J.A. Garland

Read more about J.A. Garland.

Interview By: Tamazon

Date: September 01, 2012

J.A. Garland's Web Site

Shop J.A. Garland's Books


Current Release: Instinct, The Halfling Chronicles, #1

Describe your current release in two sentences?

Lone wolf, Rory Archer, never failed a single mission. Now the hunted instead of the hunter, Rory unwinds a twisted trail leading back to Amber Arlington, a spirited Halfling tied to a world of Shadows.

Please describe your writing environment.

My writing space is tidy, but I wouldn't call it entirely organized. I have a small desk that fits in my small bedroom. On it are two printers, one color, one a black and white powerhouse. (Sentences read differently when they are printed, did you ever notice that? So I like to print them out to make sure it reads exactly how I intended). I also have a little divider/holder where I keep my hard copy working manuscripts. Sometimes it gets so full it tips over, lol. In addition, my writing area must be as quiet as possible. I used to listen to music when I wrote, but then I realized the emotion of the songs carried into my writing. Which can be a good and bad thing. Maybe you didn't want flowery and loving when you were constructing that fight scene?

What are you working on ?

The world is an exciting place, but it wouldn't it be even more exciting if 'Otherkind' creatures existed? Like demons, werewolves, vampires, shapeshifters, etc? Instinct is book one in a series where Shadow creatures--paranormal beings who refuse to fly under the humans radar, come out to play. The National Otherkind Administration (NOA) is responsible for overseeing human/Otherkind interactions. Utilizing Analysts, NOA collects information on the Shadows. If they believe an infraction of the Otherkind Agreements exists, then they send in the Trackers. At the top of the food chain is the Otherkind Council. They act as judge and jury, and have become celebrities of sorts in the eyes of the Otherkind. My series follows several key players on both sides of the table. I am currently working on book two of the Halfling Chronicles, The Dysus Dreamer. Without giving anything away, this novel pursues the origins of the Halflings and the Shadow creatures who wish to control them. It also follows Slade, who tried really hard in book one to take center stage. In The Dysus Dreamer he gets full rein, and boy does he take it!

What do you feel blessed with?

My family, my job and my health.

What was your childhood ambition?

I was going to be a jet fighter pilot...yes, that self revelation coincides with the release of the movie Top Gun. But I ended up becoming a firefighter at age 18, and many years later, I'm still doing it.

What is your favorite TV show?

Easy, hands down it is the Walking Dead. I'm not much for watching TV, and before this show, for watching zombie flicks. But something about this series seems to perfectly balance horror, action and romance.

My, ahem, other TV weakness is Warehouse 13.

What career fields have you worked in?

I've enjoyed a long career as a firefighter for a large department in California. The job is full of rewards, including the privledge of serving the public. We are there in their darkest, worst days, and we do everything we can to make them better. But writing has been, and is, a release--an addictive freedom. I am very lucky to enjoy two such different, and spectacular careers in one lifetime.

What are your plans for the summer? Any books you are looking forward to?

On the writing groups where I belong, there are so many great authors, that I decided to read at least one book offered by each. First, I started reading just the ones in my preferred genres, but then I realized I was limiting myself, so I branched out. I recently finished a book by Linda LaRoque, 'A Way Back,' and although there weren't any 'Otherkind' creatures in it, I loved it! The woman can not only tell a story, but she can connect the dots with a precision and skill that is amazing.

How was your road to publication?

I am one of those uber lucky people who are surrounded by great friends. One of which, is a sports editor. He educated me about the EBook market and said it was the only way to fly. I wasn't totally sold, if you haven't noticed, I'm stubborn. I wanted one of those big NY print houses, right? (Ducking my publishers long reach right now, lol). I decided to appease him by sending my manuscript to two small presses that I'd researched a bit. The other one responded first, but I held out to hear from both. I'm glad I did, because when I heard from Champagne Book Group, which later created BURST Books for their SciFi/fantasy line, I knew they were right for me. They have open communication from top to bottom, great contracts, a wealth of supportive authors, amazing cover artists and caring mentors!

If you could time travel, where would you travel to and why?

Surprising thing about me, I'm a technology buff. I was assigned to an all-hazard incident command team for a few years, making maps. We use remote sensing, drones, you name it, to get the latest fire Intel. So, I'd love to head into the future and see where all those great innovations in the process have ended up.

If you could live in a world created by an author, which book / world would you jump into?

I think I have read every one of Sherrilyn Kenyon's books. Which is quite an accomplishment since she is such a prolific writer! No, I have never stalked, er, met her. Her worlds match just enough of our current reality that the jump wouldn't be too jarring, yet the paranormal elements are exciting enough I'd never want to leave.

Thank you so much for joining me today. I look forward to hearing from you!

Contest: Please don't forget to enter the contest where a lucky reader will win an ebook copy of INSTINCT, along with a Big Bag O' Swag. (Ends the last Friday of Sep 2012) - Enter the "Choose the Book YOU Want To Win" Contest!