February 17, 2021


Alexandra Monir - Black Canary: Breaking Silence!

Hosted by

Kenric Regan John Horsley
Alexandra Monir - Black Canary: Breaking Silence!
Spoiler Country
Alexandra Monir - Black Canary: Breaking Silence!

Feb 17 2021 | 00:49:01


Show Notes

Today we are joined by the author of the new book Black Canary: Breaking Silence! This book is amazing and Alexandra is a wonderful person!

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Interview scheduled by Jeffery Haas

Theme music by Good Co Music:


Alexandria Monir – Interview


Kenric:  [00:00:00] All right, guys. Welcome back in today on the show. This is super exciting.

She’s got a brand new book out all about black Canary, and I think you guys are going to really love it. Alexandra Marnier. Thank you so much for coming

Alexandria Monir: on. Thank you so much for having me. I’m so excited about this.

Melissa: Yeah. Thanks for being here. We’re so excited to have you on, I finished reading your book last night and I am obsessed with it and I loved, loved, loved it.

So yeah, it’s, it’s amazing. Well, we can go into it a little bit. If you want to give away some spoilers, you can, if not, I know it hasn’t been out that long, but it is the origin story of black Canary. And I’d love to hear in your own words, how you got this amazing opportunity to, to write for the DC icon.

Alexandria Monir: Yeah, well, it’s it’s a really fun story, at least I think so. So about a few years ago or two years ago, I was on the road at a lot of comic book conventions and books festivals, because I had a scifi novel out called the final [00:01:00] six. That was a teens going to space novel with Harper Collins. And that was a book that got a good amount of attention and sort of put me on the map.

And so I was going to all these events and while I was at WonderCon, which is a fabulous fantasy, novel and comic convention in Anaheim. I was introduced to a couple of editors at DC and we ended up running into each other again at a few different festivals and comic cons that same year. And finally, we just had lunch and they suggested to me, because by this point they already knew my background in that.

I had a former life as a teen pop singer. And so we were like, have you ever thought of writing something about black Canary? And I thought, Oh my God, like, that would be amazing, but you just never think like, I mean, I would never even think that I would get that opportunity. So, I mean, it never occurred to me, but when they said it, I.

Was immediately excited at the prospects. So initially we were talking about a possible graphic novel. So I went home and I started writing a [00:02:00] pitch, but as I was writing this, this whole song popped into my head, which is a song that plays a pivotal role in the book called the black Canary things. And I just wrote the whole thing on the spot and wrote all this.

Pros. And I just started feeling like this feels like it needs to be a full novel. Like I want to be able to have song lyrics in there. I want to be able to just write this like one of my books, but it happens to be a superhero novel. And eventually I hope one day we’ll come full circle with a graphic novel, but I just started seeing it as it was novel.

So I knew that there was this or books theories out already with random house called DCI icons. And it was basically random house had selected. For huge, iconic Yia authors to each get, get to write a character. So we have our duo got wonder woman, Marie Lu got a Batman, Sarah J mosque, Catwoman, and Matt de LA Pena Superman.

So these authors are all definitely a lot bigger than me. And so I, [00:03:00] for like a few months, I honestly didn’t do anything. I just kind of was like daydreaming about like, what would it be like if I pitched this? And then finally, Sort of fate kind of forced my hand a little bit. Cause I knew I would be going to New York.

And I just sent my agent this email. I was like, Hey, you know, I looked up, I read the acknowledgements of those other DCI icons books. I looked on the back of the book and saw the name of the editor. They all think, what do you think about letting her know I’m coming to New York, sending her this pitch.

I wrote for black Mary and seeing if she would even just consider it. And then it was just like, the universe kind of helped me make it happen because he sent her the pitch. She ended up reading it and loved it. And she sent it to DC and Warner brothers and they felt the same way. And then literally the day before I was going to come home, I got the email from my agent saying she wants to meet with you.

And then after that, we had this amazing meeting where she completely saw my vision for the character. And it just felt like. Oh, my gosh, the stars aligning, but then I had to wait like two or three weeks while [00:04:00] she kind of convinced everybody else because of course I wasn’t. I mean, the other four authors are all number one, New York times bestsellers, then, I mean, I’ve done well for myself, but I wasn’t at that level.

So she had to kind of convince everybody and make the whole pitch. So waiting on pins and needles. And then finally you know, a few weeks after that cold pitch, I got the deal. So that’s the long story of how it all happened.

Melissa: Wow. That’s so cool. What an amazing story. And I think, you know, it’s not going to be much longer before you’re probably joining the ranks of those other authors, as far as best-selling

Alexandria Monir: lists.

Thank you. It definitely has been such a pinch me thing to, I mean, just to see, there’ve been a lot of books to Graeme and posts and social media posts that show my book with all of theirs and it’s, it’s a totally cool pinch me moment. Cause I remember when the book series was announced and it was only ever.

