Author | Monica Valentinelli

Monica Valentinelli is a writer and game designer who lurks in the dark. She creates original worlds and writers for media tie-in settings which include Dungeons & Dragons, Shadowrun, Firefly, and Vampire: The Masquerade.

Published stories and games include “Tomorrow’s Precious Lambs” for EXTREME ZOMBIES, IN VOLO'S WAKE for Dungeons & Dragons, and DREAD NAMES, RED LIST for Vampire: the Requiem by White Wolf Publishing.

Her non-fiction repertoire includes online articles, essays, and reference materials like the THE GORRAMN SHINIEST LANGUAGE GUIDE AND DICTIONARY IN THE 'VERSE for the Firefly TV show. She has written for sites like HowtoWrite Shop.com, Crackle.com, SFWA.org, GeeksDreamGirl.com, and BookLifeNow.com in addition to contributions for books such as FAMILY GAMES: THE 100 BEST and THE BONES: US AND OUR DICE.

For more about Monica, visit booksofm.com.


A Letter to Humans Regarding Halloween

Posted on October 1, 2014 by

Dear Humans: As we understand it, you humans have now changed your Julian calendars to mark the tenth month in your year. Though it is apparent you eagerly anticipate the end of your annual cycle by buying gifts, flocking to mercantile centers, and hanging confusing decorations to acknowledge this passage (e.g. we have yet to […]

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Awaiting Universal’s DRACULA UNTOLD with Bated Breath

Posted on September 9, 2014 by

Slated for an October 10th release in the U.S., Universal’s DRACULA UNTOLD returns to Bram Stoker’s story in an action-filled, heart-wrenching way. For many reasons, I’m excited about this film on a personal level both as a writer and a fan of all things vampire. It’s no secret I’ve been disappointed with the blurry way […]

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Up And Into The Black: Firefly RPG and Exclusive

Posted on July 23, 2013 by

After Margaret Weis Productions announced they had acquired the Firefly RPG license at the end of February, we looked at the calendar. GenCon. Wow, what a show. Could we do it? Could we develop the system, launch a digital line of adventures, and put together a full corebook in time for the show? Our answer was: “No, there isn’t enough time.”

Personally, I think Plan B — even though it’s been a little crazy for all of us — has turned out pretty damn good. As I sit here typing this, I’m waiting for page proofs for Gaming In The ‘Verse: GenCon 2013 Exclusive, our first limited edition release.

The Exclusive announcement was met first with trepidation. What is this crazy thing? A beta? (No, it’s not.) Then, as we revealed more and more information about this 272 page game book — the more excited folks have been getting.

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Progress Report #3: Scion, Firefly, ROFL!, and More!

Posted on July 16, 2013 by

I haven’t posted one of these since the end of March, and for that… I apologize. If you’re just following up on these now, the progress reports are to check in and show you what’s up in Monica-land. I’m happy to report that all plates are spinning and balanced appropriately. I may even have a […]

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Archaia Exhibiting at C2E2 This Weekend!

Posted on April 26, 2013 by

Award-winning graphic novel publisherArchaia Entertainment is excited to announce it will exhibit at booth #1019 at the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo (C2E2) for a fourth straight year since the event’s inception! C2E2 is one of the Midwest’s biggest celebrations of comics and pop culture, taking place during the weekend of April 26-28, 2013 in […]

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Progress Report #2: Comic, Violet War, and More!

Posted on March 27, 2013 by

February’s progress report kicked off this new series, so this month’s introduction talks a bit about a dry, boring subject: the internet. I do want to point out a couple of things in case you didn’t know already. First, be sure to check the front page of mlvwrites.com; I updated that with a few new books.

Read more to find news about my games, stories, clients — and comic!

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The ‘Verse And Your Dice

Posted on March 24, 2013 by

I announced recently that I’m the new Brand Manager and one of the writers for the Firefly roleplaying game line. Recently, I published my first update about what we’re up to on the Margaret Weis Productions website.

