Tell our readers briefly about yourself.
I’ve been fortunate to be involved in a lot of different things. I’ve worked as a television sportscaster, newspaper and magazine reporter, teacher, author, and amateur sports official, where I called football, baseball, ice hockey, soccer, and basketball games over four decades. I’m also a foster mom, a scuba diver and a rock collector.
What books do you have available?
The Castle, Wild Horses on the Salt, The Scent of Rain, A Light in the Desert, and Wolf Catcher
Can you tell us about your most recent release?
In 1939, archeologists uncovered a tomb at the Northern Arizona site called Ridge Ruin. The man, dressed in fine turquoise jewelry and intricate bead work, was surrounded by 600 funerary objects—crystals, pots, shells, weapons, and wooden swords with handles carved into animal hooves and human hands. The Hopi workers said this man, buried nine hundred years earlier, was a magician.
I was commissioned by a magazine to uncover who The Magician might have been, because the documents from the dig claimed he had some Caucasian facial characteristics. But how is that possible? The whole idea destroys the notion that Columbus “discovered” America in 1492.
Wolf Catcher tells the story of reporter Kate Butler—my alter ego—who, in her quest to uncover The Magician’s origin, is carried back to a time when the high desert world was shattered by the birth of a volcano and into the present-day dangers of archeological looting where black market sales of antiquities can lead to murder.
Do you stay in one genre when you write or do you find yourself veering toward others?
It would be so much easier if I wrote in one genre, at least in regard to marketing. But I’ve written books that have been promoted as suspense/thriller, young adult fiction, contemporary fiction, women’s fiction, and historical fiction.
Are you a panster, planner, or someone in between?
I’m definitely a pantser. I write from chapter to chapter letting my characters guide the way. I am often as surprised as my readers when they do something unexpected, but that keeps the writing part interesting.
What is your writing routine like?
When I was still teaching fulltime, I generally wrote books during my summer vacation. But I’ve retired from the classroom, so now I write on most days, though that may be both books and blog articles.
Tell me about your favorite character that you’ve created?
That’s like asking a mom to pick their favorite kid. I like a lot of my characters, even the bad ones, so I can’t settle on just one.
Where do you get your ideas for world building?
I was a reporter in both television and print for about 15 years, so I spent a lot of time in newsrooms. Today, I remain an avid consumer of the news. I even read an old-fashioned print newspaper daily. Most of my book ideas are gleaned from real life events or situations. When possible, I travel to the locations where my books are centered and pop on my reporter’s cap, so I can see, smell, taste, feel, and hear what my characters do.
Do you add romance to your writing?
Most of my stories have relationships going on, but I would not label my previous books as romance. At the moment, though, I’m working on a novel that does require a love scene. I have to admit I find it a bit daunting. Luckily, I have a lot of friends who write romance books, so I have asked for their assistance. I’ll let you know how it goes.
What was your favorite scene to create?
I don’t have just one specific scene, but I have two types of scenes I enjoy writing. One involves the natural world. I live in Arizona, which is one of the most beautiful and diverse habitats in the world. I’ve spent a lot of time in the wilderness and my readers often comment how much they enjoy me taking them there. I also like writing scenes about how the bad guy pays in the end. Perhaps you might think me a little evil, but it’s fun doing them in.
Where do you get character inspiration?
I’ve gleaned characters from the news, and, as I often meet interesting people while researching my stories, sometimes they too become characters. I also model characters after friends and family members. It’s fun to see whether they recognize themselves.
What genre do you prefer to read?
I like historical fiction and the occasional thriller.
Do you have any specific authors you follow and try to craft your work after? No
Do you have any recurring themes in your book?
Protecting our wild places is a theme in most of my books. I want us to live in harmony with the creatures we share our planet with, which is why I so often write about the beauty of the natural world.
What does your editing process look like?
I utilize beta readers whenever possible. I also believe in putting a manuscript to sleep, once in a while. I get away from the world I created for a few weeks and then get a fresh take on it. While the writing process is fun, editing sometimes feels like drudgery, but there is no option. The best way to edit, in my opinion, is to do it in small chunks. If I spend too much time sitting and editing, I lose focus. So, when I’m facing deadlines, I give myself a lot of extra time.
Do you have a preferred drink or snack that you eat/drink while writing?
When is your favorite time of day to write and why?
I can write pretty much any time of day. Currently, since I no longer have an everyday job, I write in the morning, but not the crack of dawn.
What is your favorite vacation spot?
We have a little home on the island of St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands. My porch looks onto Christiansted Harbor, so I get to gaze at the turquoise Caribbean from my porch. Ah…
Marvel or DC? Do you have a favorite character?
While I’ve seen some of the films, I‘ve never read a comic book. (My parents didn’t allow us to. They wanted us to read “real” books.)
What hobbies do you have?
I have been a rock and mineral collector since I was a child. My parents actually have a picture of me putting rocks in cups when I was a toddler. Today I have about 400 specimens in my living room alone. I spent forty years officiating amateur sports, including 24 as a high school referee and crew chief. I’m also a scuba diver. I dabble in guitar and sometimes perform in local theater productions.
What is something your readers don’t know about you or something unique about yourself?
As mentioned previously, my background as a sports official sometimes surprises people, if only because I’m a women. I began calling games back in 1978, when almost no women performed that roll. The fact that I was a referee in football—meaning the “white hat” who is the official in charge of the game—sometimes surprised fans and coaches right up until my retirement from the game in 2019.
What defines success for you as an author?
A Netflix series would certainly be nice.
What is your work space like?
My workspace is clean and orderly. I’m a low-level dyslexic and get easily distracted. Also, no music. I need peace and quiet.
Do you have a selfcare routine that you follow?
I eat healthy foods, which in my world includes wine, cheese, and chocolate. I’ve spent most of my life working out regularly. I was an ice skater for 20 years and a distance lap swimmer for 35. Officiating kept me running around for 40 years, as well. I get my sleep, try to appreciate what I have, and laugh as much as possible.
What advice would you share with new or aspiring authors?
Do not quit your day job! Let me say that again. Do not quit your day job! Being able to live off of your book sales today is akin to winning the lottery.
Where can our readers find you?
My website is the best place to go: https://annemontgomerywriter.com/
Wild Horses on the Salt
The Scent of Rain
A Light in the Desert