Introducing Montgomery Mahaffey, author of Ella Bandita and the Wanderer:
1. Tell us a little about yourself.
Besides being a writer? I'm also a storyteller. I love to dance. I love hot springs. I especially love telling stories while sitting naked in hot springs. I've moved some and travel often, and gravitate to the more mythical places in the American landscape. In fact, I'm on a road trip right now. I left St. Augustine yesterday and will head to Savannah tomorrow..
2. When did you start writing, and why?
I've made up stories since I was a kid. In 3rd grade, we'd get a list of new vocabulary words every week, learning how to spell and use them in sentences. But the crowning achievement every week was the piece we had to write by Friday, using all the words we had learned. Most of the kids wrote essays, but I made up stories where my classmates were characters.
As far as my adult writing career is concerned, I started writing almost 15 years ago because it was what I always wanted to do.
3. What do you write, and why? What do you enjoy about what you write?
I'm considered a fantasy author. This I accept, albeit reluctantly, because I don't read the genre. But I devour folk tales and fables. I consider my work to be fairy tales for an adult audience. My reasons for writing in this genre/style are because there is something about using elements of magic and suspending the rules of mundane reality that makes it very easy for me to say what I want to say. The stories come out effortlessly and they feel good to write.
4. What is your latest book or series? Any forthcoming books?
Right now, I'm promoting "Ella Bandita and the Wanderer" - the first in a 4-book series of the Ella Bandita Stories. The novel as a whole is offered only in paperback form through Amazon. Through ebooks, "Ella Bandita and the Wanderer" is broken down into 4 novelettes that will be released every 3-4 months - "Birthing Ella Bandita;" "The Bard Speaks;" "Challenge;" and "The Heart of the Lone Wolf" are the 4 parts that make up "Ella Bandita and the Wanderer." I'm currently working on the 2nd novel in the series, "The Shepherd and the Courtesan." I plan on promoting that the same way as the first, and I expect it to be out by Summer 2015.
5. "Welcome To My Worlds": Tell us a little about the world of your latest book or series.
Well, the story is set in the past but the themes are modern. The time is pre-Industrial Revolution in unnamed places in Europe. The settings are very specific to the natural world, rather than being bound to named places and times in history. An agent tried to talk me into changing the stories to Urban Fantasy, when that was all the rage. But I didn't follow her lead because I believed the character of Ella Bandita was more unique and more powerful in her sexual freedom if she lived in a time when women did not have that as an option.
6. Introduce us to some of your characters. What do you like about them?
Ella Bandita is a macho slut who is mad, bad, and dangerous to know. She's a fun character to work with.
The Wanderer is a rare breed - a nice guy with a troubled past, charisma, and sex appeal. He's also really stubborn and I love him for that.
The Shepherd is the great, humble wise man - what's not to like about that? In this novel, the reader doesn't meet him until Part 4: "The Heart of the Lone Wolf," but he's one of the main protagonists in the 2nd novel.
7. A fun fact you would like your readers to know about you or your book.
I wish I could be a macho slut like Ella Bandita - but I'm too emotional to pull it off.
Ella Bandita and the Wanderer:
They were fated to collide, Ella Bandita and the Wanderer. This complex fable about a predatory seductress and an adventurer frozen in grief explores the darkness of the human heart and the allure of erotic obsession over love. The story begins when an outcast young woman tries to kill herself. Yet a sorcerer intervenes with a last chance to change her destiny. But she must be his lover and give him her heart to transform into the immortal Ella Bandita. All his life, the Wanderer hears stories about Ella Bandita, the ruthless thief of hearts. But he never believes she lives and doesn't recognize her when they meet. Driven by lust, he follows Ella Bandita into a battle of wills that threatens to destroy him. The Wanderer wants nothing more than to avenge himself on a woman he loathes, the vagabond seductress who stole his heart.
The Patron found her past the wide bend in the river in the same spot where she and the Trainer used to fish. Crouched on her haunches, she wore crude trousers tied at her waist, the fine stitches of her blouse grimy, her hair in a long braid to her waist, strands tousled around her face. Although she’d grown taller and now had the curves of womanhood, she looked just as she had that season seven years ago. Scanning the trees, he almost expected to find the Trainer, but his daughter was alone.
One thing had changed. She’d never worn a holster back then, but now had one belted below her waist. He raised his brows when he saw one of his pistols at her hip. He hadn’t heard the shot when she caught the squirrel, but she was skinning the carcass with one of his daggers. So intent was she on her task she didn’t hear him approach. Her eyes grew wide when she looked up and her hand slipped, the blade slicing into her wrist. The Patron leaped off his horse and reached her in two strides. Gripping her arm, he sunk her hand in the water. The girl resisted, but he held on tight and squeezed her wound to stop the blood flowing into the river. He brought her hand out of the icy water and pressed his scarf against the side of her wrist, pulling a handkerchief from his breast pocket. He heard her labored breathing and felt the taut muscles of her arm while tying the bandage around her wrist. The Patron glanced over, ashamed when he saw the girl pulling as far from him as possible, her eyes narrowed to slits. It had been years since he last touched her.
Ella Bandita is available at Amazon.
About the author:
Montgomery Mahaffey is a fantasy writer who has told her stories all over the country. Alaskan winters shaped Mahaffey as a writer, and her work is built off of the myriad of personal and collective experiences formed underneath that mystical landscape. Born in the south to a family of storytellers, Mahaffey has developed her own voice that is suffused with the temperament of the wanderer instinct. Set in a world where magic is at once subtle and pervasive, her novels bring to life symbols and stories of the old fairy tales told with wry humor and passion. In 2005 she was granted the Individual Artist Project Award from the Rasmuson Foundation in Anchorage, Alaska. Ella Bandita and the Wanderer is her first novel.
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