THE JAMES MASON COMMUNITY BOOK CLUB discussion

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Authors and Their Books > AUTHOR FORUM-MICHELE MONTGOMERY

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Rick-Founder JM CM BOOK CLUB  | 7274 comments Mod
A little about me: I live in a place where I allow my imagination to rule me. I have lived most all of my life wondering 'What If?' Things just sort of go from there. I have more fun sitting in front of my computer getting lost in my "characters' lives" than riding a roller coaster. Then again I love playing the Sims too...something in common there?

It's funny but when a writer says they get their ideas from everywhere, they are telling you the truth. I can sit in a restaurant, a bar, or the airport, and out of nowhere an idea hits me, just by watching the people. I can sit there and come up with a story about his/her life right there. I can imagine what he/she is doing there at that moment and the next second I'm jotting down the plot and ignoring (not on purpose) the people I'm with. Used to be when I took the pad of paper out with a pen they kept talking and asking me questions, now they know that I'm lost in my own world, at least until I look up at them with a grin.
Most of the time you can catch me sitting at my computer with my Zune going, and believe it or not, nine times out of ten i can't tell you what's playing. If someone puts the TV on and I can see it, I'm a lost cause. However, there is a bright side to that; I bet I will come up with another idea for another story.

I have three kids, I’ve been married to the same wonderful man for so many years and we have three grand babies. Life is worth living for sure!! I live in Colorado with my husband where we are surrounded by our children and grand children. Are we lucky or what? The best of both I’d say.

As you’ve probably guessed, my passion is writing. I love to dream of make believe places and people and make them come to reality so that I can share them. So, if anything that I write touches you in any way, and it leaves you thinking, then I can say I’ve done my job. And if you’d like, you’re welcome to send me an email, I’d love to hear from you.

My first book River of Tears was released this past August, it's a Crime/Drama/Suspense and right now I'm working on a very similar themed book titled: "Behind Blue Eyes." I focus mainly on the darker side of human nature, and when I say that I don't mean gore and death. Most of my characters find themselves in an intense situation. I like to approach things outside of my readers comfort zone and force them to see that not everything is rose colored. I want to touch all of their emotions with just words.

River of Tears

River of Tears is about a woman's struggle as she searches for her missing husband that leads to shocking revelations about him, his family, and the crime of adult kidnapping.

Abby meets Caiden when she is sixteen years old and knows she has met her soul mate. At nineteen Abby marries the love of her life and together they begin a family of their own. Life gives them a gift, but this gift is short lived. After seven years of marriage it ends.

>Abby is left alone with her two children and the bloody clothes that Caiden was last seen in. With the horrifying revelations from her mother in law Abby sets out to prove her husband is indeed alive and that he's been taken against his will by his mother, brothers, and sisters in a sick and twisted game of keep-away.

Knowing her husband isn't dead, Abby, with the help and support of her family, begins a search that takes her from Arizona to Arkansas and lasts for a span of eight years.

On a visit to Caiden's birthplace, Abby and her brother Chase meet with Caiden's best friend who fills them in with the secrets of her husband's childhood and of the hell he endured. He tells them of the nightmares, the deceit, and the abuse Caiden suffered at the hands of his family.

More determined than ever to locate her husband, before his family kills him, Abby hires a private investigator who opens the doors to Caiden's private world of hell and exposes his family for what they are, but will he be on time? Will Abby be on time to save her soul mate? Can she make him want to fight one last time?

River of Tears is a tale of personal triumph over heartbreak, of unconditional love and bravery. It is a compelling modern-day story depicting how the power of love can overcome even the darkest facets of human nature. The story demonstrates how self-determination and loyalty can lead to unimaginable accomplishment, regardless of seemingly insurmountable obstacles. It is a story of faith in the face of tremendous loss, where fear and discouragement threaten to steal the last glimmer of hope. Will this shred of hope be enough to sustain, or will it ultimately crush Abby's dreams of lasting happiness?

River of Tears will take you on a journey you will never forget, it will make you want to gather all you love close and keep them there, because we never know what's around the next corner of our lives.





Rick-Founder JM CM BOOK CLUB  | 7274 comments Mod
So, what promted you to finally decide upon a plot and genre to write about, Michele?


