Tag Archives: Writing

Interview to the Author of “Social Punk” Monica Leonelle

Monica Leonelle - Author and Media Strategist

Monica Leonelle introduces herself as a well-known digital media strategist and the author of three novels. She blogs at Prose on Fire and shares her writing and social media knowledge with other bloggers and authors through her Free Writer Toolkit.

I had the chance to interview her about the book and her career, as a part of her blog tour, so here it is.

Sofia Garcês – You introduce yourself as a Media Strategist, Writing Consultant and a Author, while I understand that we all have several sides to our personalities and life’s, I can’t help but wonder which came first? Of all these roles you play which one is your greatest passion?

Monica Leonelle – “I was a media strategist first, but have the greatest passion for authorship. I feel, however, that each role is closely related and that developing skills in each role aides in the others.”

SG – Speaking about passions when did you find yours? Have you always known you wanted to write or did this realization came to you in a later time in life?

ML – “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 that 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.”

SG – After finding your passion how long did it take you to start on the journey your in now, as a self published author and marketing adviser, and what gave you the strength to start on this road?

ML – “There are two types of authors—writers and entrepreneurs. The former flock to traditional publishing and the latter flock to indie publishing.

I’m very entrepreneurial, so indie publishing came naturally for me. I started my blog in 2007 and published my first book in 2009, so about two years. It didn’t really take strength per say—if anything, my own ignorance was my strength. I had no idea that publishing was a difficult road until I was knee deep in projects. Like I said, I’m an entrepreneur. When I’m working on my own projects, I become a workaholic. Pushing through the pain is what I do best.”

SG – What would be your advice to other looking to follow their passions?

ML – “Let your passion drive you. Sometimes people think they are passionate and then they can’t get the work done. Maybe they just aren’t that passionate, then. I also find it helps to be thankful every day. Every time I want to rip my manuscripts to shreds, I remember that I’m so lucky to even live in a time period where I have the means and the time to write my thoughts down quickly. Passion + humility can really get you through just about anything.”

SG – Social punk is an intricate story with several twists of plot, when you started writing it did you have a plan to where it would end or did you just “went with the flow”?

ML – “I mapped out the book in detail before starting it, but ended up changing the entire second half of the book after I’d written the first half. The ending sentence was always the end game, though. Since Socialpunk wasn’t my first book, I had an easier time plotting it.”

SG – Any last thoughts you would like to leave for our readers? And when can we expect to hear from you again?

ML – “If you’re on the fence about reading Socialpunk, the book is original and fast-paced and like nothing you’ve ever read before.

The second book in the Socialpunk Trilogy will be out this summer, but you may hear from me sooner. I have to put out Tin Soldier, the second book in my seven halos series out first. Plus, I want to start a serialized fiction story. So I might have the beginnings of that out sooner than later. No matter which way it goes, you’ll hear from me shortly!”

SG – Thank you Monica for taking the time to answer my questions and best of luck for the future!
ML – “Thank you for the interview!”

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“Socialpunk” by Monica Leonelle – Book Review

Social Punk“Social Punk” is the first of a science fiction trilogy written by Monica Leonelle, all of which is coming out this year.

Apart from writing Monica Leonelle is a well-known digital media strategist, a blogger at Prose on Fire and shares her writing and social media knowledge with other bloggers and authors through her Free Writer Toolkit.

Social Punk is set in a futurist society where the degradation of the environment has led to cities being isolated from each other and entrapped in domes…. or at least that’s what your lead to believe.

Ima, our main character, 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.

The story and plot of the book is quite compelling. With several twists and turns leading you deeper in to the world created by the author and expanding the connections between the characters and their stories. The characters are well built with depth and intricate emotions to them giving you the feeling of not truly understanding what drives them. That is, with the exception of our protagonist that we watch grow throughout the book and fight between the will to do better and the fear of failing.

In many ways the book explores the opposites of this world and how they can so easily coexist.

Although not the most brilliant of writing, the construction of the plot and characters is quite compelling and makes for quite a pleasant reading.

One could easily classify this book as a teen novel, however I would advice it to anyone that likes science fiction.

If you listen hard enough the book might actually give you pause to think, not only about the consequences of destroying the environment but also about what is it that defines us as human beings and a society and what, if anything, can truly influence what we shall become in the future.

All in all it was a good, fun read and I’m excitedly waiting for the second book to come out.


