Interview with "Social Punk" author Monica Leonelle

Interview with author and media strategist Monica Leonelle

I love working with people and brands that are well organized and passionate about their product. Monica has proven to be one such person. Monica Leonelle is 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 ( and resides in the wonderful city of Chicago.

Here's a quick interview I had with her:

1. Every author has a character that envelopes a good amount of his/her real life characteristics. Which character is the most like you, if this character has even been introduced in the first of the trilogy?

I'm most like Nasser in the sense that he has big ideas and is fairly reckless with his means to go after them. He's willing to put his entire hash in financial ruin to get what he wants. I'm really not that bad, but I do have that entrepreneurial spark in me and I go for what I want. I don't have a family so I don't hurt anyone, but yeah, I'm definitely an "all caution to the wind" type!

I also relate to Ima quite a bit. We really don't have much in common at all, but I can relate to her growth.

2. Do you venture outside of Chicago or like your characters, do you pretty much stay within the city limits?

I stay within the city limits for the most part! This month I went to DC on a very unexpected trip (it was a surprise from a friend). And next month I'm headed to NYC for a wedding. But other than that, I stay not just in the city, but within the loop neighborhoods in the city. I live in West Loop and my boyfriend lives in South Loop and we stay within a two mile radius. Neither of us own cars because people just don't really own them here. And the downtown has a million things to do, so we mostly stay put!

3. Where is your favorite place to watch people?

When I run along Lake Shore Drive I spend a lot of time watching people. If I'm anywhere else I typically have lots of technology with me (a Kindle, a laptop, a cell phone) so I tend to be buried in my own world instead of watching my surroundings. I'm not much of a people watcher, really.

4. Are you a morning, a nighttime, or an all-through-the-day-post-it-note writer?

Nighttime. While I do write all around the clock for my job, I get most of my fiction writing done in the wee hours. I need a lot more silence for that than for non-fiction, which I can pretty much write anywhere with anything going on around me. Earlier this week, I wrote nearly 10,000 words of non-fiction while catching up on all my TV shows, for instance. I have no idea how this is possible, though I assume it's just practice at this point. I've been writing non-fiction much longer than I've been writing fiction.

Do yourself a favor and read her book Social Punk. It's a quick read that transports you to another place and in the end leaves you wanting more!

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