Interview & Contest: J.A. Garland

Jen: Today we are excited to welcome J.A. Garland to Romancing the Book. J.A., please tell us about Instinct and where the idea came from.
J.A.: “When you’ve been betrayed, how do you balance revenge with trust?”

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. Bound to vows initially forged out of necessity, Rory and Amber’s relationship surges into more than either of them bargained on. Scrambling to identify their attacker before joining the casualty list, Rory is faced with doing the unthinkable, or watching Amber become a slave for his species.

In the battle against Shadows, demons and all variety of monsters come out to fight. Can one wolf learn to trust in time to save them all?

Where the idea came from: If you know anything about me, you know that I am a self professed cheese puff connoisseur. I spend a lot of time researching and sampling different types of cheesy goodness. Which leads me to my next favorite thing to do…running. Thank goodness, right, or else I would be a tank! When I am running the trails, I plot out my books, because, yes, I’m also a plotter. I have to sketch everything out to make sure I intertwine scenes and get that big black moment just right. The characters that carry the storyline come secondary. Sometimes, though, they don’t like to play nice. They take that ‘breath of life’ and run amuck with my plot!

Jen: Tell us something about your newest release that is NOT in the blurb.
J.A.: 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 and Otherkind interactions. Utilizing Analysts, they collect information on the Shadows. If they believe an infraction of the Otherkind Agreements exists, they send in the Trackers for recovery. 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.

Jen: This is your debut novel. Can you tell us your call story?
J.A.: I am one of those uber lucky people who are surrounded by great friends. One of which, is a sports editor. He read my manuscript and educated me about the EBook market–he felt 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.

Jen: Why Urban Fantasy? Is there a genre you’d like to try or one that you’ll stay away from?
J.A.: I guess I’ve always wanted to believe there was some ‘magic’ in this world. So incorporating it into my books and characters just came naturally. Not that normal folks are boring or anything, lol, but you have to admit, super charged creatures are a lot of fun!

I would like to try my hand at Science fiction. Which probably isn’t too much of a jump for a fantasy author. I’m something of a technology geek, so I think it would be fun to cover futuristic space travel and space aliens. Gotta have space aliens.

Jen: Do you have a writing routine?
J.A.: I am a dedicated morning person. I get up before the sun, around 5am. I then drink a carafe of coffee, I’m not joking, I have the blood pressure to show for it, lol. Then I go for a run. I run at least 6 days a week. My favorite place to run is at a nearby park. 500 acres of trails, I love it! When I run I think about the next chapter of my current W.I.P. So by the time I get home, I am all ready to have at the computer. I peter out around noon, but get a second wind in the evening. Then I usually edit paragraphs I’ve already written, I don’t add anything new.

Jen: Who are some of your favorite authors?
J.A.: I think I’ve read just about every one of Sherrilyn Kenyon’s books. Which is quite the accomplishment since she is such a prolific writer! No, I have never stalked, er, met her. I would love to talk to her though, but not at a stuffy, automated book signing. I’m thinking it would be fun to chat about life and writing over coffee and beignets in a New Orleans cafe. What do you think, Sherrilyn? Are you up for it?

Jen: What are you reading now?
J.A.: 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.

Jen: What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?
J.A.: My writing style has been described as Twilight meets T.J. Hooker. Thriller, action, a little romance, any author in those genres inspire me.

Jen: What’s next for you?
J.A.: I am currently working on book two of the Halfling Chronicles, and I’m almost ready to submit. 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 this book he gets full rein, and boy does he take it!
J.A. is a full time firefighter in the state of California, an addicted trail runner, a connoisseur of all things cheese puff, and an author for BURST Books. When she isn’t slogging through the obstacles at a mud run, you can find her hunched over her computer unleashing demons, vampires, and werewolves upon the world.

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32 thoughts on “Interview & Contest: J.A. Garland

  1. Joyce Proell says:

    Hello from a fellow Champagne Author. Loved your interview. I’m particularly impressed with your writing routine. I wake up early, too. But getting up before the sun always seemed so “unnatural.” Guess I’ll have to give it a try. i

  2. Congrats on your new release! Your writing routine sounds a lot like mine… minus the healthy exercise. LOL! I get up early at by 1 or 2 pm am all empty. But in the evening I get another wind. 🙂

  3. Chris Bails says:

    I like to read about alpha characters, either male or female. I like the protector character. Love alpha’s because they take care of those that need it, they are fierce fighters, and are strong. I also love any story with a HEA. Love happily ever afters. Thanks for the giveaway. Have heard great things about this author and this book.

    • Thanks, Chris! I hope you get a chance to read Instinct, I think you’ll really enjoy it. And goodluck on the giveaway, I’ve received some stellar review on it 🙂

  4. Maria D. says:

    Congratulations on the new release! Fun interview (what’s not to love about coffee and cheesepuffs?)…lol….Thanks for the previous excerpt. I love UF because of all of the characters and world building – I really don’t have a favorite – started out with Vampires and Shapeshifters but I’ve added Fae, Demons and pretty much everything else since…Thanks for the great giveaway!

    • Thanks, Maria! I have a lot of world building, and a wide variety of characters in Instinct. I hope you’ll give it a try 🙂
      And good luck on the swag bag, it’s amazing, too!

  5. Five AM is when I write every day as it is peaceful and quiet before the sun comes up. Congratulations on your wonderful book, J.A. Hope there will be a sequel?! Best, January

  6. erinf1 says:

    Thanks for a fun post and congrats on the new release! I’m pretty much open to reading anything. I’m just along for the ride and I’ll go where ever and with whom ever the author wants to take me 🙂

  7. Brandy M. says:

    I always like to read about the underdogs 🙂 Because I feel more in tune with them. Congrats on the book, I love the cover

  8. Texas Book Lover says:

    I love just about anything as long as it has a good believable story line that isn’t predictable. Now I know that paranormal/UF is far from believable in real life but I mean the story has to flow and make sense. Not be way out in left field and jumping around everywhere. The characters have to fit the story as well. You got that and I am all in!

    • Texas Book Lover,
      I completely agree. I think a lot of the time we read fantasy where the author uses some sort of ‘magical power’ to save the day. That really disapoints me. I like it so much better when the author can weave reality with fantasy…making it come alive with something believeable.

  9. Chelsea B. says:

    I like independent characters who can take care of themselves, but simply want to take care of each other.

    • Chelsea,
      Yes, I try very hard to make my women srong enough to stand on their own two feet, but soft enough to enjoy caring for those around her, and being cared for.

  10. Artemis says:

    Honestly, the type doesn’t really matter to me as long as the character is empathetic. Not someone who is whiny, or anything. Just someone who gets kicked down sometimes and has to stand up on his/her own. The kind of guy or girl that you wish you could jump into the book just to help. It makes it easier for me to get into the experience with him.
    Thank you for the giveaway!

  11. Crystal Newman says:

    I love to read about vampires, shapeshifters, elves, and just about any kind I don’t really love one more than others except vampires. I just love to read about them. Seems like it brings a little magic into my world for awhile.

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