By STEPHANIE DECKER
For 21st Century News Media
Have you ever felt like you could escape into another world through a novel? Were you ever actually transported to a different world?
Well Emma Townsend was — the teenage main character of Eve Marie Mont’s acclaimed Unbound Trilogy. Emma’s story concludes in “A Phantom Enchantment,” the third and final book in the trilogy. The book is now available.
In this final installment, Emma’s senior year abroad in Paris is filled with happiness and excitement, that is, until her Coast Guard boyfriend, Gray, goes missing at sea. Emma soon begins to hear voices and see flashes of images in the old mirror in her dorm room.
Then, she learns that she is able to go through the mirror where she is met with an eerie world similar to the one in Gaston Leroux’s “The Phantom of the Opera.” In this world, Gray is alive and well, and nothing is as it seems.
In each novel, Emma experiences the fictional world of the book she is reading, and in these worlds, she has to overcome obstacles in order to get back to her reality.
In the first novel, “A Breath of Eyre,” Emma is transported into the nineteenth-century world of “Jane Eyre,” a novel by Charlotte Brontë; and in the second novel, “A Touch of Scarlet,” Emma’s life mirrors the events from Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Scarlet Letter.”
Eve Marie Mont is a full-time English teacher at Lower Moreland High School and, similar to her main character, is an avid reader; Brontë’s “Jane Eyre” is her favorite novel and it inspired the first book in the trilogy.
“I like escaping into other worlds, whether it’s through reading a book or making up my own story and … I got to a certain point in my life where I was reading avidly and (I) kind of wanted to challenge myself to see if I could do it,” says Mont.
Through her Unbound Trilogy, Mont made this dream a reality, and she is sad that it has reached its conclusion.
“(I’m) kind of a little sad that the characters are coming to the end of their story, but it is very satisfying to have published three books and told this story of these characters that have evolved over time.”
Throughout the series, the characters grow and mature, and Mont is “happy with where each of (the characters) ended up — given who they were and their strengths and weaknesses.”
With the success of this trilogy, Mont makes being a full-time teacher and published author look easy.
“It was not easy,” Mont said. “I wrote a lot during the summers and there definitely were points in the year where I didn’t have a life. Every weekend — pretty much all day Saturday and all day Sunday — would be dedicated to writing.”
And being a teacher of high school students definitely made Mont somewhat of an expert on teenage dialogue and mannerisms, what music they listen to and what annoys them; she is definitely inspired by them.
“Part of the fun of being a teacher and a writer, and writing books for young adults is to have some of your students read your book. I teach creative writing and I think it’s important to show that teachers just don’t teach these subjects, they often do these things on their own too,” said Mont.
For now, Mont is taking a break from writing and is just basking in the success of her published books, but she sure isn’t finished with writing.
“I definitely plan to write another novel once I refill the creative well and I have a little bit more time to think (of a new idea)” Mont said. “I might go in a completely different direction this time. I have no idea what I’m going to do next, but I know I want to keep writing.”
Mont has some advice for aspiring authors. One, read many different genres of books avidly; two, join a writer’s group because members will give you great feedback and support; three, keep persisting and never give up.
Finally, and possibly most importantly, “don’t make publishing the absolute end-all be-all because writing is fun on its own, even if you don’t ever get published, you can’t lose sight of the fact that it’s just great to create anything — put something new in the world whether it gets published or not.”
Be sure to check out Mont’s website at http://evemariemont.com/.