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LL Montez - Author Interview

How did you become a writer?

I don’t know when I officially became a writer, but I knew I loved writing when, as a 14 year-old, I had filled twelve 3-tab notebooks with Harry Potter and Sailor Moon fan fiction and really wanted to share them. I’m horrified to report my idiot brain told me to put them on the internet. They’ve been stuck there ever since. I literally don’t know how to take them down. It’s embarrassing.

What inspires you to write?

I love people-watching. From patients in a doctor’s waiting room to tourists on the train, I love being around people and storing away their quirks for awesome action beats.

How do you develop your plot and characters?

By taking a very hot, long shower. I do my best planning there.

Could you share some of your challenges as a writer?

I’ve always struggled with world-building in a way that makes sense to readers. I will write a scene and then make twenty to thirty passes at it, tweaking it one word at a time before asking someone else if they can “see” what I’m saying. Then, I go back and edit it all again. These worlds are so clear in my head, I have a hard time helping others see them as clearly because, to me, they just exist.

Tell me about your protagonist. What's your favorite trait and/or weakness?

Captain Janika Lorn of my ARC10 trilogy is my protagonist. She likes driving fast, fighting aliens, and flirting with pretty girls. My favorite trait is that she will square off with a bio-mechanical pseudo-spiders from another planet, but she is terrified of emotions.

What are your current/future projects?

My current project is finishing the ARC10 trilogy. After that, I’m moving from sci-fi to magical realism and fantasy with Latinx LGBTQ+ representation. I have so many stories to tell about brown girls being badasses.

Do you have a routine you follow when writing?

Absolutely not. It’s chaos over here.

If you could go back in time and give yourself advice, what would it be?

I would tell myself to let people in. Writing was so personal when I was a kid, so I never let anyone but strangers read what I was writing (thanks It’s taken so much work to be brave enough to let people I know read what I write. I wish I was more comfortable with it from the beginning so writing didn’t feel so isolating. But it doesn’t feel that way anymore. I’ve found my best friend through writing. I’ve also surrounded myself with the most brave, loving, and brilliant people through communities like Wattpad and PitchWars.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Be kind to yourself and to other writers. Most of us are soft and mushy, and we bruise easily.

* What is your preferred method for readers to get in touch with you?

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You can also find me on Instagram, Twitter, and Wattpad as @LLMontez

For writing tips and irreverent interviews, you can tune into me and cohost Shelly X Leonn on our podcast, The Writers XL. We are on iTunes, Spotify, and most major podcast platforms.


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