Posted in Member Profile

Monty McGinnis

Genre: Historical Fiction

What has been your most rewarding moment as an author?

Completing my first novel after 3 years of writing, re-writing, and editing.

What kind of research goes into writing your novels and how much time does it take?

My first novel, GAS MONEY, is based on my work experience at the time and locale of the story. I did historical and location research to be accurate about the historical facts of that time.

What have been some of the biggest helps for developing your writing skills? Written resources, classes or conferences, fellow writers you’ve learned from or have mentored you, other?

I read several books on writing a novel, such as Steven King’s book On Writing, and several seminars hosted by San Gabriel Writers League. Also, critiques of my writing offered by members of SGWL and my wife and daughter who are excellent at catching grammatical errors.

What’s the best piece of writing-related advice that you’ve received?

Show the story and history through characters and dialog, minimize the “telling” of what’s going on.

Who is your favorite author and why?

I have two favorites, Stephen Ambrose (now deceased) and Jeff Shaara. Both were excellent historical fiction writers.

Did your formal education or upbringing/background prepare you in any way to write?

I had an excellent professor in college that taught technical writing which requires putting down details, facts, in descriptive prose with no extraneous words. He would give you an “F” on a paper if you ever used the phrase “…in order to.”


Retired from Emerson Electric. Married fifty-eight years to my high school sweetheart. We have two grown daughters and four grandchildren. Hobbies include growing orchids, restoring classic cars and playing golf.


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