I think it was only ever announced as just the four books. And I kind of pitched this whole fifth one and hopefully I think they’re going to continue with other books and authors after mine. [00:05:00] But just to think back to when they first announced this and with those big name authors, and I remember thinking like, wow, that sounds so amazing.

You know? And then to think that I wrote the black Canary one is so like sort of I don’t know, I’m still kind of pinching myself about it.

Melissa: Yeah, no, that’s awesome. And it’s such a powerful message, especially for, you know, what we’ve been going through in the last well forever, really, but essentially now, you know, there’s a lot more people rising up and, and trying to explore, you know, all these different issues with, with women’s rights.

So it’s really cool that you’re able to, you know, have this iconic character, but then get to the sort of, you know, input. Some current issues. I kind of reminded me to be honest of like a Handmaid’s tale and Gotham

Alexandria Monir: stuff. Yes. That’s, you know, that’s, that’s what I was going for. So I’m glad you got that vibe.

Melissa: Awesome. That’s cool. And and then of course, you know, our current events as well, I’m sure. And your history, your, your your [00:06:00] heritage as well being a, running an American, did that influence the story as well?

Alexandria Monir: Yeah. You know, it’s so funny because for the longest time people have always said, Oh, you should write something about your family and your family background.

And I, I don’t know, it, it always felt like too close or too personal. And I just. And so I didn’t, and then it’s just so ironic and funny that writing the most American of projects, like a super hero, I ended up tapping into my whole you know, history, my family’s history and Iran, and basically to get kind of as short a version as I possibly can.

So my grandmother, before the revolution in Iran, she was this incredible iconic opera singer. She was the foremost opera singer in Iran, but she was so much more than that. She was also this. Advocate for women and girls in the arts. She opened the first co-ed boarding school for classical thinging that included girls at a time when they weren’t getting those same opportunities.

And she just paved the way. And she was someone that was [00:07:00] always, I mean, my mom tells stories all the time that like my grandmother, her mom was constantly on stage constantly on TV. Like shit. Big star. And she was someone that politicians listened to. She had these strong, great opinions and made them known.

And then when the 1979 revolution happened and there was this whole regime change, suddenly women’s rights were just completely, completely, just dramatically stripped to the point where. Women could be severely punished for even singing publicly. If you not, that still exists to this day, to this day, if you’re a woman and you sing publicly in Iran, you can get major rate punished.

So illegal. So that was something that always. I mean, wait on me. I was born years later in the United States, asked her my grandmother had sadly passed away in a car accident. So there was just all this, like this sad, dark kind of [00:08:00] history that I was sort of born into, but also very empowering. Amazing history before the revolution.

And so I think I, it was a combination of that. And then also seeing what was happening in this country over the past several years and a lot of rights that I might’ve kind of assumed we’d always have as women starting to see those get taken away, starting to see. A lot of the dichotomy there. I just started thinking like, God, what if something like that were to happen here?

And that was when I just immediately had this vision of a Gotham city that’s taken over by these tyrannical autocratic forces that are, you know, severely Severely limiting what women can and can’t do. And then I thought about how a character like black Canary with her voice view her power, how she could completely change the game and change the status quo.

So that all that all came to me kind of right away. Once, [00:09:00] once the idea of me writing something about black Canary was presented, I just immediately envisioned a world where girls can sing. But exactly, and I think that was something that. Definitely. I don’t know that I would have ever thought of that if it wasn’t for the very real.

Life situation that I’m unfortunately all too familiar with.

Melissa: Yeah. And some of the things that you, you know, you’ve done in the book, as far as like, you know, when someone has upset the court of owls or committed offense when they have to hang the bloody mask in their window. I mean, even that dates back to different regimes of, of sort of, you know, brandishing people to laugh.

You know, the rest of the community know that they’re the enemy, so to

Alexandria Monir: speak. Totally. Yeah. Yeah. There’s definitely things from our own history too. I mean, I feel like I kind of took, I was inspired. I was inspired when I was kind of re-imagining the court of owls based on the, you know, these kind of really oppressive [00:10:00] autocratic regimes, like the one that he run, but there are plenty of examples in American history of people that have behaved that way too.

Melissa: Yeah, absolutely. Well, and getting into more of like the research or the DC comic book side, how much research did you have to do to familiarize yourself with the different, you know, worlds and characters in the universe

Alexandria Monir: that was so much fun getting to do by the way, that was like I remember I was watching, I think some, an episode of Gotham or arrow or something.

And I had, my nanny was helping with my toddler and I was like, I swear, I’m working. Like I’m like sitting in front of the TV right now. But yeah, I did a lot. I was, it helped that I was of course already a fan of DC and the characters and everything, but I definitely did a lot of deep diving into, I mean, everything from.

