Mary Alice Monroe might seem like a sweet southern belle when you first meet her… and indeed she is… but she is also as layered, complex and interesting as the books she writes.  The author of 12 books (including a children’s book and several New York Times Bestsellers), Mary Alice speaks fluent Japanese, records her own audiobooks and is a committed naturalist.

In fact, the more I know about her, the more I find it surprising that the green movement hasn’t adopted Mary Alice as it’s number one fiction writer, as each of her books seamlessly integrates an element of nature with a moving human story.

THE BUTTERFLY’S DAUGHTER is no exception.  Here we are drawn into the coming of age story of Luz Avila while learning about the fascinating Monarch butterflies and their unique multi-generational migration between Mexico and North America.   After her beloved Grandmother passes, Luz sets out on a journey to Mexico to honor her Grandmother’s wishes and see the Monarch’s arrive in Mexico.  Along the way Luz meets a variety of quirky characters  who help her see the world in a new way.

When Mary Alice and I sat down last week to talk about the book, she described these characters as Luz’s Tin Man, Scarecrow and Lion.  A great analogy which gave me a whole new way to see the story.  We also talked about some of the characters in the story in detail and about Luz’s Mexican heritage.  But for Mary Alice the idea for the book started with the butterflies and that grew into a passion to help save the species.  To that end, she is giving away free milkweed seeds while on tour for the book.  This will help you help the Monarchs!  She talks about the project in the interview (and you can also find out more about it on her website at

As always, I hope you enjoy the interview! And don’t forget to check out the rest of the series on iTunes!

– Dana Barrett, Managing Editor