The delightful V.V. Mont is the author of The Elementalist, coming in 2017 from BookFishBooks. You can follow her on twitter @ AuthorVV_Mont, and Goodreads at https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15239170.V_V_Mont
- You’re from Miami, right? Please tell us whatever you would like us to know about yourself.
Hi! I am indeed from Miami, FL. Though now I live in Orlando, close to attractions, close to the wilderness, and just a short (three-hour) car ride from my hometown.
My family was what you would call modern day gypsies with only a hint of fortune-telling abilities. Moving every six months or so, the only companion I never had to say goodbye to were my books. Or my plethora of depressing poetry (that I still have and occasionally still smile over— my nine-year-old-self ranting of the anguish that is love). I’ve always loved to write, and I’ve been lucky enough to have a mother who will boast to everyone she can about how her daughter writes books.
Now I try not to move around too much. Between my husband and two kids we’ve accumulated quite a few things and packing is not something I look forward to. We’re a weird bunch, we’re sarcastic, crazy, and wild but best of all we all love each other very much. Life is good.
- For our readers who have never been to Miami, how would you describe the soul of the city?
Oh, I like this question. Be prepared to be immersed in the Hispanic culture, really Miami is more part of the Caribbean than the United States. First thing I recommend is to stop at a bakery, grab a pastelito de queso y guayaba (cheese and guava pastry) and a tiny, please remember tiny unless you never want to sleep, cup of espresso. The beaches really are gorgeous, just wear plenty of sunscreen. Burns are something that happen but will not stay in Miami. Check out South Beach for lively music and great food and drinks; Wynwood Art Walk on the second Saturdays of the month for trendy art and for those who prefer the quiet relaxation of ocean and umbrella drinks, heading down to the Keys is a must. Great food, crazy drivers, hot sun, Spanish diversity are all part of the package in my birthplace. Miami will always be a part of me because it’s more than just a city, it’s a breathing, passionate, salsa-loving spirit.
- What effect has living in South Florida had on your writing?
Well, like I mentioned I’ve moved around a lot. I’ve lived in the Dominican Republic, Mississippi, Naples, Orlando, Miami, Ormond Beach and Broward. I think that, more than anything, has influenced my writing. I’ve experienced beautiful areas and some not so nice ones; I’ve also come across very welcoming people and some who weren’t too happy about someone Hispanic coming to their neighborhood. All these experiences have helped shape me, and in turn, shape my style of writing. Also, the fact I never stopped reading, that with each place we moved my books always came with me, and my collection only expanded, that made an impact on my wanting to continue writing.
But no matter where I’ve moved, the ocean is always close by and that I think has had an effect on my writing or at least the characters in my writing. They all tend to be ocean lovers.
- What and/or who would you say are your biggest influences?
I will be the total mama’s girl and admit my mom is my biggest, greatest influence. She has never wavered in her support and always encouraged for me to pursue what I love. She’s shown me always to look at the bright side of things, and always believe our dreams can come true. Things have been rough for my mother. At eighteen, in the middle of getting her Bachelor’s in Bioengineering, she was diagnosed with a strange strand of Muscular Dystrophy, she had to leave Nicaragua and move to the United States alone, told she only had a year to live. They were wrong. Fast forward some years, she had me and my autistic brother, David. Each day she wakes with a smile on her face and good thoughts for everyone. She’s not only my greatest influence but my inspiration.
- What are your earliest memories of writing? Put another way, when did you know you were a writer?
Ah, this question makes me smile. Every summer, us cousins would come together to make the best play our parents had ever seen. We didn’t care we were only six/seven-year-olds with bed-sheet backdrops and dollar-store toy props. My older boy cousin, the lone boy amidst us girls, was the most outgoing so he would play the crazy acting roles. My youngest cousin was the singer because of her sweet voice. Another one was the producer because she was the best at being bossy without being obnoxious, she understood direction and organizing. Another one of my cousins and myself were the writers, always. We had a vague idea of how a plot should work, how characters should interact, lines that inspired laughs, and etc. I knew since those summers what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.
- Tell us about your first novel.
You mean the one I wrote when I was ten about the haunted grandfather clock or the many I have stuffed down the dark corners of my writing drawer? I suppose you mean The Elementalist since it was picked up for publication by BookFish Books! Still reeling with excitement over here. The Elementalist has been my constant companion for about a year and a half already. No joke, I dreamt the entire thing throughout the course of a night. I woke up, wrote a ten-page sloppy synopsis then got to work. Six months after the story was born.
It’s a young adult fantasy romance set in a dystopian/ alternate reality. Seventeen-year-old Karina Delane had the misfortune of being born on the human side of the continent. After a freak magical accident almost kills her friend during gym glass, Karina is branded a monster and shipped off to Vincam— land of the freaks. There she experiences another side of the world she never imagined. Beautiful scenery, an abundance of food and resources, and magic. But as we all know, not all that glitters is gold.
Controlling the element of air marks Karina as one of the rare Elementalists, the king is eager to forge her into his ultimate weapon and force her into his service as an Elite guard. Under the tutelage of Sergeant Caleda, a handsome weather-wielder, she learns that power in the Kingdom is an asset but too powerful makes one a threat the king won’t hesitate to get rid of. But Karina has gone beyond an asset, with her power to control all of the elements, she’s marked a threat. Contemplating an alliance with rebels, Karina must end his reign before the King ends her life.
So, yeah. That’s pretty much the sum of it.
- Is there anything else you would like us to know?
Yes, I would love for all aspiring authors out there to know how much the world needs your words. It gets tough, whether you’re looking for publication or not, each story takes a piece of our soul and tucks it into its pages. So yeah, it’s hard to show a piece of us to others, but my advice to you is to keep writing, keep reading, and don’t be afraid.
- Last question, I promise. Can I do a follow-up interview after the book has been published?
Hm, I’m not sure… YES! Of course, I would be so honored, am already for this author interview with your great questions. It’s been a pleasure, and I can’t wait to watch your career grow, for your brilliant story to reach those readers needing your words. Take care!