The early Dinah lands, comic storylines, Dinah Drake storylines. Because as for those who might not be familiar, black Canary [00:11:00] has had many alternate histories. First. There was one, then there was two, she’s been retconned a lot. So there were a lot of different. Alternate versions of her character and her story that I was researching while figuring out, okay, what are the elements I definitely want to use in mind?

So it was a combination of newer material, like Gotham and arrow, and also the older, the older material from the comic books. And but one thing that was cool, and I think this comes from me being a fan is that I pretty much knew. Right away what I wanted to do. Like, I think it was pretty instant that I knew I wanted the court of owls to be the villain, because it just felt like for this, when you’re telling a story where it’s like a government or a Jean is, is the true villain, I immediately saw them, you know, like that kind of.

Dark secret society elitist kind of figureheads like the court of owls and then, and then other things just like I knew spoiler alert. I knew, I knew I wanted to include Barbara [00:12:00] Gordon and lady Shiva as part of the birds of prey. So that’s cool. That was the thing that was fun was I just kind of had all these different ideas and things I wanted to do.

And then it was a matter of. Really just researching and making sure I was getting their characters. Right. Even though I’m doing my own version, I wanted it to be as true to, you know, what the fans know and love. What

Kenric: did your family say when you said I am writing a book based off of combo characters.

Alexandria Monir: Oh, my God. Well, it was amazing because first of all, like we’re all, we’re all like such a comic book, super Europe people. And then my dad, my dad was watching arrow and Gotham before even I was, so everyone was super excited. I think it was one of those things where we were all just like, Oh my God, this is.

This is really happening. So and then when they found out, I think it was really emotional. It’s my mom’s favorite of anything I’ve written because of, you know, because it is so close to us in our story. So I, [00:13:00] I think it’s, it had, it was like this exciting factor. And then, but then there was also this deeper kind of emotional cathartic factor for them to,

Kenric: Oh, that’s amazing.

That’s amazing.

Alexandria Monir: Yeah, I know it’s so funny because like, technically this, this is essentially like a work for hire thing, but it feels like as personal, if not more personal than anything I could kind of create on my own. Yeah. Well,

Kenric: it sounds like you put a lot of you and your experiences into it, which kind of brings in that whole dynamic of feeling that more attached.

So. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.

Melissa: Right. And to DC give you any guidelines, like, was there, like you can’t do this or, or we would like you to do something like this.

Alexandria Monir: I have to say I was so impressed working with DC because of the fact that they really let me tell this very kind of original story, very different to anything we’ve seen with black Canary before.

So that was really awesome. Like I [00:14:00] didn’t feel, and I was telling like, kind of a political story too. So there were moments where, as I was writing this, as I was writing the book, I was like, Oh, is this gonna be seen as like, too, like politically charged? And they, you know, they were just. They really, they really just got my vision and didn’t question me, which was awesome.

Just to know that they believed in me and what I was doing with this project. The only things I would say, like the areas where they kind of would tell me like, Oh, maybe stay away from this or stay away from that. It was more if I was using, if I was incorporating a classic character in a way that that maybe didn’t totally fit with a cannon, like there was something I was trying to do with the penguin that ultimately had to get cut because it didn’t necessarily fit with.

How its character is across the rest of the Canon. And then there was another character that I brought in towards the end and like a really climactic sort of battled scene. And I was really excited about that one, but they were like, this is like [00:15:00] way too late to introduce a classic DC character. So it was really good because they were able to read and let me know you know, when things needed to be kind of a little bit closer to the Canon, but for the most part, I mean, story-wise, plot-wise, they completely let me, let me just sort of fly free.

And I even got permission from them to add in, to kind of create a new power for black canaries. That was really fun. Oh, that’s really cool.

Melissa: Yeah, that was such a cool power. I was like, Oh, wait a

Alexandria Monir: minute. Hello. So excited. My editor even warned me. She was like, I don’t know that they’re going to say yes to this.

Like just don’t get too attached. And I was so happy when they did say it.

Melissa: That’s really cool. And you never know, they might actually use that in future incarnations.

Alexandria Monir: Yeah. That would be awesome. When

Kenric: you got the deal for the book, did they, was it always. Slated to be black Canary, or did they give you a breadth of characters and say, is there one of these that you really want to

Alexandria Monir: work with?

[00:16:00] Oh, no, it was, it was definitely, they just brought up black Canary to me and then I ran with it and wrote the pitch. Yeah, I don’t think I ever really considered anybody else. Of course, now that I’ve written black Canary, I could see myself writing the other birds of prey characters that I, that I brought into this book.

But you know, we’ll have to see if they ever asked me to do that.

Kenric: Yeah. When you, when you think about. When you, when you sat down to write your outline, okay, this is, you know, these are my jumps. These are the beats that I’m going to hit. Was there something there with black Canary that you were like, this is going to be really hard.

