Tag Archives: books

Lon K. Montag Says: The Dark Stranger Arrives

So…where are you?  Or, rather, where were you?

I never left.  I’ve been quiet, but I’ve been busy…

Busy working on that second novel?

Absolutely…and now it’s done!  I’ve been working hard on it for the last few months and I’ve finished a draft.  The working title is “The Lives and Death of Alexander McDougal.”

And what exactly is it about?Montag

It’s about magic.  It’s about order and chaos and the lasting power of legacy and the struggle to break free of the past…

It’s pensive stuff, but it’s fun.  It’s got robots and magicians and superheroes and villains.  I really took the opportunity to push the envelope here; I wanted to write something challenging but also something exciting and interesting and expansive.  So there’s world-building and crime-fighting, and mystery and suspense—and flat out magical melees.  It’s adventurous in that way.  And I’ve pushed some boundaries, structurally; there are shifting points of view which respond to one another in a non-linear narrative.  It’s a little labyrinthine in that way…It was a blast to put together.

When can we expect it?

Fall/Winter 2014. Continue reading

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A Conversation with Paige Ambroziak

Paige Ambroziak, a doctoral candidate in Comparative Literature, is author of A Perpetual Mimicry.  Ambroziak’s novella follows a fallen fire angel who, with the aid of another exile, seeks to gain his wings back and end his banishment.  Along the way, he experiences the fundamentals of human experience, including love, death, art, and salvation, one of which might be just the key he needs to unlock the mystery of his expulsion from the stars…

Paige also maintains the website Fields of Twisting Phlox where she reviews self-published books.

Montag had the opportunity to ask Paige some questions about her art and her studies.  She also shared some thoughts regarding the future of self-publishing.

 

A Perpetual MimicryI want to begin by complimenting your prose and your imagination.  There was a real intensity to all of “Ani’s” emotions, particularly his longing, and this all really shone through in the language.  I thought you also made use of some very vivid and visual language – most of it having to do with fire and light.  For example, the novella begins with the following: “When I opened my eyes I recalled the bursts of light in the endless black above.  They were the genesis, the candelabrum lighting the chaos that engulfed this world.”  This is incredibly potent, primordial imagery which draws to mind, for me, the book of Genesis and the Gospel of John.  Later, toward the end, Ani receives some sort of spiritual communication and it’s described as an “exotic butterfly” whose color was electric.  The narration continues:  “The tips of its insect legs touched my hand twice before flitting away into the trees.  But I saw a great light come down through the leaves, sharpening to a point and into a little ball that traipsed upon the air like the will-o’-the wisp.  Hovering several feet from where I was standing, the light grew to a shape that mirrored my own.”  This is beautifully rendered.

There are several classes of spiritual beings in your story, including humans, seraphim, fire angels—and there’s some interbreeding going on between the humans and seraphim and their offspring and the fire angels.  Can you explain a little bit further the distinctions between the celestial beings (e.g. the seraphim and fire angels)?  And where did you draw your inspiration from, in deciding which creatures to include in your world?

I wanted to create a being that was neither human nor heavenly but rather an ulterior entity. The Fire Angel is an invention of a psyche or a soul that exists outside of the heavenly sphere. It is a being that is forged in the gaseous atmosphere of a fixed star, and is bound to that star. The Fire Angel has wings, as angels in Heaven do, but its plumage is the core of its identity, which is why Ani and Simon ache without them. My inspiration for these beings is Lucifer, the light bearer. I always wondered if he had his wings plucked when he was tossed to earth… Continue reading

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“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.

Electronic:

Amazon

Print:

Amazon

Createspace

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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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