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In The Spotlight Today: Montiese Mckenzie!

How old are you and where are you from?

Montiese: I’m 40 years old, born and raised in Philadelphia.

How old were you when you realized you wanted to be a writer?

Montiese: I was 8 years old when I wrote my first complete story, so I think I knew then. I never dared to think I could do it for a living, but I knew I would write.

Are you self-published, Indie, or traditionally published? What do you love most about your decision to self/indie/traditionally publish?

Montiese: I self-publish. I love the entire experience, uploading my stories, seeing what it will look like on Kindle, creating covers with my friend Danielle. It’s been a wonderful way to get my work out there quickly in reader’s hands. It’s also been a lot of fun.

Tell us more about your book! When did you start writing it and what difficulties did you face while writing/publishing it?

Montiese: My series started as an alternate universe fanfiction in 2009. I think it was 2016 when I realized the potential of the universe was not fully realized in the box I had it in. I decided then to rework it into an original piece of fiction. I felt the need to do so deep inside of me. That universe and the characters I created needed an outlet. The problems were plentiful, but I think that would be with any story when you’re in a universe that is fantasy. Also, I literally just decided that a character had to go from white to biracial when I was all but done my 3rd book. She is a main character. I’m back at the middle instead of the end. The struggle is real.

If you could relate to any character in your book, who would it be and why?

Montiese: Nathan Kirsch. He is quiet and sweet but has a simmering rage just underneath the surface that he spends most of his life trying to keep control of. He also loves his family very much, but they are in so many ways dysfunctional and abusive.

What type of books do you enjoy? What are two of your favorites?

Montiese: I love all genres but for the past decade I probably spend what time I can read on mysteries and suspense thrillers. I love a good procedural. But two of my favorite books are IT, for the near perfect world building and child characterization, and the Thomas Berryman Number because few books leave me with my mouth open at the end.

Besides reading and writing, what else do you enjoy doing during your free time?

Montiese: I love taking photographs. I walk, which helps in taking photographs. I love to cook and have coffee and good conversation with my local friends.

If you could pick any song to describe your main protagonist, what would it be?

Montiese: Fortunate Son by CCR for sure. But when I think about after Rube knows Kath, when he gets deep into the case, its Fall at Your Feet by Crowded House.

Do you have any upcoming books in the works?

Montiese: My third novel, Soulless, will be self-published in September on Amazon. It is part of the series along with Blood of my Blood and The Providence of Human Affairs. Most of the summer will be spent working on my grass roots marketing where I do things like this interview and shop it around to book review blogs well before its release.

Do you have any events/book specials coming up?

Montiese: I’ll soon be featured on the How Author’s Work podcast where I discuss my writing style and cut up with the hosts Paul and Andrew. That was a lot of fun. I will post on my website and across social media when it’s available.

Where can readers keep up with you on social media? Post your usernames!

Montiese: I’m @mcgarrygirl78 on both Twitter and Instagram and I have public pages. I ask people who know me in my everyday life not to follow me on social media. It’s the place I can be myself, have no filters, and don’t say what people think their co-worker/cousin/daughter will say. You will likely get your feelings hurt and I might get fired. So, people who like my books and live in Baton Rouge, hello there. My sister’s friend from work…no, I’m good.

Visit her author website

Check out her book, Blood of my Blood (book one of Awakening of the Spirit) on!

Visit the submission page to book your Writer Spotlight feature!

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