Thursday, June 28, 2012

Interview with Levi Montgomery

Please do not feed the ogre.
Is there any special method to your writing? If there is anything at all unusual in my approach, it is the fact that I do not write from beginning to end. I don't do the first draft, second draft, third draft thing. Sometimes I start in the middle, or at the end, and even if I do start at the beginning, I'll skip around whenever and wherever I have to in order to keep up with the characters in my head. It's like blowing up a long, thin balloon. Sometimes it starts at one end, or at the other end, or in the middle, but if you keep huffing and puffing, eventually it all gets filled in.

How many hours a day do you spend reading/writing? When I am actually writing, it may be ten to twelve hours, but I'm not always writing. I spend some part of every day doing the things that make me a writer, but that includes reading voraciously, following 200+ blogs, reading my WIP a million times, etc.

What inspires you to continue being a writer? I got an email from a reader who told me that Stubbs and Bernadette had inspired her to take the steps she needed to take in order to get control of her life. I got a comment once, on an online site, from a reader telling me that I had made her "cry so-o-o hard!" Zoe Winters said that The Death of Patsy McCoy was one of the most amazing things she had ever read. Readers. Readers are why I do all this. Thank you, readers!

If you could have been the author of any novel, which title would it be and why? I don't wish I had written any novel except my own. I wish I had written lines and sentences and paragraphs that I come across, things that make me deeply envious. "The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel." That is the opening line in Neuromancer, by William Gibson. I wish I had written that. Here's another: "Laurel had cried all her bones out and was too floppy to worry that she was red-nosed and puffy-eyed in front of a boy." Surely every writer on Earth reads that says "Wish I'd written that!" But only one of us got to it first, and that one was Joshilyn Jackson (the girl who stopped swimming, 2008). Do I wish I'd written those novels? No, just the lines.

Do you think you will ever change audiences? I write for whoever will read my stories. Maybe you'll like one and hate another, and really love the next, and that's fine.

What advice would you give anyone who wants to become a published author? Best advice I ever got was "Read. Write. Repeat."

And do you have a list of favorite books/authors? It changes all the time. Right now, I'm re-re-re-reading Iain Banks, The Bridge. Highly recommended for any writer or reader, or anyone who wants to become either. A case study in layered symbolism.