Monica Chenault-Kilgore

Historical Fiction Author


At a young age, Monica Chenault-Kilgore dreamt of being a dancer on Broadway. Sparkly costumes, stage lights and an orchestra striking the first note as the velvet curtain rose made her tear up with longing for the stage. Watching performances of classic musicals from the 30’s and 40’s, with their tales of love, love lost, self-realization, and overcoming challenges to reach rewards and victories brought her great joy. Even though the dream of dancing is far in the rear view (unless there’s a call for a middle-aged dancer in the back of the chorus), the romance between music and storytelling during a pocket of time in history remains.

Her debut novel, LONG GONE, COME HOME is a historical women’s fiction novel that navigates the rhythms of African American life, love, jazz, blues, resistance, and resilience during the turbulent 1930s through early ‘40s. Monica writes about characters – saints and criminals living though life punctuated by the shifting racial climate during this historic period.

Born and raised in Cincinnati Ohio, Monica currently resides in Edison, New Jersey. A graduate of The Ohio State University School of Journalism, she has written two booklets entitled, Liberty and Justice for All…Profiles of Middlesex County African American Veterans of WWII and the Korean War for the New Jersey State Historical Commission and Middlesex County Cultural and Heritage Commission. Interviewing Veterans sparked her interest in the period and accelerated her desire to complete her first novel.

When not writing, she enjoys relaxing with her wonderful husband, son, and a very spoiled cat, with a freshly brewed cup of coffee, or something a little stronger, while listening to all sorts of jazz and, of course, show tunes.


“An extraordinary tale of resilience and determination, Monica Chenault-Kilgore’s Long Gone, Come Home takes us on a journey of the 1930s jazz era and civil rights movement through the eyes of a tenacious and unforgettable heroine. Birdie’s enduring story is one of love, loss, family and survival. Despite the unexpected twists her life path took, when tragedy and fear could have prevailed, Birdie never forgot her dream, nor did she stop fighting for it. I was blown away by this powerful, heart-wrenching and ultimately hopeful debut!”

— Eliza Knight, USA TODAY bestselling author of The Mayfair Bookshop

Upcoming Events

April 27 - 29, 2023

Epitgraph Literary Festival

A free virtual festival celebrating the literary lifestyle. ELF introduces readers to authors with new and upcoming books in reading and lifestyle-themed sessions.  To attend, click the register button below.

June 10, 2023

Long Gone, Come Home - Launch Event!

Come join the fun!  Book signing/Author Q&A  Location: Barnes & Noble  Menlo Park Mall  Edison, NJ 08837  2PM - 3:30PM (EST)

My Storytelling Blog

Follow Along

Preorder Available Now

Long Gone,
Come Home

Historical Novel by Monica Chenault-Kilgore