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

As odd as this is, Rick, it chose me. I don't sit and think about what Genre to delve into. When I wrote River of Tears I really had no idea where it was going until it arrived. With Behind Blue Eyes the only clear road I could see was that I was working with four orphaned brothers living in Chicago, dealing with gangs and one or more of them also have deep secrets and of course the government is involved. So, going with that, I sit with my pen and paper and let the characters show me as I listen.
I'm not good with the romance, so I'll leave that to the pro's. LOL.


message 4: by Jason (new)

Jason Bradley (slavetopassion) Not that I am a published author, but thats exactly how my writing flows. It just comes out of me. Sometimes, I'm not even sure what I'm writing about until its done.


message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

Jason, I think that's when we know that it comes right from your heart. If I have to "force" something it's just not natural.


message 6: by Gary F (new)

Gary F | 170 comments Hi Michelle,

Welcome to the site! How much are you affected when you write about such dark topics? Do you need to do anything to unwind or relax after a particularly disturbing writing session?


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

Hi Gary,
Thank you for the welcome. I love it here.

This is a great question actually. While I was writing some of the more violent scenes for River of Tears I can say that my fingers tended to hit the keys on the computer a little harder. I'd find myself speaking out loud as I typed it out to keep the tempo even for the character. I even got mad at the characters a few times, especially Caiden's mother, Joyce. To keep myself in that frame of mind I play lots of songs from groups like: Nickelback, Linkon Park and the like. I'm not saying they're violent songs, they just keep my head where I need it to do those scenes. Once I'm done with the harsh parts I move on into the next scene without any difficulty. I'm normally pumped and ready for anything.

Generally I am a very up-beat person, I stay happy and am very free spirited but I am also very introverted. Now, if all that adds up to create who I am as a writer, I'm good with it. I'm writing a story now that is darker than River is. When I say that, I mean it has more violence but not to the point of sickening, gory or anything like that. The characters in that story are gang members so you can imagine. I have no idea where I get these ideas, I just let the juices flow and that's what comes out. I see it and report it.

When I'm done for the day, it's generally late at night, so I grab a nice cold bottle of water, a bag of M&M's and a book then we all meet up in bed and unwind. Most of the time I have to force myself away from my computer and in the mornings I can't wait to get back to it. I'm actually excited most of the time.

Honestly, I think I'm pretty mellow compared to my hero, Stephen King. LOL. I "see" the events unfold in my head, and allow myself to get lost in the moment, I can feel my heart pounding a little faster and when I come up for air, I often wonder just how much of what I've written "could" be happening right now. So, going with that, I often find myself a little upset that someone could be so cruel to someone else. In these past few years I've become more of a human activist. That's a plus.

I asked my family if my personality changes while I'm writing. Their response: "Hi Sybil."
Thanks for the questions.


message 8: by Gary F (new)

Gary F | 170 comments Thanks Michelle! That was a really interesting reply!


message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

Gary wrote: "Thanks Michelle! That was a really interesting reply!"

You bet! I know, I'm long winded...it's the writer in me...LOL...have a good weekend.


message 10: by Joy H. (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) Is it possible that there is an element of sadism or sado-masochism when one writes cruel scenes?


message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

Hi Joy,

Within me as a writer? No. Honestly If you met me you'd say: "But she's so sweet." LOL.

I'm not into pain of any kind, or hurting people. I'm actually almost too nice at times. However that goes, it does take something within one to write some of the scenes I do. I like fantasy violence, not real violence so that enables me to do this. I don't get upset when I read dark scenes because no matter how well it's written I know it's fiction. I know the author is doing his/her job and making the reader think and taking them to a place they normally wouldn't in real life.

I don't want to give off the wrong vibes and have you thinking that the scenes in the stories are awful ugly and never have been done or approached before. I love reading John Saul,Jonathan Kellerman and Stephen King, and when I write, I follow in between them. I like pushing the limits, and I understand that some people won't for their own reason's and that's great too.

Have you read River of Tears?

Thank you for the question.


message 12: by Joy H. (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) Michele wrote: "Hi Joy, Within me as a writer? No. Honestly If you met me you'd say: "But she's so sweet." LOL. I'm not into pain of any kind, or hurting people. I'm actually almost too nice at times. However ..."

Hi Michele. I didn't specifically have you in mind when I asked the question. However, the following passage from one of your posts started me thinking:
====================================================
"While I was writing some of the more violent scenes for River of Tears I can say that my fingers tended to hit the keys on the computer a little harder. I'd find myself speaking out loud as I typed it out to keep the tempo even for the character. I even got mad at the characters a few times, especially Caiden's mother, Joyce. To keep myself in that frame of mind I play lots of songs from groups like: Nickelback, Linkon Park and the like. I'm not saying they're violent songs, they just keep my head where I need it to do those scenes."
====================================================

After reading the above, I started thinking about writers in general and the question popped into my mind.

