A Character Interview with Jason Montgomery from THE SCALE plus a conversation with author Mika Jolie!

Today we're bringing something different to Writing in the Modern Age in the form of a character interview.  These character interviews, now and in the future, should prove to be very enlightening for all of us. 

Today we have the pleasure of meeting Jason Montgomery, a character from The Scale. We'll get a chance to talk to the author, Mika Jolie, in a bit, but now we have on the stage...Jason Montgomery!



Marie Lavender:  Hello, Jason.  Please have a seat.

Jason Montgomery:  Thank you.  It's a pleasure to be here.

Marie:  We're going to start out with some simple questions, okay?

Character Jason:  Sure.

Marie:  So, what is your occupation?  Are you any good at it?  Do you like it?  

Jason: I’m a lawyer. However, I don’t really practice law anymore. I took on a different position at Montgomery Corporation. I do love the adrenaline rush. I also own Vapor, a local favorite on the island with Adam. (Smiles.) I’m pretty good at construction. I guess you can say I wear many hats. 

Marie:  Great!  What is your family like?

Jason:  My immediate family is interesting. My dad and I have had our ups and downs. But things are better now. My mother (pauses) passed away a couple of years ago. (Exhales.) I don’t have any siblings, at least none from the natural process, but I’m very close to Forrest, Adam, Blake and Claire. You could say they are my brothers and sister.   

Marie:  What did your childhood home look like?

Jason:  (Laughs) Picture the Kennedy compound. I started going there again with Minka. (Shakes his head.) It’s a lot of land, but now only Claire’s mom lives there full time. 

Marie:  Do you have any hobbies? What do you enjoy doing?  
Jason:  I surf and paddleboard a lot. I got Minka to paddleboard a few times with me. I love to remodel things. I recently finished remodeling our house. 
Marie:  What is your greatest dream?
Jason:  To never disappoint those I love.  
Marie:  What kind of person do you wish you could be? What is stopping you?
Jason:  I’m pretty happy with who I am at this point in my life. I learned to forgive and allow myself to love unconditionally. Neither was an easy task.  
Marie:  Who was your first love? 
Jason:  That’s easy (Smiles). Minka.   
Marie:  What's the most terrible thing that ever happened to you?  

Jason:  (Exhales.) My mother’s suicide. What’s the next question?  

Marie:  What was your dream growing up? Did you achieve that dream? If so, in what ways was it not what you expected? If you never achieved the dream, why not?   

Jason:  To be my father. (Pauses.) Minka often points out that I am very much like my father. (Sighs.) I hope that’s not entirely true.  

Marie:  Who is your role model? 

Jason: Growing up, my parents were great at establishing security and keeping me grounded. I guess you could say they were great role models up to a point. My friends have some great qualities as well that I admire.  For example, Adam is impulsive. The guy lives on the edge. I admire that. Forrest is always calm, he never loses his cool. I admire that. Blake is probably the most logical out all of of us and I admire that in him. And Claire is the wildflower, beautiful and free; I admire that in her. I admire my father’s ability to admit his flaws. But role model? I’d have to say Minka for her quiet strength. 

Marie:  Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike? 

Jason: (Laughs.) No. If I don’t like you, it’s for a good reason. And I don’t deal with you. 

Marie:  What is your deepest desire?

Jason:  (Chuckles.) The answer has to be rated PG, right? Let’s skip this one since I don’t want to embarrass my fiancée.  

Marie:  (Laughs.) What is your greatest fear? 

Jason:  To develop a weakness that can destroy me or those I love.     

Well, thank you for visiting us today, Jason.  It's been a pleasure to have you here.  I wish you so much happiness with Minka.
Now, let's shift over and get the author's perspective.  We have Mika Jolie on the stage today!  Hi, Mika!

