Hello, y’all! Welcome back to another Writer Wednesday, and one I am personally super excited about!
For today’s post, I got to talk to one of my very favorite authors–Garrett Leigh! Her work is intensely and heartbreakingly beautiful, and with every story, she steals my heart a bit more. Not to mention, the work she does as a cover artist! Each time I see a new one, I fall in love! If you haven’t read any of her work, be sure to check out the links at the end.
And now, before I spend too much time fangirling, and not enough interviewing, let’s get started!
LEAH: Good morning, Garrett! Or, well, I suppose afternoon for you! I hope you’ve had a lovely day so far.
GL: Helloooo! Thank you for having me, Leah! ❤
LEAH: Let’s just jump right in, shall we? Most of your books deal with some pretty heavy, intense themes. Has there been a book or theme you’ve written about so far that was especially difficult for you to cover? Has there been a particular character that was hard to write?
GL: In all honesty, most of my characters are difficult to write, even the ones that flow. But I think I’d say that Pete was my hardest from my earlier books, and perhaps Rhys from my more recent books. The fact that they’re both paramedics is perhaps a coincidence, but then again, maybe not. The work they do means they spend much of their time concealing their emotions, and it’s a hard habit to break.
LEAH: And they’re both such wonderful characters–Pete wiggled his way into my heart from the moment I met him! Several of your books feature sex workers as the main characters, which is something I like about your novels as positive representation of sex workers is so few and far between. Can you tell me a bit about why you’ve decided to have so many characters in the sex industry?
GL: I’m a very sex positive person, and I do my best to represent that in my books. Yeah, the sex industry can be dangerous and unpleasant, but so can many others. Sex what an individual perceives it to be, what it means to them, and so it’s obviously subjective, but there’s nothing shameful about enjoying sex. And if someone’s paid you to enjoy it? Even better.
LEAH: Yeah, absolutely! It’s so refreshing to read stories with characters in the industry and who are confident and secure in who they are. A couple of your recent releases have been part of the Porthkennack series with Riptide Publishing. What has it been like writing in the same world as other authors, using the same mythos and (moderately) connected characters?
GL: It was both challenging and wonderful. The continuity was tricky at times, but although we shared a world, each book was standalone, so it wasn’t as complicated as it could have been. Also, Alex Beecroft created the most awesome universe ever, so it was a privilege to be a part of it.
LEAH: Last October you released your first Young Adult novel, citing it as something you wrote for your daughter so she could see herself in a book. How was writing Finding Home different, and similar, to writing adult works? Do you see yourself writing more Young Adult in the future? I, for one, would be all for that! *smiles*
GL: It was very different. I’m known for my brutal dialogue, and I had to rein that in. Also, I had to consider that themes I’d chosen had to be represented in a certain way, which is something I’d never worried about with an adult book. Writing YA comes with a certain responsibility, and I had to think about that constantly. I’m not sure if I’ll write another YA, but then I do have another daughter who’s currently demanding her own book, so who knows??!!
LEAH: *laughs* I’m totally on the side of your little one! *grins* Now, you are a woman of many, many talents–I know you also do graphic design and craft book covers for a number of different publishers and authors, alongside your writing. How did you get into that and what do you enjoy most about the process?
GL: I LOVE doing covers and graphics. I kind of got into it by accident, and I’m entirely self taught, but I really enjoy it. It can be stressful, but it’s a breath of fresh air when I’ve been writing all day. Also, not having to argue with anyone about covers for my own books is awesome.
LEAH: I can imagine! And like I said in my intro, all your covers are so great! Now let’s do a few fun questions! If you were to get any line you’ve written as a tattoo, which would it be?
GL: I already have the epigraph from Misfits “one does not refuse love” inked on my forearm ❤
LEAH: Oh, I love that. I personally have considered getting the dragonfly from MISFITS tattooed somewhere! If the Urban Soul main characters were described using dinner appetizers, which would you say fits each of them?
GL: Oh God. I guess Tom would be something British like soup, Cass something working class like fried whitebait, and I’d imagine Jake would be something spicy.
LEAH: *snickers* Jake is definitely a spicy bit. Select five (5) of your characters and sort them into Hogwarts Houses, with brief explanations, if you please!
GL: I don’t know HP well enough to do that, but almost all of my MCs are obviously Gryffindor. (I only know this because I just asked my kid, haha.)
LEAH: *snorts* You’re British and don’t know Harry Potter? Outrageous! *laughs* Describe the dream dates of the following five (5) characters: Cass, Kim, Leo, Jamie, and Ash.
GL: Cass, as we know from Misfits, just likes to lie around, walk in the woods, and eat food, and I’d say that’s ditto for Kim, though swap the woods for the beach. Ash loves to walk around the city and eat street food with Pete. Jamie?? He’s a complicated one. He loves to cook for Marc, but the outside world scares him a bit. I think he’s still waiting for Marc to show him something worth challenging those nerves. Oooh, I feel a Patreon one shot coming on…
LEAH: *eyes emoji* I’ll be waiting for that Patreon post! *smiles* Garrett, thank you so much for coming by to talk, it was so great to have you!
GL: Thank YOU. Always a pleasure to talk to you.
Garrett Leigh is an award-winning British writer and book designer, currently working for Dreamspinner Press, Loose Id, Riptide Publishing, and Fox Love Press.
Garrett’s debut novel, Slide, won Best Bisexual Debut at the 2014 Rainbow Book Awards, and her polyamorous novel, Misfits was a finalist in the 2016 LAMBDA awards.
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, all the while shouting at her menagerie of children and animals and attempting to tame her unruly and wonderful FOX.
Garrett is also an award winning cover artist, taking the silver medal at the Benjamin Franklin Book Awards in 2016. She designs for various publishing houses and independent authors at blackjazzdesign.com, and co-owns the specialist stock site moonstockphotography.com with photographer Dan Burgess.
Garrett Leigh’s Website 🐝 Garrett Leigh’s Graphic Design Business 🐝 Garrett Leigh on Patreon 🐝 Garrett Leigh on Amazon 🐝 Garrett Leigh on Barnes & Noble 🐝 Garrett Leigh on Book Depository 🐝 Garrett Leigh on Kobo 🐝 Garrett Leigh on IndieBound 🐝 Garrett Leigh on Wordery 🐝 Garrett Leigh on Audible