When I was still in high school and in early college, I wanted to start expressing and expanding my fandoms, my interest in being an otaku, a lover of Japanese culture. I had my website for three years at this point and was at least knee deep in anime and manga (which is only a puddle to what I have now, but you have to start somewhere). I wanted to know if there were others like me. Derrick and Evan’s high school pal invited us to his family’s house for New Years the first year Derrick was hired at Jack in the Box and that was where I met Jill at this party. Jill was a bubbly fun girl who loved dinosaurs, cats, Harry Potter, and, of coarse, anime. She accepted me after one meeting and although Jill and I sadly have not gotten to hang out much due to her moving, her kindness and passion for her fandoms and interests inspire me. I was so glad I got her introduced into Chobits and with our Sailor Moon, Fruits Basket, InuYasha, and Cardcaptor Sakura discusses. Jilly-chan, thank you for not forgetting about me and helping to expand my world of being an amazing female otaku. <3 Now, I happily introduce the famous in the Harry Potter fanfiction world, aspiring author and the best lady who could start off 2015 with a colorful confetti bang, Ms. Jill Montgomery! ^_^
Aspiring Authors Spotlight Questions
- When you wake up in the morning, how do you see life?
I am a “Five more minutes…” person when it comes to mornings. If it is light outside, I am much more willing to oblige the alarm clock. But if it’s dark? It’s like telling a cat that they can never nap again.
- How did writing find its way into your life?
I have been writing short stories since I was really young. I created even more fanfictions. I remember imagining different stories about the characters from The Mighty Ducks trilogy when I was only around 8 years old. I actually won a short story contest when I was in fifth grade, about a girl that ate so many cookies they eventually sought revenge and ate her. For being a very socially awkward kid, it was a huge boost of confidence.
- What does writing do for you?
Writing gives me a creative outlet for my over active imagination. Especially when I can be creative with it. As a geology major, I write a lot of scientific papers. While I enjoy seeing research come together, it doesn’t have the same satisfaction as creating my own characters, and imagining the world around them.
- What sort of genre or type of writing do you do?
Often, I just write what comes to mind. Sometimes I dream up these crazy ideas, that I just have to write down. But it seems to center around Young Adult fiction. Also, fanfiction. Fanfiction is my first true love.
- Do events in your life or people you know affect your writing?
Very much so. Sometimes I meet someone, and their personality leaves such a large impact that they become a character in a story. It’s even been as simple as the way a person smiles, the way their hair looks in the sunlight, or sometimes even just their name. As far as events, they have less of an impact on me. I like my stories to be new, something that I never experienced.
- What are you currently work on or what was the last thing you wrote?
I am currently working on a young adult romance/adventure. That’s my original piece. But I’m always writing fanfiction of some sort.
- Can you tell us a little about it and its inspiration?
Sam finds her entire world ripped away from her when she unintentionally sends a boy to his death. She is forced to run from the little amount of life she has left. She meets a boy, Tripp, who finds her absolutely annoying, yet he is intrigued by her, and lets her travel with him. It’s set in a distant future world, where technology has been lost to everyone but the elite. So they wear clothing similar to that of the 1800s, and have a hierarchy of government with a ruling king. It’s definitely a work in progress, but it’s one that I enjoy imagining and thinking of.
It’s actually based solely on dream I had. I wasn’t in it, but the girl I “was” ended up being Sam. I watched the scene where the boy was killed. It was extremely terrifying, but I started something when I was little, where I finished bad dreams. No matter how bad, I would make up an ending.
With some help from a friend, I have decided to incorporate science and the Earth’s magnetic field and pole reversals for why society lost technology.
- What are your goals for the future?
I want to be a Paleoclimatologist. My ultimate dream job is to be a geoscientist for NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). Fictional writing is what I do for fun, and so my goal for that is to someday complete NaNoWriMo.
- What are your interests or hobbies?
I am working on my undergrad in Geology, so I spend a lot of my time looking at rocks. It’s a good thing I really like rocks. I also enjoy playing video games, reading, watching anime, and hanging out with my dogs. I also am an Undergraduate Teaching Fellow for a beginning Planet Earth class at my university. I love teaching the students about science and cementing their knowledge of something that I have so much passion for.
- If you could be a superhero, what are your powers and how would you use them to help the world?
I would have the power to save animals. Kind of like how ET was able to save that plant by connecting it to himself. It makes me sad to see animals suffer, and being able to save them would be really cool.
- What advice would you give people who want to write?
Write for yourself. Not everything has to be read by other people. But if you have an idea and want to write it then write it! Also, it helps me to write things out on paper, and THEN type it. I catch errors and plot holes much better that way. Lastly, set goals for yourself. Even if it’s just “write a page today,” goals help reach the end. To quote Duke Ellington, “A goal is a dream with a finish line.”
- If you could be remembered for one thing or thought, what would it be?
My scientific research. I hope to be known for an incredible discovery pertaining to Paleoclimatology. That would be really cool.
Example of work:
Sam’s forehead scrunched in frustration; her lips were puckered into a scowl.
Tripp grinned at her shamelessly.
“It’s not funny!” She growled, nearly stamping her foot. She restrained herself, knowing that if she did it would just fuel the childish man before her.
