Thursday, September 17, 2015

A Conversation with Mystery Author D.H. Montgomery

Omnimystery News: Author Interview with D.H. Montgomery

We are delighted to welcome author D.H. Montgomery to Omnimystery News today.

D.H.'s new mystery, the first in a new series, is Karma Dead Ahead (DMS Media Group; July 2015 ebook format) and we recently had the chance to spend some time with him to talk more about the book.

— ♦ —

Omnimystery News: Introduce us to the two lead characters in Karma Dead Ahead.

D.H. Montgomery: There are two detectives, Sagacity Jeunesse and Chance Mankowski in the Private PSI Detective Mystery Series (PSI is pronounced "sigh" and is the term for general paranormal phenomenon). How they got their unusual names is explained in the book. Both are graduate students in a university paranormal research lab, run by the somewhat eccentric Professor Wilkinson. Sagacity is more of the Sherlock Holmes type and Chance more like Dr. Watson. Both are Americans. Sagacity is from the cowboy West and is bold, beautiful, resourceful and a good shot. Chance is from the urban East and is more cautious and intellectual, even a bit nerdy despite being a handsome guy.

OMN: How do you expect them to develop over the course of the series?

DHM: From a personal growth perspective, Sagacity will remain unchanged because she operates from an internal moral compass that determines her actions. She takes charge of events and makes things happen. Chance, on the other hand has opportunities for growth and already realizes by the end of the first book that his small, safe world of the research lab isn't all there is to life.
As for their careers, both will eventually get their university degrees (although this may take several books) and continue life in or outside of a major city (probably New York). They might even get married, but not necessarily to each other.

OMN: What makes them different from other series characters?

DHM: Well, they are the main characters, so all the action revolves around them. There are a number of other characters that will appear in all the books as well — the Professor, Sagacity's outrageous mother, a group of psychics known as the Gang of Four, and a witchcraft practitioner who is a hi-tech entrepreneur
Sagacity and Chance actually have complimentary personalities, so they could really be thought of two-sides of a single person. In fact, one perceptive reader, who left a review on Amazon, pointed out that all the characters in the book could be paired in many ways, with each set having contrasting personality traits.

OMN: Into which genre would you place this book?

DHM: Karma Dead Ahead does not easily fit into a single genre category. I would characterize it as Mystery/Suspense with some paranormal aspects and a good deal of humor and satire. Alternatively you could say it is one step beyond a Cozy Mystery (it's more sophisticated and international in scope). There's not much violence, and although kinky sex is integral to the plot, it takes place out of sight. The second book in the series has some elements of a Spy Thriller.

OMN: How would you summarize Karma Dead Ahead in a tweet?

DHM: A nicely paced detective/mystery story with appealing well-drawn characters and a plot that always keeps you guessing as it alternates between humor and suspense.

OMN: How much of your own experience have you included in the story?

DHM: I have seen things in real life that are similar to some of the occurrences in the book. The characters are composites, usually of several real people mixed with some archetype personality traits.

There are also numerous kinky sexual practices mentioned in Karma Dead Ahead (no vivid descriptions). I've only heard about these of course (smiles).

OMN: Describe your writing process for us.

DHM: The writing process for Karma Dead Ahead was simple. Even though I had never written even a short story, the entire 250-page book popped into my mind in a flash one day in June 2014. It took five weeks to write it down, basically as fast as I could type. Real-life paranormal events preceded and followed the writing of the book.

OMN: How do you go about researching the plot points of the story?

DHM: I use Google to do whatever fact checking is needed (not that much in a novel compared to non-fiction, which I write under another name). The historical occult events mentioned in Karma Dead Ahead are accurately described.

OMN: Tell us more about the setting for the book.

DHM: Karma Dead Ahead is set in Capo Barbuda, a composite Caribbean Island. The second book is set in Paris. So, both fictional and real places are used in the series.

OMN: If we could send you anywhere in the world to research the setting for a book, where would it be?

DHM: I would like an extensive tour of Russia, including Siberia. Russian paranormal research is mentioned in Karma Dead Ahead and figures even more prominently in the second book in the series. What the Russians did in this field during the Soviet era far exceeds anything that took place in the West.

OMN: What is the best advice you've received as an author?

