Interview with Monica Daddio, author of ‘Humanizing the Jaguar’




Monica Daddio was born and raised in Trenton, NJ. She attended St. Stephens and Holy Cross grammar schools, Junior 4, and

Trenton High. From there went to wrok for Mercer County Elections Office. Most recently she has retired and relocated to the Bristol VA/TN area. Her passion and love has always been music and she will jokingly tell you that she is a professional listener. With a vast collection of over 500 artists, she has a

wide range of musical taste and that’s how her story came to be. This is her tribute to the musicians and music she loves so much.

To find out more visit her website at : or at

Q: Thank you for this interview, Monica. Can you tell us what your latest book, Humanizing the Jaguar, is all about?

A: My book is about Bryan who at six years old witnesses a tragic event. His defense mechanism is to shut off his emotions; he withdraws, and vows never to get emotionally close to anyone again. He focuses on music and with the help of friends from high school, sets out to achieve stardom. Through hard work Bryan and his band become successful.  But Bryan’s fame does not erase his abandonment issues and not long into his celebrity he is forced to deal with his arrogance head on by circumstances beyond his control. He must confront the demons that are buried deep within him before it’s too late.

Q:  Can you tell us a little about your main and supporting characters?

A: Bryan’s rough childhood and adolescence leave him emotionally scarred with trust issues. He ultimately finds that with determination he can achieve his goals of stardom and doesn’t need to be close to many people. But a chance meeting with Donna becomes a major focal point in Bryan’s topsy-turvy lifestyle rocking his safely guarded world.

Q: Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination? 

A: That’s a tricky question but I would have to say a little of both. Since I don’t personally know a famous musician I used my imagination and some stories that I have read to influence my story.

Q: Are you consciously aware of the plot before you begin a novel, or do you discover it as you write?

A: Since this is my first novel I can’t say I have a set pattern of how the plot happens. But with Humanizing the Jaguar the first thing I   wrote turned out to be the middle of the story. I then had to back write a believable storyline of how it all came together and then finally come to an ending.

Q: Your book is set in New York.  Can you tell us why you chose this city in particular? 

A: I chose New York because it’s an entertainment hub and offers a world of opportunity for upcoming artists to showcase their craft and break into the music scene.

Q: Does the setting play a major part in the development of your story?

A: Actually the second setting I feel has more importance or impact on the story when the band performs as headliners in Pennsylvania.

Q: Open the book to page 69.  What is happening?

A: What’s happening in this part of the story is that the band Bryan has put together is about to get their big break.

Q: Can you give us one of your best excerpts?

A: I have several but here’s one I think the readers will enjoy.

      Donna  could not believe it was Thursday morning already. Time passes so quickly when you’re enjoying yourself. Bryan got out of bed and joined Donna in the kitchen.

       “Good morning, girl,” he said as he strode in, sounding cheerful.

        “Are you being a little sarcastic?” she asked.

        “Me?” placing his hand on his chest smiling. “No, not me.” He took a seat, waiting for her to serve breakfast.

         Donna stared at him for a few seconds thinking of how cute he looked, and his sense of humor was adorable.

Q: Thank you so much for this interview, Monica.  We wish you much success!

A: Thank you for having me it’s been a pleasure.



How do you tame the untamable? Bryan Wharton has been through more than any child should bear, leaving him emotionally scarred. When his new family proves to him that love and encouragement do exist, Bryan pursues his only dream. With the friendship and support of a few boys from school, they succeed in making their wild fantasies of becoming rock stars a reality. Through their hard work they rise to fame, while Bryan’s confident, cocky attitude generates animosity within the group. After a particularly grueling ordeal, he meets a young woman who captivates him in ways like no one else ever has. Donna’s ignorance over who he really is and her genuine concern during their fleeting time together allows him to freely open up to her. The two form a bond, becoming oddly entwined. After getting back to what Bryan knows best, he realizes he needs to devise a way for Donna to be near him for what he believes is his own selfishness. Donna was ready for an adventure knowing she’d become the envy of young women worldwide and was hoping that this could lead to more. What does this mean for the two-friendship, love or? As an added bonus this book also includes a game. There are many music clues scattered throughout the text. How many of the hidden clues can you find?


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