For more information, read: Ain’t No Better Place In The ‘Verse. I plan to write these bi-monthly and will keep you posted about new titles and some cool ways you can get involved.

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March Fourth — With 10 Horrifyingly Good Deals For GM’s Day

Posted on March 4, 2013 by

Have you honored your GM or Storyteller yet today?

Today is March Fourth, an annual holiday that begs all players to remember the master of their evening’s entertainment — the GM. In honor of this auspicious day of days, DriveThruRPG.com is running a huge GM’s Day Sale all week on a massive list of downloadable games, supplements, and accessories.

Since there are over 13,000 titles discounted, including a few from FR Press, I’ve put together a list of my picks for game lines I haven’t worked on thus far. Read on for my fabulous selections!

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Progress Report #1: A Long Update

Posted on February 25, 2013 by

Today, I kick off a new series that specifically talks about what I’m up to work-wise. I’ve made it a policy not to over-publicize games and stories that haven’t come out yet, primarily because I’ve been burned on that before. It’s tricky to manage because everybody’s promoting, but sometimes deals go bad or businesses fold or what have you. Hence, progress reports. Not promising you anything, but these are some projects I’m working on, have been involved with, and may be coming to a book store, game store, or online retailer near you.

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Do Some Evil for Crestline Elementary

Posted on February 23, 2013 by

Today FlamesRising.com readers, I appeal to your dark side. I ask you to fan the flames, stoke the fire, and spread the world about the Evil for Crestline Auctions going on this weekend!

Drop what you’re doing! ‘Cause, that’s RIGHT now!!! Members of the creative community are donating goods and services to help the students of Crestline Elementary. The auction ends Monday, February 25th, so you’ll want to check these out as soon as you can!

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Classic Dungeons and Dragons Supplements Are Now In Digital!

Posted on January 22, 2013 by

In the wee hours of the morning, you may have heard your d20s jump for joy.

Wizards of the Coast, in conjunction with DriveThruRPG, announced today a new site launch – DNDClassics.com. The news first broke via GeekDad at Wired Magazine.

Click through to read more about the site’s features, what you can expect to find, and more!

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Review of James Herbert’s Ash

Posted on December 27, 2012 by

James Herbert is a horror writer who hails from the U.K. He’s been compared to Steven King and, for the first time, his work is available stateside. The novel I read, ASH, is a reprint through Tor Books.

Herbert is a multi-novelist with almost two dozen books out in the wild. (Sadly, the author does not have an official website, or I’d link to it for you so you could see his bibliography of published works.) This is the first time I’ve read Herbert’s work; this type of story is more my fare than a continual stream of blood, guts, and gore. ASH begins with a mystery and a haunted castle. The main character, David Ash, is a ghost hunter and parapsychologist who works for the Psychical Research Institute. His abilities give him an edge and we, the reader, find out more about them as the story progresses.

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Need a Lovecraft fix? Check Out the Lovecraft Zine!

Posted on November 27, 2012 by

Lovecraft eZine Issue 19 November’s issue of The Lovecraft eZine features a sordid tale of madness and persistence penned by yours truly. Titled “The Dig,” this is a gender-neutral story about a person and something (or someone) known only as “It.” Also included in this issue’s Table of Contents are stories from many illustrious writers — including a tale by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, who hails from the Innsmouth Free Press.

What’s more? You can read and listen to The Dig for free online.

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Frankenweenie Movie Review

Posted on October 24, 2012 by

What’s black and white and has Tim Burton written all over it? While I’m sure no other movie reviewer has dropped that line, what I am positive about is that Frankenweenie is a new Halloween favorite created by spooky director/writer/producer/artist Tim Burton.

Frankenweenie is based on a short film Tim Burton produced in 1984. The film, which is readily available online and as an extra on some versions of The Nightmare Before Christmas, is part of the Disney catalog. You can watch the original Frankenweenie on Slate.com. A family film, Frankenweenie has a full cast of characters who live (and lurk) in the town of New Holland.

