I walk into Urbana Coffee Works on South Coulter to the smell and sounds of a mid-day coffee shop in full bloom. Students sit dispersed at the various tables in the common area, studying with their noses in books and earbuds in their ears.
Close to one of the large plate glass windows that looks out to Coulter on the unseasonably warm
autumn day, I find Andrew Monroe sitting, reading a book and waiting for me. The cuffs of his jeans came over the brown Chelsea boots as his feet were outstretched. He'd been waiting for me.
"I'm so sorry I'm late," I say.
He stands to embrace me. "No problem, man. How's it going today?"
I sit down on one of the cushioned chairs by the window and pull out my notebook from the black backpack I generally carry—and call, affectionately, my purse. "It's going good," I say. "Busy."
We are waiting for Niccole Caan, a reporter from our local ABC affiliate, but before the television interview, I had told Andrew that I wanted to interview him for my website and blog, which he graciously agreed to.
Andrew Monroe's new book A LEAF AND PEBBLE comes out December 5th.
Me: A Leaf and Pebble is your first book. How long have you been working on it?
Monroe: 8 years or so. But it’s been an on and off thing.
Me: What, in a nutshell, is the book about?
Monroe: A couple of guys trying to survive while a mysterious group tries to assassinate them after a botched robbery while trying to prevent the land from plunging into a civil war.
Me: Who or what inspired you to write this kind of story?
Monroe: There are a few inspirations, first being a number of English teachers I had in school. The second being Name of The Wind, a book by Patrick Rothfuss.
Me: What's your preferred method of writing? Are you a notebook or computer guy?
Monroe: When writing, I’m all about using a keyboard if possible. I do love a good notebook, but that’s for ideas and such, not the actual writing process.
Me: A Leaf and Pebble is the first book in a trilogy. Where can we expect these characters to go in the future?
Monroe: Literally, eastwards. This first book takes place on a rather large peninsula. I’m hoping to branch into a further continent in future books, with higher stakes and more diversity.
Me: Do you have plans on anything outside of The Learner Trilogy?
Monroe: I’m working on a self-improvement book with a friend, currently. And will probably take a shot at Sci-Fi down the road, and more fantasy as well.
Me: Coffee or tea?
Monroe: Coffee is a morning ritual for me, where as tea is an afternoon or evening pleasure. I can’t live without the coffee, but enjoy the ritual of tea better.