For my honest review I received a complementary copy of this book.

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My Blogging Strategy for 2012

"Writing on the wood is prohibited."...I first started the Post a Day Challenge because I wanted to blog more frequently and transform blogging into a living and active part of my life.

When I started the challenge my blog was a zero visitors and maybe five posts, kind of blog. I had zero inspiration to blog and a terrible fear of failure.

During the course of this year my blog evolved into a living and breathing creature. I now have an impressive total of 304 posts, raging from design to daily life dilemmas, and over 4,000 views. I’m impressed! The blog is still missing a focus but it’s going somewhere and it became a wonderful place to meet people and grow.

All in all I did pretty well on the challenge, I posted for most of the days and I’m only 12 post short of my goal. Posting everyday is incredible hard and to often life gets in the way. Although next year I probably won’t post daily I still want to post regularly.

In therms of writing strategies I don’t now if I have one. I write in two different ways, I either find a topic of interest and free write about it or develop a set of points I want to talk about and develop them separately. Both strategies are effective but I prefer the later one, it gives me more structure and allows me to stay on topic.

If there is something I would change it would definitely be the focus of my blog! I feel that if I had a more concrete theme or objective I would have done allot better than I did. Regardless this was still a huge success and an experience I’m not likely to forget.
One of my favourite things with this challenge was discovering the amazing blogs other people are writing. My utimate favourite this year is Analyfe the incisive and direct writing and the honesty of the writer behind it are a refreshing change and Erin has become a company and an influence that I’m not likely to forget. In the art world Design Soufflé became a constant source of inspiration and the photography of The urban hippie inspires me every day to look at the beauty in the world around me.

About the post a day challenge? I’m surprised I finished it! I honestly believed that I would fail miserably, but I didn’t!  Watching everyone else excel at this challenge gave me the push I needed to complete it. Community does make a difference!

If you want to blog regularly it really isn’t that hard. Just set a goal and stick to it! And if you ever get stuck and out of ideas, like I did many times throughout the year, just keep writing! Write about nothing if you have to!

For 2012 I’m cutting back on the posting a little bit, writing a blog post every day is a little bit excessive. So following on the steps of many of my fellow bloggers I’m posting 3 times a week for the following year. My other goal is to find a focus for my blog and give it a makeover.

What are your blogging goals for 2012?

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NaNoWriMo the end is just the beginning

NaNoWriMo 2011 ended just two days ago. My final word count was just over 20.000, a long way short from the 50.000 goal.

NaNoWriMo taught me allot of things, it showed me that habit is important and that if you stick with it you can go much further than you ever believed possible.It showed me the importance of planning and of character building, a part that I failed at miserably. And it showed me that if you set your mind to it everything is possible.

I also learned that I’m not a writer. As good as the experience was it’s not one I’m likely to repeat. Of all the creative forms to transmit my thoughts and my ideas writing is not one of my favourites, I prefer more immediate and visual forms of transmitting ideas. In many ways they’re simpler than written forms, but it’s trough them that I find satisfaction.  And I feel that anyone that has it in them to write a book is worthy of our awe and admiration.

The book I wrote throughout November of this year will never become a best seller. But during the following months I’ll work on it and edit it. Eventually I hope to transform it into a visual novel of sorts and share it with you.

Everyone that participated in NaNoWriMo has my greatest admiration, I hope that your novels, finished or not, will find their way into the general public.

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Writer’s Block Crushed!

So my NaNoWriMo experience has been an ups and downs kind of a ride, and I’ve been having some troubles keeping the story going witch meant getting behind on my word count. But after following Kristen Lamb’s advice on her post: Ways to develop your unique writing voice. And creating a brand new and highly organized outline. I have successfully avoided a writer’s block, and reached my first milestone.

I am now officially over the 10k mark and on my way to reach the 20k mark this weekend. Witch will get me back on track with my word count.

If your feeling stuck or didn’t write a plot outline or the one you wrote isn’t working for you anymore, check out this blog post on how to create a plot outline in 8 easy steps.

It has been an amazing ride! I started filled with energy and wanting to really do this! And although along the way I kind of lost my momentum, I was still having fun. But now the momentum is back with a vengeance!

It’s been incredibly fun to do this, and I have come to love my little baby novel and really wish to polish it when NaNoWriMo is over.


My current word count is: 10 194 / 50 000

You can read the full novel here.

Note: only the first 4 chapters are completed.

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