|Eve Marie Mont|
After pushing aside the vague feeling of "I wish I'd come up with that," I also had to tell the author she's brilliant. So I pre-ordered the book and contacted Eve. As it turns out, Eve and I have very similar taste in reading. So that seals the deal. What's not to love about Eve Marie Mont? In short, nothing.
Generous soul that I am, I asked to interview her so you can love her and her books too. Here we go!
RW (Restless Writer): Obviously, you are a Jane Eyre fan. Can you give us an estimate of how many times you’ve read the book? What are some of the things you most love about it?
EMM (Eve Marie Mont): Despite calling Jane Eyre one of my favorite novels of all time, I’ve probably only read it about five times in its entirety. Of course while I was writing A Breath of Eyre, I pored over certain scenes, reading them again and again for “research purposes.” But to be honest, it didn’t feel like work. Since I first read Jane Eyre in eleventh grade, I have never found another story with such a restrained yet passionate romance. Each time I read those long passages between Jane and Edward and watch their relationship evolve from master-employee to star-crossed soul mates, I am swept up in the romance of it all over again. Because Mr. Rochester is the ultimate bad boy: dark, arrogant, and moody, but not beyond hope. And Jane is the ultimate heroine to redeem him: strong, intelligent, moral, and unafraid to speak her mind. I knew I wanted my protagonist, Emma, to step into her shoes as she awakens to first love and discovers her own strength of character.
|Isn't the cover gorgeous?|
EMM: The idea has been rattling around in my head for years, but I didn’t actually start writing A Breath of Eyre (then called The Trouble with Jane) until winter of 2009. Since I teach full-time, I wrote off and on during weekends and breaks that year and then raced through the final 100 pages in a mad blur over winter 2010. My agent and I whipped it into shape that spring and summer, and we shopped it around in fall 2010, when Kensington made their offer. So all told, it was a little under two years from draft to submission.
RW: If there was a way to make fictitious characters real for one day, which 3 would you want to spend a day with?
EMM: Great question! I’d start my morning dishing the dirt with Elizabeth Bennett over coffee and scones. From there, I’d take long a walk with Holden Caulfield through Manhattan, where we’d go ice skating at Rockefeller Center, visit the Museum of Natural History, and share stories about all the phonies we know. I’d end the day horseback riding along the moors with Edward Rochester, followed by a cozy, fire-lit evening back at his mansion.
RW: I asked my blog readers if they like to write with or without music. I usually have to write with music playing so I was surprised at the number who said they need to write in silence or with quiet instrumental music only. What about you?
EMM: I usually can’t write with music playing, but for many scenes, I’ll play a song to get me inspired and tease out the ideas while the music’s on, then shut it off so I can do the actual writing. But the song will still be echoing in my head, and it definitely helps me set the tone for certain scenes. Those are the chapters that tend to be the most cinematic, which I love! For A Breath of Eyre, the bands that were most influential were Coldplay, Thirteen Senses, Barcelona, and Embrace. Embrace’s “Gravity” sort of became the unofficial love theme of the book.
RW: What are the last few good books you’ve read?
EMM: Oh, wow, I’ve read so many good books this year, most of them YA. Here’s a link to a guest post I did for The Nightstand, a YA group blog I belong to, with blurbs about my top 5 books from 2011:
RW: Can you share any teasers about the next two books yet?
EMM: I can tell you that Book 2 is loosely based on The Scarlet Letter and has my protagonist, Emma, doing a lot of growing up as she navigates her way through secrets and scandal. Book 3 is inspired by The Phantom of the Opera and will take place in Paris; it’s definitely going to be the most fantastical and dark book of the series.
RW: Since you’re a Phantom of the Opera fan, I have to ask if you like the musical version as well?
EMM: Believe it or not, I only saw the musical once when I was about sixteen years old. I remember loving it then, and I thought the music was so haunting and lovely, but like any English teacher worth her salt, I prefer the book. :)
RW: You will be exploring The Scarlet Letter and The Phantom of the Opera in your next 2 books. Anything else planned beyond that?
EMM: I have a file on my computer called “Good Story Ideas,” where I write down every idea I come across, from the silly to the seemingly brilliant. My head is swimming in my series right now, so I don’t have the brain power to attend to new projects, but I’ve got a few shiny new ideas that call to me every now and then when I should be doing others things. I can say it will almost definitely be a young adult book, and I’m leaning toward a stand-alone idea with some elements of magical realism, in the vein of Sarah Addison Allen.
Huge thanks to Eve for doing this interview and for having such awesome taste in Literature. Your students are truly lucky to have you. Excited readers, like myself, are lucky to have such awesome books to look forward to. (Aside: all of you don't realize that I basically devoted a year of my middle school life to The Phantom of the Opera. I loved everything about it. The original novel, novels based on it, information about the Paris Opera House and the musical. The first novel I ever wrote was in that year. I hand wrote, in a spiral notebook, my version of The Phantom of the Opera. It was terrible writing but so fulfilling. This is to illustrate how wildly excited I am, not just about A Breath of Eyre but the upcoming Phantom of the Opera book. I daresay I squealed with delight when I discovered that fact. Share my joy, gentle readers.)
Discover Eve's brilliance for yourself at: