Author Spotlight with John Garrett




K.S.  Hello and welcome to the blog. I am very excited to have you here. Why don’t we start off with a small introduction? Tell us a little about yourself. 

Hi, Katie, it's great to be here! My name is John Garrett, and I'm a 39 year old artist, writer and web design-type from Milwaukee, WI.


K.S.  Any interesting writing quirks or stories you would like to share with my readers?

I don't know if I have any “good” quirks. I guess I'll have to make something up so it can be my thing 100 years from now when they're teaching me in schools :)


K.S.  When did you realize you wanted to be a writer? What sparked the desire to pen your first novel?

Growing up I always concentrated on the artwork so much. I wanted to draw comics and [maybe] write them as well.

I think the urge to write only really hit me in college when I had some creative writing classes. I always had my own ideas for stories, but after that I thought “I think I could really do this”!


K.S.  What genre do you write?

I write sci-fi and fantasy, but my current book is actually a humor book mixing comics and writing.


K.S.  What would you say has inspired you most in your writing career? Or, who is your favorite author and why?

Well, I'd have to say that Guy Gavriel Kay is my favorite writer. He writes in the fantasy genre [usually]. His stuff is extremely well researched, and he always ties it into a certain era of history so you can somehow relate it back to our own world.

I always wanted to write something like him. I finally came to the realization that I'm not going to write anything like that, it's just not what I do, but I wouldn't want to become a “clone writer “anyway, so I'm cool with it!


K.S.  What does your family think of your writing?

Ha ha! My family is not very interested in comics and fantasy and sci-fi for the most part. Of course, they wish me the most success possible and will help me as much as they can, but you won't really ever catch one of them curled up with a comic book!


K.S.  What was one of the most surprising things you learned while creating your book/s?

I'll tell you, I learned that when you're writing a book, people tend to discount it. They tend to almost automatically write it off as some kind of a pipe dream.

It seems like if you don't have Steven King or J.K Rowling level success then you're a failure, but if you shoot for that then you're just dreaming.

Hey, I don't have to make millions to be successful! :)


K.S.  What inspires you?

The chance to get my work in front of people and have them enjoy it inspires me. I'm a creator, so making my living creating things is something that pushes me and inspires me every day.


K.S.  Can you tell us a little about any of your novels?

Sure, my current book is called “How to Deal with Stupid Clowns who don't know what the Hell they're talking about!”

It's a comic and written guide to navigating life when dealing with difficult people who always seem to be around to try to derail us.

I've met some pretty crazy characters in my life and I've rolled them up into comic form just for this book!

The first chapter is available for download here (6mb): http://hypertransitory.com/stupid_clowns/Stupid_Clowns_FIRST_CHAPTER.zip


K.S.  Where can we buy your novel?

You can buy a copy of the book on my website here:


K.S.  Do you have a website, fan site, or Blog that we can visit?

Sure my website is http://hypertransitory.com/

It's ground zero for all my projects. I have a weekly comic, and I also talk about web stuff, pop-culture and a whole bunch of things. I know you're supposed to laser in on one specific thing on these blogs but I really don't feel like holding back :)


K.S.  Do you have any closing advice to aspiring writers?

Sure, while you're getting your book done, you can be out there connecting with people via a blog or using social media. Maybe you can bring some of these people along for the ride as you create the story.

People like to see some of the background process as well, and then it means more to them and you when it finally arrives.

Oh, yeah...GOOD LUCK!!


Here's a look at the book trailer for “Stupid Clowns”:




Welcome to the world Hunter Alexander Salidas

I have to get this written out before I forget. Even now, at only a week later the details are beginning to get fuzzy. But here it is, the reason I have been so quiet lately. I was busy having a beautiful baby boy!

Hunter Alexander Salidas, my son, was born on December 7th 2011. 




We’d originally planned for a home birth.  That was an important thing for me, and the reason I’m mentioning it now. While yes, it all turned out well, there is still a little sense of mourning going on inside of me for the loss of that natural experience and the missed hours of bonding time. I was not able to hold my son for close to three hours after he was born.

Since my first child was born via C-section, I knew what that surgery entailed, and I did not want to be forced into it again if it wasn't necessary. In Las Vegas, there is no real middle ground in the debate over C-section and VBAC births. The mentality here is, “Once a C-section, always a C-section.” Even if it is not medically necessary it is the default process for birthing a second time. That is what led us to homebirth and our wonderful Midwife April Kermani of Baby’s First Day. I’ll admit, the idea of home birth was initially a scary one but after lots of research into it, I learned that it was not any more dangerous than going to a hospital. Yes, that’s right; there are tons of risks involved in having your baby at a hospital. Don’t think that just because it has all the medical equipment, that it is a 100% safe environment. But, I won’t go into all the details here. What I wanted to point out is that we tried for the home birth and the natural approach but ultimately fate stepped in, and we ended up going into the hospital anyway.

