Recently, I had the chance to interview BHC author of Remeon’s Destiny, J.W. Garrett. Here’s what she had to say.
How long have you actually considered yourself a writer in a professional sense and was there a defining moment or a gradual process that gave you that distinction?
Although I believed her back in elementary school when my teacher confirmed that I was indeed a writer, it wasn’t until much later that it was confirmed professionally. I had some work published in college, but my 1st piece of published fiction was a short story in 2016. I would say though, that I consider it a gradual process as we as writers grow into the words we write.
Ooh, we grow into the words we write. I love it, and teachers can have such an impact. This, Remeon’s Destiny, is your debut novel, and quite a unique one I might add. What was your inspiration behind the first book in the Realms of Chaos series?
I grew up in the mountains of Virginia, so I guess it’s not surprising that I chose that backdrop for my novel. My inspiration for the main character Thomas was my father. But through his development throughout the novel, Thomas definitely becomes his own unique character.
Yeah, I can see that. Soon or later, characters tend to find their own way. What is it that drew you to the fantasy sci-fi genre? Do you see yourself writing in another genre in the future?
I read fantasy and science fiction as a kid and was drawn to its unique characters, settings, and plot – so much less predictable than other genres. I love speculative fiction so I’ve also dabbled in horror as well. I enjoy historical romances, so I could see myself writing a romance or two with a dash of time travel mixed in.
Yesss! Can’t miss with time travel. What motivates you to write, and what has been a stumbling block that you have overcome or are overcoming?
The developing story and the characters all compel me to write. I’ve not found motivation to be a problem. The stumbling block has been trying to turn it off at times. Finding a structure to conform writing within, as well as my characters, has been an ongoing challenge.
So, it’s all about holding J.W. back a bit, not a bad problem to have, I’d say. What are your views on the different avenues of publishing i.e. self-publishing, indie-publishing, hybrid publishing, traditional publishing etc.?
There are more opportunities than ever before out there, but also, it’s extremely competitive. Start with researching the basic models: self-publishing, traditional and hybrid. Determine what works for your individual scenario and then pursue it with a passion. With changes in the publishing landscape happening so fast writers must continually re-evaluate and adapt to make sure they are still on target with their own personal goals. More and more I think we’ll see the lines blur between self-published authors, traditional and hybrid. All are fighting to keep market share as this business continues to shift and evolve to meet today’s market needs for the reader.
Monster answer! What are some of your favorite novels and authors and why?
First, The Hobbit, since it was the novel that opened my world to fantasy. Tolkien is, of course, a master. The Earthsea series by Ursula LeGuin introduced me to her talents when I was a teenager, and I haven’t looked back since. Her insights into humanity are profound and never-ending. Jean Auel and her Earth’s Children Series, beginning with the Clan of the Cave Bear has been a lifelong love of mine. The Outlander series is another one of my favorites. Diana Gabaldon gives her characters such emotional depth there’s no way you won’t come back for more.
Love the Outlander series. Nowadays it doesn’t matter how you’re published, and even with a great publisher like BHC, to some degree, you are also acting as your own PR and marketing team. How are you finding that process? Were you prepared for it when you began your journey as an author? What would you tell other authors who find this side of things intimidating and/or undignified?
I’m still navigating these waters. I’m not sure you can be prepared without going through it. I find I’m learning new things every day, which is great. What I wasn’t prepared for was the seemingly endless traffic of internet noise attempting to vie for my marketing dollar. That is difficult to sift through, and before you know it you can waste hours and hours of time with no redeeming benefit or value for that time spent.
True story! One of the things I really like about Remeon’s Destiny is the Juxtaposition of settings, from a rural Virginia town to an off-planet world, light years away, and the inclusion of the historic 1947 was genius. Tell us how all of that came about.
The story has been brewing in my head for decades. I just kept putting off writing it down, searching for the “perfect” time. And as I mentioned above, rural Virginia has a solid place in my personal history. I spent many carefree summer days on my grandparents’ farm soaking up the family stories and learning some of the inner-workings of farming life. History intrigues me, especially its circular nature. So I enjoy mixing the past with the future and melding those influences.
I’m big on characters in story, and you have quite a few powerful ones. From Thomas to Arista to Whisterly (awesome names) to Simon, you go hard with character. What did you draw on to draft such powerful souls, and which one most reflects your own personality and in what ways?
Initially, I typically start with traits of individuals I know. But as the story and characters develop they morph into their own unique personas. I love how that happens! If I had to pick one character, probably Arista most reflects my own personality. Her determination and drive are traits I see in myself, but also her short-sightedness and lack of focus I can identify with as well.
I must say you did a masterful job of making this novel stand alone in a big way, no nagging cliff-hangers. But when I heard this was a series I was elated. What can we expect next from J.W. Garrett overall, and when will the next Realms of Chaos book drop?
You can expect more books!! I don’t have a date as yet though, beyond 2019.
Tell us something different and unique about J.W. that you haven’t said in any other interview.
Let’s see…. I share my love of writing with my father. I didn’t learn that fact until I was in college. It’s always amazed me since, that when we spoke of poetry and other writings we had in the works that we had a special bond and I didn’t realize it. He was creative in many other areas, music specifically. His attempt to share that talent of his with me didn’t go so well. And after him trying multiple instruments in my hands he settled on the ukulele, which I dutifully and painstakingly learned to play. And when I had the first opportunity, subsequently quit playing. However, he reached his goal. I did play music with him on many occasions. Now, thinking back, I cherish those memories.
Beautiful!!! Thank you so much, J.W. for sharing. It’s been fun, revealing, and stimulating. We look forward to your next efforts.
Since this interview, I’ve heard from J.W., and I’m pleased to write that the second book in her Realms of Chaos series is set to publish, June 2019. So, that gives you plenty of time to grab the first book, Remeon’s Destiny and experience the magic. I promise you won’t be disappointed. I’ve included the links below to assist in that process. Ciao!