Today we welcome V.V. Mont.
Book ‘Em: Tell us about you and your life outside of writing.
V.V. Mont: Wait, there’s a world outside of writing? Totally kidding (sort of). Actually, I do spend a lot of time in this other world. Aside from going to school full-time and the job that pays the bills, I have a pretty cool family that keeps me busy. Between my architect/artist husband, my two babies (that are no longer babies), and my little pet dragon who only looks like a cat, I have a full house that’s messy, loud, and full of books. So pretty much perfect for me.
Book ‘Em: Which books have you written? What are they about and why did you choose to write them? Do your books have a message? Are they fiction or nonfiction?
V.V. Mont: I’m actually working on my third book, each from a different series. The first one, THE ELEMENTALIST, is about a 17-year-old girl named Karina Deliz, whose elemental powers are unleashed, nearly killing her friend in the outburst before she’s branded a monster by the humans and exiled to mutant territory. There, she falls into the grasp of a manipulative king, and into the heart of his weather-wielding sergeant. This is a story about self-discovery that hopefully gives a message to be true to yourself, find your people—your tribe, and always do what feels right. My second book, BEYOND THE NORTH STAR, is a Peter Pan retelling set in space from Captain Hook’s point-of-view. It’s a story about adventure, facing your fears, and always seeking kindness in a cruel world. Yes, they’re all fiction.
Book ‘Em: Do you have a work in progress?
V.V. Mont: Yes! And I’m so excited about it. My current project is about Cuban psychic sisters falling into the path of a dangerous Brujo (male witch). I’m about half-way into the first draft. It’s still a little baby, one that keeps me up at night and is always hungry for attention.
Book ‘Em: What was the most difficult section/piece you ever wrote? What made it difficult?
V.V. Mont: I’d have to say the final scene to my first project was the most difficult, yet enjoyable, to write. After many unfinished projects, I’d done it. And I just didn’t want to let go of my world or characters. It was emotional, exciting, and scary to finally write “The End”.
Book ‘Em: What sort of research do you do for your work?
V.V. Mont: Cough*Pinterest*Cough. The first thing I do when I start a project is make a character profile. I want mannerisms, a clear image of what I want them to look and act like. Pinterest is my best friend. Especially when thinking up certain settings. Depending on what I’m writing, I research terms or phrases used in certain professions. I search for interviews, videos, etc. I also have some pretty incriminating research history. Anybody want to know how to dispose of a body?
Book ‘Em: Which books and authors do you read for pleasure? Is there an author that inspires you?
V.V. Mont: Gosh, so many. I know everyone says this, but it’s so true. It’s really hard to pick just one…but okay. If I want inspo for creepy, eerie scenes, Maggie Stiefvater is my girl. If I want to fall into a pit of emotions and romance, then I visit my collection of Sarah Dessen books. World-building and smexy stuff, I go to Sarah J. Maas. General sass and mayhem, check out mother-daughter duo, A&E Kirk. Also, so many others.
Book ‘Em: Was there a person who encouraged you to write?
V.V. Mont: Yes, my mom. Bless that woman for always believing in me and never laughing at what I’ve always wanted to be. My husband, who pushes me to stay in school for creative writing, who reads my terrible first drafts, and who does pretty much everything so I can write.
Book ‘Em: What would you say are your strengths as an author?
V.V. Mont: Number one strength is that I am terribly hard-headed. I don’t like to give up, especially not on my passions. I think for an author, you need that constant, internal drive.
Book ‘Em: How often do you write, and do you write using a strict routine?
V.V. Mont: I go through bouts of writing, and bouts of non-writing guilt. I try for some form of writing every day, whether it’s editing, drafting, or reading. It’s not strict. Some days are just constant brain-storming with no actual writing, and that’s okay too.
Book ‘Em: Five years from now, where do you see yourself as a writer?
V.V. Mont: Do you know J.K. Rowling? Yeah, that. Actually, I just want a cool, reader street team. That’d be awesome. Also, inspiring others. Oh, about seven books on the NYT bestsellers list.
Book ‘Em: If you could offer one piece of advice to a novice writer, what would it be?
V.V. Mont: Look rejection in the face and let it become the fire pushing you forward. Never, ever give up if writing is your passion. It’s okay to take breaks, it’s okay to move at a different pace than others. And forget about trends, always keep writing what you love.
Book ‘Em: What would you consider the best compliment a reader could give your book?
V.V. Mont: For someone to say, “This book got me out of a dark place.”
Book ‘Em: Provide an excerpt of your writing that you would like to share with our members.
V.V. Mont: Here’s a snippet of The Elementalist:
Now these people know how to make a girl feel special.
Dozens of rioters swarm the streets, red-faced and snarling as if they were the ones who stopped being human. Their pressing bodies clog the main artery of the city and block the armored transport vehicle I’m trapped in like a clotting disease. Usually, I’m not one to say I told you so, but this…this calls for a special exception.
“Told you to take the longer route through the countryside,” I say to the two officials escorting me out of the Unified Regions.
Nox—short for noxious breath, I imagine—wedges his massive shoulders between the driver’s seat and mine, taking in the crowd.
“Shut up,” he grunts, already used to my helpful input after two days stuck on the road with me. If the man were capable of showing emotions, I’d say this has him thoroughly shocked, maybe even afraid.
A slow, satisfied smile creeps across my face but vanishes the moment some of the rioters break through the flimsy aluminum roadblocks and pour out in an angry wave. I push back against my seat, heart dropping to my gut like a stone. They reach us in seconds and some of them are a little more eager than others, jabbing their signs toward the vehicle as if they could stab through metal and impale me with the words: Changeling of Hell, Filthy Mutant Spy—oh, here’s a favorite—Hang the Demon! All in blazing green paint.
Goodreads link to The Elementalist: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30128134-the-elementalist