And then maybe on the other flip side, this is going to be so easy because. I, I, you know, I’m telling a story that I can already, my family already relates to. So I’m going to put print all these in, but it’s going to be hard because I got to try to fit this stuff in for her.

Alexandria Monir: Yeah, I think, I think the biggest thing [00:17:00] was just I think the hardest thing was I love to kind of take all the time I can.

And I’m someone that if I, if I have my choice, I love to have a book come out every two years. I know there are some authors that a lot of authors that like your, the book a year thing which is amazing. And. For me, I’m just someone that loves having time. I like luxury and rewriting the story. And so this, it was like, you know, because it wasn’t just about me and my story.

It was about DC and random house and the plans that they had, or the character for the series, everything. So it was pretty much told to me that I had this. It had to come out when it was going to come out. Even when the pandemic happened, I kept begging. I was like, can we push this back? I don’t want this to get lost in like all the pandemic stuff.

I want to be able to tour for it to go this mess. But I mean, it was very much like this is when it’s coming out and there’s no moving it. So that was probably the most challenging was that [00:18:00] I probably wrote it in like six months or less. I want to say. And so. You know, there’s so much that you want to fit in.

There’s so much that you want to get. Right. And so it was not for me was I think if anything, it was just like, Oh, I want more time. I won’t fine. But then it’s funny because I feel like it’s gotten some of my best reviews ever better than books when I had. More times. So I’m like, maybe I don’t need as much time as I think

Melissa: that’s pretty cool.

And I thought, I thought your world building was really, really well done. I, I could literally, from the first page, I was just brought, you know, into the scene in the park with the opera house and yeah, it was really cool. And I just wanted to ask you, because I wasn’t sure. When I was reading, I know that Oliver queen mentions, you know, star study of hope, like a couple of times maybe briefly, but.

W is the, what happened? The silence thing. Was that just in Gotham or did that extend to like the entire, the world around

Alexandria Monir: them? So [00:19:00] in my head it definitely extended basically everywhere, but yeah. I, that was kind of like in my head, but I know my editor and DC, they want it to kind of just keep it centralized in the story to Gotham, to just keep it, keep it very in, in our own, you know, in the bubble of the story, as opposed to, I think there was concern, like it might bring up way too many questions if like plot questions, if it’s like, this is also happening in Europe and here and there, but in my mind it was everywhere.

Melissa: Yeah. Okay. Interesting. Yeah. And well, and it also kind of gives you fueled to like, if there are going to be SQL, which I hope or spinoffs and things like that. I mean, you could really explore, you know, beyond the borders of Gotham city.

Alexandria Monir: Yeah, I think, and also in my head or in the, in this book, like Gotham city is sort of like the center of the universe, you know what I mean?

So it’s kind of like their repercussions to what happens in Gotham everywhere else. And so that’s kind of, I tried [00:20:00] to kind of keep it just sort of infer that without being, without kind of opening up the sort of Pandora’s box of introducing all these other countries,

Melissa: Yeah.

Kenric: W w when you think back and you sit down and you’re like, Oh, I finished this book and you’re getting good reviews and people are enjoying what you’ve done.

Is there one thing that you’ve given to black Canary, they hope they keep because you know how things get retconned and things change. And, and you’re kind of in a different universe quote-unquote universe than the main storyline, but they could incorporate what you’ve done into. Yeah, into the main DC comic book storyline, which is the, you know, the one that is like tows the line, I guess you could say, is there something there that you’ve done that you hope and wish that I want to keep, that I hope they

Alexandria Monir: keep that I think mentioned earlier than you power.

I gave her up for powered hearing. I think that would be really cool. If they, if they [00:21:00] kept it in future comic books and. Any kind of sense of the character

Kenric: that new power set makes sense. It kind of goes, it goes hand in hand with what she does.

Alexandria Monir: Yeah. Yeah. So I think that would be really fun to see, and it opens up new things for her to be able to do.

So I would be super thrilled if they kept that, for sure. That would be cool. Yeah. Yeah.

Melissa: And so, as you mentioned before you your grandmother was a opera singer and you’re a singer, so music is like literally in your blood. And I know that you recorded some music from your, one of your other series, timeless.

Do you plan to record any music? Inspired by the black

Alexandria Monir: Canary. So I actually did one. So I should have sent this to you before, but I’ll, I’ll send it to you afterwards. So I recorded the song, the black Canary’s things. And that one, you can hear like the chorus in the book trailer, which is up on YouTube, but penguin, random house also put it on.

They have a [00:22:00] SoundCloud page, penguin, random house audio up there as well. So Any of your listeners, if you’ve finished the book and you want to know what the song sounds like, you can go and just stream that on SoundCloud. So I’m still Oh, perfect. Yeah. So I’m, I, we’re still trying to figure out if there’s another way to kind of get it out there to everyone, but that’s all DC and Warner brothers domain.

