Welcome, Garrett Leigh, to ScatteredThoughtsandRogueWords and for agreeing to sit in our interview chair. Garrett has brought along an excerpt from Slide (Roads,Book1) and a contest to win an ebook copy. See the Rafflecopter link and details at the end of the post.
ScatteredThoughts Garrett Leigh Interview
STRW• This sounds like an established lovers who need to reconnect, a favorite trope of mine. Why chose this option?
Garrett Leigh: Slide is told a little out of sequence. The prologue opens with Ash and Pete as established lovers, but chapter one takes you back to when they first met. The prologue was the first scene that came to me, so it felt right to have it open the book.
With the trope of established lovers, though, I find it as fascinating to dissect a partnership as it is to bring them together.
STRW. Your main characters are a tattoo artist and a paramedic. Those seem to be favorite professions of m/m authors. How do you make your characters stand out from the crowd?
Garrett Leigh: For Ash, his tattooing…his art, meant something. There isn’t a drawing or sketch in the whole series that doesn’t tell you something about him. For Ash, drawing is how he communicates. In Slide in particular, he struggles to express himself verbally.
Pete’s paramedic role suited his personality. He’s a natural caregiver, and I think his work helped develop his character on the page.
STRW. Your setting is Chicago, a fantastic city (and the site of GRL this year). Why choose Chicago?
Garrett Leigh: Chicago is a beautiful city and one I’d love to visit, so researching it was a lot of fun.
STRW. This book is the first in a series titled Roads. Is a journey the overall theme?
Garrett Leigh: For sure, though I reckon every book is a journey, especially in romance.
STRW. What came first? The idea for this story or the series?
Garrett Leigh: Slide came first, but the story didn’t feel over until I’d written Freed.
STRW. Do you have this series planned out through the last story or will the series grow along with the characters?
Garrett Leigh: The series is done, finished and published. Slide is out on tour again to celebrate the release of the series in audiobook. But to answer the question as best I can, the characters dictated the series, rather than the plot. Most of my work is character driven.
STRW. That’s your cover design for Slide and its very emotional. Is it easier for the artist to be the author as well? Does that help plan out the design for the cover because you know the story and what you want the cover to portray?
Garrett Leigh: In some sense it’s much easier. Like you say, I know exactly what I want and I have to tools to produce it. On the other hand, it can be really hard to get the cover right when I’m so emotionally invested in a book/the characters.
STRW. Favorite medium to work in as an artist?
Garrett Leigh: Gritty thrillers.
STRW. Favorite genre to write in as an author?
Garrett Leigh: For now…MM contemporary angst. Watch this space.
STRW. One last question. What do you find sexy? And which character embodies that the best?
Garrett Leigh: Sonny Valentine from the Blue Boy series. He’s my little pocket rocket. Compact and sexy, he knows what he wants, and he’s not afraid to say it.
I’m a little in love with Jed from Only Love too, though. He has a quiet confidence I really enjoy.
STRW: Thanks, Garrett, for stopping by and delivering such an insightful interview. Please come back when your other books are ready to be released! Now take a close look at Garrett Leigh and Slide below, complete with blurb and excerpt!
Book Name: Slide (Roads, Book 1)
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18487180-slide
Author Name: Garrett Leigh
Garrett Leigh is a British writer and book designer, currently working for Dreamspinner Press, Loose Id and Black Jazz Press. Her protagonists will always always be tortured, crippled, broken, and deeply flawed. Throw in a tale of enduring true love, some stubbly facial hair, and a bunch of tattoos, and you’ve got yourself a Garrett special.
When not writing, Garrett can generally be found procrastinating on Twitter, cooking up a storm, or sitting on her behind doing as little as possible. That, and dreaming up new ways to torture her characters. Garrett believes in happy endings; she just likes to make her boys work for it.
Garrett also works as a freelance cover artist for various publishing houses and independent authors under the pseudonym G.D. Leigh.
- For cover art info, please visit blackjazzpress.com
Social media: Website, Twitter , Facebook
Cover art enquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: G.D. Leigh
Categories: Gay Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, M/M Romance, Fiction
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.
Excerpt from Slide by Garrett Leigh:
Ash was Texan by birth, but his southern roots only laced his speech when he was too tired to repress them… too tired to block out all the horrible shit that kept an invisible barrier between us.
He was just seventeen when his friend Ellie found him drawing on the streets of Philadelphia. He was homeless and drew comic book characters on the sidewalk for money. The way she told it, he was one of the best street artists in the city, but he said he just did it to survive. Ellie was in college at the time, and she spent the next three years trying to get him to go to a shelter. Eventually, she got her way, and when she moved back to Chicago a few months later, she asked him to come with her. It took him a year of procrastination and pulling his shit together, but after finishing his tattoo apprenticeship in Philly, he did just that.
Living together was a huge adjustment for both of us. Some days I thought we’d cracked it, but others….
I draped the comforter over us and tucked it around his shoulders. He settled against me with his arm stretched out across my torso. I ran my hand absently along his bicep and enjoyed the rare moment. Though he could be tactile when his mood was right, he rarely cuddled up to me so freely. Most times, he preferred our positions reversed—him on his back with his arms around me.
Curious, I pressed a kiss to the top of his sweat-dampened head. “You okay?”
“Yeah, I just missed you.”
I smiled into the darkness. “I missed you too.”
A light hum was his only answer, so I held him a bit tighter and made the most of having him curled against me. After a while, I felt him shift. I opened my eyes and quirked an eyebrow, too mellow to speak. He just stared at me, but his blazing eyes told me what I knew he found so hard to articulate.
I put my hand to his head and nudged it back down with a sad smile.
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Contest: Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: E-Book copy of Slide. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter, Use the Rafflecopter link provided for the entry form and for all additional contest details.
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