Monica Valentinelli is an author, narrative designer, and artist who lurks in the dark. Her ever-expanding portfolio includes short stories, novellas, games, comics, essays, and pop culture reference books for media/tie-in settings and her original works.
A frequent guest at conventions around the world, Monica is best known for her multi-award winning contributions set in Whedon’s Firefly universe. Her publications include the Firefly: The Gorramn Shiniest Language Guide and Dictionary in the ‘Verse (2016), Firefly Encyclopedia (2018), and the Firefly roleplaying game line.
Monica holds a B.A. in English with a Creative Writing Emphasis from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She lives with two very spoiled cats nicknamed Lord Lardbottom and Captain Whinypants and her long-time partner. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, designing jewelry, painting, and exploring historic places.
Monica is an Active Member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) and the International Association of Media Tie-in Writers (IAMTW). She also sits on the board for the RPG Creator’s Relief Fund charity, has been a frequent industry awards judge, teaches classes through the Rambo Academy for Wayward Writers, consults for Writing the Other, and volunteers for SFWA.org. Beginning July 1, 2020, Monica Valentinelli will be serving SFWA members as Director-at-Large.
Find Monica’s quarterly news and release summaries beginning in 2020.
- January through March 2020
- April through June 2020 — Coming soon!
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If you’re interested in reprinting Monica’s work, please indicate which story, essay, blog post, etc. you wish to publish and submit your information using the contact page for your request. Please include the name of the website or publication in your query. Barring travel or pressing deadlines, Monica will typically respond within one-to-two business days. Thank you!
Need to quickly find other information about Monica, including her short bio, but don’t want to scroll? Here’s a bulleted list of quick links you can use:
- Short Bio
- Two-Line Bio
- Surname Pronunciation
- Essays and Reference
- Contact Info/Links to Support
- Awards and Accolades
Thanks so much for your interest in Monica and her creative works!
Monica’s stories have been published in apps, anthologies, and magazines by publishers including Prime Books, Apex Book Company, Uncanny Magazine, and Stone Skin Press. Her upcoming releases include a short story titled “From an Honest Sister, to a Neglected Daughter” for Sisterhood: Dark Tales and Secret Histories (2020) from Chaosium Publishing. Watch for more short story and novella releases later this year!
As a media/tie-in writer, Monica has written several short stories and novellas set in the worlds of Vampire: The Masquerade, Hunter: The Vigil, among others. Her emphasis on worldbuilding and experience with licensed properties has led to exciting projects such as Shadowrun‘s Court of Shadows (2016) which ties the tabletop RPG and the Shadowrun tarot deck together in interesting and unique ways.
Her short stories have recently appeared in Death Is Not the End for Geist: The Sin-Eaters Second Edition and Haunting Shadows for Wraith: The Oblivion 20th Anniversary Edition. She has also written about a whimsical school of circus arts for the Wonder Stories app. You can read The Case of the Popped Balloons and The Case of the Multiplying Bunnies for free!
As editor, Monica has shaped a few anthologies including The Cainite Conspiracies (2016) for the 20th anniversary edition of Vampire: The Masquerade Dark Ages by Onyx Path Publishing and a trope-bending collection of stories and essays called Upside Down: Inverted Tropes in Storytelling (2016) published by Apex Book Company.
For more information about her fiction, review the list of published stories and anthologies by Monica Valentinelli.
Non-Fiction & Pop Culture Reference
Monica’s non-fiction repertoire spans online articles, reference materials, and essays. She has written for websites and digital magazines including Uncanny Magazine, Sony’s Crackle.com, SFWA.org, and BookLifeNow.com in addition to books such as Jeff VanderMeer’s Wonderbook Revised (2018) and Hath No Fury (2018). Her latest non-fiction release is the Firefly Encyclopedia (2018) published by Titan Books which includes a narrative re-telling of the story thus far, an analysis of the show, and more!
For more information about her non-fiction, visit an abbreviated list of published essays and reference books by Monica Valentinelli.
A games industry veteran with almost twenty years’ experience, Monica has worked on dozens of hobby games and has told numerous stories for tabletop RPGs and supplements, card games, interactive fiction (or LitRPGs), miniature games, mobile games, and more!
Known for her attention to detail and considerate worldbuilding, Monica has lent her talents to beloved gamelines including Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition, Vampire: The Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition, Vampire: The Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition Dark Ages, Vampire: The Requiem 1st Edition, Hunter: The Vigil 1st and 2nd Edition, Shadowrun Fifth Edition, Eclipse Phase, Prince Valiant, TORG: Eternity, Scarred Lands, All Flesh Must Be Eaten, Unknown Armies 3rd Edition, and many, many more.
