I recently had the pleasure of getting to know fellow Wild Rose Press author, J.J. Montgomery. In GUN FOR HIRE, we meet Sam, a sassy former cop, just trying to make ends meet for her and her sister. When you check out J.J.’s debut novel, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.
–What is your writing process? Plotter, pantser or a hybrid of both?
I wish I were a plotter, but I am a total pantser. *buries head in shame*
In Gun for Hire, it just hit me – I was on a beach and I saw this woman fighting with a bunch of cops and tourists and she was this private security guard – and I thought, dear God, what would drive you to take a job like that where everyone yells at you every day? And I knew I had the premise for a great character. The first draft just flew together, but it was a long way from what ultimately ended up becoming the final draft. Which is why I say I wish I were a plotter — because those last few drafts would have been a lot less painful for me and everyone around me.
–Do you participate in a critique group? If so, tell us about your experience. If not, why not?
I don’t participate in a group but I have this network of angels who are blessed with the ability to be truthful and to hold nothing back. One of my critique partners in particular — Mary Cain, who is a phenomenal writer and editor – is like the gut punch of critique partners. I always have to pour myself a very large glass of wine before I read her comments, but you know what – she’s right, almost every time. I wouldn’t be where I am without her.
–These are a few of my favorite things…
Chocolate. Steak. The smell of my husband’s skin and my children’s heads. Flying first class. Soup. The way my sister dances. Cat-eye liner. My girlfriends, the Generic Brunettes. A really cold martini, three olives, please.
–How did you get started writing?
I wrote my first romance when I was maybe 12 years old. Which means I was stealing my mom’s romance novels when I really shouldn’t have been. I didn’t even really know what French kissing was and I thought orgasms were literal fireworks, which – wouldn’t that be amazing? This romance novel – I’m sure it was terrible but I wouldn’t torture myself by actually going back to read it. And it doesn’t really matter anyhow, because I loved the process of writing it. I loved being a writer. Of course, then I grew up and got a job and it took me a long way to come back around to what I love.
–At the end of your career, what do you want to be remembered for?
I hope I made someone’s flight seem shorter, or their wait in the doctor’s office less stressful. I hope I gave someone a few minutes of happiness at the end of a long day, or that someone couldn’t stop until they flipped just one more page.
–Please feel free to share anything you’d like our visitors to know about you or your books.
I would love to hear from my readers! Even if it’s criticism, that interaction is the greatest thing for me. Find me at www.jjmontgomery.com, on Instagram (my favorite!) at www.instagram.com/jmontgomerywrites or Facebook www.facebook.com/authorjjmontgomery, a platform that still confounds me every time I log on. I also highly recommend checking out some new authors at www.17scribes.com — I’m on there, too!
I wanted to write from the time I was very young, but it took a coup d’etat and a nationwide curfew to finally get me in front of the keyboard to finish something I’d started. I’ve been living overseas my entire adult life and I’d seen a lot of crazy things, but from my house high on a hill over the city, I watched tires burning in front of the Presidential Palace and thought, gosh, now seems like the time to try writing a book.
In retrospect, I just have a hard time being idle and I was probably pretty scared and needed to distract myself. I spent days locked in a top floor room of that house, making up a murder mystery that, frankly, sucked. But it’s like the first time you see your child draw with a crayon — I was so proud of myself, and it was addictive.
It took a long time and a lot of painful rejections before I wrote Gun for Hire, but I loved this story and its characters more than I’d ever loved anything I’d written. I was blessed to find an agent and editor who felt the same way, and here I am! A published author for the first time.
Gun For Hire Blurb:
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.
Gun for Hire Excerpt:
I looked out over the peninsula that separated Secret Beach from Makena Beach, nearly at Maui’s southernmost tip. A lone surfer, dark-haired and gleaming like a seal, ducked beneath a giant, rolling wave. I held my breath as he went under, waiting for him to emerge, and had to expel air before his head finally surfaced, yellow surfboard beneath, his strong arms propelling him outward to sea. Even at this distance, I could see the hard outline of his muscled back, saltwater streaming off him as those muscles worked before he came to a rest, sat up on his board, and turned his face toward the sun.
See, why couldn’t I fall for a guy like that? Someone who was carefree, uncomplicated, and unbelievably hot? Why was it my hormones only raced when confronted with grumpy, distant, and unobtainable? And hot, I reminded myself. My hormones at least had that part right.