Lisa: Today we’re so pleased to welcome author Garrett Leigh on the tour for her new novel Between Ghosts. Following Garrett’s interview, be sure to check out the details for the giveaway.
Welcome, Garrett. I’m going to start with a question prompted by your author bio. What do you love about writing characters who are “always, always tortured, crippled, broken, and deeply flawed?”
Garrett: The depth of them. It’s a fascinating journey to discover all the experiences, trial and tribulations, and other nuances that make these souls what they are.
Lisa: Tagging on to that, then, let’s talk a bit about Connor and Nat in Between Ghosts. In what ways do tortured/crippled/broken/deeply flawed apply to these two men?
Garrett: Oooh, well without giving too much away, Connor has obviously lost his brother, and Between Ghosts is a real journey for him, one he perhaps doesn’t know the purpose of before he gets to the end. Nat is more complex. He’s seen a lot of death and violence, and is in many ways a very lonely man, despite spending most of his days surrounded by people. He’s also lost his best friend in horrific circumstances and that’s left him, and his whole team, far more scarred than they realize.
Lisa: What did you love most about writing these characters?
Garrett: I loved researching Nat’s military background and getting to apply my dodgy sense of humour to some proper battlefield banter, though I can’t take all the credit for the bad jokes. Mr Garrett is to blame for some of those. With Connor, I enjoyed revealing his tough inner skin to the world. There’s far more to him than at first appears.
Lisa: One of the things that reality seems never to cease to do is to provide a wealth of inspiration for fiction. What compelled you to tell a story centered around the war in Iraq?
Garrett: I just felt like there was much more to that conflict that perhaps we often see, particularly for the British troops. I didn’t know much about the battle of Basra and the occupation of Basra Palace, and I enjoyed researching it. Also, I wanted to expand on a theory I’d seen in the film Jarhead. You’ll see when you read it.
Lisa: Is there any one scene in the book that you recall as being particularly difficult to write from an emotional standpoint? If so, what made it so moving?
Garrett: Finally breaking through the wall around Nat’s heart was an ordeal. There were long nights of writing when I feared it wouldn’t happen, but, it does…and I’m quite proud of the man I found underneath.
Lisa: What scene do you think Connor and Nat would name as a favorite, and why?
Garrett: Heh. Any scene that took place on the secluded roof of Basra Palace…
Lisa: Would you like to share some information on current WIPs and upcoming projects with readers?
Garrett: Oooh, I’ve got two more books out this year, What Remains, and Rented Heart, and then next year, the big shared world project, Porthkennack, begins releasing from Riptide, so I’m busy writing my two books for that at the moment, along with a bucket load of cover art jobs.
Lisa: Thanks so much for taking the time to chat today, Garrett, it’s been a pleasure.
Garrett: Thank you for having me. I get most of my book recs from TNA, so it’s an absolute privilege to be here. <3
About Between Ghosts: In 2003, journalist Connor Regan marched through London to add his voice to a million others, decrying the imminent invasion of Iraq. Eight months later, his brother, James, was killed in action in Mosul.
Three years on, Connor finds himself bound for Iraq to embed with an elite SAS team. He sets his boots on the ground looking for closure and solace—anything to ease the pain of his brother’s death. Instead he finds Sergeant Nathan Thompson.
Nat Thompson is a veteran commander, hardened by years of combat and haunted by the loss of his best friend. Being lumbered with a civilian is a hassle Nat doesn’t need, and he vows to do nothing more than keep the hapless hack from harm’s way.
But Connor proves far from hapless, and too compelling to ignore for long. He walks straight through the steel wall Nat’s built around his heart, and when their mission puts him in mortal danger, Nat must lay old ghosts to rest and fight to the death for the only man he’s ever truly loved.
About Garret Leigh: Garrett Leigh is a British writer and book designer, currently working for Dreamspinner Press, Loose Id, Riptide Publishing, and Black Jazz Press. Her protagonists will always always be tortured, crippled, broken, and deeply flawed. Throw in a tale of enduring true love, some stubbly facial hair, and a bunch of tattoos, and you’ve got yourself a Garrett special.
When not writing, Garrett can generally be found procrastinating on Twitter, cooking up a storm, or sitting on her behind doing as little as possible. That, and dreaming up new ways to torture her characters. Garrett believes in happy endings; she just likes to make her boys work for it.
Garrett also works as a freelance cover artist for various publishing houses and independent authors under the pseudonym G.D. Leigh. For cover art info, please visit blackjazzpress.com.
Leave a comment for a chance to win $20 in Riptide credit. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on March 19, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. Entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!