Fabulous friend, mentor, and author, Margarita Montimore, returns to the blog this week to talk about her latest book, a time traveling novel called Oona Out of Order. Welcome back, Margarita!
Author Name: Margarita Montimore
Book Title: Oona Out of Order
Book Genre: Upmarket Fiction
Release Date: February 25, 2020
Publisher: Flat Iron Books
How would you describe Oona Out of Order?
The story begins on New Year’s Eve, 1982, with Oona Lockhart about to turn 19. At the stroke of midnight, she passes out and wakes up in 2015, in her 51-year-old body. Shortly thereafter, she learns that with each passing year, she will leap to another age at random, living her adult life out of order.
What drew you to the idea for Oona Out of Order and how close is the end product to that seed of an idea?
I’ve always found time travel a fascinating story device, but I felt like there were ways it could be used to explore more personal narrative. You don’t often get an in-depth look at the affects time travel might have on a person’s day to day life, their identity, and their relationships. That’s what I wanted to explore in Oona Out of Order. The end product is what I hoped it would be, though more layered than I expected. On the surface, it has some familiar elements of time travel stories—being a fish out of water, trying to change the future, etc., which I hope readers will find entertaining. But if they want to take a deeper look, the novel also uses time travel to explore themes like aging, imposter syndrome, and the desire for constancy in an every-changing world.
In what ways do you think you’ve evolved as an author since your first book came out?
I’m more patient, which historically hasn’t been one of my strongest traits. But writing and publishing books takes time, as does marketing and promotion and you can’t rush those things if you want to do them well. Seeing the entire publishing process up close, from both a self-published and traditionally published perspective has made me respect this process and its accompanying timelines. As a result, I’ve also tried to be a little more patient with myself as a writer and understand that some books will take longer to write than others.
What’s your favorite part about writing and being an author? What do you find challenging?
My favorite part of writing is when the magic happens and how a story can seemingly come from elsewhere and use me as a conduit to transcribe it. I also love being surprised by my characters—the way they reveal themselves over time and hijack my planned narratives to veer into new directions. The challenging part of writing is maintaining discipline when the magic doesn’t happen and putting in the work anyway, writing bad pages until eventually you hit on something usable.
My favorite part of being an author is interacting with readers and seeing how they connect with my work. What I write tends to be offbeat, and I don’t expect everyone to love it, so it’s gratifying to see positive responses. Plus, as a fellow reader, one of the best things I can think of is getting truly immersed in a good book, so being able to offer that experience to others is incredible. The challenging part of being an author is when things get so busy, particularly with promotion, that I’m unable to accept all requests or respond to every message, especially if they’re from people I know. I don’t want anybody who reaches out to feel like I’ve overlooked them, but sometimes it’s just impossible to get back to everyone.
What are your interests outside of writing and reading?
Walking/hiking with my dog, knitting/crocheting, binge-watching/binge-listening to shows/podcasts (I’m partial to all things quirky, true crime, and paranormal), and karaoke.
What are you working on now?
I have a few different projects I’m tinkering with, including a sequel to Oona Out of Order.
Where can readers find you (website, blog, social media, etc.)? Feel free to include any upcoming, live events, too!
Oona Out of Order (Flatiron Books – North America)
The Rearranged Life of Oona Lockhart (Gollancz – UK/Commonwealth)
I don’t have any public live events coming up, but I’ll be visiting a number of book clubs, in person and via Skype, and would love to visit more.
Thanks again, Margarita! Oona Out of Order is available everywhere books are sold.
A remarkably inventive novel that explores what it means to live a life fully in the moment, even if those moments are out of order.
It’s New Year’s Eve 1982, and Oona Lockhart has her whole life before her. At the stroke of midnight she will turn nineteen, and the year ahead promises to be one of consequence. Should she go to London to study economics, or remain at home in Brooklyn to pursue her passion for music and be with her boyfriend? As the countdown to the New Year begins, Oona faints and awakens thirty-two years in the future in her fifty-one-year-old body. Greeted by a friendly stranger in a beautiful house she’s told is her own, Oona learns that with each passing year she will leap to another age at random. And so begins Oona Out of Order…
Hopping through decades, pop culture fads, and much-needed stock tips, Oona is still a young woman on the inside but ever changing on the outside. Who will she be next year? Philanthropist? Club Kid? World traveler? Wife to a man she’s never met? Surprising, magical, and heart-wrenching, Margarita Montimore has crafted an unforgettable story about the burdens of time, the endurance of love, and the power of family.