Where did the year go?
Seems like it was January yesterday, doesn’t it?
Well, no matter, no matter. It’s Monday, so it’s another Monday Morning Author Interview! Today’s guest is Garrett Jones, author of The Archives of Icínq-Régn.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I first realized I wanted to be a writer when I was in middle school or high school (ages 13-17), but I’ve always enjoyed writing and being a storyteller. When I was in high school, I got plugged in with a storytelling organization at school and it brought out a creative side that I enjoyed because I loved to perform, but now I could perform what I wrote. It just kind of took off from there.
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
Well I work a regular job in education, so I write around that. I work as a substitute teacher (for now) and so I am able to take writing with me to work on when I’m in the classroom. I don’t usually set myself any word counts or writing goals. I just write, and then make sure I have the kinks worked out before I move on to the next part of the project.
How do books get published?
I started publishing through Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), putting my first book “The Heirs of Menonias” on Kindle; eventually I migrated it to paperback through CreateSpace. Eventually, Amazon rolled CreateSpace into KDP so everything is published through Amazon.
Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
I started creating my own comic book characters in middle school and high school around the same ages when I first realized how much I enjoyed writing. I developed my characters into medieval fantasy because they fit better in that genre and then from their I drew inspirations from Joseph Campbell’s writings as well as classic myth and literature.
When did you write your first book and how old were you?
My first book, “The Heirs of Menonias”, came out in February 2015 and I had the paperback edition out by August that same year. My second and third books – “The Destiny of Dragons” and “Rise of the Shadowkin” – both came out in 2017. Book 2 was released two years after Book 1, and then Book 3 was released in October; I felt the release of a book with heavy Vampire elements fit well with Halloween. My fourth book, “Hadran Corvis of Farfell”, was released in November 2018. I’m currently working on the fifth book in the series.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I’m always writing, but when I’m not working on my books, I’m often working on writing, filming, or editing my vlogs for my YouTube channel or I’m collaborating with other indie authors. I also produce a podcast through Anchor called Story Tellers.
How many books have you written? Which is your favourite?
I’ve technically written five books; four books are in my fantasy series, “The Archives of Icínq-Régn”, and I have an ebook of poetry on Kindle called “The Lover, The Fighter, and the Philosopher”. Of the books I wrote, I think that my favorite is either “Book 2: The Destiny of Dragons” or “Book 4: Hadran Corvis of Farfell”. Book 2 had actually been based on an earlier story I wrote in high school. Book 4 was a catharsis during a time when I was dealing with a lot of frustration in my life.
Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?
I think the best suggestion I can give you is this: write the stories you want to read and don’t change your interests unless you want to. Writing is personal, so make it personal.
What is the most unethical practice in the publishing industry?
I don’t have much experience with the traditional side of publishing, but if there was one unethical or shady aspect of the publishing industry, it would be those people who randomly connect with indie authors through social media (Twitter and Instagram) and offer to review their books, only to then ask the (probably broke) writer for a huge sum of money with no guarantee that the reviews will actually come in.
Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
I’ve considered writing under a pseudonym; I have at lease two that I’ve developed, but I don’t really have any use for them. This is one of those things that I chalk up to needing validation… I like getting recognition for my writing and the other content I create. It’s not an ego thing… maybe it is, but I’m a big proponent of making sure creative types get credit for what they create and that starts with my own personal desire for that same credit.
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
I’m friends with a few other writers. One is Luke Partridge, who is a urban fantasy writer from the UK, Stephen J. Galgon who is a contemporary fiction writer from New Jersey, and few others. I promote them through social media by recommending their work or I try to feature them in an interview on my Vlog.
Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
The books in my series are a threaded together by the same characters; I grew up with an focus on comic books and graphic novels, and I love how the books are continuations of the stories that came before, so I’m always looking at what will come next and how the characters will be affected; the stories are character-driven rather than anything else, and its about trying to take the characters as far as they can go.
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
I currently have three projects in production at the moment. Two are on hiatus because my main focus is editing through Book 5 in my series.
How can your fans connect with you?
I love hearing from my fans! I’m on several social media platforms – both Instagram and Twitter I’m @GKJ_PUBLISHING and on YouTube as GKJ Publishing – as well as my own website, Patreon and Teespring.
But wait! There’s more!
Here’s an excerpt from The Heirs of Menonias! When you love it, you can click the excerpt to purchase!