Author Interview - Anne Montgomery
Author I draw inspiration from: I don’t believe I draw inspiration from any particular author. I think, instead, I am inspired by top-notch investigative reporters. I was a reporter for about 15 years, in both television and print. And though most of my career was spent covering the sports world, sometimes I wish I’d done some hard-news reporting, as well. Reporters write in relatively succinct sentences that tend to lack the flowery or loquacious style of many novelists. We get to the point more quickly, I think, though that does not mean we lack in description. When I research my stories, I do so with the eye of a reporter. I think my writing style bears that out.
Favorite place to read a book: I struggle to find time to read books everyday. Generally, I finally get to crack that Kindle open just before bedtime, and so my favorite spot would be my bed, propped up on myriad pillows, blankets pulled up, my blue-eyed cattle dog Bella on one side and, on occasion, my cat Westin nestled between my knees. Admittedly, I only read about 20 minutes or so before nodding off, still it’s one of my favorite times of the day.
Book character I’d like to be stuck in an elevator with: Green-eyed, war hero, scuba-diving adventurer Dirk Pitt works for me. Clive Cussler’s protagonist is fascinating, and, well, hot. I am a diver and can think of few things more exciting than splashing into the sea with Dirk.
The moment I knew I wanted to become an author: I started writing my first novel when my contract was not renewed at ESPN. I’d been anchoring SportsCenter and suddenly found myself without a job and with way too much time on my hands. It never occurred to me that I could write until by news director at ESPN said my talent with words is why he hired me. Frankly, I was shocked. I’m low-level dyslexic and hated to read as a kid. But reporters are storytellers, so, perhaps, the shift to the printed word was not that strange.
Hardback, paperback, ebook or audiobook: I preferred hardcovers, until I wound up with cataracts. (Twenty-plus years of officiating amateur football and baseball without sunglasses finally caught up with me.) The problem was finding light I could read in. I was given a Kindle as a gift. Though I didn’t want it at first, I have learned to love it and, even though I have since had my eyes fixed, the convenience of pushing a button to instantly get a new book is irresistible.
The last book I read: I’m now finishing Before we were yours, a novel about children forcibly or fraudulently removed from their families and placed in an orphanage in Tennessee. These children were abused and sometimes killed and some were ultimately sold off to wealthy, childless couples.
Pen & paper or computer: Computer. I have horrible handwriting, as my high school students will attest. I admit to being a bit jealous of those teachers who so easily write those pretty letters on a white board. I often wonder if I missed a teacher class on that skill.
Book character I think I’d be best friends with: See #3
If I wasn’t an author, I’d be a: I sometimes tell my students that, if I won the lottery, I’d go back to school and study archaeology. I have a deep love of history. In fact, though I’m primarily a journalism/communications teacher, I’m certified to teach history, as well. In 18 years, I have only taught history once, but I truly enjoyed it, especially teaching about the ancient world and the beginnings of civilization.
Favorite decade in fashion history: While I admire some of the beautiful clothes men and women wore in the 1940s and 50s, I can’t imagine having to wedge myself into those girdles and cone-nosed bras. I’m a bit of a slob, by comparison. If facing a “command performance” of some kind, I can buff up fairly well, but my preferred style of dress is a T-shirt and jeans, unless it’s summertime here in the desert, in which case the jeans would be replaced with shorts.
Place I’d most like to travel: I have been very fortunate in that I have done a great deal of traveling. I’ve been thinking about Peru, of late, to see Machu Pucchu. I’d also like to visit the Galapagos Islands and do some scuba diving.
My signature drink: I actually have three beverages to which I am wholly devoted. I am an avid tea drinker. Friends hate to go out with me when I order tea, especially when I am faced with all those supposed “tea” drinks: chamomile, mint, oddly-concocted infusions of all kinds of plants that are simply not tea. I drink black tea, not green nor white. No cream, no sugar. (Though I have been known to lace a cup with a shot of Grand Marnier on the occasional cold evening.) Another favorite liquid is Chardonnay. Though wine snobs claim my grape of choice is no longer socially acceptable, I care not. Finally, I’ve been living in the Sororan Desert in Phoenix, Arizona for almost 30 years. One can not survive here without an abiding love of water.
Favorite artist: I’m unsure here if you mean performing or fine “artist.” I like Impressionist painters like Monet. If you mean musicians, I’m rather old school. I play the guitar and greatly admire those who play well. I like James Taylor, for example.
Number one on my bucket list: I’d like to have a New York Times best-seller. Yes, I would! ;)
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