Wednesday, November 21, 2012

An Interview with author Heather Montford

Bio: Heather Ann Montford lives in Sackets harbor, New York, on the shores of Lake Ontario.  She is a primarily a fantasy writer who recently self-published A Midsummer’s Day, a romantic fantasy set in the world of the renaissance festival.  When she is not writing, she spends her days reading and dreaming of the fantasies to come.

Please welcome author Heather Montford to Unwritten! She's another of the lucky ducks who won an interview as part of the 20,000TH Hit Giveaway. Let's see what words of wisdom we can squeeze out of her, shall we?

Heather, tell us about yourself. Where are you from, and what do you do when you're not spinning fantastical tales?

            I’m from a little village on the shores of Lake Ontario in New York called Sackets Harbor.  It’s such a small village I am always surprised to hear that others have heard of it, even though it does have historical significance during the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812.  This past summer I discovered the joys of writing at our historic Battlefield site, looking out over the beautiful water of Lake Ontario.  Is there anything better than writing in front of the water?

I honestly don’t do much outside of writing at the moment.  I do enjoy video games, especially from the Lego series (I am dying to get the newly released Lego Lord of the Rings.)  I have started getting into the habit of reading again, as well.  I always find it hard to equally mix reading and writing, and during writing spells I hardly find myself reading.  Though I am remedying that, and I’ve read more during this busy month of NaNoWriMo than I have all summer.

From my snooping, it looks like you've self-published two novels: A Midsummer's Day and Solitaire. Both of them revolve around Renaissance Faires. Can you tell us more about each book, and how you researched the settings?

You have done some deep snooping.  I didn’t think anybody knew about Solitaire anymore.

A Midsummer’s Day follows the events of Sammie and Vaughn, lifelong best friends, as they go about their daily routines as Renaissance Festival actors.  When a freak event sends the pair back into the year 1585, Sammie and Vaughn have to try to make their way back to 2012, and keep their heads while doing it.

Buy it HERE!
Solitaire is about Mage Rianne, a shop girl in a mall by day and actress by night (and renaissance faire actress in the summer).  When Mage meets Nick Watkins, she thinks her life is complete.  Until his obsession with a seemingly harmless card game comes to light.  (As a side note:  I have plans on giving Solitaire a complete rewrite at a very near point in the future.)

The Renaissance festival does play a part in both stories.  Most of the research I’ve done for those locations came directly from my own visits to my local Renaissance Faire in Sterling, New York.  Until I broke my leg there, the Renaissance Faire was one of my favorite places to go, and I still look forward to going there again.  But with location, other research did come into play.  For A Midsummer’s Day, I did heavy research into  proper Renaissance Faire speech and how actors should talk during the festival.  It got pretty tedious, especially during the points of the books when everybody was talking in the period speech.

If I'm not mistaken, you're also writing a children's book series. What's it about, and how's the process going?

The work on my children’s book series has come to a temporary stall.  The series involve the faeries that I created in a novel.  I recently went back to my novel, with the plans of rewriting it for publication, and reorganized my system of faeries, cutting their numbers from thirteen down to nine.  I do plan to get back to the children’s books as soon as I get the novel sorted out.

Like so many other exhausted writers in November, you've participated in NaNoWriMo. Can you tell us anything about what you're working on this time around? And what are some tips you can offer for other writers to stay sane while striving for 50,000 words in one month?

This is my fourth year doing NaNoWriMo.  This time around I’m doing my first book with elves (yay!).  My main character is a male for the first time ever, and a human to boot.  He is a trainer of captive elves, getting them ready for their new lives as servants in the households of humans.  But when a blood elf with strange markings comes into his life, his world gets turned upside down, and in the end, he is prepared to give up everything he knows in order to keep her safe.

NaNo can be pretty simple, even for brand new WriMo’s, so long as you remember one thing:  NaNo is about quantity, not quality.  The point of NaNoWriMo is to write a book from beginning to end, without getting bogged down with editing and “is this good enough?”  There is always time for editing.  There is always time to make things better, or to add the detail that you didn’t get down before.  And it’s not November.  Truthfully, NaNo has been one of the best things I have done for my writing.  I used to be bogged down in editing everything as I wrote it, until I was happy, that I never finished a story.  The thought of getting a story down, even in bare boned form, and them going back to flesh it out later, is what keeps me sane throughout NaNo even today.

Mysti: That book sounds very intriguing to my elven ears. I do hope you'll finish it and let me read it! 

Rumor has it you're a big Lord of the Rings fan like me. How excited are you about the upcoming film release of The Hobbit?

 I am an enormous Lord of the Rings fan, so much so that my grandfather painted me a portrait of JRR Tolkien for my birthday a couple of years back.  I have been so excited about the release of the Hobbit, ever since I found out New Line was smart enough to finally give the movie to Peter Jackson.  I already have Hobbit calendars for next year hehe.  The Hobbit movies are the only movies that I would ever be willing to go to a midnight opening for.  There is almost no way I can say on paper how FREAKING EXCITED I am about the Hobbit hehe.

Mysti: *girly scream* Me too! Except I won't camp out like SOME movie freaks I know...*ahem* 

Don't look now! The random question just arrived. If you answer it and don't make any sudden moves, it won't bite...This one comes from a favorite book of my daughters, Would You Rather...? Radically Repulsive, so here goes:

Would you constantly compelled to chase squirrels and mailmen like dogs OR casually crawl onto people's laps to take naps like a cat?

I’d definitely have to go with the cat on the lap.  Especially if there were a few specifics laps I could lay on…  Jeremy Renner… Karl Urban…  Apparently any hot actor who is about ten years older than me.

Now, Ms. Montford, would you be so kind as to share an excerpt of your work?

Here is an excerpt from my work in progress, Rivensong.

                It was said that the mists made them easier to catch, those who were uncatchable.
                They gathered in the gray rain fog, white clouds escaping their lips to swirl amongst steam cascading from stone.  Specters floating in the mists, they were ignorant of the lack of sun, of the heavy wetness hanging in the air.  They would stay there for days if need be, waiting to see the wares brought in by the new mists.  The elves caught in the darkness.
                The elves… they would train to serve humans.
                He wound his way through them, avoiding the mindless chatter of the dozens of others like him.  Some couldn’t wait to pick their first elf, or their fifth, or their fiftieth.  Some drooled, a glazed look in their eyes at the opportunity to train yet another satin elf.  Those were the ones who were degenerate enough to only train elves as satins.  Still others, too great a number even over the satin drooling men, twitched with anticipation of implementing a new form of torture deep within their dungeons.
                Some tried to pull him into their prattling conversations.  Young insipids, new initiates into the life, sought advice from him, he who was the best in their eyes.  The best relocater. 
    He pushed past them all.

Mysti: Great excerpt! Can you tell I love elves? Hee hee.

Thanks so much for visiting, Heather! I wish you all the best for a wonderful holiday season and beyond.

Thank you, Mysti.  This has been too much fun.


  1. Hi Heather,
    It was a wonderful interview and I loved the way that you guys are so excited about Hobbit ;) (Now, now don't look at me in that way. I'm not a movie freak but I love some odd pieces like these. My choices are too picky on movies)

  2. Great interview! I'm also excited about The Hobbit since it's my favorite book by Tolkien. Plus, I truly think I'm a hobbit at heart.

  3. I enjoyed the interview, ladies. The new elf book sounds like a very good story. I could use one of those trained elves in my house. Just makle sure one is taught to type.

    Best of luck with your writing.


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