Here's what Monica had to say when I asked her some searching questions about Doom & Gloom ...
KC: What made you interested in writing?
MS: I grew up in the presence of books. We collected them and discussed them at length in my family. My mother, of course, read to me from an early age, and this fostered my love of words. As I got a little older, I was given plenty of time and space to read on my grandparents’ ranch. No TV meant that stories became my main source of entertainment. To this day, I still own many of the books I did as a child, including a rare copy of “The Casual Observer.”
KC: Doom & Gloom has an interesting lead character, a young boy with an unusual disability. Where did you get your ideas for Dane's character?
MS: Years ago, I watched a great movie with Nicole Kidman called “The Others.” In it, her children suffer from the same disease as Dane—xeroderma pigmentosum. The idea of a parent sheltering their child from UV rays, closing off sections of the house like a submarine, fascinated me enough to write a book about it.
KC: Are you planning more Doom & Gloom books? Any spoilers you want to share with your readers?
MS: There will be a total of three Doom & Gloom books. In Book 2, we’ll see Jinx’s character come more into her own, and she’ll receive a suit made for her. And while Dane becomes more comfortable with his role as superhero, he runs into complications with his new double life. We’ll also confront Dane’s archenemy, with a few unexpected results that I don’t dare tell you about.
KC: You use a lot of science and technology in Doom & Gloom. Do you have a background in robotics or computer science?
MS: I wish I did! It would’ve made the research a little easier. In a former life, I worked for a computer company and am pretty tech savvy, but don’t have a technical background. I will say, however, that I’m a bit of a science geek. I want to be Michio Kaku when I grow up.
KC: Doom & Gloom is very different to your other work. You've written for younger and older readers. Who are your favorite readers to write for?
MS: This may sound like a cop-out, but I don’t compartmentalize too much with my writing. I try to tell the best story possible and let it roll from there. Sure, I keep things like word comprehension and interest level in mind for younger readers, but I think kids are capable of understanding a fairly sophisticated plot.
KC: Who are your favorite authors?
MS: Er, how much space do I have? I’ve read a lot of good books in my time, but only one author makes me cry every time (Gary Paulsen), only one author makes me read and reread his sentences for their sheer musicality (F. Scott Fitzgerald), only one author stuns me with his immediacy and his verisimilitude (Ernest Hemingway), and only one author makes reading effortless (Stephen King). Geez, I’ve left out so many…Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie, Edgar Allan Poe…now I feel bad.
KC: Any exciting plans for the holidays?
MS: I’ll be curled up on the couch…you guessed it…reading. Right now, I’ve got three non-fiction books I’m reading simultaneously. After that, I’m starting “The Beekeeper’s Apprentice,” an “old” book that I just discovered at the library, my second home.
Check out the Doom & Gloom book trailer ....