We’re so pleased to welcome author Garrett Leigh today, on the tour for her latest novel, Rented Heart. Enjoy the interview and then be sure to check out the giveaway details below.
GL: Thanks for having me! <3
Q: You tend to write heart-wrenching stories. What is it about angst that appeals to you and what do you think attracts readers to the genre?
GL: Angst appeals to me because it’s something I can truly immerse myself in when I’m writing. Whenever I try to write something fluffier I get bored, and the poor characters end up losing limbs. I’d imagine it’s the same for the readers…and I reckon a bit of angst helps readers forge a deeper emotional connection with the characters.
Q: Have you ever had a story idea that pushed the emotional load too far? Do you reign yourself in, or let it all flow?
GL: God, yes. I have a long running WIP with an MC who’s dying from leukemia. There’s a possibility of a happy ending, but the process of finding out is too much, even for me.
But for the most part, I let it flow. What else can I do? <3
Q: What was the research process like for this book?
GL: Not that much, to be honest. I knew the locations well on a personal level, and I know a bloke who does Liam’s kind of work. I’ve been in recovery for many years, so addiction is second nature for me to write. I guess the hardest part was the conflict. Liam is such a good guy, it was hard to find the reason Zac wouldn’t just let him in.
Q: What stage of the writing process do you enjoy the most?
GL: The end…haha. No, I think my favourite part is what I call the Second Draft, but probably has a more technical stage name. It’s the read through I do after the initial revisions, and it’s usually the part where I get to read the story as a whole and enjoy it.
Q: Do you have any deleted scenes or bits of dialogue from Rented Heart that you would like to share?
“Shit, shit, shit. I’m so sorry.”
“What? Why?’” Zac made a grab for Liam’s hands. “Why are you sorry?”
“You don’t do kissing.”
“I don’t kiss johns.”
“And that’s what I am, remember? I’m a dirty old john, like the others.”
Zac yanked Liam back into his personal space and took Liam’s face in his hands. “You’re not a dirty fucking john.”
“No? Then what am I, Zac?”
Liam laughed, but it was bitter and cold, and nothing like the warm chuckles Zac dreamed of when he was alone. “Then why do I feel like I’m taking advantage of you every time we touch?”
“You don’t feel like that.”
Zac pulled Liam to him and kissed him again, slow and sweet, as if they’d kissed a thousand times before and had never been apart. “Does this really feel wrong? Does it feel wrong when we fuck? When we hold hands and fall asleep together?”
Liam held Zac’s stare for a long moment, his forehead pressed tightly against Zac’s, then he sighed like a man with the weight of the world on his shoulders. “It never feels wrong at the time, it’s just after, you know? You deserve so much better than this.”
“What makes you think that—”
“Don’t. Don’t call yourself a whore and tell me you’re a fucking scumbag, Zac, because I won’t believe it. If you are what you say you are, then so am I.”
There was nothing dirty about Liam—except the good kind of dirty—and the shame in his gaze broke Zac’s heart. He fumbled in his pocket and held out the roll of notes Liam had given him that morning. “You’re not a john.”
Liam pushed the money back. “Then you’ll never be my whore.”
About the Book
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: 12 September 2016
Length: 222 Pages
Category: Contemporary Drama
Purchase Link: Riptide Publishing
Blurb: Ex-surfer-turned-businessman Liam Mallaney moved back to Holkham, Norfolk, to mourn the loss of his husband. Grief and loneliness keep him a solitary figure, and he likes it that way. There’s no room in his broken heart for anything else.
Rentboy Zac Payne left London and most of his demons behind, but he still only knows one way to make a living. When he spots Liam in a club one night, it seems he’s found his mark. But Liam proves nicer—and their connection far deeper—than he’d bargained for.
Their arrangement quickly becomes too complicated for Zac, who has other things on his mind: namely his BFF and wayward flatmate, Jamie. Zac owes Jamie the world, and even as Jamie’s drug addiction destroys all they have, Zac won’t leave him behind.
Besides, Liam knows nothing of Zac’s home life, too caught up in his own head to think much beyond the crazy heat he and Zac share. But when trouble comes to Zac’s door, putting his life in danger, Liam must set his grief and anger aside to pick up the pieces of Zac’s shattered heart and his own.
About the Author
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.
To celebrate the release of Rented Heart, one lucky winner will receive $25 in Riptide Publishing credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on September 17, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!