So we’ll see if it ends up going online anywhere else, but for now now it’s up on SoundCloud and YouTube, a little bit of it.

Melissa: Cool. I will definitely check that out because the lyrics are beautiful and I’m like, I want to hear this song.

Alexandria Monir: It was such a trip because I recorded it with the producer who produced me in my, you know, younger pop singer days. And so it was like such a fun reunion for us then. And then to kind of get back into the studio and sing, it was just, it was really fun to get to do that again. But for a project like this, that means so [00:23:00] much to me.

Kenric: Any, any any chance you’re going to be writing any comic books

Alexandria Monir: I would love to. Right now I’m kind of pitching DC on the idea of letting me adapt this into a graphic novel. That’s kind of my first goal. And so we’ll see what, what happens with that. But.

Kenric: If they, if they agree right, and they want you to go, I’m going to tell you right now, if you can get Kelly Jones to pencil your stuff, he is the, he is the definitive Batman artists of the nineties.

And he’s amazing. And he worked for DC all the time. And if you say Kelly Jones I’ll know exactly what you’re talking about and literally considered him. He’s litigants are one of the greatest Batman artists, one of the greatest artists period, but, and he had an Eisner award for his dead man comic that he did in the late eighties.

And he’d completely changed the way dead man is thought of and, and looks. But if you can get him to draw your [00:24:00] stuff, you will be in heaven. You’ll be like, Oh, this is the guy I want. So just look him up, you look up Kelly Jones and he’s the nicest man in the world that you’ll ever meet. He came on the show and him and I had a conversation that was three hours.

We said goodbye to each other four times.

Alexandria Monir: Oh, that’s those are the best. Thank you. I’m already like a fan of his I’m sure. I’ll recognize the art. Yeah, he’s amazing.

Kenric: So

Alexandria Monir: yeah, I brought it up last two. The editors the editors who initially I talked to who are on the comic book, graphic novel side. And I think right now there’s so much, so much change happening at, at and T and Warner brothers DC.

So I don’t know if they’re like. Necessarily like in acquiring mode right now, but I’m going to stay on top of it because I definitely, I’m just dying to see like the court of owls and Oliver and just all of it. I just want to see all of it,

Kenric: the worst they can say is no. And if we can get a graphic novel out of that, that’ll be really, really

Alexandria Monir: cool.

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And stay on it. [00:25:00] I’d love

Melissa: to see it honestly adapted for television or film.

Alexandria Monir: So that’s the, that’s the other thing I’m trying to do. I have all these I have all these goals with, with this book, even though the book is done, I’m still kind of yeah. Talking to my agents and saying like, okay, what, what can we do?

And. But again, it’s one of those things where it’s like, it’s, it’s a little bit different, cause it’s not like one of my own things where we can just set up pitch meetings. It’s more like. It’s more like defeat and Warner brothers have to want to do it. So hopefully they will. Yeah,

Melissa: absolutely. Well, and didn’t you have another another book that you wrote was optioned for television or film?

Alexandria Monir: Yeah, that one was for film Sony. So that’s the book, the final six that, that got me kind of in front of the DC people sent me around to all the that’s what, that’s the book that kind of took me to all the comic cons and so I’m forever like. Oh, my God, that book definitely was a, was a [00:26:00] life changer in many ways.

And yeah, one of the things that happened with it was it got option by Sony. And that was really exciting because it happened before we even sold the book rights. They just bought it based on the proposal. And then and then afterwards we were able to kind of. Choose which publisher we wanted, which was really fun.

So right now the rights on that one have expired because the, both the executive and the producer who were at Sony, who acquired it, both left the studio. But there have been a lot of conversations about possibly doing it for television, which I actually, I actually liked that idea a little bit better.

Cause right now it seems so hard to get major movies made and. TV’s just seems so much more likely. And I think so often what happens with Hollywood options is you sell the rights to something like what happened with mine or someone options that, and then it’s just kind of sitting there, whereas with TV, it seems like things get made at a lot more frequency

Kenric: in the [00:27:00] last few years, too, in the last decade and a half.

Yeah, TV has become we’re in like in a golden age, they’re doing so

Alexandria Monir: many

Kenric: buyers now and it’s just books, the be better done in a television format because you have many episodes, so you’re not losing anything. You know, I used to get arguments all the time with when I worked, I worked at Xerox back in the late nineties, early two thousands.

When they first started making the Harry Potter movies. And I remember I was reading Harry Potter and then this other guy at work was reading Harry Potter. And then they did the movie and he was so angry with all the stuff that he left out. And I’m like, well, how, what are you supposed to do? They only got two hours, dude.

