An interview with Monica Tesler



Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing/etc. come from?

That’s definitely a question I could answer a number of ways because I think my passion for stories comes from several different places. Let me pick one. When I was in elementary school, my family lived in eastern Tennessee. In that region, oral storytelling is a big part of the culture. There are storytelling festivals every year where you can hear incredibly talented storytellers spin captivating yarns and whisper petrifying ghost stories. I really jumped into that culture, appearing in talent shows and even once on local television as a storyteller. In one way or another, I’ve been telling stories ever since.

What do you think most characterizes your writing?

That’s a good question. I’m curious how my kid readers would answer. In the Bounders series, my goal is to create characters and a world where kids can totally escape, where they can put themselves in the scenes and have their own incredible adventures. Those are the kinds of reading experiences I chased as a kid, and the kind I hope to create in my own writing.

What was the hardest part of writing the Bounders series? 

Bounders has an ensemble cast of five main boys and girls, pod mates at the EarthBound Academy. Working with such a large cast of main characters has definitely challenged me as an author. While the kids share an aptitude at brain sync technology, they have their own unique strengths and challenges. Also, they’re all coping in their own ways with being away from home, making new friends, and adjusting to the expectations of Earth Force which turn out to be far greater than any of them imagined.

Who are your favorite authors?

My all-time favorite and most influential author is certainly Madeleine L’Engle. Reading A Wrinkle In Time and its sequels marked a new chapter for me as a child. I recently wrote a post about this for The Nerdy Book Club blog called Meeting Meg Murry, which should be online this month.

What is your favorite thing to do when not writing?

I have two boys, ages 9 and 12, who keep me very busy when I’m not writing. My family enjoys spending time outdoors—walking on the beach, hiking in the forest, bike riding around our town. On the solitary front, I can’t wait to indulge in some other creative hobbies like crochet and piano as soon as I finish revisions on my third book and launch The Tundra Trials on December 13.

What are you working on right now?

I’m finishing up the third book in the Bounders series which I’ll be sending off to my editor in mid-December. My publisher recently acquired two additional titles, so the Bounders series will be a total of five books. In early 2017, I’ll get to work on number four.

What did you drink while writing the second Bounders? 

I’m pretty boring on the drink front. Coffee and water are about it for me. But I’ll add that we’ve had quite a bit of drama with our coffee machines lately! We’ve broken two in the past month. There are few things as horrible as a morning without coffee (not really, but it sure seems that way at the time)!

How do you prefer readers get in touch with you?

Readers can find out more about me, my books, and where to find me online at


Monica Tesler is the author of the Bounders series, a five book science fiction adventure series from Simon & Schuster. The second title in the series, The Tundra Trials, releases on December 13, 2016. The first book in the series releases in paperback with the episodic title Earth Force Rising on the same date. Monica lives outside of Boston with her husband and their two boys.

RETURN to Best MG of 2016 list