I haven't read your book, River of Tears. I usually don't enjoy reading stories with dark plots, but of course, it depends on the book. Sometimes one can get pulled in unawares. :)


message 13: by [deleted user] (new)

Joy H. (of Glens Falls) wrote: "Michele wrote: "Hi Joy, Within me as a writer? No. Honestly If you met me you'd say: "But she's so sweet." LOL. I'm not into pain of any kind, or hurting people. I'm actually almost too nice at ti..."

It's a great question. When I know I am going to work with a difficult character and in a difficult scene I get a rush of, I want to say mad energy, but it's not anger, it's excitement or something close to it. I think it's because it's flowing so fast from my brain and my fingers have a time of it keeping up. In River of Tears, the character Joyce is so many steps away from being nice that she did get on my bad side. LOL. My characters are really their own people.
I can't speak for other writers, who tend to delve into this type of writing, it's a great question though and one I intend on looking into with others. I really appreciate you asking it. Have a wonderful weekend.


message 14: by Victor (new)

Victor J. (victorjbanis) | 18 comments I suspect most writers enjoy their baddies more than their goodies. I'll bet Shakespeare got more of a charge out of Iago than Desdemona. Psychologists say there's nothing in anyone that doesn't exist at least in germ-form in all of us - which is to say, we're all potentially murderers, rapists, abusers. Happily, with most of us, those elements are buried very deeply inside where they aren't likely to spring up - but I think when we write the meanies, it gives us a kind of pressure valve. We can do the mean things, and not do them, so to speak. Briefly we're freed from the necessity of being moral and obeying the rules - if only on paper.

But I love all my characters. I always try to give my villains some redeeming quality (s) which in a sense makes them even scarier, because they become more human. Think of Cagney in the old movie, Public Enemy (I think that's the right one) he's a monster, but he truly loves his mother and is good to her. It gives him dimension.

But, I can't write S & M. In the old days, when a book required that kind of material, I gave it to my secretary to write that portion. He loved it and was good at it.


message 15: by [deleted user] (new)

Victor wrote: "I suspect most writers enjoy their baddies more than their goodies. I'll bet Shakespeare got more of a charge out of Iago than Desdemona. Psychologists say there's nothing in anyone that doesn't ex..."

I love how you put that!! That's it exactly. I chose to get into the darker side of my mind and these stories just happen. It's not for everyone but for those who like to read it, it's available.

James Cagney is my all time favorite actor! I used to set my alarm when I was a kid to watch him on TV, even if it was at 3 in the morning.

I've never tried to write S&M but I am thinking on it. I have what it takes..LOL..


message 16: by Joy H. (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) Victor wrote: "...but I think when we write the meanies, it gives us a kind of pressure valve. ..."

Victor, I see what you mean about the possibility that story-writing might serve as a pressure valve. That's an interesting perspective. Since I have no imagination for thinking up plots, I have a hard time relating to how a writer's mind works. When I need relief from pressure, I take a nap. LOL


message 17: by Marc (new)

Marc (authorguy) | 50 comments Jason wrote: "Not that I am a published author, but thats exactly how my writing flows. It just comes out of me. Sometimes, I'm not even sure what I'm writing about until its done. "

The same for me. I didn't even know what my last novel was really about until two weeks after I finished it. I spent two years trying to write a query letter for it, and all that effort to synopsize it helped me get it even more. Some day I hope to understand what I wrote.


message 18: by [deleted user] (new)

Marc wrote: "Jason wrote: "Not that I am a published author, but thats exactly how my writing flows. It just comes out of me. Sometimes, I'm not even sure what I'm writing about until its done. "

The same for ..."


Marc,
That is a true gift. You have something many strive to.


message 19: by Joy H. (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) Michele wrote: "Marc, That is a true gift. You have something many strive to."

Jason and Marc, I'm jealous! :) Wish I had that gift!


Rick-Founder JM CM BOOK CLUB  | 7274 comments Mod
Michele wrote: "Victor wrote: "I suspect most writers enjoy their baddies more than their goodies. I'll bet Shakespeare got more of a charge out of Iago than Desdemona. Psychologists say there's nothing in anyone ..."

