Q&A: Hanging out with ‘Monument 14’'s Emmy Laybourne with an Audiobook Giveaway


Which Monument 14 character is your favourite?

This is a tough one. A part of me feels very loyal to Dean. He’s the person who I have spent the most time with, since he’s narrating the story, and I really care about what happens to him and how he develops, as a person. That said – Max sure is fun to write! Sometimes I feel like I could do a whole series of Max spin-offs – stories about his adventures before the apocalypse.

Explain how you came up with the plot of Monument 14.

My approach to plotting Monument 14 was a little simplistic – I knew where I wanted to get to (14 kids trapped in a store and afraid to go out) and then I searched around to find the right sequence of events to get them there. I sort of felt around for certain plot elements, which cost me a bit of time. I ended up writing a very meandering “second act” and having to cut a lot of material.

In the sequel to Monument 14 (which is called Sky On Fire and is due out in June) I approached the plot in a very different way. I outlined rigorously and sent the outline to my excellent editors at Macmillan – Jean Feiwel and Holly West. I took their notes and changed it, tweaked it and really lived with it for a few weeks, to make sure it felt right. Then, when I started writing, I really stuck to the outline. I’m very pleased with the book – but you and your readers will have to tell me what you think!

Who are some of your favourite authors and do you think their writing style influenced your own?

I have so many authors I love! I can’t say if their work influences my own, but I can tell you who I admire and why…
Anne Lamott – from her fiction to her books about writing and her books about Faith, Lamott writes with a VOICE that is engaging and expressive and chummy in the best way. You can’t read one of her books and walk away feeling any less than a trusted friend – man, do I admire that!

For giving personality to time and place, I love the work of Ivan Doig. I would like to go back and live in the towns he writes about – they seem plain and foursquare and upright in a way I fear we have lost in this day and age.

I’m also a huge fan of David Mitchell and his novel Cloud Atlas, in particular. Do yourself a favor – read it before you see the movie. It’s not an easy read, but it’s a deeply mysterious and enthralling one.

What other genres would you like to write for and why?

I’m writing a third Monument 14, but after that I have a bunch of ideas. I’d like to write a fantasy series set in a feudal agrarian post-apocalyptic future. I also have a poppy kind of horror novel I’d like to write – that one is buzzing around in my mind with such strength, I may have to bang it out before the fantasy series. I also have a couple ideas for middle grade series, but right now, I’m going to stick in the YA genre. It’s a great place to be – both the readers and the other writers are so gracious and inviting. I feel really lucky to be palling around with all these talented people.

If you could master any other creative skill, what would it be and why?

I’d lovelovelove to play the drums. I really would. I’d also like to learn to play the guitar and the piano. And the trumpet. So, um, my answer is music! All instruments and right away, so I can start performing all the rock and country songs I write asap.

What can we expect from you in the future?

Look for Monument 14: Sky On Fire in June of 2013. Then the third M14 – not sure of the title yet – will be out in June of 2014. I also put out songs every once in a while (I get real musicians to play the instruments!) so if you readers like Monument 14, follow me on Twitter to stay up on the news…

It’s been such a pleasure to chat with Giselle here on Book Nerd – this is one of the coolest book blogs I’ve come across!

Look for details about our giveaway below – the brand new audio book edition of Monument 14, narrated by Todd Haberkorn.

contest giveaway


Rules and Regulations

  • Ends on Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at 12:01AM (EST)
  • US/Canadian residents may enter
  • Total prize value $40 (USD)
  • The author will be shipping the prize. I will not be responsible for lost or damaged packages from the shipper
  • The winner will be announced on Twitter

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Loie

    November 28, 2012 at 10:46 AM

    Haha, prob not. Eep. Thanks Emmy!!

  2. Kamla L

    November 24, 2012 at 2:04 PM

    I would like to think that I’m a fighter and would do what it takes to survive. But seriously, I dread having to find out. Thanks Emmy for stopping by and sharing. I look forward to Monument 14.

  3. Bree

    November 22, 2012 at 8:36 AM

    I’d be one of the first people killed in a post-apocalyptic world, lol…or the person that they use to make an example of. 😛 Thanks for the chance to win this book!

  4. Jen

    November 17, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    I kind of wonder if I would survive myself. Especially when I watch something like Revolution where they often kill people to survive. Not sure if I could do that but you never know.
    Thanks for the giveaway!!

  5. Kimmie

    November 17, 2012 at 8:24 PM

    I’d like to think I’d survive, but I’m not so sure…LOL. This book has been on my TBR list for a long time now, so I think that it is awesome that there is a giveaway! Thanks!

  6. Maria

    November 17, 2012 at 7:01 PM

    great giveaway, thanks Emmy. I doubt I would survive.

