Garrett lives in Central California with his family. He received a Bachelor of Arts from California State University, Monterey Bay in Human Communication with a concentration in Creative Writing & Social Action, where he focused on Comic Literature (comics and graphic novels) as a his preferred medium. Garrett holds a Master of Arts in Religion from Liberty University Theological Seminary, where his emphasis had been on Biblical Study. He has also won several awards for Storytelling and journalism. Garrett has independently published four novels in his continuing epic fantasy series, The Archives of Icínq-Régn, and a Kindle E-Book of Poetry entitled, “The Lover, the Fighter, & the Philosopher”; all titles have been released on his own GKJ Publishing label.
The Archives of Icínq-Régn: The Heirs of Menonias
The Archives of Icínq-Régn: The Destiny of Dragons
The Archives of Icínq-Régn: Rise of the Shadowkin
The Archives of Icínq-Régn: Hadran Corvis of Farfell
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What inspired you to first start writing? Is your motivation to write now different or the same as before?
My inspiration hasn’t really changed, it’s just evolved; I started by writing fan fiction of some of the shows and books I was a fan of, and I inserted myself as a character in those stories. Eventually, I started creating original characters.
Writers are projected as loners or introverts. Is this true for you?
Yes and no; I enjoy being around people, but I pull away to process the experiences.
What genre do you like to write in? Why?
I enjoy writing Science Fiction and fantasy, and most of what I write is epic fantasy. I also have dabbled in poetry, focusing on Elizabethan sonnets, but my favorite form of poetry is the Ghazal… it’s a Persian form of poetry.
How often do you write and what schedule to you like to keep?
I try to write every day, but I don’t keep a schedule. I mostly write at night before bed until I hit a point where I pass out.
What is the easiest part of writing to you?
The easiest part of writing for me is developing the basic plot and character development. I have been designing these characters for the past twenty years or more, so it becomes easier and easier to put these characters in motion.
Can you share any tips on inspiring other writers to pursue their dreams?
I would say don’t give up, and ignore people who call what you do a “hobby”. If you think you can make a life with this – however hard it may be – you owe it to yourself to pursue it to its finality.
What is your favorite thing about being a writer? Why?
My favorite things about being a writer is getting to talk with readers about the questions they have about my books, the characters, and the stories; I really enjoy watching their reactions to what happens to the characters they care for.
Who would you compare your work to? What differences set you apart?
I don’t like to make comparisons; I could, and I would probably end up saying something that would piss off readers of other series if I did. I like to think of my work as my own, though to help people better understand what I write, I say that it’s not as wordy as Tolkien and my characters don’t arbitrarily die like in Game of Thrones.
Does a bad review affect your writing?
Bad reviews only inspire me to improve on my writing; when I published my first book, “The Heirs of Menonias”, my first editor was lazy and left in a lot of typos, so when i started getting those initial reviews, I made a point of finding a more thorough editor in order to put the book into a paperback form.
What did you want to be when you grew up as a child?
As a kid, I wanted to be a superhero… sometimes I still very much do, and I think that’s what fuels me to write the characters I do… they are flawed, but they are noble at heart.
What book have you read that has been the most life changing?
The most life-changing book I have ever read – next to the Bible – was “Don’t Stand Too Close to a Naked Man” by Tim Allen; someone sent it to me when I was living in Japan in 2001, and it helped me understand myself as a man and how I interact with women.
Are you working on anything right now? If so, what can you share?
My current work(s) in progress include a Sci-Fi screenplay I’m working on for Steamhouse Entertainment in Modesto, Ca. and the fifth book in my series.
Who is in your support system? How do they keep you motivated?
My support system includes my parents and my best friend, Jon, who is doing the production and narration for the audiobook version of “The Heirs of Menonias”.
Do you keep a blog or a journal? How does it help you as a writer?
I used to keep a semi-regular blog on my website, but I’ve since had better success producing a weekly vlog instead.
Do you have any daily mantra’s? What do you tell yourself to keep your inspiration alive?
I really don’t have a mantra, but if I did, it would be lyrics from the “Firefly” theme song: “you can’t take the sky from me”.
What is one thing you want people to know about you as a writer? A person?
As a person, I want readers to know I’m personable; I very much enjoy talking with fans about what they liked and didn’t like about my books.
What are your career goals?
Ultimately, my career goals are to be a New York Times and International best-selling author. Barring that, I’ll take Kevin Feige’s job with Marvel. Please.
How will you handle fame if/when you reach that level? How do you think it will change your writing?
I just don’t care about fame, really; if I gain notoriety, I’d probably just be me… I hate celebrities who become completely unapproachable because they did one thing cool.
What advice would you give your younger self about writing?
Ignore the doubters and don’t give up!
Have you ever considered writing an autobiography?
I wouldn’t write an autobiography; I’m not that fascinating of a person.
How did you celebrate the launch of your book?
During the release of my first book, I was sitting at a table in front of a comic shop trying to sell the first copies on a really cold and rainy night.
If given the chance, what author would you interview? What is the most important question you would ask?
If I could speak with one other author, I would love to sit down with Stan Lee and give him a hug because his work helped me believe in myself.
Have you experienced writer’s block? How do you handle it?
The last time I experienced writer’s block was between 2010 and 2013 and I got out of it when I started Grad School; the stress from work, Family, and school forced me to be creative again, and it’s been pouring out of me ever since, especially after I published Book 1.
What would you tell others who are considering traditional/self-publishing? Any advice?
Do what works best for you; I like being in control of my Intellectual Property, so self-publishing was my avenue.
What do you want to be remembered for as a writer? A person?
I want to be remembered for inspiring new writers and to entertain readers.