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Interview with a ghost: Monty

Updated: Jul 4, 2020

From: Sybrina’s Book Blog

Character Interview: Monty (the Ghost) - from SPIRITS OF THE WESTERN WILD

Image of Monty the ghost from SPIRITS OF THE WESTERN WILD by David Schaub and Roger Vizard

I loved writing Monty's dialogue in the screenplay, and jumped at the chance to do this character interview for Sybrina's Book Blog. In his typical colorful fashion, Monty is giving us the setup for SPIRITS OF THE WESTERN WILD from his perspective.

- David Schaub


Can you tell us your name and a bit about your background?

What… you too? You know - there was a time when everybody knew exactly who I was around here. The name’s Montague Montgomery - you can look it up and see for yourself. But around here, everyone just called me "Monty" – strong arm of the law that every man, woman, and child counted on for their preservation and good safekeepings. Hard to believe there was a time when I was cherished and adorned by all of ‘em.

So what happened?

Well, I got this gap in my recollection, see... so I can’t really say. Last thing I remember is Big Willie waltzing into town… struttin’ his stuff like he owned the place. Next thing you know, he’s calling himself “sheriff,” and that was it. After that, nobody talked at me no more. Can you believe that? Top of the hog-pile one day, and next thing you know, I’m just taken for granite around here.

For Granted…?

Right… GRANITE. And for some reason, no one sees through that crooked old weasel for what he really is… just a high-falutin’, fast-talkin’ carpetbagger pulling the wool over everyone's eyes. He’s just a wolf in cheap clothing, is what I say. But it don’t matter what I say. The whole town acts like I’m not even there when I talk at ‘em. But I'm coming to terms. Anyhow, I figure it’s better to be an old “has-been” than a “never-was.” So I rest my pieces.

So Willie must be the villain… and how are you related to the main character?

Luther…? Oh, well that’s a whole ’nother story.

So I was propped up in the corner of the saloon here – not in the happiest frame of moods… just ruminating the backwash at the bottom of this empty glass. Then in comes this funny looking kid calling himself Luther. He comes right over and commences talking at me like no one’s talked at me in a long time… Finally - somebody’s paying me attention!

I took a liking to him for a minute there… ‘till he started getting up into my business. ’Said he thinks no one is talking at me ‘cause no one can see me. He thinks I’m some kind of mis-embodied spirit, or some lopsided hogwash like that…


Right! Can you believe it?! I swear… kids these days got nothing but misrespect – interfering in people’s privates all the time…

So… I’m confused. Why does he think you’re a ghost if he can see you?

Well now, that’s the crutch of the matter, right there. You’re gonna be surprised as I was, see… WHA--? Hold on a sec –

...the authors say I can’t be giving away the spoils. They want you to read about all that. I’m not much for reading myself, though. I like pictures, and the book is full of pictures. Better still – they set it up so you can LISTEN without reading a stitch! They’re calling it a "movie for your ear-holes" – featuring myself and a full cast of characters.

So how did you finally connect with Luther?

Well… he has a way of inviting trouble to the party. So before you know it, he gets in a tangle with Willie. They tore the whole place apart, the two of ’em. And when it was all over, I’m the one that had to bust him out of jail. Don’t ask me why… I just got this strange feeling I gotta keep him around. Besides, he’s the only one talking back at me, so I figure he can help me get to the bottom of this ghost-nonsense.

So the two of you are on this adventure TOGETHER? Is that it?

Yup, we’re on the run from Willie now. They’re calling it a BUDDY picture. BUDDIES, ugh. This kid would have expired by now if I wasn’t looking after him. I had to show him there’s a whole lot more to riding a horse than just sittin’ in the saddle and lettin’ your feet hang down. But I figure I can use this kid to do my dirty deeds back at Willie… if only these writers would stop gumming up the works.

What riders?

WRIT-ers… Come on! The guys that concocted this whole mess. They keep talking about how “funny” it would be to make my prevailing situation even more troublesome. Can you believe that? They want to make my life a living hell for their own laughing matter! Every time I get one step ahead, they throw me another hot mess. So with all due regrets, I gotta go now. I gotta stay ten paces ahead of these troublemakers, or I may not get out of this one alive.

- Monty

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