“Prayers for Rain”

Prayers for Rain

Far from home and aching for a girl he let slip through his fingers, Vince hasn’t been getting much sleep lately. And now he’s seeing things. Strange things. Bewildering things. Probably impossible things. And he can’t decide if what he’s seeing is real, or if he’s just losing his grip on reality.

Desperate for solace, he makes a late-night phone call to an old confidant. But instead of providing comfort, the conversation kicks off a series of exchanges that force Vince to confront mortality, and, in the process, to re-examine his life, his sanity, and his control – or lack thereof – over his own destiny.

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Montag Talks About His New Story “Prayers for Rain” and More….

Prayers for Rain Cover Let’s talk about your upcoming story, “Prayers for Rain.”  What’s it about?

It’s about a guy, a kid, really, whose world literally starts to fall apart around him.  It’s a pretty psychedelic story, actually.  Imagine waking up in a Salvador Dali painting.  What would you do?  How would you stop it?  This is more than just a quasi-magical realism story, though; as this kid’s world is literally trying to drown him, he’s got to try to talk someone close to him down from doing something serious, something you can’t undo.  There are some pretty high stakes on the table here; our hero’s getting hit from all sides.

Looking at the cover, it seems that there’s a little bit of a stylistic change, a break from the vein of The Dichotomy and “The Dig.”

I think that everything I’ve published so far has been abstract in its own way and the covers reflect that.  The Dichotomy is this intense, surreal, psychological horror story; it’s very atmospheric and draws heavily on the dread that surfaces when you’re focusing on what lies just out of view, on the unknown, on what might be lurking in the darkness.  It’s very much like an old school horror movie, like a silent film.  So I think the cover’s particularly appropriate there.  “The Dig,” on the other hand, the color palette of that cover involved tones of brown which really suits this tale about two archaeologists uncovering something that’s been buried for years and years.

Here, we’ve got a very moody story, it’s about a guy whose dealing with some very dark things, some surreal, some all too real.  So the dark blue, being something I associate with cold weather and rain and moody themes, it was really a no brainer.  I think that it’s abstract just like the other covers, but maybe a little less so because there were some changes to the fonts.  I think this story is a little less experimental than The Dichotomy and “The Dig,” so, accordingly, the cover is also a little less experimental too; it’s more conventional.

So you’re releasing a series of short stories in between novels.  Why?

I think that it’s important to build up a back list so that there’s a wellspring of material for readers to draw on.  I’m not that prolific, though; I can’t pump out a few novels a year, or even a novel a year.  Part of the joy of being creative, to me, is being able to just let the creative drive flow as it will.  So I have deadlines, for instance, my next novel is slated for release next year.  There’s a deadline there, but it’s a flexible one and that gives me the freedom I need to write something I’m going to enjoy creating—and it gives me enough time to tighten it up, edit it, sit on it for a while, come back to it…It’s important to me to be able to go through this long cycle so I can put out the best product possible, something I’m proud to have floating out there in the public sphere.

So, I plan on releasing novels every few years.  And during the writing process, sometimes I do writing exercises to keep sharp and either those naturally turn into stories, or they get incorporated into my next big project.  And sometimes, they sit around gathering dust; why not make something out of them? Continue reading

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Montag’s “The Dig” Available as a Paperback

The Dig

“I’m really pleasantly surprised by how much interest ‘The Dig’ has gotten,” Montag said.  “Especially considering that it’s a stand-alone story.”  Montag mused a bit on the niche short stories might fit into as reading and buying patterns continue to evolve.  He’ll be sharing those thoughts and revealing more about his release schedule in an interview that will be posted here within the next week.  In the mean time, Montag had this to say: “The plan had been to release short stories only as e-books and on the cheap; it’s important to me to continue to make affordable content available, so we won’t be changing anything in that sense.  But once it became clear that people actually do have some interest in reading short stories, it seemed foolish to deprive readers of the opportunity to own a physical copy of the story.  I’ve personally been buying a lot more e-books lately, but if there’s something I feel a real connection to, I make sure to own a hardcopy.”

“The Dig” is available via Createspace and Amazon.

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Today’s World of Tomorrow: On Orwell’s 1984

Who controls the present controls the past.  Who controls the past controls the future.

1984

The central conflict in 1984 is an intellectual one.  Freedom, Winston Smith wrote in his journal, is the freedom to say that 2+2=4.  If that is granted then the rest will follow.  Those two sentences carry a lot of weight.  They imply a world where truths as basic and indubitable as “2+2=4” not only are disbelieved in, but can be forbidden to speak of.  They imply a world in which there’s a war between sanity and insanity.  Can a proposition which seems so self-evidently true, such as 2+2=4, really be true if you’re the only one who believes it?  In other words: is a consensus of one necessarily insane, simply because it consists of a man alone?  Can the rest of the world be so insane that it denies basic realities?  And regardless, shouldn’t you have the right to believe what you want?  1984 is obviously a warning against the dangers of an oppressive government; but 1984 is as much about the importance, and objective reality, of the world, and more importantly the past, as it is about the struggle to be an individual voice of dissent in an oppressive society.  In fact, the former may come close to eclipsing the latter. Continue reading

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“The Dig”

The DigArchaeologist John Stoker and his mentor Stewart Jacksworth have stumbled onto an ancient village that has been buried for generations.  During the dig, Jacksworth and Stoker discovered something amongst the ruins which has the power to drive men mad.  And now Stoker has gone missing.  The only clue as to his whereabouts is the audio cassette he’s left his mentor.  As Jacksworth listens to his protégé’s recording, he can’t help but wonder if Stoker has cracked, and if his insanity is contagious…

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“A fiction within a fiction, a fable within a story, The Dig captures the wistfulness of the long ago past and the profound effect it can have on the senses…The Dig is a quick read, though its impression may linger long after its words are spent.” 

Fields of Twisting Phlox

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