Interview with Marin Montgomery, author of Into the Night
22 Oct 2018
What can you tell us about your new release, Into the Night?
Into the Night is my longest book to date, and I’d describe it as suspenseful, gripping, and one that played out like a horror movie in my own mind. The idea came to me when I was in Oahu sitting at a bar on the beach one night a few months ago. A handsome guy who was alone struck up a conversation with me. I thought of how it could turn into a sinister plot line. You have a good-looking guy that stalks his prey when he’s out. He’s charming and attractive, and you never consider he might have bad intentions or ulterior motives. Kind of like Ted Bundy- charming and fairly attractive, you aren’t automatically dissuaded by their appearance at first sight.
The two sisters in the book are from a small Midwestern town, and I also grew up fairly shielded from ‘big city life’. You tend to be more trusting of people when you have a small circle that’s reliant on each other. I wanted to tell a story about sisters and the impact, positive and negative, of family dynamics. As you turn the pages, you have multiple stories going on. The impact of when someone goes missing and the after-effects on the lives of everyone involved.
Writing the story, I had to consider what would be the most impactful in my own catalogue of fears. Claustrophobia and the idea of being taken. The idea that life can change in such a short amount of time and one decision can make all the difference in the trajectory of life. That’s why hindsight is what we consider when we reflect.
Which books would we be surprised to find on your shelves?
I am a huge fan of historical romance. Jane Feather books line my shelves. Autobiographies are also a favorite. I’ve read Rob Lowe’s memoir, “Stories I Only Tell my Friends”, at least ten times. I’m always fascinated by people’s lives even if I didn’t grow up watching them on television or are familiar with their history, as in his case. Sometimes it’s refreshing to read a book with little knowledge regarding the person. You don’t have a preconceived idea about who they are. I’ve read a lot of biographies on people that I had limited knowledge; Keith Richards, the Hilton family, Gregg Allman, and it’s interesting.
If you could have dinner with anyone, alive or dead, who would you choose and why?
I would love to have dinner with Terry Gross, the host of ‘Fresh Air’ on NPR. I enjoy her interviews and find her to be fascinating. She doesn’t shy away from hard questions and I’d love to hear her stories about the people she’s interviewed over the years.
Where is your happy place? Why does it bring you joy?
My happy place is at home. It’s where I can be creative and it’s comforting to me, since it’s my space. If I’m on vacation, then a beach or vineyard. It’s great to relax next to the water with a book or magazine. I’m a huge fan of the sun and being reinvigorated with beautiful scenery surrounding you.
What advice would you give your teenage self?
As a teenager, I spent so much time in an awkward phase. The ‘ugly duckling’ phase. I really did have to grow comfortable in my own skin. For some of us, that takes longer, if it ever happens at all. I’d tell my younger self that it’s only temporary. I wish I could tell all people that struggle with whatever self-doubt or problems they have, to remind them that life changes and it’s a process. Some of us just take longer to really know who we are.
What fictional literary world would you most like to visit?
A literary world I’d like to visit would be 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Jules Verne did such a terrific job allowing my imagination to run wild with Captain Nemo and a sea monster that captivated my mind growing up.
What scene in Into the Night was your favorite to write?
The Mole is a character in my book and his scenes, even though sadistic and horrifying, were my favorite to write. When you create a character, it’s up to you to tell their story, no matter how painful or unsettling they may be as a person. I had to dig deep for him but that’s the beauty of writing, it’s a reprieve from the real world and he doesn’t exist. I wish I could say he went away after I stopped typing, but I will definitely have to purge him out of my system. I’m fearful of my own character!
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