Love Cagney too- do you have a favorite film of his?
Mine is Angels with Dirty Faces



message 21: by [deleted user] (new)

Rick wrote: "Michele wrote: "Victor wrote: "I suspect most writers enjoy their baddies more than their goodies. I'll bet Shakespeare got more of a charge out of Iago than Desdemona. Psychologists say there's no..."

Oh Mine TOO!!!! I have a black and white photo of him with the dead end kids. Then Public Enemy followed up by Yankee Doodle Dandy. That man had so much talent.


message 22: by Marc (new)

Marc (authorguy) | 50 comments Didn't he do a film where he played Lon Cheney in full Phantom of the Opera costume? (I'm a big Phantom fan.) The only movie of his that I remember seeing is Mr. Roberts. I was very surprised to hear he had a song-and-dance career.


message 23: by Marc (new)

Marc (authorguy) | 50 comments Joy H. (of Glens Falls) wrote: Jason and Marc, I'm jealous! :) Wish I had that gift!"

Not always a gift. Sometimes I feel like God is looking over my shoulder, waiting for me to get it done and get it right.

But enough about me. I'll start my own thread for that.


Rick-Founder JM CM BOOK CLUB  | 7274 comments Mod
Michele wrote: "Rick wrote: "Michele wrote: "Victor wrote: "I suspect most writers enjoy their baddies more than their goodies. I'll bet Shakespeare got more of a charge out of Iago than Desdemona. Psychologists s..."

Loved him in Yankee Doodle Dandy- he started out as a dancer (Hoofer) on stage before making movies
He was also great in his final film- Ragtime
Unlike most stars- he was happily married for over 60 years too
as far as James Mason
here is a link where you can find much information about him, Michele

http://www.classicmoviefavorites.com/...

http://www.jamesmason.org/




message 25: by [deleted user] (new)

Marc wrote: "Joy H. (of Glens Falls) wrote: Jason and Marc, I'm jealous! :) Wish I had that gift!"

Not always a gift. Sometimes I feel like God is looking over my shoulder, waiting for me to get it done and..."


Oh I'm so following you there then. I love learning about other writers.


message 26: by [deleted user] (new)

Rick wrote: "Michele wrote: "Rick wrote: "Michele wrote: "Victor wrote: "I suspect most writers enjoy their baddies more than their goodies. I'll bet Shakespeare got more of a charge out of Iago than Desdemona...."

Oh I loved him in Ragtime, he still had it even then. Mickey Rooney is another of my fav. actors from that era. James Mason, I saw a few of his films, talk about talent. Loads of it.


Rick-Founder JM CM BOOK CLUB  | 7274 comments Mod
Michele wrote: "Rick wrote: "Michele wrote: "Rick wrote: "Michele wrote: "Victor wrote: "I suspect most writers enjoy their baddies more than their goodies. I'll bet Shakespeare got more of a charge out of Iago th..."

Michele- you should click on the "Polls" section of the Group - there are some James Mason polls!



message 28: by Victor (new)

Victor J. (victorjbanis) | 18 comments I could watch Cagney reading the phone book. As far as his dancing - there's a great clip from, I think, The Ten Little Foys in which he and Bob Hope (another great hoofer) do a kind of competition dancing atop a bar. Hope is, I think, Eddie Foy and Cagney is Cohan. Wonderful stuff. And yes, Yankee Doodle Dandy, two of the greatest dance sequences ever. He pooh-poohed his dancing, but he was one of the greats.


message 29: by [deleted user] (new)

Victor wrote: "I could watch Cagney reading the phone book. As far as his dancing - there's a great clip from, I think, The Ten Little Foys in which he and Bob Hope (another great hoofer) do a kind of competition..."

I always wondered why he didn't like his own dancing. It was like he was a puppet on a string with the way he moved his legs. We don't have the entertainers of that magnitude any more.


message 30: by Rick-Founder JM CM BOOK CLUB (last edited Feb 20, 2010 01:31PM) (new)

Rick-Founder JM CM BOOK CLUB  | 7274 comments Mod
Victor wrote: "I could watch Cagney reading the phone book. As far as his dancing - there's a great clip from, I think, The Ten Little Foys in which he and Bob Hope (another great hoofer) do a kind of competition..."

yup- Hope Played Eddie Foy Sr (Eddie Foy Jr was quite a character actor- see Bells are Ringing) and Cagney did a cameo as Foy Sr's contemporary- George M Cohan
and they did a duet on top of a table

also dont forget Cagney in Mr Roberts - a supporting part- but he stole the show- love when his beloved palm tree was tossed by Jack lemmon
"OK _Who did it- I want to know WHO. DID. IT."


message 31: by Joy H. (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) Rick wrote: "... Loved him in Yankee Doodle Dandy- he started out as a dancer (Hoofer) on stage before making movies He was also great in his final film- Ragtime ..."