You’d have to do like every book would be like three movies because it’s 90 minutes is basically 90

Alexandria Monir: pages. Oh, my God. I just realized a Harry Potter mini series would be, or not mini series, like full on series,

Kenric: but it have, but this is so true. So if you have like any kind of book, you have it always, I feel like it always does better [00:28:00] in a mini-series or, you know, look at game of Thrones.


Alexandria Monir: Oh, for sure. I’m working on adapting the final six as a pilot script because I think too that’s one, it’s interesting. There’s different books of mine where it’s like, I have another book that are really great TV writers is adapting right now and I’m so thrilled with her being the one to adapt it.

I don’t feel the need to do it, but then with final six, I don’t know. I just feel like I want to write that one. So so that’s the other thing is I. I feel like with TV and me writing a pilot script, that just feels more likely hopefully then like the big budget movie. About space, which would cost like tons and tons of money.

So I’m not that, I mean, the TV show will won’t be cheap either, but it just seems like there is there’s just so many more avenues for it. So, so hopefully you’ll be seeing both the black Canary show based on my book and a final six TV series. That would be amazing.

Melissa: I [00:29:00] hope

Kenric: so. What was your, what’s your big what’s the word I’m looking for?

What, what got you into writing?

Alexandria Monir: What is your big influence? I was always the biggest reader. So I mean, pretty much before I could talk, I was reading books, just obsessed with them when I was little. And then growing up, I was very much on a dual path because of my mom and my grandmother. My mom is also a recording artist because music, as you mentioned earlier, literally in my blood, I started pursuing singing and theater and all that from a very early age.

But at the same time, I was constantly. Tearing through books, reading all the time. So it was very much this dual pass thing where I’d be writing stories, but then also like performing in plays. And then I had that spin to where I was doing the teen pop singer thing. And I was opening up for these names that were big at the time, like old town and wow.

So then I got like full on into the music, but I also was always, always coming up [00:30:00] with ideas at the same time. And in fact, When I was just out of high school or it was like the summer after senior year, I think I opened for Aaron Carter and we had a show at the Wiltern because of the great theater in LA.

I went and I got this directory of like Hollywood producers. So funny to think I did this, but I was like, 17. And I was following people being like, I remember one of the people I called was the producer of the Harry Potter movies. And I said I was like, I’m this 17 year old singer writer. I have my whole speech.

And I was like, I’d love to take, I would love to pitch you this idea. I have an, Oh, by the way, I’m opening for Aaron Carter, if you would like to get some sales pitch. But it actually did believe it or not like work in that It for sure. Introduced me to people who ended up being really great mentors for me when I was very young.

Sure. They

Kenric: loved your passion. Having somebody take that initiative though and not, and doing it themselves and saying, I want to do this. I have all these ideas. Will you [00:31:00] give me this opportunity? I’m sure they love that passion. I know

Alexandria Monir: there were a lot of people that would tell me, like I would go into these meetings with a lot of, you know, kind of important people.

And I remember some of them would say like, yeah, normally we never do this, but we felt bad because we were so young and like, we would’ve felt like wrongs.

Yeah. It’s funny. Now, once I kind of like. Started to like hit my mid twenties when I realized, Oh God, I can’t like go on the youngest thing, but it definitely it definitely was. For sure. Like I’d always loved writing and then the music things seemed to kind of happen first, but then I sort of used parlayed, I should say the music and the representation that I had there into opening all these doors on the writing side.

And then I ultimately realized like So much happier writing and doing music when it’s kind of in the context of this, where it has to do with the story. But I just, there was so much about [00:32:00] the music industry and gigging and all of that stuff. And like being a young woman in the music industry, I was just like this isn’t for me.

And I kind of feel like if there’s something you love as much or more, which in my case was writing that I’m like, you know, do that cause being going for that kind of pop star life and yeah. Like, there are so many people that I was kind of sort of peers of mine that I’m like, I don’t even know what happens to them.

You know what I mean? Like the industry. Spits up young girls and choose them out. So I feel really lucky that I kind of like escaped in tech that makes them, and a lot of that has to do with, I had this amazing music manager who he was just like this iconic. Rock and roll royalty Howard Kaufman. And he and his daughter managed me on the music side and he passed away a few years ago, but he always would tell me like you should, you shouldn’t really like, think about your writing, like your writing is what makes you special.

And I felt, I think at the time when I was younger, I was kind of [00:33:00] like, I sort of took that as a criticism, like, Oh, you don’t think I’m going to like, make it big as a pop star. And he would tell my dad he’d be like the thing that you love so much about your daughter, that she is kind of like innocent. You know, she’s not necessarily very like.

Provocative or scandalous or whatever. It’s just like, those are the things that are going to make it harder for her to stand out as a pop star. So like, she wants to be true to herself. Maybe this isn’t like, maybe we kind of steer her more towards the writing stuff that she loves so much. And now I’m just so grateful for that.

