Guest Author Interview: L.T. Getty by Cassiel Knight
Posted by SeeJanePublish
Please join me in welcoming Champagne Book Group/BURST author, L.T. Getty.
I attempted to write my first novel in junior high – I basically had no idea what I was doing, but kept hacking at it. I had my first novel completed before the ninth grade, knew it was bad so I figured I should write the next one while I edited the first. I took a few creative writing classes in High School and University, got a degree in English. I had a little bit of success getting into a few anthologies and getting what I call ‘positive’ rejections, but for the most part I just focused on writing books I would want to read and not really following market trends. No one had much confidence I’d ever sell a book, much less make money at it, so I pretty much kept quiet about it.
After university I kept writing while I trained as a firefighter and eventually got my license as a full primary care paramedic, which is my current occupation.
When I started Tower of Obsidian, I was still finishing up my PCP course and I had the creative urge to start a new book mid October in 2010. One of my friends had often spoke of doing Nanowrimo for years, and I was always ‘too busy’. Creatively I was in a rut, and I was going to be watching my niece and nephew a lot that month, so I figured during nap/quiet time, it was a good time to see if I could bang off a novel. I already knew I could do 50k in a month without really breaking a sweat, but I liked the idea of a timeline to get it done. I signed up, and another friend joined me. It was just the three of us competing, I was the second to cross the finish line, but I’m uber-competitive so it was good motivation.
I wasn’t in an initial rush to finish the manuscript in the editorial phase – I write quick but I take my sweet time trying to make it sound good – but the minute I found out we were going to get a book publisher actually looking at submissions at Keycon – Winnipeg’s Fantasy Convention that takes place every May Long Weekend – I fired it off to my beta to trim the fat.
I brought Tower and two other manuscripts with me and I was going to play by ear which was the winner. One of the editors wrote a historical fantasy so I went in strictly to ask about names during my first meeting (Look at Welsh names before you judge me) but I got some good feedback on Tower, so I decided to hold the other two for my next meetings unless the editors showed no interest in said book. When I met Ellen, the owner of Burst Books, I thought she was in a rather good mood given it was the end of the convention and I missed my initial meet time and I thought I blew my pitch but she was polite, and when she asked for the full manuscript, I said she could have it once I revised a few names.
So I think it was end of June I sent it in – I then promptly added it into my excel sheet of what is where, and kept working on the next project. In October of 2011, Ellen surprised me with a contract. I enjoyed the novels I had read from Burst (Blade Dancer and Rogue Dancer by K.M. Tolan) liked the covers, and really liked how professional Ellen was, so I signed.
Basically in the meantime, I’m two projects after Tower, one of which is in final editing stages, the other is still in draft mode. I also recently appeared in Tesseracts 16: Parnassus Unbound.
I don’t know how many people will find this funny, but here goes: I was an admitted sci-fi/fantasy writer from the beginning. When I was in University and the general consensus was that all genre was crap. My stories would tend towards more Sword and Sorcery or be just weird – I liked the fluidity of science fiction and fantasy because it allowed me to explore the human character in extreme conditions, and my early influences were Edgar Rice Burroughs and Robert E. Howard – so I was writing more pulp adventure stories than the high fantasy my classmates were more or less expecting.
So what’s the first novel that gets published? A story with dragons, a girl in a tower, knight expies set in the dark ages and the tale of a woman scorned.
The most exciting was my first short story published in The University of Winnipeg’s Creative Writing Journal “Juice”. I’ve come a long way since then, but it was a proud moment.
What has been the most challenging thing related to publishing you’ve had to deal with on your journey?
Letting go of a book. I’m a terrible critic of my own work, so I have a hard time submitting, telling myself that it’s good enough. I cringe when I’m reading my own work in print and I see dumb typos, but I tell myself that I’m still developing as a writer, and if I ever do come up with a perfect manuscript I’ll have to top it, so stop fretting and write.
I guess the main motivation me was the lack of seeing characters I could really relate to in media. It’s gotten better since I discovered more authors, but when I was younger, I was really upset to see the virgin/whore archetype so prelevent, who seemingly was challenged with a warrior-bitch who also fulfilled some other sort of sexual fantasy. I just wanted to go along on an adventure with someone who didn’t annoy the crap out of me.
Who is your favorite author, and what are you currently reading?
Currently, my favorite novel is Till we Have Faces by C.S. Lewis. I could go on, but let’s just say this is a recent change. I’m currently reading Guy Gavriel Kay’s Under Heaven. If you enjoy fantasy, try them – Till we Have Faces is a retelling of Cupid and Psyche, (it would probably be best to be familiar with some of Lewis’s work as well as The Golden Ass by Apuleius prior to attempting Till We Have Faces) and Kay writes spectacular historical fantasy or historically-inspired fantasy. Under Heaven is set in 8th Century China, and let’s just say I’ve yet to read a Kay book I didn’t enjoy.
If you want to follow along what I’m reading, check me out on Goodreads. http://www.goodreads.com/LTGetty
If Tower of Obsidian was made into a movie, who would play the role of your hero and heroine?
I didn’t cast it out in my head – I usually come up with characters then come up with doodles of the main characters based on how I see them in my mind so I keep their descriptions solid. Because my novel is really fluid in terms of interpretation, I’d be more concerned about a given actor being able to pull off the character and having chemistry with the rest of the cast then whether or not they matched my description exactly. I’d lose no sleep if Aoife was changed from being tall and having auburn hair to short and blonde, for example.
But if I were to be very selfish and sneaky, I’d cast Ben Barnes as Skolvane. Just based on the odd chance I would get to meet him at the premier.