Indie Author Spotlight – Montgomery Mahaffey and “Ella Bandita & the Wanderer”

Indie Author Spotlight – Montgomery Mahaffey and “Ella Bandita & the Wanderer”

I’ve got another great indie author for you this morning.  Say hello to Montgomery Mahaffey!



Montgomery Mahaffey is a fantasy writer who has told her stories all over the country. Alaskan winters shaped Mahaffey as a writer, and her work is built off of the myriad of personal and collective experiences formed underneath that mystical landscape. Born in the south to a family of storytellers, Mahaffey has developed her own voice that is suffused with the temperament of the wanderer instinct. Set in a world where magic is at once subtle and pervasive, her novels bring to life symbols and stories of the old fairy tales told with wry humor and passion. In 2005 she was granted the Individual Artist Project Award from the Rasmuson Foundation in Anchorage, Alaska. Ella Bandita and the Wanderer is her first novel.

You can follow her at:



And here’s her book!


They were fated to collide, Ella Bandita and the Wanderer. This complex fable about a predatory seductress and an adventurer frozen in grief explores the darkness of the human heart and the allure of erotic obsession over love. The story begins when an outcast young woman tries to kill herself. Yet a sorcerer intervenes with a last chance to change her destiny. But she must be his lover and give him her heart to transform into the immortal Ella Bandita. All his life, the Wanderer hears stories about Ella Bandita, the ruthless thief of hearts. But he never believes she lives and doesn’t recognize her when they meet. Driven by lust, he follows Ella Bandita into a battle of wills that threatens to destroy him. The Wanderer wants nothing more than to avenge himself on a woman he loathes, the vagabond seductress who stole his heart.

You can buy it at:


Montgomery has provided us with an excerpt…

The Patron found her past the wide bend in the river in the same spot where she and the Trainer used to fish. Crouched on her haunches, she wore crude trousers tied at her waist, the fine stitches of her blouse grimy, her hair in a long braid to her waist, strands tousled around her face. Although she’d grown taller and now had the curves of womanhood, she looked just as she had that season seven years ago. Scanning the trees, he almost expected to find the Trainer, but his daughter was alone.

One thing had changed. She’d never worn a holster back then, but now had one belted below her waist. He raised his brows when he saw one of his pistols at her hip. He hadn’t heard the shot when she caught the squirrel, but she was skinning the carcass with one of his daggers. So intent was she on her task she didn’t hear him approach. Her eyes grew wide when she looked up and her hand slipped, the blade slicing into her wrist.

The Patron leaped off his horse and reached her in two strides. Gripping her arm, he sunk her hand in the water. The girl resisted, but he held on tight and squeezed her wound to stop the blood flowing into the river. He brought her hand out of the icy water and pressed his scarf against the side of her wrist, pulling a handkerchief from his breast pocket. He heard her labored breathing and felt the taut muscles of her arm while tying the bandage around her wrist. The Patron glanced over, ashamed when he saw the girl pulling as far from him as possible, her eyes narrowed to slits. It had been years since he last touched her.


And I’ve also got a great interview with her:

Who is your favorite author? Is it possible to only have one favorite author? The immediate one who popped into mind is Jeannette Winterson: “Sexing the Cherry” and “The Passion.” Some other favorites are Isabel Allende, Tom Robbins, John Irving, Truman Capote, Jane Austen, Agatha Christie, Florence King, Hans Christian Andersen, and John Kennedy Toole.

How do you describe your writing style? I’m rooted in fables/folk tales/fairy tales. My stories are written in the style of oral storytelling before I expand them into novels. In parts, my writing style can be very lush and lyrical, and in other parts, staccato and abrupt. More often than I’d like, my writing is very clumsy and awkward; but I suppose that’s part of the learning curve.
Use no more than two sentences. Why should we read your book? For the hot sex scenes that only make up 5% of the entire novel – it’s quality, not quantity that matters. 😉 Seriously, the female protagonist is unusual in that she is a villainess, a little more evil than good, and a helluva lot of fun as a result.
Have any of your characters been modeled after yourself? Yes. The Wanderer. This may sound ironic because the Wanderer is a man and I’m a woman. But that’s only gender. I grew up with brothers, male cousins, and all their friends, so I’m very familiar with the masculine. Besides, the Wanderer – although very male – has a well-developed feminine side that he’s comfortable with. Over time, I’ve come to recognize that there’s more of me in the Ella Bandita character – who also has a strong masculine side to her. Obviously, I like gender-fluid dynamics – especially in the relationship between Ella Bandita and the Wanderer. It makes the tension between them vivid and delicious.
If you could exchange lives with any of your characters for a day which character would you choose and why?That’s easy. Ella Bandita. She’s a macho slut, and I would love to taste the psychological and emotional freedom I’ve never known in my relationships. I wouldn’t want to live that way forever, because there’s a dear price to pay. But to experience that power, even if it was just for a moment or a day, would be mind-blowing.
What books have most influenced your life? I wrote my first fairy tale while I was halfway through reading the complete works of Hans Christian Andersen – and the story came out effortlessly. Later, I would find that using magic and suspending the rules of mundane reality freed me up to write the stories I wanted to tell. Jeannette Winterson’s “Sexing the Cherry” was the first novel I read that blew me away. What she did with description and words was like nothing I’d ever experienced before – and she also uses fantastical fable-like elements in her writing. I remember thinking after I read that book that I should just forget about being a writer because I would never be that good. I’ve often felt the same way while reading the early work of Truman Capote. Without realizing it, those authors made me set the bar higher, and I think I became a better writer because they intimidated me so much.
If you could select one book that you could rewrite and add your own unique twist on, which book would that be and why? I would rewrite “Eleven Minutes” by Paulo Coelho because my experience of that novel was an exquisite mating dance that got me all excited only to culminate in disappointing sex – especially because the sex could have risen above mediocrity had there been enough foreplay. To elaborate: there is wonderful chemistry in the friendship between the prostitute Maria and the celibate artist Ralf – and their budding love story around sacred sexuality is believable. However, there is also a delicious build up of tension in the plot line of Maria being seduced into the realm of sadomasochism that would have taken her sex worker career in a heightened, more lucrative, and more dangerous arena. That was when the tension of the story started getting really good. I would have loved to have seen more scenes describing the struggle for Maria to choose between Ralf and the Sacred Sexual (love and light) and the erotic allure of BDSM (punishment and power). Such a conflict would have made Maria’s final choice more emotionally (and possibly physically) orgasmic for the reader.
Beatles or Monkees? Why? Beatles. And the why is obvious. But if I were to choose between 2 bands of genius musicians, like Beatles or Rolling Stones? The answer would be Rolling Stones because they’re gritty and raw.

Who should play you in a film of your life? Hillary Swank or Tina Fey.


Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.