Guest Author Interview: J.A. Garland by Cassiel Knight

Please join me in welcoming this week’s guest author: J.A. Garland. Welcome!

About J.A.: I always knew I wanted to be an author. (Okay, maybe except for a brief two month period after watching the movie “Top Gun,” when I was convinced that I would make the perfect jet fighter pilot). So I wrote, and I wrote, and I read, then I wrote some more, and when I turned eighteen, I became a…firefighter.

Many years have since passed, and while I am still happily employed as a full-time firefighter in California, I was finally able to get back to my love of writing.

In between being an addicted trail runner, and a consumer of all things cheese puff, I just completed my third book, The Dysus Dreamer.

Tell us about your publishing journey.

I am one of those uber lucky people who are surrounded by great friends. One of which, is a sports editor. He read my manuscript and told me to go Ebook. He educated me about the Ebook market, saying that now-a-days, it is the only way to fly. I wasn’t totally sold, if you haven’t noticed, I’m stubborn. I wanted one of those big NY print houses, right? (Ducking my publishers long reach right now, lol). I decided to appease him by sending my manuscript to two small presses that I’d researched a bit. One responded right off the bat, but I held out to hear from both. I’m glad I did, because when I heard from Champagne Book Group, which later created BURST Books for their SciFi/fantasy line, I knew they were right for me. They have open communication from top to bottom, great contracts, a wealth of supportive authors, amazing cover artists and caring mentors! 

What’s the funniest thing to happen to you along your road to publication and what was the most exciting?

Funniest thing–well, one of the guys I work with started a rumor that I wrote erotica. We were both laughing because I got a lot of hits on my website that month.

Most exciting thing–seeing the cover of Instinct for the first time. I imagine it’s going to be the same way when it goes to print and I hold the book in my hands.

What has been the most challenging thing related to publishing you’ve had to deal with on your journey?

Letting go. After many rounds of edits, my editor, Virginia, finally wrote me an email and said, ‘hey, you’ve held your baby’s hand long enough. It’s time to let go and watch her walk alone.’ Being a type-A personality, I want everything to be perfect, so letting the story be finished is really hard to do.

Who is your favorite author, and what are you currently reading?

I think I have read every one of Sherrilyn Kenyon’s books. Which is a heck of an accomplishment since she is quite the prolific writer! No, I have never stalked, er, met her. Of course I would love to talk to her, but not at a stuffy, automated book signing. I’m thinking it would be fun to chat about life and writing over coffee and beignets in a New Orleans cafe. What do you think, Sherrilyn? Are you up for it?

Currently, I am reading HIVE, by the very talented Marc Davies. I like fast paced reads, and Mr. Davies doesn’t disappoint. The book started with a bang, and it’s been a marathon of action ever since.

Finding unique names for the characters in my stories can be a challenge. For a chance to win the J.A. Garland Bag o’ Swag, share with me your favorite ideas for a hero or heroines name. What’s in the Bag o’ Swag? A monogrammed coffee mug, a monogrammed tote bag, a zombie soap from Ana Banana, a monogrammed magnetic “chip” clip, a monogrammed keychain flashlight, and a gift certificate for my Ebook, INSTINCT.

Thanks for having me on your blog!



Posted on September 18, 2012, in General and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. It’s time to announce the winner…according to that person is….congratulations Gina Fluharty! Gina, I Need to get your mailing address and what format you would like Instinct. ePub, kindle, PDF… You can email me those details at ja (dot) garland (at) yahoo (dot) com
    Thanks again and congratulations!


  2. Susan, thank you, I had a great time!


  3. JA 🙂 So glad you joined us. I LOVE the INSTINCT cover. Beautiful!


  4. Amanda Kelsey did a fab job on your cover, JA. And lovely interview– I loved reading about your desire to be a Top Gun fighter pilot, so you “settled” for being a firefighter. You’re an inspiration!
    Names are so important. I enjoy looking up the old odd ones like Aloysius or Jedediah. Haven’t used either of those yet, but they sound like old hermits, don’t they? 🙂


  5. Hey all, don’t forget to comment regarding names for a chance to win that great book bag. Of course, Gina will probably kick me now since she’s the only one who’s commented on names to win. Sorry Gina!


  6. Thanks so much, Maggie! Amanda Kelsey is the talented artist who designed the cover. I hope you like reading Instinct 🙂


  7. Great interview and an interesting author I’ll have to check out. Love the Instincts cover!


  8. Another fabulous interview. 🙂


  9. Excellent ideas, thanks, Gina! I love the way you played with great names to make something unique and wonderful. I’m inspired!


  10. Great interview! I like to dig up old family names. For instance, my grandmother’s maiden name is Ramsay and he’s my heroine’s mate in my first book. And I like to play with cool names and twist them to come up with something new. I love the name Aslan and fiddled with it until I came up with Kazlin and she’s my hero. Character/world names are fun. Book titles, on the other hand, I find challenging.


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