Today I have author L.J. Garland on the blog for an interview.
1. Tell us a little about yourself.
Well, to start…L.J. Garland isn’t just one person! It’s two! Laura & Jeff – We’re a husband-wife writing team. We met in college over 20 years ago and have been driving each other nuts ever since. Hey, after that long, ya gotta have a since of humor for sure! We have tons of hobbies and interests—but we have two that top our list.
First, we’re both licensed helicopter pilots with hundreds of hours of flight time. On our 10th wedding anniversary, we flew from the east coast to west and celebrated our special day in the honeymoon suite in Palm Springs. Course, we were so exhausted, we passed out. I’m still chewing nails over not getting to check out that humongous Jacuzzi tub! *sigh* Anyway…books. Chances are good you’ll see one type of flying machine or another in our stories…and the landings won’t always be pretty. But hey, any you walk away from are good, right? lol
The second thing that tops our list is we practice with a variety of weaponry from long bows to high-powered combat rifles. This, along with years of military experience, gives our books a heightened sense of reality. So, fire, fireworks, guns, pretty much anything that goes Boom!…yeah, it’s all good. You’ll see that in our stories as well. High-action adventure and romance…and a happy-ever-after.
On the home front, we enjoy a life in a house filled with love, laughter, and tenuously restrained chaos. We have three cats, one whistling guinea pig, and three boisterous sons—who conspire to ensure there’s never a dull moment. It’s awesome!
2. What genre do you write?
We write sci-fi romance and romantic suspense, but we’ve been known to mix in other genre in, too. Jeff and I both have always enjoyed science fiction and have read voraciously since childhood. Later, I branched out into romance. I truly loved the happy ever after that it offered…that one way or another, the hero and heroine would end up together no matter how daunting the obstacle. SFR offers a wide cross genre…horror, military, paranormal, time travel, steampunk, the list goes on and on…even westerns, as given by FireFly and Cowboys and Aliens. The possibilities are endless – which is one of the wonderful aspects that attracted us both to SFR.
3. Please tell us about your latest release MechMan and how you came up with the idea?
Our latest release is a SFR from L&L Dreamspell publishing. Jeff and I were brainstorming some ideas and the inspiration for the story started with the basic questions: What if a woman fell in love with a machine…only to discover that the machine, which wasn’t supposed to have feelings, had also fallen in love with her? How would they deal with their relationship and what others might think? Would they even care? And from that came MechMan!
MechMan is available in both print and ebook. Here’s the blurb:
Raven is on a suicide mission. Jex is a biomech on a mission to save humanity. They discover their mutual passion to destroy the enemy isn't their only desire.
A war against the Darch has raged for years, and humanity is on the verge of extinction. Scientists have created biomechs to supplement as warriors, but it's just a temporary fix on what appears an insurmountable problem. One desperate scientist injects JXS241, a biomech warrior, with what he hopes is the solution for mankind's survival. But the biomech is captured by the enemy.
Raven Nirvanni survives on the fringes of a shattered culture. While on a self-imposed suicide mission to annihilate an enemy destroyer, she encounters the imprisoned biomech. Deciding the fate of humanity far outweighs the destruction of a single ship, she rescues him and decides to ensure he reaches his destination. With the enemy anticipating their every move, Raven is completely taken aback when she realizes she's falling for JXS241. But can she really love a machine? And if so, can he reciprocate?
4. Is it part of a series?
Right now, it’s not a series…but who knows? Anything could happen in that part of the universe!
5. A must have snack while you write.
Laura: Coffee and a spoon of peanut butter. Mmm. Coffee and mixed nuts. Coffee and cheesecake. Um, coffee…
Jeff: No real snack…but I’m partial to Diet Sunkist. Maybe, trail mix with peanut MMs?
6. A fact that someone might not know about you.
Laura: I am a math geek. I used to teach middle and high school math. I also taught college math, as well as helped adults work on their GEDs. You want to see something inspirational? Watch a 62 year old man work every day on English and math so he can set an example for his grandson. Then look at his face the day he walks in and says, “I did it.” Wow!
Jeff: I can say the McDonalds Big Mac ingredients forward and backward. Hey, you didn’t say it had to be earth-shattering.
7. Advice to writers who have yet to be published.
Study the craft. Take classes, ask questions, get a critique partner to help you hone your story. And don’t ever quit. There are a lot of people who would like to write a story, who might even start one but for whatever reason never finish it. A pile of rejection letters doesn’t mean you’re not an author…you completed a manuscript and submitted it. Keep going!
Remember: Success isn’t a goal. It’s a byproduct!
8. Is there a genre you haven’t written yet that you want to?
Time travel is an awesome genre. We love Dr. Who…he bounces all over the place in time and space. Somehow it seems to fit with SFR (in our heads anyway…lol). So, who knows? Now that you brought it up, we might just have to follow through! J
9. What type of hero do you enjoy writing about?
Strong but flawed. Secrets are always good. Alphas are fun, but not to the extreme. No one’s perfect, right? And he has to be pretty resourceful and tenacious because we tend to throw the hero into tough situations. Dangerous, too. Of course, the same goes for the heroine. She has to be tough, sassy, and smart…she’s not the type to sit around wringing her hands waiting to be saved. Nope, she’ll save herself…and the hero, too, if the need arises. All of our stories are action-packed romances with stuff blowing up and the hero and heroine in one perilous situation or another. So yes…We love torturing our characters. LOL
10. What are you currently working on?
We’ve got a romantic suspense, Sins of the Mind, co-written with the wonderful Debbie Gould, set to release April 20th from Decadent Publishing. It’s a story about a woman, who after years of therapy from a horrible incident, decides it’s time to live again…but then all the people she loves start being brutally murdered one by one.
The other story is a short (12K) SFR, Dead or Alive, coming from Decadent’s 1Night Stand series. It’s about a guy who is falsely accused of murder and ends up turning toward the one woman who can help him, a bounty hunter who’s been after him for years. Together, they uncover conspiracies on both Earth and their homeworld, use some fun high-tech gadgetry, and even visit Area 51.
11. Anything that you’d like to share.
We can be tracked down at www.lj-garland.com. Or we can be caught at http://www.garland-and-gould.blogspot.com/ where we blog, chat about stuff, and interview other authors. Or, we can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org - We love hearing from people who have enjoyed our stories.
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