Monday, October 14, 2013

Guest Spot: Garrett Leigh

Well, looky who I've got here!  If it isn't Garrett Leigh, a fellow member of the 29-for-life club!  Garrett was good enough to answer a few of my questions and to tell us about a few of her books.  Check it out!

J: Do you have a specific writing style?
G: Angsty. Dark. Gritty. It can be a little rough round the edges too, just like me. I have a potty mouth and a dirty mind. Make of that what you will.

How did you come up with the title?
My editor asked me that very question just the other day, and my answer was this…
The word 'Slide' holds different connotations for both characters. For Pete, it symbolises the frustration he often feels with himself for letting Ash's situation become so desperate. From his slightly skewed perspective, the warning signs of Ash's breakdown were there for months, if not years, before he hit rock bottom. In his mind, letting things slide…slip by, without acting on them, without doing anything to help Ash…man, right or wrong, I don't think Pete will ever get over that.
Ash's take on it is simple. Without Pete, and the deep bond they share, he honestly believes he'd slide away into nothing. For him, the word represents the sometimes tenuous hold he has on the world.

How much of the book is realistic?
Too much and not enough. Every story I write is based on something…someone, be it myself, someone I know, or someone I've read about. When writing contemporary, you can't just make shit up, and adjust reality to suit your perspective. As a reader, I know I need to feel a realistic connection to a character to give a rat's ass about their fate, and I guess that's the same for everyone.
But in the same vein, because I'm drawn to such dark stories, it breaks my heart that we live in a world where such terrible things happen to a young man as special as Ash.

What books have most influenced your life most?
Junk, by Melvin Burgess. Addiction is an issue close to my heart, and one I know I will visit again. Junk has it all–romance, misery, love, life and death. I read it when I was just fourteen, and I've never forgotten it. As I write this, I can see it, dusty and dog eared, on the overladen shelf above my printer.

Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Twitter. I was an avid user before I signed with Dreamspinner, but the community of authors, readers and fans on there is incredible. The perfect way to keep my old pals close, while making lots of new ones. Though, to be honest, I tend to spend most of my time talking about cake.

Who designed the covers?
Me. I work as a cover artist for various publishers and authors, and I try really hard to do all my own covers, the only exception being Only Love, the war vet novel I have out with DSP next year. With that particular book, I'd been writing it, in one form or another, for about three years and when I came to drafting a cover, I just couldn't do it. Perhaps I was too close to the story, who knows? But, I'm very lucky in that I have a hugely talented friend, P.B. Blake, who's been my sounding board for as long as I've been writing, and I know the cover she designs will be above and beyond anything I could've done myself.
With the Roads series, I produced four covers–Slide, Marked, Rare and Freed. Two came easily, the other two were a nightmare. Not gonna divulge the specifics!

What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Aside from that pesky point about three quarters in where I always hit a wall, with Slide, I think it was allowing Pete and Ash to drift so far apart. In my heart, I knew it was necessary in order for them to heal, but it hurt. Those two are so deeply ingrained in one another, tearing them apart just felt wrong.

What are your current projects?
Currently, I'm working on the second instalment of my Blue Boy series at Loose Id, and putting the final pre-submission touches to Gypsy Heart, the full length novel born of my self-published short, Gypsy Rain.
I'm also hard at work promoting Slide and Marked, and Bullet, the novella I have releasing in November. No one told me marketing was so full on! Not that I'm complaining. Seeing Slide in print was one of the proudest moments of my life, and I'll never forget it.

Slide (Roads #1)
Don’t look back. Don’t you ever look back… 

Shy tattoo artist Ash has a troubled past. Years of neglect, drug abuse, and life on the streets have taken their toll, and sometimes it seems the deep, unspoken bond with his lover is the only balm for wounds he doesn’t quite understand.

Chicago paramedic Pete is warmth, love, and strength—things Ash never knew he could have, and never even knew he wanted until Pete showed him. But fate is a cruel, cruel mistress, and when nightmares collide with the present, their tentatively built world comes crashing down.

Traumatic events in Pete’s work life distance him from home, and he doesn’t realize until it’s too late that Ash has slipped away. Betrayal, secrets, and lies unfold, and when a devastating coincidence takes hold, Pete must fight with all he has to save the love of his life.

Marked (Roads #1.5)
Missing Moment from Slide

It's been six months since Ash shuffled into Pete's life and turned his world upside down, and six months since they sat in an all-night diner plotting Ash's theoretical solution for Pete's faded, botched tattoo. Pete has just about given up hope of Ash ever fulfilling his promise when one day the end of a long shift finds Ash waiting for him.

Tonight is the night.

Ash is ready, and it seems the time has come for him to leave his mark on Pete in more ways than he ever imagined.

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