Howdy, Delighted Readers!
Anyone remember that week in January when I posted the review on a book that absolutely tore my heart to pieces, but still had me loving on a book? No? Well, okay… but see I have a treat for you today. I invited the author of that very book, What Remains, to stop by Delighted Reader and talk up her latest release, Strays.
Glad you could stop by while out on your tour. How’s spring in England? Here in the American Midwest it’s still a tad touch and go though my daffodils are giving it a good try.
And yes, you’re from England (well spotted, Sophia), but I know you have readers from all over. What’s it like to write for an international crowd? Had any fun queries or comments on your books as a result?
Garrett: It’s the slang that gets me in trouble, every time. And the swearing. Certain words are terms of endearment over here, but extremely offensive in other parts of the world! Mushy peas caused a lot of confusion for my long suffering copy editor, Alex Whitehall.
When and how did you get into writing?
Garrett: I genuinely have no idea. It just kind of happened, and here we are…
What was the best moments/s of your writing career?
Now I might have taken a gander at your GoodReads bio and noticed that you do a lot of cooking. What dish does that ‘menagerie’ you mentioned or your friends beg you to cook? And, if different, what is your favorite thing to cook?
Garrett: I like to bake bread, which partly inspired the bakery/pizzeria that takes shape in Strays. My family are a great crowd to cook for as they’ll pretty much eat anything, but they love a good veggie chilli, or a lamb/lentil/spinach curry, and, of course, a good roast dinner.
Can you share about that other fascinating work you do as a cover artist? What was the most challenging cover you did?
Garrett: All covers are challenging, but the hardest bit is finding the right images to work with. Search engines on stock sites are the devil’s playground.
Okay, let’s circle back around to your books. Please share something about the Urban Soul series and where Strays fits in.
Garrett: Strays is the second book in the series, and gives us Nero and Lenny’s story. Nero is an old friend of Cass’s and long serving Urban Soul employee. Lenny is a totally new character.
Strays is set in the restaurant kitchen world. Did your own cooking knowledge come into play here and/or did you need to do some further research?
Garrett: Sadly, I didn’t have to do much research at all.
Nero is a complex character who first appeared in the first book, Misfits. When you were writing, what do you enjoy about him the most? Is he a tough character to write?
Garrett: Nero was tougher than I thought he’d be. I’d assumed I knew him better than I actually did, and he turned out far gentler than I expected.
And Lenny, how would you describe him?
Quirky. Sharp. Flamboyant. Fiercely intelligent. I LOVE him.
Okay, yeah, I have to ask this because a book gal like me really needs to be prepared when picking up your books. *whispers* Is Stray going to make me ugly cry? Like do I need to have a full box of tissue handy for this?
Garrett: Actually, I think it’s more feel goo than anything I’ve written for a while. There are some emotional moments, but no hard core tragedy,
Erhmm, so moving along…
What’s next for Garrett Leigh? Any in process or future writing or cover art projects you can share about?
Garrett: I have LOADS coming this year. Two more titles with Riptide, plus my first ever YA book.
Congrats on the release of Strays, Garrett. Thank you so much for taking the time to drop in at Delighted Reader and visit with us.
Work, sleep, work, repeat. Nero’s lonely life suits him just fine until his best friend, Cass, asks him to take on a new apprentice—a beautiful young man who’s never set foot in a professional kitchen. Despite his irritation and his lifelong ability to shut the world out, Nero is mesmerised by the vibrant stray, especially when he learns what drove him to seek sanctuary on Nero’s battered old couch.
Lenny Mitchell is living under a cloud of fear. Pursued by a stalker, he has nowhere left to run until Nero offers him a port in a storm—a job at the hottest restaurant in Shepherd’s Bush. Kitchen life proves heady and addictive, and it’s not long before he finds himself falling hard and fast for the man who has taken him in.
Fast-forward a month and neither man can imagine life without the other, but one thing stands in their way: a lifetime of horrors Nero can’t bring himself to share with Lenny. Or can he? For the first time ever, happiness is there for the taking, and Nero must learn to embrace it before fate steps in and rips it away.
Now available from Riptide Publishing. http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/strays
About Garrett Leigh
Garrett Leigh is an award-winning British writer and book designer, currently working for Dreamspinner Press, Loose Id, Riptide Publishing, and Fox Love Press.
Garrett’s debut novel, Slide, won Best Bisexual Debut at the 2014 Rainbow Book Awards, and her polyamorous novel, Misfits was a finalist in the 2016 LAMBDA awards.
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, all the while shouting at her menagerie of children and animals and attempting to tame her unruly and wonderful FOX.
Garrett is also an award winning cover artist, taking the silver medal at the Benjamin Franklin Book Awards in 2016. She designs for various publishing houses and independent authors at blackjazzdesign.com, and co-owns the specialist stock site moonstockphotography.com with renowned LGBTQA+ photographer Dan Burgess.
To celebrate the release of Strays, 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 April 1, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!