Ima 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.
1. What or who inspired you to start writing?
I read a lot as a child and wanted to be an author by third grade. It was either that or a famous singer. Hah!
2. How did you come up with the concept for Socialpunk?
Socialpunk is a bit like The Truman Show meets The Terminator, except Mark Zuckerburg is president of the world. I wanted to do a cyberpunk and Socialpunk is classically cyberpunk. I loved the idea of being trapped in a virtual reality, and then acclimating to the real world.
3. What came first, the concept or the characters?
The concept. Aside from Ima, the characters came much later. Typically, my characters develop as I write the book. . . I don't really outline them beforehand. With Ima, I wanted to write a different type of female lead. Brie, the female lead for my other series, the Seven Halos series (which is completely different from the Socialpunk series) is rich and aloof and a bit unlikable. Ima is a much stronger character. She's brave and adventurous. She's probably more of a traditional YA heroine than Brie is, but I think people can appreciate that.
4. What made you set Socialpunk in Chicago?
I live in Chicago and I love the city! It was an easy choice for me, especially with the underground subways, which play a pivotal role in the book. Also, Chicago is really a city of snow, glass, and metal. The architecture is inspiring. So that just fir the style of the book perfectly, and it had to be in Chicago for me.
5. If you could be any character in Socialpunk, who would you choose? And why?
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.
6. Which character was the hardest to write? Easiest?
None of them gave me too much trouble, to be honest. Maybe Vaughn was a bit difficult - because he acts completely different around everyone else besides Ima, and the story is from Ima's veiwpoint, so Vaughn seems a little sweeter than he actually is. It's hard to portray that, but I'm hoping to make it clearer in the next book.
7. Can you tell us anything about the next Socialpunk book?
Without spoiling the first one? Hmm. Well, the first book is told primarily from Ima's , but the second book is told from two perspectives. Also, the second book in the series, Socialmob, will be out this summer.
Thank you, Monica, for letting us get a glimpse inside your mind and Socialpunk!
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.
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