  7. Holly Letson

    November 15, 2012 at 3:05 AM

    Thanks to Emmy for the giveaway!

  8. Paige

    November 13, 2012 at 4:44 PM

    Thanks for this awesome giveaway! Um I believe I would be a little afraid at first of the apocalypse, but I think I would be able to survive, especially if we are talking about a zombie apocalypse. I’ve played video games and read lots of books and could probably think of ways to survive, I’d just have to learn how to use weapons xD

  9. The Bumble Girl

    November 11, 2012 at 12:09 AM

    I would like to think that I would survive, I would like to be able to take care of my kids and family… I’m not physically strong, but mentally, I seem to handle emergencies very well (and then have my panic attacks way after the fact, lol!) So maybe I can be the nerd of the group 😉
    Thanks so much for the giveaway!

  10. Theresa

    November 10, 2012 at 5:13 PM

    I would hope that I could find myself a smart group and survive 🙂 Thank you to Emmy Laybourne for this awesome opportunity to win this giveaway 🙂

  11. Stella C

    November 10, 2012 at 1:38 AM

    Hey Emmy, thanks for giving away a copy of the audiobook! In fact, two of my friends have recommend Monument 14 to me. 🙂

  12. Ashley @ FireStarBooks

    November 10, 2012 at 1:27 AM

    Hahahaha, sadly I would be the first one to be killed off.

  13. Chrystal @ Snowdrop Dreams of Books

    November 9, 2012 at 9:43 PM

    I would like to think I am prepared enough to survive! Ive seen a ton of movies and read enough books that I think I’d know what to do, but sometimes your reaction is not what you think it would be. So here’s crossing my fingers I’d make it.

    What a great interview! Emmy – I love that you have so many book ideas floating around your mind. That means even more great books just waiting to happen!

    Thank you for the amazing giveaway!

  14. Lisa Neutel

    November 9, 2012 at 9:15 PM

    probably not…thanks for the giveaway

  15. Liza @ Reading with ABC

    November 8, 2012 at 7:02 PM

    I would like to see that I have what it takes to survive, even if I don’t my hubby is so tough that he’ll make me!

  16. Gi-Gi

    November 8, 2012 at 4:58 PM

    Honestly think I would maybe survive the first week and then probably die.

    Thanks Emmy! 😀

  17. Brent

    November 8, 2012 at 3:08 PM

    sounds interesting

  18. Grace Lo

    November 7, 2012 at 11:34 PM

    To be honest, I think if I laid low enough, I may have an inkling of a chance of surviving but I’m too out-spoken . . .

  19. Christina T

    November 7, 2012 at 11:12 PM

    No, I don’t think I would. Hi Emmy, Thanks for chance at this great giveaway and Hi booknerd, Thanks for hosting!! 😀

  20. Jenn

    November 7, 2012 at 6:32 PM

    No, but I hope my death would be the dramatic one that makes all of the main characters cry in slow motion 😛

  21. Rizwana

    November 7, 2012 at 6:14 PM

    Not sure, I think I will try very hard.

  22. Cait H.

    November 7, 2012 at 1:00 PM

    I would probably not survive. I’d like to, but I know I’m not that savvy. If I had someone to help me, maybe. Thanks so much for the great giveaway =)

  23. Maria @ Fantasy's Ink

    November 7, 2012 at 12:07 PM

    Probably not, but I’d try very hard too.

  24. Erin D.

    November 7, 2012 at 9:05 AM

    I hope I would survive. I know it’s not nearly the same, but I am a big outdoors person so I think that would help. Thanks Emmy!! 🙂

  25. Suz Reads

    November 7, 2012 at 8:22 AM

    I think I would survive a post-apocalyptic world because I’m very determined! I have been wanting to read this book and I would love it as an audiobook! Thanks for this amazing giveaway – I would love to win!

  26. mamabunny13

    November 7, 2012 at 5:31 AM

    I think I would survive, at least I would try very hard too. Thanks for the giveaway, Emmy!

  27. Maegan Morin

    November 7, 2012 at 1:24 AM

    I dont think that I would be able to survive on my own but I know a guy…

  28. Jill

    November 7, 2012 at 1:05 AM

    I think I’d survive…. At least for a little while lol.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  29. Alicia

    November 7, 2012 at 12:43 AM

    Thank you for having the giveaway!

    I’d love to learn how to play drums too, it has been on my wish list for a really long time.

    I would probably not survive, I’m kinda hopeless, that is why I prefer to read books about brave people and live vicariously :).

  30. DeeDee Griffin

    November 7, 2012 at 12:12 AM

    I doubt it, I’m a big wimp!

  31. Brent

    November 7, 2012 at 12:07 AM

    great giveaway

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