Monica Montgomery is a novelist, playwright, author of short stories, a freelance writer, and a writing coach. She’s had a short story entitled The Ring published in the Chicken Soup series Chicken Soup for the African American Woman’s Soul. She is a regular contributor to I Am East St. Louis, a quarterly magazine in her local community, and she writes for Huami Magazine. With her first novel series, An Everlasting Love, she intends to establish herself as a
Monica has a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, a master of Fine Arts in Fiction Writing from Lindenwood University St. Charles, MO, and received a master’s of Elementary Education from National Louis University Chicago, Illinois.
Monica loved reading and making up stories to entertain herself as a kid, but if you had asked her what she would grow up to be, she would say, “a veterinarian” or “a mortician.”
As a proud product of East St. Louis, Illinois, Monica grew up loving two things, books and music. At the age of twelve, Monica’s favorite authors were Steven King and V.C. Andrews. There is something about suspense that is so weighty you can feel it in your chest. Although you are terrified, you keep reading because you have to know what’s lurking around the next corner.
Monica read anything she could get her hands on, which was usually her older sister’s books. This was her introduction to the world of Harlequin romances.
Monica started her college career as a Biology major, but she took a class to fill a prerequisite called “Studies in Fiction during her undergraduate studies.” The course changed her life. She was introduced to writers like Flannery O’Conner, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and Tolstoy. These were authors she would never have read on her own. Their work transformed her thinking. Monica was also introduced to writing from a secondary character’s perspective during this course. It doesn’t sound as impressive as it actually is.
You are a god… of the pen, at least. It was liberating. Monica changed her degree to English Literature and never looked back.
Monica’s favorite author is Toni Morrison. She draws a lot of her inspiration from Morrison’s work. She focuses on how Morrison crafts a story, making the reader feel and think. You cry when her characters cry - not out of sympathy, but because you genuinely feel their pain
as if it were your own. Then you rejoice for the same reason.
The idea for An Everlasting Love series came to her from a song. She heard it, and suddenly she knew she had a story that needed to be told. Monica says she writes because there are little people in her head fighting to have their say. Taylor Baxter’s character is just one of the
lucky ones who made it into the sun. They say the first novel is the hardest. Monica plans to see for herself.
Monica worked on the original manuscript on and off for three years. It was handwritten on loose copy paper. When she finished this first manuscript, she often said that it was like saying goodbye to some of her closest friends. An Everlasting Love was an unexpected journey
full of extreme highs and plummeting lows. The work was hard and emotional, but she says it was a labor of love, and she would do it all over again. She hopes that readers will experience every rise and fall of Taylor Baxter’s journey.
When people ask her for writing advice, Monica is always honest. “Don’t take yourself too seriously, but write as if you are serious about your work. Most of all, make sure you love writing and are passionate about your subject. It’s like your child; you have to love it even when
no one else does.”
As a self-published author, Monica says that choosing to be an author is not for the faint of heart. She has chosen this path because she wants people to read her stories and feel something, see someone, even if it’s themselves. Monica believes a great story is an experience;
a life lived one page at a time.
Now… will you take the journey?