Tag Archives: experimental

“The Will to Truth”

The Will to TruthMy name is Manny Kant.  I understand you have a job for me.  But before we get to that, there are a few things we’re going to need to be in agreement about.

You probably want my job.  You imagine it’s exciting.  And a little dangerous.  And you think you can handle it…I’ll tell you right now, you’ve got it wrong.  And that’s something we need to get out of the way up front.  Because if this is going to work, I’ve got to have not just your trust, and not just your money—though I will be needing both of those—but, most importantly, I’m going to need your respect…

If you’re going to do what I do, you’re going to need something that you can’t learn…You might not even know you have it until you’re put to the test…And in the end, you’re either battered but still standing and coming back for more, or you’re crawling away crying.  There’s no alternative.  And there’s no middle ground.  That’s the will to truth.

Let me tell you about the time I found out I had it.






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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.






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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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