I will write a whole book in a week or two, then go back and edit it all in a week or two. And then I won't write as much for the next few weeks. On an average day I probably write a couple thousand words, during a book writing session I write closer to 5000 words a day.
On the breaks, I do a lot of marketing. I work almost every day, unless I'm on vacation. I just prefer it that way.

MRJ: Tell us a bit about your latest project, Socialpunk. 

ML: The titles for my books are almost always explained within the books—usually an organization or a person that is key to the story. The Socialpunks are a hash that Ima meets around the first third of the book. I'm not sure I can say more at this point :)

MRJ: So, your book ‘Socialpunk’ has some, let’s say, influence from  Ender's Game, Neuromancer, or The Hunger Games, what actually inspired you to write ‘Socialpunk’?

ML: Socialpunk is a bit like The Truman Show meets The Terminator, except Mark Zuckerburg is president of the world. I wanted to do a cyberpunk and Socialpunk is classically cyberpunk, down to its roots. I loved the idea of being trapped in a virtual reality, and then acclimating to the real world.

MRJ: Who’s your favourite figure that shapes the way you are today?

ML: I wouldn't say any one person 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.

MRJ: As now you have published your work, how would like us to see you in the next five years?

ML: Well, I hope in five years I'm still writing fiction novels. I expect to be unless something in the publishing industry changes drastically. Who knows what the future holds?

MRJ: Who is your most loveable character in Socialpunk?

ML: 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.

MRJ: What is your favourite moment in Socialpunk?

ML: That's a tough one. I think maybe when Ima sees the Socialpunk's world for the first time. It's magical for me. I'd love to live in the Socialpunk's world—I guess that's why I created it.

MRJ: Tell me, what was the hardest part in doing this book project, Socialpunk?

ML: The hard part about Socialpunk was keeping it short. I was obsessed with the idea that things move crazy-fast in the future. Also, it was hard to end the book the way I did... it's a huge cliffhanger. I didn't think people would be as outraged as they are, but they definitely are! I feel like I have to write the second book soon or no one will be willing to read the first one.


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