Her most recent tabletop game release Dark Eras 2 (2020) for the Chronicles of Darkness Second Edition from Onyx Path Publishing. She has also published A Happy Gnome. Illustrated by John Kovalic, a portion of the proceeds for this D&D 5th Edition character benefits the Extra Life charity to benefit sick kids.
For more information about her games and interactive fiction, visit a list of published games by Monica Valentinelli.
Monica’s debut comic “Last
Man Zombie Standing” was published in 2013 as part of the Unfashioned Creatures: A Frankenstein Anthology from Red Stylo Media.
Yes, she’d love to write more comics!
Monica Valentinelli writes stories, games, essays, and comics in her Midwestern studio. She’s an artist, a former musician of 20+ years, and a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Creative Writing program who now writes and creates full-time. Her sanity is kept by her cats, her Make Art Not War writing circle, and her long-time partner. When she’s not obsessing about deadlines, she designs jewelry, dabbles in watercolors, and knits poorly with the Crafty Witches. For more about Monica, visit www.booksofm.com.
Need more information, a headshot, or want to schedule an interview? Please use the Contact the Author form. Thanks!
Monica Valentinelli writes stories, games, essays, and comics in her Midwestern studio. Find her online at www.booksofm.com.
- Contact: Visit her Contact the Author page to request an interview, hire Monica, or offer reader feedback on her works.
Stay Informed: To keep up-to-date with her news and releases, subscribe to Monica’s newsletter.
Get to Know the Author: Monica is a self-proclaimed Twitter addict (@booksofm) and occasionally posts on Facebook (Monica Valentinelli Author Page).
Buy Her a Coffee: In addition to being a self-proclaimed Twitter addict, Monica is also addicted to caffeine. You can support her habit by buying Monica a coffee on Ko-Fi.
Support Her Patreon: Monica has recently launched a Patreon! Visit her Patreon for BooksofM.
If you know how to pronounce Tarantino, then you’ll be able to say Valentinelli. Tarantino is pronounced exactly how it looks, and Valentinelli is the same way. Tar-an-ti-no versus Val-en-tin-el-li or Va-len-tin-el-li. Valentinelli simply has more syllables in it.
Over the years, Monica has won and has been nominated for awards in games and fiction. Presented here is a chronological list of accolades for both.
Awards in Fiction
- GalleyCat Varney the Vampire Re-Mix Grand Prize Winner 2012
- HAUNTED: 13 Tales of Ghostly Horror won Best Anthology in the 2011 Preditors & Editors Reader’s Choice Awards.
- BURIED TALES OF PINEBOX, TEXAS won first place for 2009 best anthology in the annual Preditors & Editors Reader’s Choice Awards.
- “Promises, Promises” won first place in a submission contest for White Wolf Publishing. The story was then published in the 2007 Spring Edition of White Wolf Quarterly.
- “Prey” won an Honorable Mention through the MIRRORMASK 2005 fiction competition sponsored by FutureFire.net.
Awards in Gaming
Monica’s accolades in gaming are for games and non-fiction books covering topics in gaming. They are:
- The Firefly RPG corebook was nominated for the Product of the Year and the Game of the Year in the 2015 ENnie Awards.
- Echoes of War: Thrillin’ Heroics won a Judge’s Spotlight Award in the 2015 ENnie Awards.
- The Firefly RPG was nominated for Game of the Year in the 2015 Origins Awards.
- The Firefly RPG took 2nd Runner Up for Game of the Year 2014 in the Golden Geek Awards
- The Escapist nominated the Firefly RPG for Game of the Year 2014.
- Eclipse Phase: Rimward was nominated for a 2013 Origins Award for Best Roleplaying Supplement and a 2013 ENnies Award for Best Production Values.
- UNFRAMED: the Art of Improvisation for Game Masters was nominated for two 2015 Golden Geek Awards, Best Supplement and Best Artwork & Presentation.
- FAMILY GAMES: the 100 BEST was a nominee in the category of Best Game-Related Publication in the 2011 Origins Awards.
- FlamesRising.com, a horror and dark fantasy zine Monica has edited and contributed to won a Silver ENnie through the hobby games industry awards at GenCon: Indianapolis in 2008.
- CHASING SHADOWS, a horror movie screenplay Monica co-wrote, placed as a finalist in the Shriekfest 2009 competition.
This page was last updated on May 26, 2020.