Rick, thanks for mentioning the film, "Ragtime". I've put in on my Netflix queue:
"Ragtime" (1981)
See film description at:
http://www.netflix.com/Movie/Ragtime/...
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0082970/
Excerpts from IMDb trivia:
=====================================================
"Though James Cagney was 81 years old when he filmed this movie, the real Commissioner Rhinelander Waldo was only 32 at the time in which the movie was set."

"James Cagney was wheelchair-bound at the time of shooting. Most scenes show him sitting; a stand-in was used for his remaining scenes showing him on his feet (and were shot from the back to obscure the stand-in's face)."
====================================================

Of course the movie was adapted from the book: Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow. I've always wondered about this book. Now at least I will get an idea of the plot.

Does anyone know if it's considered a difficult book to read?


Rick-Founder JM CM BOOK CLUB  | 7274 comments Mod
no- the book is not difficult- but it is far less fun then the movie- other actors to watch for in film- Kenneth McMillan as the fire chief- James Oleson as Mary Steenbergens husband- Moses Gunn as Booker T Washington- and YES!!!!!! PAT O'BRIEN- CAGNEY'S BEST PAL- as a lawyer


message 33: by Joy H. (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) Rick wrote: "no- the book is not difficult- but it is far less fun then the movie- other actors to watch for in film- Kenneth McMillan as the fire chief- James Oleson as Mary Steenbergens husband- Moses Gunn as..."

Thanks, Rick. That's good to know.


message 34: by Gary F (new)

Gary F | 170 comments Hi Michelle,

What type of books do you like to read?


message 35: by [deleted user] (new)

Hi Gary,

I love almost anything I can get my little paws on! I do stay away from historical romance, I think I burnt myself out on that years ago. I enjoy thrillers more than anything. I also read m/m and gay fiction. Very open minded. I honestly will read anything I can get my hands on. At the moment I, along with fellow author, Jeff Erno have a review site due to start March 1st. So, I've been busy getting what I can read for that.

Thank you for your questions! Hugs


Rick-Founder JM CM BOOK CLUB  | 7274 comments Mod
Michelle- let me know when you have your review site up and going- I will make sure to out alink to it in the Group!

Do you feel your books reveal the fact that all humans have a dark side- it is only those that act on evil thoughts that make for great thrillers and horrible headlines?


message 37: by [deleted user] (new)

Hi Rick,

Here's the site addy and it's up and running as of today. YAY.
http://michelenjeff-reviews.blogspot.com

I believe you hit it right on target, Rick. To me, some people are intrigued by the darker side of things, they just don't want to see it in real life. I like to play with my characters a little, see how far they'll go if I let them. Right now I'm working with a character, Mike, and he's incredibly strong, very demanding, can be very cold too. But...he has a side to him no one knows about, he's been terribly hurt himself, so he hides his pain behind a rough persona. He has an odd way of showing love and truly believes human emotion has no place in his life. Just that alone makes me want to know what in the world happened to him to make him this way. Even with River of Tears, the protagonist Abby who is almost too good has an evil streak in her. She just chooses not to give into those ugly feelings.

Thx, Rick. You always have such amazing questions.


message 38: by [deleted user] (new)

Just wanted to stop by with an update: River of Tears will be available on Amazon's Kindle in a few days. It underwent a small edit, a new cover AND the best part: Price went down!!! YAY!!!
I'll stop by in a couple days with the link.


message 39: by Jason (new)

Jason Bradley (slavetopassion) cool! I have you on my 'to-read' list for this month


message 40: by [deleted user] (new)

Jason wrote: "cool! I have you on my 'to-read' list for this month"

Oh Sweet!!!!


message 41: by [deleted user] (new)

I'm very excited to announce that River of Tears is now available at Amazon as an ebook!!! Same great story at half the price!!!


message 42: by Jason (new)

Jason Bradley (slavetopassion) yay!


message 43: by [deleted user] (new)

Jason wrote: "yay!"

*HUGS*


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