Kenric: Yeah. He had your best interest at heart. Yeah. He did your best interests at heart.

Alexandria Monir: That’s awesome. Yeah. And I’m telling you that is so rare

Kenric: here. These nightmares now, like with going on with Kesha and her manager and. Oh, it’s just, it’s just, it’s an, it sounds like a nightmare. I know. I hear people talk about, Oh, I wish I could have done this.

And I’m like, dear though, do you really want to be that famous?

Alexandria Monir: Yeah, I know the thing is like, when I was younger, like that was all I wanted, you know what I mean? Like, but then when you get [00:34:00] some space from it and you realize like, Oh, there’s other ways to get to be creative and. You can still like reach a really big audience and know that your work is making an impact, but you don’t necessarily have to be the one on stage, like being judged and stalked and harassed.

A lot of other things you can do. And that being said for anyone listening, who is like, believes like full force, like music is their great love. Like I’m, I’m not at all trying to discourage anyone from that. I just think. If there’s something else, like in my case that you love as much or more, you’re probably going to have a better happier life.

You have that backup plan.

Kenric: Well, Alexandra, thank you so much for coming on. This has been a pleasure and I wish you all the best. And when you have something else or you don’t even have to have something you want to come back on, you let us know. We would love to have you

Alexandria Monir: back on. I [00:35:00] would look well next fall. So fall of 20, 22, I’m actually my writing.

It’s scheduled to come up then my next book, which is going to be M a Y a historical fantasy for Disney about princess Jasmine.

Kenric: Oh, definitely. Come on. Let’s do this. That’d be a

Alexandria Monir: lot of fun. Yeah. So that was kind of a very much like, felt a bit like winning a contest or something that to go from, you get to do black Canary and the splits of Jasmine.

I’m like, okay, I’ve written my

Kenric: chronic characters.

Alexandria Monir: Totally. That’s awesome.

Melissa: That’s awesome. Thanks again for coming on it. It was great to to meet you. And like I said, your book was amazing. I read it in one day, like picked it up in the morning, send it straight in the evening, have my glass of wine with it.

And I was like, this book is amazing. I’m really hoping there’s a sequel. So hopefully, do you see, will give you the green light to do at least the graphic novel, the comic book

Kenric: will be amazing.

Alexandria Monir: Thank you. And that means so much, especially coming from people that are fans of the comics and [00:36:00] fans of black Canary and DC, just because I w I feel like I had all of you in mind as I was writing this, like, wanting to do right by you guys.

So my favorite people to hear from,

Kenric: Hey, awesome. Before we let you go, do you mind doing a bumper?

Alexandria Monir: Oh, what’s the bumper. Sorry. I’m my

Kenric: like I’m Alexandra Munir writer of black Canary breaking silence. And you’re listening to spoil the country. Oh

Alexandria Monir: yeah, no worries.

Kenric: Anytime we’re recording.

Alexandria Monir: Hi, I’m Alexandra. Monier the author of black Canary breaking silence and several other young adult novels.

And you are listening to spoiler country. Perfect.

Kenric: Wow. Hey, Alexander, the did you yourself send us the book or did your

Alexandria Monir: publicist? I feel like it was probably my publicist

Kenric: cause TIF [00:37:00] cause Tofino really, really enjoyed it. And she’s wondering if you’d sign the book for her?

Alexandria Monir: Oh, of course. Yes. I would love to send you another one.

What’s what’s her name?

Kenric: Spell it. It’s T I F F I N E.

Alexandria Monir: I love that name.

Kenric: It’s pronounced Tofino. And then her last name is Smith.

Alexandria Monir: That’s an

Kenric: easy one. Do you need the address? Oh yeah, that would be great. Nine one zero Hillcrest drive Snohomish. That’s the home, which is spelled S N O H O. M I S H Washington, just WPA.

And the zip is (982) 909-8290.

Alexandria Monir: Yeah. Perfect. And Melissa I’ll. I want to send you one too, cause I know you loved it.

Melissa: Thank you. You’re so [00:38:00] sweet. Awesome. Yeah. It’s so my address is seven one six West Franklin street, Monterey Monterey, California. And it’s a nine

Alexandria Monir: three nine four zero. Melissa’s got the cool address.

Melissa: I do. I live in the town where big little lies is filmed

Alexandria Monir: thinking that it’s hilarious because I knew Monterey well before the book, but now suddenly everyone knows that it’s like pretty little liars. Oh yeah.

Melissa: Lately take over the whole town for like three months, every summer.

Kenric: That’s hilarious.

Alexandria Monir: That’s hilarious.

