Interview with Monica La Porta

Monica La Porta

Interview Date: 9/5/2012


Monica La Porta is an Italian who landed in Washington State several years ago. Despite popular feelings about the Northwest weather, she finds the mist and the rain the perfect conditions to write. Being a strong advocate of universal acceptance and against violence in any form and shape, she is also glad to have landed precisely in Redmond, WA. She is the author of The Ginecean Chronicles, a dystopian/science fiction series set on the planet Ginecea where women rule over a race of enslaved men and heterosexual love is considered a sin. She has published The Priest and Pax in the Land of Women, respectively book one and two in the Ginecean series and is currently editing the third, Prince of War.

When did you start writing, and was there a significant event that prompted you to do so?

I started writing three years ago. I had been struggling for a while about what to do in life and one of my dear friends’ prolonged illnesses made me realize it was about time I did something I truly enjoyed.

Kev's response: Plus, it's far more productive than spending the same time munching on chocolate, but far less tasty. Hmm. Now I'm thinking about chocolate...

If you could have one superpower, what would it? (Assuming said power would be reasonably powerful.)

Teleport. I dislike driving and I find flying a waste of time, but I love going places. I would have breakfast in Paris, a light lunch in Rome, an evening swim in Mykonos, and finally sleep in my house in the States. The thing I missed the most when I first moved to Washington State from Italy was the inability to visit people and places as much as I wanted. Circumnavigating the globe just to have coffee with your mother is not a possibility at the moment. I’d like that. A lot.

Kev's response: Plus, you can get wet those other methods. Teleport indoors to indoors, and you always stay dry! Not quite the same, but have you tried Skype? It might help a bit. Just make sure you have your coffee in front of the camera too.

Do you have a favorite superhero from novels, comics, or movies?

Several, in fact. I’m a huge comic fan and my husband and I’ve been collecting comics since we met. We have a custom-made bookcase to host all of them. We kept buying double copies of X-Men until we got married. At that point we decided we were serious enough to take the next step in our relation. I’m happy to report we have been buying single issues for the last nineteen years. To answer your question, my first choice would be Silver Surfer, although technically speaking he isn’t a superhero, but more of a super entity. Another of my favorites is Namor, again not always a superhero. Hellboy is definitely on my list of exceptional characters, mostly because I love Mignola’s art. Hellboy is also one of the few cases where I didn’t dislike the movie adaptation.

Kev's response: I enjoyed the Hellboy movies. I'm hoping they make another. Silver Surfer's powers would be awesome to have.

Where do you get your inspiration for writing? What motivates you?

I like to play with real life stories and give them a different spin. I take a single aspect of our society and I look at it through a mirror, the same but reversed. The hope of leaving a mark after I’m gone motivates me to live life following certain rules and permeates my writing as well.

Kev's response: We can only hope to leave a lasting impression on readers (after we're gone). At least I do. I don't expect anyone to say, "He was a great writer, eloquent as can be and a shining example of art via books." But, I would like people to walk away thinking, "That was a fun read. I enjoyed it."

Do you pre-plan your stories, or are you a by-the-seat-of-the-pants style writer?

I have a general idea of what I want to write, but then every sentence opens new possibilities in terms of storytelling and I choose among several scenarios the one I like the most.

Do you write only when inspired, or do you have a set schedule where you sit down to write?

I strive to write every day a certain amount of words. I don’t stop until I’ve reached that quota.

Do you have a favorite genre to write in? To read?

Dystopian science fiction both for reading and writing.

What do you enjoy the most about writing?

The power to create something out of nothing. The absolute freedom of doing it whenever I want.

Is there any part of writing that you don't enjoy?

I haven’t found it yet. I even like re-writing and editing.

Kev's response: Wait ... what? Hold on, I have a call to make to some very friendly people ... with drugs! >:)

Can you tell me something odd about yourself?

Not sure it’s odd, but I’m an Italian who doesn’t like cheese and is gluten intolerant. Probably more sad than odd, but there you have it. Also, my drawings are full of colors and whimsical, while my writing is stark and subdued. Don’t know why.

Do you write one story at a time, or do you have several novels in the works at one time?

I used to write one story at a time, but right now I have four different projects I’m working on.

Kev's response: So ... the condition has become exacerbated over time?

In my evil plot to take over the world, what one animal type do you advise I use and why?

Cats. They are cute but lethal.

Kev's response: And everyone enjoys a cute kitty ... unless they don't, of course. Those people will be eaten by my tiger minions.

Where do you see the future as far as paper books versus digital e-books?

Although there are people swearing they’ll never read a book in a digital format, it is clear that, eventually, paper will belong to museums.

What are your current projects?

A fourth title in my Ginecean Chronicle series, a fantasy about two antithetic worlds, a dystopian story I’m writing just for fun every Friday, and finally a children book full of fun paintings.

Do you have any advice for others about self-publishing?

Before publishing be sure your work is as polished as it can be. Use beta readers and/or critique groups, and, if you can afford it, hire an editor and a proofreader. Same goes for the cover representing your hard work; it must look professional. If you don’t know what to do and you can hire a professional cover artist, do so. If your budget doesn’t allow for that, look for cover artists on places like Deviantart; they might help you putting together something worth looking at for a small fee.

Do you have any online sites where readers can find out more about you (and your books)?

Blog: Amazon Author page: Monica La Porta Goodreads Author page: Kevin, it has been fun answering your questions. Thank you for having me on your blog.

Kev's response: Monica, thank you for your time! I wish you the best on your series ... and the other work your alter egos are producing.

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