“Oh, but I think it is funny.” Tripp smirked, his eyes twinkling from the laughter he was withholding. He looked over her. From her golden brown hair, tied up in a messy bun; the way her eyebrows furrowed against her smooth skin; how her hands were clenched into tight fists; and her knees, stiff and unforgiving. “Whoever taught you how to hunt anyways?”
Sam noticed him looking at her and shifted her arms to cross over her chest, “I have never been hunting, thank you very much.”
Tripp raised an eyebrow, “Then why did I even let you tag along?”
“I don’t know, why did you?” Sam demanded. Tripp annoyed her. More than any of the boys from her town ever did; and she wasn’t even sure why. Yet, the way he talked, the way his hair fell into his eyes when he was concentrating, even his smirk, it all annoyed her.
Tripp turned away from the girl two years younger than him and shook his head, “We need to find shelter soon anyways. The gypsies like to occupy this territory at night.”
Harry Potter Fanfiction example: “The Apple Never Falls Far”
Context – Draco is talking to his 11 year old daughter after having to visit Lucius in Azkaban.
“I know I have never talked much about the wizarding war.” Draco frowned.
“Nobody does. They just assume we know.” Eva responded quietly.
Draco sighed, “It feels so incredibly recent for many of us. My position in the war is why your grandfather despises me so much.” He momentarily considered how much he should share with his young daughter before continuing, “I was a part of the Order of the Phoenix.” He nearly laughed saying it aloud.
Eva’s eyes grew large. She at least knew the Malfoys were associated with being Death Eaters. But never that her father switched sides. “What?” She finally spat.
Draco stood in the dining hall of the Malfoy Manor. It was dark and had a sickening odor of death. While his face was cold and unemotional, his stomach was turning. These days, he was constantly resisting the urge to throw up. But that would have been considered a sign of being weak. Something he could not allow.
Snape had spent a great deal of time training Draco to protect his thoughts, and to project fake ones. Yet, Draco still didn’t trust himself to admit he was terrified.
Voldemort sat at the head of the table, twirling his wand between his skeletal fingers. A disfigured house elf was splayed in front of him, with blood trickling from it’s limp mouth. This was the last elf at the manor.
Lobbles had always been nice to Draco, even when he threw his childish tantrums. Seeing his lifeless body on the dining table made Draco grit his teeth.
Bellatrix giggled maniacally across the table.
“Hush!” Voldemort demanded. “Narcissa, you will now do the cleaning and cooking. Consider this repayment for raising such an incompetent son. The son who couldn’t even complete such a menial task as killing an old man.”
Draco fought back the anger of this wizard making his mother his slave. A slave in her own home.
When permitted, Draco worked as Snape’s right hand student by turning in those who spoke out against the dark lord.
He knew he couldn’t continue supporting the present situation of the abuse towards his mother. The night prior, he had walked in on her sobbing. A fresh red mark across her cheek. She had screamed at him to leave.
They were both being punished based on the actions of the other. When Draco made a mistake, Narcissa paid for it. And when Narcissa showed any sign of weakness, Draco was assigned a more dangerous task.
It was two days later when Snape had requested Draco to join him in the Headmaster’s office. Draco was sure it was for a new task assignment. Never mind his studies or that the quidditch season had been canceled. Draco was Snape’s personal spy.
“Sir?” Draco asked entering the room. It showed no sign that Dumbledore had ever resided there.
“Close the door.” Snape ordered, placing sheets over the paintings in the room. Then, without saying a word, he cast a silencing charm on the room, in case of eavesdropping students. “Sit.” He finally said.
Draco obliged, remaining silent. He had noticed Snape’s gaze penetrating his. He was trying to read his thoughts. Draco fought back, closing door after door.
Yet, Snape knew Draco’s weakness when it came to legilimency. It had once been thoughts of his mother, but that was too easy for the dark lord to penetrate. Now it had to be more specific. Draco had tried to block his mind to where nobody could enter regardless of the context they had; Snape had always managed to find that weakness, though. His weakness now was the first time he had crossed paths with Voldemort. That night in the Forbidden Forest in his first year. It was terrifying, and he remembered never wanting to cross paths with whatever it was he saw. But now it was controlling his life. That creature that drank the blood of a unicorn was telling him what to do, and how to do it.
Draco unwillingly allowed Snape to enter his thoughts.
Snape’s face remained emotionless as he learned Draco’s true thoughts, and how the boy did not want to fight for The Dark Lord.
Draco winced, awaiting a punishment that wouldn’t come.
“There’s a way out.” Snape’s voice filled his mind.
“How?” Draco thought.
“The Order of the Phoenix.”
I have spent most of my life in Southern Utah amongst the red rocks. Growing up in a small town I turned to music for enjoyment. I learned to play most of the woodwind instruments, but became primarily attached to the Alto Sax. I even went on to be Band President my senior year of high school. After many years of trying to decide what to do with my life, I moved to Northern Utah to become a Geology major. I love the outdoors, and have spent a summer doing an internship in Paleontology, and a summer spent attending an Archaeological field school. I am currently engaged to a great guy, George, and we will be married in March on Pi Day. We live with our two spoiled dogs: Rylee, a viszla mix, and River, a 135 pound malamute; as well as our two cats: Gigi and Kung Pow.