Dr. David Montague, associate vice chancellor for academic affairs at UA Little Rock, and his co-author Paige Bowers have received the Georgia Author of the Year Award in the biography category for their 2021 book, “Overnight Code: The Life of Raye Montague, the Woman Who Revolutionized Naval Engineering.”
The late Dr. Raye Montague, an internationally registered professional engineer with the U.S. Navy, is credited with creating the first computer-generated rough draft of a U.S. naval ship. She is the mother of Montague, who promised his mother that he would complete her biography with Bowers after Dr. Montague passed away in 2018 at the age of 83.
“I think my mother would be blown away by this award,” Montague said. “She was so excited to get the book out. To have it be selected for this award is truly phenomenal.”
The Georgia Author of the Year Awards celebrate the best literature by Georgia writers. The biography category is open to a life history that is a fact-based, referenced life story of a person, a group of people, or a family.
Montague and Bowers are eligible for the award because Bowers, a nationally published news and features writer, lives in Atlanta.
“Though I may be the Georgia-based author in this duo, this was absolutely a team effort for a book that was nothing short of a labor of love,” Bowers said. “At the end of the day, Raye Montague told simply wonderful stories. I honestly believe that all David and I did was weave those threads from her together with research and original interviews we did with other people from her life. The result was magical, touching countless readers across the nation, and a judge who felt ‘this well documented and incredible book demonstrates that perseverance and passion are truly the keys to success in fulfilling your life-long ambitions.’”
The magic of “Overnight Code” reached across the country. Since the book was released in early 2021, Montague and Bowers have participated in dozens of book readings, discussions, and interviews. They’ve included appearances on Good Morning America and IHeart Radio as well as a lecture at the U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence.
“I’m so grateful to David and the Montague family for trusting me to help them tell this story about a truly remarkable woman’s life,” Bowers said. “It was the honor of a lifetime, and on top of that it was very, very fun. David is a fantastic writing partner, and I can’t wait to collaborate with him again on another book in the not-too-distant future.”
Bowers may soon get her wish since Montague has said that the success with his mother’s biography has convinced him to finally write a book about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy that he has been planning for decades. Montague served as the senior investigator of the JFK Assassination Records Review Board from 1995 to 1997.
“This has inspired me to think about what to do next,” Montague said. “Now that we have this award, I’m hoping that Paige will work with me to get that book done of the JFK assassination.”