Sunday, March 3, 2013

"What's In a Name?" Indie Author Spotlight: Monica La Porta

Today's Indie Giveaway featured writer is Monica La Porta, author of The Priest. Monica is another one of the incredible indie authors who have come together to create the Indie Giveaway going on until March 11th. The prizes in the giveaway are 11 free ebooks, and 3 free print books plus a $20 Amazon card! So let's find out "What's in a name?" according to Monica...

Monica La Porta is an Italian who landed in Seattle 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, she is also glad to have landed precisely in Washington State. 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. She also wrote and illustrated a children’s book about the power of imagination, The Prince’s Day Out. Her latest published short, Linda of the Night, is a fairytale love story celebrating inner beauty.  Stop by her blog to read about her miniatures, sculptures, paintings, and her beloved beagle, Nero. Sometimes, she also posts about her writing.

Mauricio is a slave. Like any man born on Ginecea, he is but a number for the pure breed women who rule over him with cruel hands. Imprisoned inside the Temple since birth, Mauricio has never been outside, never felt the warmth of the sun on his skin. He lives a life devoid of hopes and desires. Then one day, he hears Rosie sing. He risks everything for one look at her and his life is changed, forever. An impossible friendship blossoms into affection deemed sinful and perverted in a society where the only rightful union is between women. Love is born where only hate has roots and leads Mauricio to uncover a truth that could destroy Ginecea.

Do you write under your actual name or a pen name, and is there any special meaning behind your name? 
I write under my name. When I was a kid, my last name was the source of infinite jokes. ‘La Porta’ means ‘the door’ and a six year old can’t resist the lure of inventing elaborate tales around it. They weren’t overly mean, but I was a child myself and prone to take umbrage. It didn’t help that I grew up a tall and flat teenager, resembling more and more my last name. Long story short, I decided to embrace it. When I moved to the States with my family, I refused to change it to my husband’s last name as it is customary here. I’ve been working hard at being the best Monica La Porta I could be and I don’t want to become anybody else.

What are the names of your main characters and what can you tell us about them? 
My main characters have two names each. The names they were given at birth, Mauricio and Rose, and the names they’ll choose for themselves, the Priest and Rosie.

Do their names have special significance to your story or were they just names that you liked? 
Names are important to me. When I imagine my characters, their names must reflect who they are. Other than being pleasant to the ear, Mauricio means dark and prone to solitude. Following a path he didn’t chose for himself, Mauricio, born in a society where women enslave men, will become a complete different person at the end of his journey. The Priest—despite the name doesn’t have religious connotations in the story—is the essence of what others will see in him. Rose, daughter of the President, doesn’t accept to be what society has decided for her. Born and raised to be haughty and elegant as the flower her mothers named her after, she wants to be called Rosie. Her dual temperament, soft and yet unwavering, will propel the story to an unexpected ending.

What are some fictional names of places where your characters’ stories unfold?
The names of the main locations in The Priest are: Ginecea, the Temple, and the City of Men.

How did you choose the names for your fictional settings? Do they have special significance?
Ginecea is a name I borrowed from the Greek language. It’s a noun indicating anything related to the women’s world. Ginecea is quite literally the land of women. And since I like to play with meanings, the Temple isn’t exactly what the name suggests. The City of Men on the other hand is precisely that, a place where men live. But in a setting where men are slaves, a place they can call their own assumes a different meaning.

Thanks for stopping by Monica!  
Thank you, Angela. I truly enjoyed answering your questions.

Find Monica La Porta all across the interwebs....

Don’t forget to check out the Indie Giveaway for a chance to win an ebook of Monica's novel, The Priest, along with 10 more awesome ebooks by some great indie authors! Also up for grabs are 3 print books and a $20 Amazon card! 

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