J.J. Montgomery (Author Interview)
Please tell us something unique about you we can’t learn from your bio.
I give the best manicure on earth. A Colombian friend of mine taught me her mother’s secret manicure and to this day I won’t let anyone else do my nails. Hint: it involves sandpaper. And it will make your nails grow like crazy.
What’s your favorite part of writing?
That moment where you’re stuck on a plot, or a character, or a conflict and you’ve been killing yourself for days in search of the answer and then it comes upon you, like a bolt of lightning. While you’re in the shower; while you’re walking the dog; while you’re folding laundry. And all the sudden, for seven seconds, you’re a genius. I think the hardest thing about being a writer – about being a creative person in general – is this loop in your head of, “Does this suck? I think this might suck. What if it sucks?” And that moment, where you finally get your answer – it will get you through a lot of moments of doubt.
What’s the strangest thing you’ve learned while researching a book?
I learned a ton about making methamphetamine. My heroine, Sam Winters, is a cop who carries a lot of scars from her work with children who have suffered at the hands of drug addicts. As a former cop, Sam has enforced the law with drug addicts, but she’s also invested herself emotionally in the fates of those who battle drug addiction, and the people who suffer alongside them. I wanted to make sure my writing about the methamphetamine crisis was as true to life as possible. And then, to make the plot work, I had to understand a lot about what goes into making methamphetamine, how the street price is determined, and how law enforcement tackles this issue. It was fascinating and heartbreaking at the same time.
If you could live in one of your stories, which one would you choose and why?
So, all writers have at least one novel hiding away somewhere that will never again see the light of day. And I definitely have one of those. It was just…awful. A total failure as a book. But the world I created in that story haunts me to this day because it was like a fantasy of mine. I learned a lot about plotting and character development from writing that book – mostly because failure is a wonderful teacher – but to this day, I think it’s the most gorgeous scenery I ever created.
What would you most like to accomplish as a writer?
I would love to know that I made someone’s flight feel shorter, their wait at the doctor’s office less nerve wracking, or that they couldn’t turn out the light until they read just one more page. I think that would feel better than any positive review or any sales figure I could hope for. My favorite authors have gotten me through some of the best and worst moments in my life and I’d love to do that for someone else.
About Gun for Hire
The job should have been easy—patrol a swank beach that serves as a backyard for Maui’s rich, kick out the riffraff, and get a tan in the process. But rent-a-cop Samantha Winters didn’t anticipate a deliciously grumpy cop, Sergeant Grady Roark, who comes down to the beach to bust her chops and instead leaves her breathless…and wondering why the one man who could help her seems determined to thwart her at every turn.
Grady is keeping secrets from Sam that have him walking the line between attraction and duty. But when Sam becomes the target of a shadowy organization, Grady will have to choose between the law and the temptation of a woman who has him breaking every rule he’s ever known.
The job should have been easy, but when the bullets start flying, Sam learns nothing is as easy as it seems when you’re a Gun for Hire.