Wednesday, 30 November 2011

AUTHOR INTERVIEW - JACK MONTGOMERY






Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
I’ve liked writing as a creative outlet since junior high, and have been writing stories, journals and whatever else I could think of since then. But I only started having any discipline about the process a few years ago, when I hit 30. 

When did you first consider yourself as a "writer"?
Not sure I do yet. If/when I have some real professional success maybe I’ll start thinking that way, but for now I’m just a dude with a pen.

  Do you work another job as well as your writing work?
Yes, I work in corporate finance. This is a hobby that I’d love to turn into a career and escape the 9-to-5 rat race.

 What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarise it in less than 20 words what would you say?
It’s a compilation of two short stories, called The One That Got Away and Please Notice Me. Hmm, 20 words or less:
Two seemingly mundane lives get shaken to their core at the worst possible time. Also includes winning 2012 Powerball numbers.

Who is your publisher? or do you self publish?
Self-publish through Kindle and Nook.

Which of your books were easier/harder to write than the others?
I actually find the easiest things to write are subjects I don’t know much about. Probably I overthink the stuff I’m an “expert” on.

What can we expect from you in the future?  ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
For the time being I like jumping around. I guess I’m still trying to find my speciality and so I’m experimenting every time I start something new. Fast forward 15 years, and I’m guessing the majority of my published works will be novels about politics and human behaviour.

Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
I’m well into writing my next book, which is a political thriller titled One Nation, Under Siege. I plan to have that available in March. I have a bunch of blurbs written for a non-fiction book – also about politics – but we’ll see if that comes to fruition as a published worked.

 What genre would you place your books into?
For the ones I’ve finished, if you consider “short stories” to be a genre, then that’s the primary place. But for story themes, I’d say suspense or maybe mystery.

Do you have a favourite out of the books you have written? If so why is it your favourite?
I’ve written more screenplays than books, and One Nation, Under Siege is adapted from a screenplay that Hollywood basically said is “a great idea that’s too controversial to sel”. That screenplay is my favourite writing because I really pushed myself to get it the way I wanted it, and the way I think it can be marketable as well. If I’m right it’ll be that much sweeter due to the lengths I’ve gone to get it out there.

Do you have a favourite character from your books? and why are they your favourite?
My first attempt at TV pilot is a sitcom based on my first apartment out of college – at the time I remember thinking our life was straight from NBC Thursday nights – and the way I...enhanced...the personalities of my friends was a lot of fun.

Do you have anybody read your books and give you reviews before you officially release them?
Yes, I always ask a friend or two to review. They’re happy to do it, but it’s tough for me cause I’m more nervous about their thoughts than the opinions of strangers.

Do you gift books to readers to do reviews?
Not as much as I should.

Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?
I will. There’s always something constructive to take from them, and I’ve been a guy long enough I can handle rejection.

How do you market/promote your books?
Learning how to promote my work effectively is probably tougher than writing it.

 What do you think makes a book a really good/bestseller ?
Finding the right balance between quality and relevance, with a huge amount of luck mixed in. 

 Have you ever suffered from a "writer's block"? What did you do to get past the "block"?
Constantly. Usually changing the channel is what helps. The number of times I’ve been stuck on something and the answer came to me in the shower or on my way home from the gym is too high to count.

 What do you do to unwind and relax?
In theory, writing is supposed to be my relax time. But now that there’s a business aspect to it, I find myself thinking of it as closer to a second job, albeit a fulfilling one.

Have you ever based characters on people you know or based events on things that have happened to you?
Quite often. Most of my characters have at least something in common with a person in my life, whether it be a personality trait, career choice or memorable experience.

Are there any hidden messages or morals contained in your books? (Morals as in like Aesops Fables type of "The moral of this story is..")
Gray is a lot more common in the world than black or white, so most of my moral statements are relative – i.e., doing the right thing given the hand you’re dealt. Whether or not there’s a greater moral message probably isn’t for me to answer.

 Is there a certain Author that influenced you in writing?
As a kid I LOVED Robert Ludlum, Clive Cussler and Stephen King. My favourite author today is Bill Simmons (aka, ESPN’s “Sports Guy”). 

Which format of book do you prefer, ebook,hardback, or paperback?
Whichever one sells the most!

 Do you think books transfer to movies well? Which is you favourite/worst  book to movie transfer?
I think that can be beautiful, magical experiences, like Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. Or that can be awful like Clive Cussler’s Sahara. I think the key is respecting the original book, even if you take some liberties along the way. Just don’t reinvent someone or some situation so much they’re unrecognizable.

 Do you think ebooks will ever totally replace printed books?
100% replace print? No, there’s too many people who will continue to love getting print on their hands. But I suspect printed books will soon become the niche market. Eventually print books might be similar to the audiophile market of people who still prefer records to Ipods and CDs.

 Is there a book you know you will never read? Or one you tried to read but just couldn't finish?
Ann Coulter’s How to Talk to a Liberal... I like listening to and understanding the opinions of people I disagree with, but her book was one made up simple-minded diatribe after another, even by standards of the Fox News set. Coulter’s just a less intelligent Rush Limbaugh with better hair and smaller breasts.

 Are there any New Authors you are interested in for us to watch out for? and Why should we watch out for them?
I’m actually hoping for the opposite, that you and your readers will alert me to new authors I should give a try.

 Is there anything in your book/books you would change now if you could and what would it be?
For the stories I just published, I don’t think so. Of course there are things I missed, but ultimately I can live with the results (good, bad, disaster or indifferent) as long as I feel good about what I put out there. I’d much rather fail with something I’m proud of then succeed due to something I’m embarrassed by.

What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?
Simple, fortune cookie advice: You’ll regret not writing or publishing that piece more than you will regret it not doing well.

 Do you or would you ever use a pen name?
I do use a pen name. I find it liberating, like I can be someone else for a short time.


Where can readers follow you?

Your Goodreads author page?         Pending...I’ll forward when it’s ready
Your Twitter details?                           Twitter.com/wannascribble

And any other information you wish to supply?            

Thankyou for taking the time to do this interview!

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