After receiving my latest author interview from Ross Montgomery, I have discovered my immense excitement hasn’t dwindled one bit since the first one last month! Montgomery’s book, Perijee & Me, came out in March this year.
Take a look below at what makes this author tick.
My name’s Ross Montgomery, and my latest book is called Perijee & Me!
How would you describe your books/latest book to someone who has never read your work before?
I like to make books that are exciting, funny, bizarre and sad in equal measure – the kind of books that can make you laugh out loud but that always leave you feeling warm when you’re done. Perijee & Me is the story of a lonely girl called Caitlin who discovers a tiny alien on the beach of her island home and raises him as a brother – only for him to grow to the size of Godzilla and take over the world! (I did say they’re bizarre)
Which storyline/character/book that you’ve written has been your favourite and why?
I loved writing as Caitlin in Perijee & Me – she’s so full of love, optimism and hope, that even when she’s being infuriating and doesn’t understand what’s going on around her she’s still lovable. She also suffers from dyslexia but doesn’t realise it – there are lots of points in the book where the reader will work things out before Caitlin does!
Where do you get your inspiration from for your characters and stories?
I tend to be struck by ideas most of the time – I’ve found that I have to carry around a notebook so that I can quickly scribble down ideas when I’m on the bus or waiting for a friend in a cafe. Sometimes, I’m amazed by how good the ideas are when I come back to them later – other times, not so much!
Has your latest book ended the way you thought it would?
Perijee & Me actually started off in my head as a short story – all the same events would happen but described in superfast snippets, so that it would maybe end up as no more than twenty pages. However the longer I thought about it, the more I wanted to flesh out the story into something bigger. That often happens between your first and last draft – there’s a main character in the final book called Fi who only turned up in the last couple of drafts!
How long does it take you to write a book?
I’m getting quicker – it used to be several years, but now I seem to take about a year and half from submitting my first synopsis to handing in the final draft! I know that may sound long, but trust me – TRUST ME – it’s not.
What do you do when you’re procrastinating over writing?
Endless pointless errands and chores that no one needs to do, ever. “Oh look, I need a new toothbrush. Better go buy one in SCOTLAND and take my old one to that nice recycling centre on the Isle of Man etc”
What are you currently reading, and what will be next off your TBR pile?
I’m trying to catch up on classic kid’s literature that I’ve never gotten around to reading, so at this precise moment I’m on Anne of Green Gables – it’s so much better than I thought it would be! No one told me it was hilarious. After that, I want to rediscover my teenage love of Stephen King and plough into his lengthy back catalogue, which should see me through to 2057.
What would you pick as the best part of being an author? And in contrast, the worst?
The best is meeting people who have read and love your books – it still comes as a shock to me every time. The worst is definitely the solitude – you have to shut yourself away to get into the right frame of mind, and getting out of it isn’t always so easy!
Was there a particular book or author that made you want to become a writer?
In truth, there were lots and lots – I’ve always loved reading. Reading old Beano annuals for years made me want to create characters who would make people laugh – reading Jacqueline Wilson made me want to write sympathetic characters who you invest in emotionally, with difficulties to overcome. Probably the most influential on me was Terry Pratchett – when I first read his books at age 12, it completely opened up what I thought books could do. They were so funny and so imaginative, but were also philosophical and really interested in the human race. The writing and plot could also be so beautiful, so well constructed, that it made my heart sing – and still does.
What character or series do you wish you could have come up with?
If I had written Holes instead of Louis Sachar I would set fire to my computer and live in a hole, content with knowing that I never needed to write anything else ever again. That book is just so good.
You’re going to take a week off and do all your favourite things… what are they?
Go for a huge long walk with all my friends in the countryside, and then make a pie so big and delicious we all fall asleep eating it. At some point I get to hang out with some dogs and dance to loud music. I’m sure a combination of all this is possible.
Is there something you’d like to achieve in the literary world that you haven’t yet?
I’ve never caught someone in public reading one of my books – I want to walk up to them and say “THAT’S MY BOOK” while grinning like a lunatic. I also want to live my dream of reading aloud horror stories in a dark house beside a fireplace at Christmas – I’ve got a book of horror stories out round Christmas next you so you never know, my publisher might allow it!
What are you working on/hoping to work on next?
Apart from the horror stories collection – which is called Christmas Dinner of Souls, and is going to be pant-wettingly terrifying – I’m working on my next book, which is currently called Max & the Millions though that may change! I’m also working on a new picture book with an illustrator called David Litchfield – 2017 is going to be a busy year!