DHM: Best advice I've received as an author is that you need a thick skin. It's absolutely true. Even the most famous well-respected books get some very negative reviews (which usually reveals much more about the reviewer than what is being reviewed). So, writers shouldn't pay much attention to them, if most of their reviews are good. Fortunately, Karma Dead Ahead started out with an amazing string of over 20 five star reviews on Amazon.

OMN: Your biography mentions that D.H. Montgomery is a pen name. Why did you choose to use one?

DHM: I do use a pen name because I have published a number of non-fiction books and that career is not compatible with writing the detective novels that I write. The name was generated based on my more famous second cousin, L.M. Montgomery, who wrote Anne of the Green Gables.

OMN: How involved were you in the cover design?

DHM: I was very involved with the cover design. I selected and bought the rights to the picture. That involved going through hundreds, if not thousands of pictures and it took at least three weeks. I also had the idea of adding the magnifying glass, which is over the word PSI. I believe there were six designers involved with creating the cover. Only the last one, who came up with the final design, is credited.

OMN: What kind of feedback have you received from readers?

DHM: As I've already stated, I've learned a great deal from readers and there have been many 5 star reviews on Amazon. Some people have even written reviews that are a whole page, which tells me they really got involved with the book. They didn't merely just read it. Most readers just mention how much and why they enjoyed the detective story. A few have noticed that the book might just be a metaphor for our current culture and the karma that's dead ahead might have broader implications.

OMN: Suppose Karma Dead Ahead were to be adapted for television or film. Who do you see playing the key roles?

DHM: Karma Dead Ahead would make an excellent movie or TV series. I do indeed have a mental image of all the characters. There aren't any famous actors or actresses that I envision playing the parts. I would prefer unknowns.

OMN: What kinds of books did you read when you were young?

DHM: I actually read mostly non-fiction and this was true even when I was a child and got past the fairy tale books that most children are given. As for fiction, detective novels were and still are my preference. I actually like cozy mysteries, because they are low stress, easy reads. My books have a bit more of a bite to them.

OMN: What specifically do you look for when selecting a book to read for pleasure?

DHM: If it's fiction, I like something with a little humor in it. If it's a detective novel, I'd like the outcome to make sense. I've read a number of novels where the murderer is indeed a surprise choice because the author didn't create adequate motivation for him or her to commit the crime. I have found plot is the weakest part of most current fiction and I think that's where I excel.

OMN: What's next for you?

DHM: I would like to write at least a dozen or more books in the Private PSI Detective Mystery Series and see it made into one or more movies or a TV show.

— ♦ —

D.H. Montgomery
Photo provided courtesy of
D.H. Montgomery

D.H. Montgomery is a pen name, based on the author's more famous second cousin, who wrote "Anne of the Green Gables." D.H. has a background in math and science and has written a number of non-fiction books. Prior to this book, he had never written even the briefest piece of fiction, nor had he intended to do so. By the spring of 2014, he had unexplainably started doing automatic writing and there was poltergeist activity where he lived. One day, the entire 250 manuscript popped into his mind in a flash. It took five weeks to write it down. After it was finished, a ghost appeared in his home.

For more information about the author, please visit his his author page on Goodreads, or find him on Facebook and Twitter.

— ♦ —

Karma Dead Ahead by D.H. Montgomery

Karma Dead Ahead by D.H. Montgomery

A Private PSI Detective Mystery

Publisher: DMS Media Group Print/Kindle Format(s)

Two graduate students in a university paranormal research lab become accidental detectives as they go searching for a woman who fails to return from her Caribbean vacation. They get help from a group of psychics known as the "Gang of Four" and a modern practitioner of witchcraft who is an app developer and entrepreneur. The psychics reveal that a karmic debt from two hundred years ago has put the woman on a path to danger. The witch helps find the whereabouts of the culprit.

After some brilliant deductions, unexpected mishaps that turn their lives upside down, and twists and turns, the two detectives come face to face with a deranged killer and his intended latest victim. Just as karma set off the chain of events in the beginning, it also determines the dramatic outcome.

Karma Dead Ahead by D.H. Montgomery


Post a Comment

Omnimystery Blog Archive

Total Pageviews (last 30 days)

Omnimystery News
Original Content Copyright © 2022 — Omnimystery, a Family of Mystery Websites — All Rights Reserved
Guest Post Content (if present) Copyright © 2022 — Contributing Author — All Rights Reserved