Author Spot Light of
Michelle Montague Mogil
Following is a Guest Blog Post by Ms. Mogil's:
Call me Sisyphus.
When I began to write my novel, I was standing at the top of a mythological hill watching a metaphorical boulder go crashing to the bottom. I had just been informed that my seventeen-year career with Cornell was about to come to an end and I was feeling very sorry for myself. It’s not surprising that I began to daydream about an escape.
The Sisyphus metaphor is sadly appropriate — endlessly rolling a boulder up a hill, only to have it roll back down again. There’s a slight difference, though. I push and groan and sweat and heave, and I get that boulder to the top of that hill. Unlike the Greek myth, however, it doesn’t roll back down right away. It sits there for a while, just long enough to lull me into a false sense of security; long enough for me to think that maybe this time, I’ve succeeded. And maybe this time, I can rest for a while. Nope. As soon as I turn my back and go to sit down, the damned boulder goes bouncing merrily back down the hill and I have to start all over again.
If it sounds a bit like I’m whining, well... I am. I was raised to abhor whining. Whining, I was taught, doesn’t accomplish anything beyond wasting time, trying to convince yourself that maybe you do have cause to feel a little sorry for yourself. Still, I sometimes gave myself a small Pity Party; once in awhile I would let it escalate into a pillow-soaking Sob Fest. After a good night’s sleep, I could usually find the strength to start all over again, pushing that boulder up that hill.
Every time it seemed I was on track and doing okay, something would happen to set me back just far enough to chip off another chunk of hope from my already battered psyche. A couple of years after suffering through a pretty severe financial setback, I looked in the mirror at my thirty-five-year-old face and had a moment of panic. There were fine lines in the corners of my eyes and two faint crescents on either side of my mouth. Good lord, I was getting old.
I went out and got a tattoo.
All this is to explain why my story progresses as it does. My heroine longs for rescue from her circumstances. When she’s granted that wish, she finds out that dreams can easily turn to nightmares, and reality has a way of ruining a good fantasy. Along the way, she gets a good lesson in what love really is.
And, yes, I did jump on the very crowded Vampire Bandwagon. I’ve been a fan of monster movies since I can remember, back when I would stay up until tv station sign-off on the weekends, watching those wonderful black-and-white science fiction and horror films, complete with bad special effects and screaming damsels-in-distress. But my favorite monster has always been that enigmatic, angst-ridden, dark-souled creature.
Who wouldn’t love the promise of immortality, eternally young and desirable, a chance to see forever?
This was a wistful wish of mine since I saw that thirty-five-year-old face, decided I didn’t want to get any older, and began to behave as if I never would. Reality set in when I woke up on my fifty-second birthday, shortly after receiving my pink slip. I looked in the mirror and detected the inevitable signs of aging that had quietly progressed while I wasn’t paying attention. Another boulder rolling down the hill, another small pity party.
I went out and got another tattoo. Then I sat down and wrote my novel.
I’m feeling much better now...
My Review of Ms. Mogil's story "A Gentle Man":
I want me one of those! *Huge smile, batting eye and loosely flapping hand*
Alright, I have GOT TO SAY, this story is addictive. In a good way. Once I picked it up, I could barely let it go. Had it not been for the constant needs of my 10-year-old, I may not have.
It can easily be considered one of those “all nighter books” A day and a half! THAT'S how long it took me to read it—including interruptions. Solely because I was seized by it. Lol
It's an entirely different take on Vampires and (the all too familiar) Mid-Life Crisis.
A woman in her fifties that has had about all she can take with her life, then unwillingly crosses paths this 'a mysterious stranger'... Yeah, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, “You mean, just like EVERY OTHER vampire story?!” Well, no. Not really.
It's one of those stories that, once you think things are about to settle down and regulate themselves, something else happens. Quite ensnaring. Loved it.
Hands down, my favorite character was Annie (Anastasia, the heroine). She was funny, quick witted and with an attitude to match BUT with a heart of gold. Fun, fun character!
I need to constantly remind myself... NO SPOILERS! That being said, I highly recommend this story to anyone who loves a good Chick-lit, intertwined with the highly coveted Vampires. Give it a shot. You won't regret it. Seriously, read it yourself and find out.