My publicist will probably. Get mad at me. We’re getting to ask this, but if you guys don’t mind if if you Melissa, what’s the end at Tiffin also, since I know she read the book and like, do you guys mind posting a review on Amazon?

Melissa: Absolutely. Actually I just gave you five stars on good reads and I’m, I’m an author too.

Actually. [00:39:00] I’m on there. Oh,

Alexandria Monir: wow. Awesome. We’ll have to, did you add me as a friend? We should follow each

Melissa: other. Okay. Totally.

Kenric: Melissa writes like to listen, writes like 20 books a year. Oh, she’s like, I got a book coming out and then like, it comes out, people read it. I’ve got another book coming out. Wait, why you just release this

Melissa: one?

Because, so I’m juggling. I have a small press publisher that I have contracts with. And then I also self-published. So I’m really working on, you know, one novel for them. Doesn’t fill my contract and then try and get my stuff out as well. And so, yeah, I write a lot.

Alexandria Monir: That’s amazing though. You must’ve heard my full, like one book every two years thing, it’d be like, no, no, I.

Melissa: He was kind of

Alexandria Monir: like,

Melissa: I’m like a freezy partners than I just a workaholic and I can’t help myself. I have too many ideas. So then I’m like, Oh, I have to write this. I can get to the next one.

Alexandria Monir: Oh no, I that’s great though. I mean, and I feel like the more you have out, it’s such a good thing because I mean, everyone always tells me, this is like, all it [00:40:00] takes is like you have.

You’re one, like as soon as one, like really hits it big, then all of a sudden, if you have this back list of all these other books, then it’s like, that’s the best thing ever.

Melissa: And you know, what really, really helps me just recently is I applied for a BookBub

Alexandria Monir: deal. Oh, yeah, I love BookBub. I’ve done that once before.

That’s when they do like the ebook discounts, right? Yeah. Yeah. And

Melissa: so you apply for one and it’s really hard to get. And so if you’ve got one, it’s awesome, because pretty much nine times that of Tanya ended up on like a bunch of bestseller lists for a few days and see like a huge increase in sales and Patriots, the fear and coup so yeah, I highly recommend doing that too.

Alexandria Monir: Yeah. I remember for the final six at one point Harper Collins made that happen. I remember being like, Whoa, it was like, you sold like a thousand in a day. Yeah, exactly. But yeah, I, it must be yeah, kind of a hard thing to get. Cause I don’t think we’ve gotten one since then, but that’s a good reminder. I should have asked.

I don’t know if D C would do it [00:41:00] with this one yet. Cause it’s such a new release, but I should ask about my other. Yeah. Oh, definitely.

Melissa: I think with the start with the power behind DC now just the name associated with it. You would probably have an easier time getting one for your other

Alexandria Monir: books. Yeah. Yeah.

Definitely. Definitely

Kenric: want to be an audio book. What did you say? Did they plan on doing an audio book with the black Canary? Oh yeah,

Alexandria Monir: they do. They do. It’s it’s it’s a great narrator. Kathleen, I can’t remember the last name, but, but yeah, she did a really great job on it. Oh, nice.

Kenric: Is it out already on it

Alexandria Monir: came out the same day.


Kenric: Yeah. Okay. So, well, I just want to make sure. Cause if that’s on the show notes, we can put, if you prefer audio book, go here. If you like novel, go here. If you, you know.

Alexandria Monir: Yeah. And there’s ebook also. So yeah.

Kenric: Do you want us to give people, do you have Twitter

Alexandria Monir: or, Oh yeah. So Twitter and Instagram. I mean, I’m on Facebook too, but Twitter and Instagram the most, so Twitter is should I email this to you?

Or do you want to,

Kenric: that’d be great. Cause then I could just cut and paste

Alexandria Monir: right in there. [00:42:00] I know, unfortunately they’re not all Alexandra Monier because, so my first book that came out with timeless, and so I had the brilliant idea to make my Twitter handle at time with Alex. Thank God that it’s timeless and not like some weird title.

You should be


Kenric: to change. You can change that though.

Alexandria Monir: That’s a good point. I can, are you sure?

Kenric: I changed mine.

Melissa: I see people change their handles.

Alexandria Monir: Oh, her funny. I thought I was stuck with it forever. Well I guess now I’ll just keep it, cause I sort of. There was a few novels earlier. I was like, why did I do that?

But now I’m like, it works. It’s like saying fine timeless. Yeah. So that one’s time with Alex and I have Instagram as my name and then Facebook is something else. So I’ll just, I’ll send you all of that. And I’ll actually include the link too, for your show notes to where people can download the song.

Perfect. Cool. Perfect.

I would love for it. People browsing to hear

Kenric: that. Oh [00:43:00] yeah. All right. Well, thank you so much. We’ll talk to you soon. Yeah,

Alexandria Monir: bye guys.

Melissa: Bye bye.


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