Meet Reanna Montgomery, 2nd Place Winner in Winter 2020 Flash Fiction Contest

Tuesday, June 16, 2020
Reanna is a Birmingham, Alabama based gal with a flair for the arts and an enthusiast of anything related to F. Scott Fitzgerald. Before graduating college with her degree in history, she spent her time bartending to make money and then spent that money traveling the world. After all, opportunity is a wonderful thing to take. Reanna is an avid reader. From the clever wit of Jane Austen to the fantastical mind of JK Rowling, some of her greatest role models have been found in the rewarding world of literature. She has been writing creatively since she was a child and has always had a deep passion and love for storytelling. The grit and beauty of life have influenced her and is reflected in much of her writing. At a young age she recalls being deeply moved by a quote from the Great Gatsby, “I was within and without, simultaneously enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of life.” Her dream is to one day write something that impacts others in a similar fashion. Today, Reanna lives with her sweet husband and their 3 adorable pets. Together, they look forward to all of life’s adventures.

Read Reanna's award-winning story here and then return for an interview with the author.

----------Interview by Renee Roberson

WOW: Welcome, Reanna, and congratulations again on such a powerful story. How did you get the idea to tell the story of “Pinky Promise” through the form of a letter? Is this the way it originally came to you or did the style change at all during the revision process?

Reanna: Writing it through the form of a letter had always been my idea for this story. When I was a child, I thought letters were the best way to explain things to someone, especially if they were mad or upset with me. It gave me time to really think about what I wanted to say and how I wanted to say it. Nothing was forgotten or left unsaid, and there was a sense of accomplishment knowing that I delivered my truth to someone in its fullest and most genuine form.

WOW: I completely understand that rationale. I've even found it helpful to sometimes write letters that I never intend to send. It can be so cathartic. One of the things that stands out most in this piece is the raw honesty and authenticity in the narrator’s voice. What are some things to consider when trying to create the perfect voice for a character?

Reanna: First, decide who your character is. At their core, who are they? At their surface, who are they? What characteristics bring them to life? Try to climb inside their head and really get to know them. Oftentimes, the authenticity of your character can require research, especially if you are writing on a topic or from a perspective you know little about. The characters you create can reflect anything you want them to, so take advantage of that. Strong, authentic character development is what will breathe life into your story.

WOW: Great tips! It's clear you are an avid reader. What are some of your favorite genres to read and why?

Reanna: The easiest answer is that I don't have a favorite genre. I love reading all different genres and styles. I am captivated by so many different stories. I could never choose a favorite because I love too many.

WOW: I get that. You mention in your bio how much you love to travel. Where have been some of your favorite destinations?

Reanna: My favorite place to travel is the Virgin Islands, specifically the island of St. John, USVI. It was one of the first distant places I travelled to on my own, and I fell in love with it the moment I arrived. I have spent a lot of time there and I go any chance I get. Since 2010, I have made sure to visit at least once a year. It is a very special place to me.

WOW: I've heard some great things about St. John. Thank you for sharing that. What are some other things you’re working on right now?

Reanna: I have recently been working on a novel. Hopefully, with a bit of patience, I can get it finished.

WOW: I have no doubt you will be successful in completing it. Thank you for taking the time to chat with us today. Happy writing!


Sioux Roslawski said...

Renee--Thanks for doing this interview, and for linking Reanna's story to this post. What a powerful story.

Reanna--What a twist. I didn't see that ending coming. That's a sign of a well-crafted story.

I saw Wilson Cruz (a gay actor) interviewed on a talk show yesterday. He got a spot on the short-lived show, "My So-Called Life" and got letters from gay teens--teens who were grateful to see someone like them on the TV screen.

Wilson did not have any role model like that when he was growing up.

Today black people are being mowed down, just because of the color of their skin. Gay people are being harrassed and attacked and killed--just because of who they are. Trans people are verbally assaulted, physically assaulted, and murdered--just because they want to be the person they were (supposed to be) born to be.

NO lives matter until black lives... until gay lives... until trans lives matter.

Thanks for this story--congratulations, and good luck with your novel.

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