Interview with mystery author D.H. Montgomery

Mystery
author D.H. Montgomery has
the hot seat today to talk about the first novel in his new Private PSI
Detective Mystery series, Karma Dead
Ahead.
   
Welcome, D.H. Please tell us a little
bit about yourself.

I came to fiction writing in a very unusual manner. The story is stranger than
many incidents found in fiction books. D.H. Montgomery is a pen name, based on
my more famous second cousin, who wrote Anne
of the Green Gables
. My background was initially in math and science and I was
previously a professor in an engineering college. I had written a number of
non-fiction books, but no fiction whatsoever, not even a short story, prior to Karma Dead Ahead. In the spring of 2014,
a number of real-life paranormal events were taking place around me, including
poltergeist activity in my home. One day, the entire plot of what would become
a 250-page book popped into his mind in minutes. Not every little detail of
course, but I imagined the overall plot and the characters involved in the
book. It took five weeks to write everything down, which was as fast as I could
type. After “Karma Dead Ahead” was finished, late one night a ghost appeared
next to my computer. He had not appeared previously and has not appeared
since. 
Please tell us about your current
release.
Karma Dead Ahead is 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.

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 hi-tech witchcraft practitioner. The psychics reveal that a karmic debt
from two hundred years ago has put the woman on a path to danger. After some
brilliant deductions 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 is not just another Detective
Mystery/Suspense novel. There are a number of incidents that take place that
humorously satirize the corruption and dysfunction of modern institutions — the
media, celebrity worship, the scientific establishment, business and elite
protection from law enforcement — giving the novel depth and comic relief from
the more suspenseful main plot.
What inspired you to write this book?
I had no plans
to write Karma Dead Ahead or any
other fiction work, until the entire story occurred to me one day in June 2014.
I figured I had the entire plot with many of the details of the story, I should
write it down.
Excerpt from Karma Dead Ahead:
Chapter
Four: The two detectives, Sagacity Jeunesse and Chance Mankowski, are meeting
with a group of psychics known as the “Gang of Four” to try to find out why a
missing woman, Amanda Posner, hasn’t returned from her Caribbean vacation. The
psychics don’t always get along with each other.
Sagacity
began the meeting by thanking them all for coming and saying she had a number
of objects in plastic bags for their readings, some pictures, and a map. She
filled in the sparse details of what she knew about Amanda’s disappearance
trying to stay on that fine line between providing the information they needed
to know, but not telling them too much. This would allow her to potentially
check on their accuracy.
Sagacity
simply said, “A woman, Amanda Posner, took a trip to the Caribbean island of
Capo Barbuda and has failed to return. She appears to have been in contact with
a man named Rodrigo Barnett prior to going to the island. I have pictures of
both of them for you, a map of Capo Barbuda, and some of Amanda’s personal
items, both metal and cloth. We are trying to find out why she hasn’t returned
and where she might be.”
Sagacity then
passed around the pictures of Amanda and Rodrigo and copies of the map of the
island, suggesting they get some initial impressions before selecting the
objects they felt were best for them. She waited a few minutes, and then she
asked if everyone was ready. After they all said yes, she picked up the baggies
with the objects that Amanda had left and described the contents. She then told
the psychics to choose the ones they wanted. Then, looking at Sativa, she said,
“I have the special item that you requested,” and she handed him the bag with
the panties in them. This immediately got Glastonbury’s attention and a sharp
look of disapproval.
“I see Mr.
Sativa is indulging his usual twisted tastes for his psychic analysis,” she
said in her loud crisp voice dripping with censure.
“I don’t
recall anyone asking the opinion of the fat English cow about this matter. She
only wishes she could be as productive as I am,” he shot back, glaring at her.
“Productive!
… Productive! … I’m the one that does the work of two psychics.”  Glastonbury retorted.
“You should
be. After all, you’re the size of two psychics.” Sativa replied sarcastically.
“I’ll have
you know, that I don’t have to come here to be insulted by YOU,” Glastonbury
stated indignantly.
“I don’t
doubt that, I’m sure you have many opportunities elsewhere,” Sativa retorted.
Just then,
Del Rio was heard to say in her chirpy voice, “I thought Indians worshipped the
cow.”
Kuliganaya
immediately replied, “Perhaps that’s only if they are domestic darlink. Foreign
cows may not count.” To emphasize her point, she flicked an imaginary cigarette
in the long cigarette holder she always carried around, even though she had
given up smoking years ago.
After that,
general mayhem and shouting completely took over the room. Chance was watching
in amazement, thinking to himself, “I wonder if I should be taking notes on any
of this.”
Sagacity
decided to take back control and shouted, “STOP IT! STOP IT! STOP IT!” in the
loudest voice she could. The room quieted immediately.
She
continued, “OK, now let’s just put personal matters aside and concentrate on the
problem at hand. There could be serious issues that require immediate attention
and we need to determine that tonight, so please try to cooperate. Now, will
everyone please take the objects they want and let’s get on with it.” Sagacity
then passed the items around the circle and announced, “We will start with
Sanjiva and then go to Lena, Elsa and finally to Chi Chi. Sanjiva, please begin
as soon as you are ready.”
Sanjiva
used only the pictures and Amanda’s panties for his analysis. He held the
panties in his hands and seemed to go into a trance for a few minutes. Then he
began to speak, slowly at first with seemingly random tidbits that referred to
previous existences, but soon he began to focus on one specific past lifetime
that he deemed to be the relevant one….
What exciting story are you working on
next?
In addition
to two non-fiction books, I am two-thirds of the way through the second novel
in the Private PSI Detective Mystery Series. In the first novel, the two
detectives, Sagacity Jeunesse and Chance Mankowski went to a Caribbean Island
to track down a missing woman and a maniacal killer. In the second one, they go
to Paris and have a completely different set of adventures. There is even a
touch of spy thriller in the new book.
When did you first consider yourself a
writer?
I’m not
sure I consider myself a writer. Writing is one of many things I do.
Do you write full-time? If so, what’s
your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find
time to write?
I write
books episodically. I used to be a blogger. I am a speaker and own a small
business. Writing isn’t something you find time to do, it’s something you make
time to do.
What would you say is your interesting
writing quirk?
I always
have a period when I write every spare moment for several days when working on
a book. For Karma Dead Ahead, that is
how the entire book was written. For non-fiction, this happens for only part of
the book.
As a child, what did you want to be
when you grew up?

I remember in kindergarten they asked us what we wanted to be when we grew up
and I said a teacher. Many years later, I was a professor for several years.
Anything additional you want to share
with the readers?
Check out
the reviews for Karma Dead Ahead.
They have been better than anything in my wildest imagination. Some of the
reviews are a page long, indicating people really got involved with the book,
they didn’t just merely read it.
Links:
Thanks for being here today, D.H.
Happy writing!

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