Chicago-based Monica Leonellet was first published in English and French in 2009 with her non-fiction book Social Pollination. She also writes ebooks; her urban fantasy Silver Smoke was a Top 1000 Amazon Breakthrough novel in 2011. She’s also one of those hopelessly optimistic, glass-half-full people, and has an adorable dog.
A little about you, first. Do you have any hidden talents?
ML: I do! I can roll my stomach (it’s really gross).
Otherwise, I’m a Chicagoan living downtown in the city, and I write pretty much all day. I love writing fantasy and science fiction and tend to focus on the young adult market.
Tell us about your book — what themes does it tackle?
ML: Silver Smoke is about a 15-year old girl named Brie who tries to investigate her mother’s death after learning a family secret–her mother is a descendant of the archangels and belongs to a supernatural race called the Hallows. Brie is desperate to get answers, because they affect her and her brother, and (as she learns) the entire Hallow race.
Is there anything you want readers to take away from your writing?
ML: The one thing I would like readers to learn from my work is what a normal romantic relationship based on mutual respect looks like. A lot of the young characters in the book series have the opposite of this kind of relationship, and bad things happen because of it. So I want to make an impression on teenagers and show them how secrets are like toxic waste in a relationship. The series showcases good relationships.
Which other indie authors do you recommend or admire?
ML: I admire Samantha Young–she’s a great writer in the young adult genre and everyone enjoys her books.
My favorite mainstream authors include Cassandra Clare, Suzanne Collins, and Holly Black. They are such fun storytellers!
Lastly, what question should I have asked you, and why?
ML: The things I can’t live without, because they are all technology-based.
I can’t live without my MacBook Pro, my TV, or Grubhub.com (this amazing website that lets you order delivery food from your area over the internet).