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Citadels Of The Lost Review

Posted on October 12, 2012 by

Citadels of the Lost is Book Two in The Annals of Drakis series by Tracy Hickman. A veteran author, Hickman explores a new fantasy world where the opposites of magic provide power (and a lack thereof) to varying races; humans, elves, dragons, dwarves, goblins, chimerians, manticores, etc. The elves rule the dreaded Rhonas Empire with an iron fist — and slavery by use of their magical source dubbed the “Aether.”

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The 13. Final Days to Apply!

Posted on October 9, 2012 by

Do you have what it takes to be one of my thirteen? October thirteenth is coming up fast. That date marks the day I’ll contact applicants who applied to become one of my thirteen. I blogged about that on my own website, but wanted to extend the invitation to FlamesRising.com readers, too. Many of you have been following my career from the very beginning — after all, it was here where I first posted game fiction for Obsidian: the Age of Judgement. It was also here where we published The Devil’s Night for White Wolf fans and here where I was able to announce projects like Strange, Dead Love, Scenes of the Embrace, Worlds of the Dead, and so many more.

This group I’m putting together is unusual in the sense that I’m providing readers with the ability to get to know me in a more intimate fashion than folks normally would be able to online. I’m also going to talk about the deep, down, and dirty parts of the submission process for my original work and throw a few stories to them.

Questions? I’m sure you do. Read on!

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Dredd Movie Review

Posted on October 5, 2012 by

To properly review Dredd, I should share with you a couple of important niggly bits. First, we saw Dredd in the old-fashioned version, the two-dimensional format. Second, I haven’t read all the comic books so I’m not as well learned as others might be. Yes, yes I know. This is awful of me, to be sure, but he’s on my pile of “have to read soon.”

Going into the theater, I had heard the reviews. Flat characters. Boring storyline. Not much better than the original. Then, I skimmed comments and anecdotes from people I consider to be professionals. “Don’t listen to the critics,” they said. “Go see it. It’s what a comic book movie should be.”

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Hack/Slash Issue #18 Review

Posted on October 3, 2012 by

The Case of the Killer and the Questing KingHack/Slash Issue #18 dives into a character we haven’t seen very often — Cat Curio. The stand-alone story, dubbed “The Case of the Killer and the Questing King,” was written by James Lowder. This issue marks his writing debut for the series he typically edits.

Who is Cat Curio? Cat was first introduced as a little girl in Hack/Slash: The Series #23. After surviving her slasher encounter with Samhain, she was in a coma for many years, and is now an adult. That time lost means that she errs on the side of naivete and has some amount of emotional immaturity. This story and the alternate cover, which where done by Matt Merhoff, highlight her Nancy Drew-like tendencies when she falls into an oh-so-easy manipulative trap set by her “hero,” a super spy (and merchant) named Brendon Mannix Joyce.

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Stoking the Fire at Geek*Kon

Posted on September 6, 2012 by

Both Matt and myself will be at Geek*Kon in Madison, WI this weekend as guests of the show. Geek.Kon is Madison Wisconsin’s very own anime convention, sci-fi convention, and gaming convention all rolled into one!

We have a booth in the Dealer’s Room and will have lots of books for sale including Haunted: 11 Tales of Ghostly Horror, Redwing’s Gambit, and Tales of the Seven Dogs Society.

We will also have a selection of John Kovalic’s Dork Tower Collected Editions.

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A Discovery of Witches Review

Posted on September 6, 2012 by

A Discovery of Witches is the first book in the All Souls Trilogy and was written by Deborah Harkness. The premise is centered upon Diana Bishop, a historian with a secret past, who stumbles upon an ancient text that is *also* a palimpset. After her accidental discovery of Ashmole 782, Diana’s life begins to change — and not necessarily for the better.

What drew me to this story was the promise of mysteries and ancient texts. I immediately identified with Diana and her more rational side and, as the book’s secrets took a strange turn, felt even more drawn into the story.

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