Look at me, being all cowboy and shit, when I'm actually a down and dirty London cockney…
In case you haven't worked it out, I'm Garrett Leigh, British born author and cover artist at Dreamspinner Press and Loose ID. I've been writing since I was a little girl, but in those days, I think it was called telling fibs.
Please tell us a little bit about your current release. What inspired you to write this story? How did it come about?
I'm here to promote Bullet, the first in my Blue Boy series at Loose ID. Bullet is the tail of reluctant porn star Levi Ramone, and his pugnacious love interest, Sonny Valentine.
Bullet came about as I was writing a mega angsty novel, Only Love (out with Dreamspinner next summer). Bullet was supposed to be a quick, light release after a year spent putting a wounded war vet through hell.
But it didn't quite work out that way. I'm an angst writer at heart, and my attempts to be anything else always seem to fail.
Bullet is 33k of angsty, dirty heartache, and I'm damned proud of it!
Is there an underlying theme in your stories?
Oh, angst, for sure. And tattoos…no, seriously. My MC's always seem to have, or develop, physical flaws or disabilities. Or mental health issues. And the reason for this, I think, is that men of any age find these perceived weaknesses hard to talk about. Scars, nightmares, fears, illnesses. But, like the rest of us, these things are what makes us human, and I enjoy exploring this part of the male psyche and tearing it apart.
Of course, putting it back together is fun too, especially when the MC in question has an adorable companion to help/comfort them
Would you categorize your stories as romance, erotica, or something else? Why?
Romance. The sex is there, and when my characters go, they go, and it's totally hot. But you will never find a sex scene in my books that doesn't advance the plot and serve a purpose. I can read porn without plot and love it, but I seem incapable of writing it.
There’s some controversy about women who write M/M? Do you have any thoughts on the subject you want to share?
I think it's bullshit. Women have been writing from the male POV in heterosexual romance for centuries, and vice versa. The idea that something is suddenly wrong because it's gay, and/or popular is nonsense.
What’s your favorite part of the writing process? (the spark, the research, character oultines…?)
Oh, the research for sure. Put me in front of google with a list and I'm a happy bunny. Only problem is I bookmark all this shit I never go back to! It's fun, though. Even the horrid stuff, and the things you learn are…interesting.
What’s your least favorite part of the writing process?
Continuity. It's the hardest thing for me, especially in longer novels. My fab editor at DSP tears her hair out over my dodgy timelines!
What’s your favorite part of the publishing process? (writing the story, working with an editor, working with the art department, marketing, etc?)
The cover art, for sure. I'm lucky enough to do most of my own, and they're often at least drafted before the story is complete. I find having a visual motivation for the book really helps my writing.
I also love producing art for other authors. Connecting with them and seeing their books through their eyes is fascinating.
Do you have any heroes or people you look up to? (Real life mentors, public figures, fellow authors, living or dead). If so, who and why?
John Bird, the founder of The Big Issue, and Reg Keys, the father of a British soldier, killed in action, who stood against Tony Blair in his constituency in the general election that followed the Iraq war. That dude broke my heart.
One of the hardest things for an author to take is a bad review. How do you handle those one and two star reviews?
Folk will think what they think, whatever I say or do. And to some, my stuff probably is a pile of poo. You can't mean something to everyone you touch. Sometimes, you just gotta glide on by.
What’s next on the horizon for you? WIPs, writing goals, personal goals…?
I have a lot going on in the next year. Two novels and a couple of novellas, and another novel under submission. I'm also looking forward to falling into my next big novel. Just haven't figured out what it is yet…
Levi Ramone entered the gay porn market for one reason, and one reason only–he needed the cash to pay his momma's spiraling gambling debts.
Seven years later, he's a veteran with a reputation as one of Blue Boy Studio's most ruthless tops, and when his boss suggests it's time for a change, he finds himself staring down the barrel of a gun.
Figuratively speaking, at least.
Enter Sonny Valentine, a go-go dancer at Blue's sister club, Silver's. Levi has secretly admired Sonny from afar for years, but there's one problem–he can't stand Sonny and the feeling is entirely mutual. When Levi learns Sonny is to play the third part in a scene he considers his worst nightmare, he figures things can't get any worse.
But when preparations for the scene from hell collide with tragic events in his personal life, he finds his fast growing, red hot attraction to Sonny the one thing left between him and a bullet.
You can buy Bullet at Loose Id
Thanks again to Garrett for being here today--even it means one more book added to my ever-growing To Read list! (Seriously, who can resist sexy porn stars?)