Mason Cooley said, “Reading gives us some place to go when we have to stay where we are.”
A Center Stage Moment shines a spotlight on writers who give us great places to visit with the characters we love and want to call friends.
Today, I have the pleasure of introducing to you Monica Enderle Pierce!
Monica Enderle Pierce and her characters have been kicking the crap out of evil since 2012. Her first novel, Girl Under Glass, was a 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award semi-finalist and a multi-category sci-fi bestseller. Of her historical, dark fantasy novel, Famine, reviewers have said, “Jeez. Effing heck. I need more now!” and “Just fantastic… Such a great read!” And Monica’s short stories have been featured in the best-selling Future Chronicles anthologies: The Dragon Chronicles and The Doomsday Chronicles. Her stories are immersive, detailed, and character-driven, full of love, tension, and bad guys getting their just deserts. Monica has an English literature degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, and she lives in Seattle, WA, USA with her husband, their daughter, a neurotic dog, two crazy tomcats, and a fish.
I love reading the author bios. Many of them did not start out as writers. Sometimes people stumble upon the craft. Did you always want to be a writer? Sorta. My mom is an author, so it was always something in the back of my mind, but I didn’t start writing with a career in mind until six years ago.
Why did you choose to write your genre? I’ve always enjoyed reading and watching fantasy and sci-fi, so it was natural to want to write in those genres. But I also was an English literature major in college, so I like mixing a bit of literary style into the lovin’ and fightin’. I’m a sucker for a good love story with action and adventure mixed in, and some good symbolism is the cherry on top.
What is the strangest story you’ve ever written? The genetic engineering history of corn. [I think that qualifies as strange writing.]
What are you currently working on? A Castle to Keep, which is the sequel to my fantasy romance, The Shadow & The Sun.
What motivated the plot of your latest book? With The Shadow & The Sun I wanted to write a sword & sorcery love story with a heroine inspired by Lagertha of Vikings. I wanted her to be strong from beginning to end and never be weakened to strengthen the hero.
What was the hardest story for you to write? Usually whichever one I’m writing at the moment. Characterization and description come very easily for me but plot does not.
What process do you use to plan your novels? I call myself a plotster. I do a bulleted list of what needs to happen per chapter but allow a fair amount of leeway once I get into writing. This allows me to dictate my first draft pretty quickly – about three weeks – but it also makes for a little bit more mess so my editing time tends to take two to three months.
Who has been your favorite character to write and why? Hard to choose. Right now I’ll say Halina from The Shadow & The Sun and A Castle to Keep because she’s badass without compromising her femininity. (She’s literally a long-sword wielding knight in not-so-shining armor who’s also womanly and enjoys a good roll between the sheets. She’s foul-mouthed and scarred and makes no apologies for either, but she also appreciates a fine silk gown, beautiful jewelry, and the trappings of her wealth.)
Do any of your characters reflect facets of your personality? All of them do, though I’d say they’re who I aspire to be. (Well, not the antagonists so much. They’re generally a pretty nasty lot.)
Have you ever experienced writer’s block? If so, how did you overcome it? Every. Single. Day. I overcome it by working. Sometimes I power through it by banging out nonsense. Other times I step back and focus on research or doing further development on a specific character. Sometimes I read a book. Lately I’ve gone back to watching episodes of Vikings to study the emotional interplay between the characters.
If you were to choose another genre to write in, what would it be? Why? Mysteries because I like puzzles.
Which authors inspire you? Anne McCaffrey, William Shakespeare, Octavia Butler, Ursula K. Le Guin, Robert Heinlein, Judith Ross Enderle (mom!) [That’s awesome!]
What novel would you read multiple times? Too many to name. Anything by the authors listed above. And anthologies; I’ve started reading them over the last few years.
If you could meet anyone in the world, alive or deceased, who would it be and why? (Person could be a fictional character) I’d really like a chance to meet all my readers to thank them and pick their brains for inspiration. I think they’re a treasure trove of feedback that I can’t tap often enough!
What is your favorite quote?
What is your favorite animal, real or imaginary? I love cats. They make no apologies for being themselves.
What is your favorite color? Peacock blue
What do you do when you’re not writing? Writing is Monica’s full-time job. As she puts it, “Full-time work but only a part-time income, so far. (That’ll change!)”
Catch up with Monica online at:
Thank you Monica! It was a pleasure getting to know you better. Join me next week when I’ll have Lisa Manifold.