Guest Spotlight with Author E.C. Montag

To celebrate 13 weeks of winter, Hàlön Chronicles will be conducting one interview a week for 13 weeks. We’ve also partnered with additional artists and authors for a few surprises throughout the winter. Join us on the hashtag #13Winterviews, or check out our right-side blog hop to sneak a peek at who’s on the roster in the coming weeks.

Hosted by: K. J. Harrowick

Today we’re doing something a little different. As authors, when we make the decision to sit down and bang out that first novel, we see the long road ahead and sometimes think I can’t do this. As E.C. and I chatted a few weeks ago about plots and world building, I recalled my own decision to follow a writer’s path. I had no idea how long the road was, but as I look back, I see all the tiny milestones and accomplishments that got me where I am today. As E.C. makes the leap from scientific papers and RPGs to novels, I want to encourage him to never stop writing (his words and brilliant). I also want to encourage other authors in the trenches to take a moment and look back at their own journeys. To the first decision to write a novel, the moment you finished that first novel, and all the milestones in-between those first few decisions and today. The road may still be long, but look at all the amazing things you’ve done so far. Never give up!

And so… without further ado, Scientific and Fantasy Author: E.C. Montag.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m a science nerd and science teacher from the southeastern United States. I’ve been an avid reader from about the age of seven. Ever since then, I’ve always loved reading and always aspired to create something of my own. I’m a pretty reserved person but when I open up I tend to never shut up, especially about things that I find really interesting. Outside of science and writing I enjoy video games, board games, movies, music, and the outdoors.

What types of books do you write, and why?

I’ve actually never written a book before but I’ve written in other formats. I’ve written mostly academic papers, lab write-ups, textbook reviews and the like. I had a brief period writing video game reviews for an online blog and other similar styles. In terms of more fiction based I’ve been involved in several RPG-style sites which served as a pseudo-outlet for my writing fix but not enough, it seems. My goal is to write predominantly fantasy with a bit of science-fiction and maybe even horror.

What were your early influences, and how does this manifest in your work today?

The biggest influence that comes to mind is J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. It was one of the catalysts that really got me into reading. My goal is to create a world that’s as immersive as the world she created. I can’t really think of a way to comment on how it has manifested except that I am constantly trying to think of the how and the why of anything in my story. Everything has to have some type of explanation or system in place.

Are there aspects of the craft that excite you more than others?

I actually really love just watching things unfold. As much as I do try to plan, I find that some of the best stuff I’ve ever written has come from just letting the plot and dialogues write themselves. For me, the characters are real in my head and they determine what happens, I am just the medium for get getting onto the screen.

What books or websites are your go-to places while editing?

Thesaurus.com, without a doubt. I hate it when a word feels repetitive and when I start editing I’m always searching for that ‘perfect’ word for the situation. I also find myself looking over grammar and style guides to make sure that, in my haste to get a scene written, I’m not butchering the English language.

Tell us about your writing space (music/snacks/interruptions/etc).

My current writing space is a bedroom converted to an office. I sit here staring at two screens with my word processor on one screen and any reference sites that I’m using on the other. I try to keep the room itself relatively dark since I find it relaxing. I just rely on my computer speakers to keep a steady stream of everything from instrumental music to hard rock. I really have no specific music that I find helps me write, it more depends on the scene at hand than anything else. I almost always have some type of food at hand such as chips and salsa, chex mix, pretzels, or candy. I don’t know why; I just always have to be eating something. In terms of interruptions, it really just depends on how fixated I am on something. Sometimes interruptions kill my flow and other times they help me unplug for a moment and get a fresh perspective.

Tell us about your current WIP or your latest book release.

My current WIP is titled Avalon Deficiency (not set in stone). It’s a blend of fantasy and science fiction base on an idea that I’ve been nursing for a few years:

Magic, the power that helps to keep the world in balance is fading and its practitioners are either forced into submission or killed. The magic is a delicate essence, use too much of it and the entire fabric of space and time unravels. However, if it is pushed into oblivion then the world cannot sustain itself. The Mages, practitioners and guardians, were once a large group, both revered and adored by the people for their knowledge of the magical arts and their skill in using it to aid the people when necessary. For centuries this was the way of life. In more recent history, science and technology have sought to explain and replace magic. Cities have risen all over the planet and the power of magic is deteriorating. The Mages, or what is left of their once proud order, know what will happen if magic ceases to exist. They know that if none are left to harness its power then it will disperse. The scientists, on the other hand, know the truth about what will happen if magic is used too wantonly. They know that if magic is, in a sense, used up, the very fabric of reality will be torn to pieces. They employ Trackers to hunt down and detain Mages who they see as abusing the amount of magic they use. Those not apprehended are killed. The two forces struggle for their existence as both seek in some way to influence the extent of control of the other. The very fate of the world may rest in the hands of a Tracker, a Mage, and an Advocate who seek a bridge between the worlds.


Be sure to keep up with E. C. Montag’s writing journey at his website, or you can follow him on Twitter.


Before you leave, don’t forget to check out all the amazing Winterviews Authors. 🙂

One comment to Guest Spotlight with Author E.C. Montag

  • Maria Guglielmo  says:

    Fantastic interview! Glad someone else besides me admits to snacking while writing 😉

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