Author Mika Jolie:  Hello.
Marie:  We just got to talk to the hero of your story, Jason Montgomery.  Quite an interesting character. Can you tell us a little about him? 
Mika:  I had so much fun telling Jason’s story. His many layers, from dealing with his father’s indiscretions, his mother’s suicide, and of course his attraction to Minka even when he found out she had feelings for one of his closest friends. He’s kind, loyal, but could be a bit of an ass. 
Marie:  What are your character's greatest strengths?  
Mika:  His ability to break things down, process everything around him and stay calm. (Laughs.) Well, at least most of the time he stays calm. 
Marie:  What are his greatest weaknesses?
Mika:   He’s not good at forgiveness. Although he has come a long way. 
Marie:  What are some of his favorite foods?
Mika:  Jason is a foodie, and he loves to cook. But his favorite food…lobster in Menemsha at Adam’s restaurant or throwing a steak on his grill. He also loves a nice homemade pie. 
Marie:  What's a positive quality that your character is unaware that he or she has?  
Mika:  (Laughs.) Don’t tell him, but he’s really a nice guy.  
Marie:  Will readers like or dislike this character, and why?
Mika:  I think readers will love Jason. I mean look at him…physically he’s perfect. Think Charlie Hunnam perfect and an overall good guy.  
Well, now that we have a real taste of Jason, we have a few questions for you as well as the author.   

Marie:  What first gave you the idea for The Scale?

Mika:  (Smiles.) Two things really. My first inspiration is my best friend who struggled with her weight for most of her life. The second is my own experience with my pregnancies, my weight gain during my pregnancy and how my body has changed.
Marie:  What is your writing style like?  Are you a pantster or a plotter?
Mika: (Laughs.) I wish I was a plotter. I plot but very little. I don’t have sticky yellow notes hanging all over my desk. I do a very small outline of the characters, and I write down three things:
1.  What SHOULD happen 
2.  What COULD happen 
3.  What MUST happen
At times, I deviate from those but for the most part they help me stay true to course.  (Chuckles.) I guess you can say I’m a minimalist plotter.

Marie:  Very interesting.  

So, I’m throwing this one in for our aspiring writers.  Did you come across any specific challenges in writing The Scale or getting it published?  What would you do differently the next time?  

Mika:  First, an editor suggested that I change the name to fit in the Romance genre. I said no thanks. I was asked to change the opening scene. I also said no to that because while it is not typical for Romance, I needed to establish Minka and all of her idiosyncrasies.

Writing The Scale was fairly smooth. I had it so well thought out. (Laughs.) Perhaps a little too much because I did a lot of trimming.

Publication was not difficult. I received several offers. It was very tough to choose one.

Next time, I don’t think I would do much differently. I had a great beta reader, and I intend to use her again. (Smiles.) I have a contract for all the books for the series with Secret Cravings Publishing. They have a great team there. But, you know, I’m still going to edit the daylights out of it before I send it over. Well, because I’m a bit of a perfectionist.

Well, it was such a pleasure having you here on Writing in the Modern Age.  Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this awesome book!  I can vouch for it personally, and I look forward to reading the other books in the series when they come out.

Here is the blurb for The Scale.

Twenty-seven year old, African-American, Minka Greene has to endure watching her twin sister marry the man she loves. Her weight is up, and her confidence is down. Not exactly the ideal time to meet the real man of her dreams.

The Scale opens in Martha’s Vineyard with Minka attending Keely and Blake’s engagement party at Martha’s Way, the beautiful inn owned and operated by the tall, blond, tattooed man with the piercing blue eyes. It just so happens Jason Montgomery is also Blake’s childhood friend and the best man. Dealing with a whirl of emotions, Minka faints in Jason’s arms.

When she wakes up naked in Jason’s bed after a night of passion, the Vineyard confirmed bachelor struggling with his own demons and the woman filled with self-doubt and pining for another man are joined in an experience that will change their lives.

Purchase Links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Scale-Marthas-Way-Book-ebook/dp/B00M7JACWI/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1406722738&sr=1-1&keywords=The+Scale+by+Mika+Jolie

Secret Cravings Publisher: http://store.secretcravingspublishing.com/index.php?main_page=book_info&products_id=913

Barnes& Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-scale-mika-jolie/1120019073?ean=2940149660940

All Romance ebooks (ARE) https://www.allromanceebooks.com/storeSearch.html?sortBy=bestSelling&searchBy=title&qString=The+scale

About Mika Jolie:

Author of Women’s Fiction, Contemporary Romance, and Chick lit, Wife, and Mommy to two energizer bunnies. Member of Secret Cravings Publishing. When I do have time to breathe, I like to run, hike with my camera at hand, and work on my gardening and knitting skills. Join me in my journey. 

Author Links:


Once again, I want to thank both of our guests, Jason Montgomery, the male main character of The Scale, and Mika, the brilliant author of the novel, for stopping by!  It was a pleasure to have you here.  :) 

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