Garrett Leigh has taken time out of a busy schedule to answer some questions for us.
1. I’ve really enjoyed my visits to Britain, but those have centered mainly on London and Edinburgh. What are some places you’d recommend for a visit?
Bath is beautiful historic city, as is York. Leeds is a lot of fun too. My brother went to university there and I spent some wicked, hedonistic weekends up there. I’d also push you toward Wales. Cardiff is a beautiful city and the rural valleys are stunning.
Cheddar Gorge is amazing, but steer clear of places like Stone Henge. I went past there last summer and all you can see is litter bins and a bright orange fence. Totally ruined.
I do think that London is one of those cities that you can visit again and again and never get bored, though. Like NYC, the culture is so diverse and deep, a new experience lurks around each corner.
2. How does your visual art influence your writing, or vice versa?
The cover art I create inspires me in different ways for each book. Sometimes, I need to see the cover before I finish the writing, and others, it’s kind of a carrot to keep me writing until the very end. I did that with Rare, the sequel to Slide. I didn’t allow myself to play with the cover art until I’d finished the damn thing. Also, I get inspired when I do cover art for other authors. I recently did some work for an author I admire hugely, and his stuff is so unique just being a part of it motivated me to think outside the box in my own writing.
In the same vein, sometimes you can’t beat a good browse of book store shelves, both online and physical. If a cover catches my eye, it often stays with me for days.
3. Who are your personal heroes?
Oh, my partner, for sure. Just don’t tell him. John Bird, founder of The Big Issue, and Chip Somers, founder of Focus 12. Rehab, and addiction are issues very close to my heart.
4. What are the last 3 books you read?
The last novel I read was Handle with Care by Josephine Myles, then after that, I’ve been lucky enough to get a sneak peak at some short stories by Aleksandr Voinov I did the cover work for. I don’t usually go for short stories, by Aleksandr blows me away every time. His stuff is unique and challenges me as a reader, and an artist.
5. Tell us about your current projects in progress.
At the moment, I’m working on getting the manuscript for Gypsy Heart, the expansion of my short story, Gypsy Rain, ready for submission. The draft is complete, and the 9k sip has been taken to a 60k novel, but it needs some edits before I send it off.
I’m also working on the second instalment in my Blue Boy series with Loose ID. It centres around Cam, a secondary character from the first book, Bullet.
6. What inspired your most recent book?
I’ve just signed a novel, Only Love, with Dreamspinner Press, and Jed’s story was inspired by a soldier who trained a close friend of mine when he served in Afghanistan. The second MC, Max, was inspired by a vivacious young man I read about in the Big Issue many years ago.
Only Love was written and expanded over a number of years, and I’ve had a number of close friends along woth me for the journey, so it will be an emotional time for me when it finally hits the shelves in May next year.
Slide (Roads #1)
Don’t look back. Don’t you ever look back…
Shy tattoo artist Ash has a troubled past. Years of neglect, drug abuse, and life on the streets have taken their toll, and sometimes it seems the deep, unspoken bond with his lover is the only balm for wounds he doesn’t quite understand.
Chicago paramedic Pete is warmth, love, and strength—things Ash never knew he could have, and never even knew he wanted until Pete showed him. But fate is a cruel, cruel mistress, and when nightmares collide with the present, their tentatively built world comes crashing down.
Traumatic events in Pete’s work life distance him from home, and he doesn’t realize until it’s too late that Ash has slipped away. Betrayal, secrets, and lies unfold, and when a devastating coincidence takes hold, Pete must fight with all he has to save the love of his life.
Don’t forget to pick up the free accompanying ebook, Marked too!