What's your typical day like as a writer?
All of my days revolve around my dog, actually. I wake up and take her out, then feed her. She has another break at dinner and another before bed. She keeps me on schedule!
I usually try to get three things done per day. I'm a "burst of energy" 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 days when I'm not finishing a manuscript, I am catching up on a ton of marketing activities. Today, for example, is a "clear my inbox" day. So I've caught up on almost all my email plus about 25 interviews that have been sitting in my inbox from the last several days. I have to batch my work or else I spend forever switching between tasks.
Do you have any books that influenced you when you were growing up?
When I was a kid I loved this book called The Girl With the Silver Eyes. Here is the exact cover of the book I had: http://www.amazon.com/Girl-Silver-Eyes-Apple-Paperbacks/dp/0590442481. It's one of my absolute favorite YA novels, and surprise! Maggie Stiefvater loves that book too. This was the first novel that made me want to write fantasy and science fiction.
When did you know you wanted to become a writer?
I started a Gen Y blog in 2007 called Twenty Set. It actually gained quite a bit of steam early on, but eventually I moved away from Gen Y topics. The reason I started the blog, though, is because I couldn't clear my mind! I literally just needed to get things out of my system. So I wrote that blog 4-5 times a week for about six months until my ideas stop churning so quickly. My love for writing as an adult grew out of that experience.
What made you want to write the Socialpunk Trilogy?
Socialpunk is a bit like The Truman Show meets The Terminator, except Mark Zuckerberg is president of the world. I wanted to do a cyberpunk and Socialpunk is classicly cyberpunk, down to its roots. I loved the idea of being trapped in a virtual reality, and then acclimating to the real world.
I was inspired by the city of Chicago, by social media issues in our current world, and by the cyberpunk genre. The book is a bit like the Terminator series and I reference that a couple times just for fun. James Cameron is basically my favorite director ever, and he really inspires me with his world-building and storytelling skills.
What was your favorite part in writing Socialpunk?
I enjoyed creating the Socialpunks world. The 2198 world is magical to me. So coming up with all the descriptions and thinking through how everything works in the future was very fun for me.
Why did you pick artists?
Socialpunk is very reflective of today's social media-driven world in terms of artists, curators, and influencers. It's definitely a physical reincarnation of the digital media world. I love the social media concepts embedded in the book because I used to work in digital marketing.
What character did you love writing about the most?
I would have to say Ima, 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.
Do any of the characters resemble you?
Nasser is also exciting because he's got such big ideas and he's so damn reckless. He's willing to completely derail his entire hash just to pursue a dream. I'm a bit like him at times, to be honest.
The setting is Chicago and you live there. What's the greatest thing about Chicago?
I love that it's a city with skyscrapers and a grid system and no need for a car. It's the perfect setting for a cyberpunk.
Is there anything you want to say to your present and future readers out there?
Thank you for giving my books a chance! I appreciate every reader, even if they don't love the books. I definitely listen to feedback and read every review so that I can improve as a writer.
So there it is. The end of the Socialpunk Tour here. Loved that Monica was able to do this review for me. Thanks Monica! I hope you guys enjoyed this. See ya!