The Day before Birth

The story really began on December 6th with our regularly scheduled appointment with the midwife. I went in expecting nothing special. Our previous appointments had been very mellow and uneventful. I was anxious to get the baby out because I was just so darn uncomfortable. I know. All pregnant women say this! LoL.
Our Midwife felt my belly and performed all of the standard measurements. We knew Hunter was going to be a big boy. Our Midwife had estimated him at 9lbs but he was still “floating” in my pelvis, which meant, he wasn’t exactly ready to come out yet.  Then she got out the doppler so we could listen to his heart.

That’s when the drama began. She played around, trying to find the best angle to hear him, but he was being a little elusive. When she did finally lock on to his heartbeat she made a face indicating that she didn't like what she was hearing. She switched me over to a better piece of equipment (I forget what it’s called. It’s the one that prints out the heart tracings). It appeared that on every 4th-5th beat. Hunter’s heart was making a hiccupping sound.

She said it might be nothing. Sometimes larger babies have a little arrhythmia, but we had better check to be on the safe side.

Alarm bells began ringing in my head! No mom wants to hear there is a potential problem with her baby’s heart. Even though our Midwife was reassuring, I was still worried.  She sent us down to a Perinatologist to have a Biophysical Profile done. That’s basically a really in-depth ultrasound with a Nonstress Test. What they saw was that Hunters heart was slightly off in size. The right chamber was larger than the left and one of the valves was slapping up against the chamber wall. Again we were told this is something that while scary sounding, is not life threatening. Most babies that have this type of irregularity will correct within 24 hours of birth. However this was not a free pass.

At this point the Perinatologist, who I really didn’t like much to begin with (his bedside manner left a lot to be desired), started counting on his fingers all of the reasons why I cannot have this baby at home and why I (since I was already 39 weeks) should have this baby ASAP.
1)      The heart arrhythmia means the baby needs to be checked by a cardiologist immediately upon birth.
2)      Irregular sizing of the chambers of the heart. Again, something that a cardiologist needs to check out as soon as he is born.
3)      The estimated weight had now jumped to 9lbs 14oz. (potentially too big to fit through the birth canal.)
4)      There was a larger than normal amount of amniotic fluid surrounding the baby. (The Perinatologist was concerned that if my water were to break, it might gush out so much that the cord could come out first and that was a major concern to them.)

The doctor let us go home saying he would be speaking to our Midwife about getting us into a hospital ASAP.

On the drive home my Midwife called me. She’d talked with the doctor and while respectful of the fact that we didn’t want to have another C-section, she agreed with the doctor that C-section was probably for the best. Being a prior C-section though, meant induction and VBAC was not an option. She again tried to calm our fears, telling us that this was in no way an emergency situation and we should have a few days to wrap our heads around this.  

It wasn’t want we wanted to hear, but Nick and I agreed that it was better to be safe than sorry where Hunter’s health was concerned.  My Midwife transferred me to the doctor’s care and said I should expect a call in the next day or so from the Perinatologist office to schedule me for the C-section.

Little did I know that that when the Perinatologist said ASAP, he meant it! There was no waiting. Almost as soon as I hung up with my Midwife, my phone began blowing up with calls from the doctor’s office, trying to schedule me in for that evening. When there were no beds available I was pushed back to 7am the following morning and told to get my stuff together and be at the hospital at 5:30 to be prepped and ready.

Suddenly, I went from not feeling too stressed out to feeling extreme anxiety.  Not only was I not mentally prepared for this surgery, but I also needed to arrange for emergency child care for my daughter. C-section meant at least 3 days (we stayed almost 5 full days), and Munchkin had all kinds of activities planned for the week. The timing just couldn’t be worse.

The Birth

After what felt like hundreds of phone calls, I had child care arranged, coordinated with my Doula (Jenny), and let everyone who needed to know, where we would be for the rest of the week. I’d even managed 3 hours of sleep which was a surprising feat given my level of stress.

Finally 5am rolled around and we made it to Spring Valley Hospital. There was only one problem. The hospital couldn’t find my paperwork. Come to find out, they had my name spelled wrong, and they also had told me the wrong schedule time. We weren’t scheduled for 7am we were scheduled for 1pm.

Talk about Murphy’s Law! I was a little annoyed but there was nothing I could do about it. I asked if we should just go and come back later, but they said no. They put a call into my doctor and he wanted to have me monitored and have blood work done, so the nurse decided to set us up in a room.  I was given a lovely and fashionable hospital gown and then strapped down to the bed with those heart monitoring belly bands. There I sat (With my hubby and our fabulous Doula, Jenny) for about 6 hours.



When the time came to head off to the O.R. I was shocked to find out I had to walk myself in there. When my daughter was born (7 years ago), I was prepped and wheeled in ready to be cut open. This was a new experience. I walked in on my own two feet and hopped up on the operating table. It was such a surreal thing for me.

Even though I had done this before, I was scared walking into that operating room. My heart was pounding, my nerves were shot, and if it weren’t for the IV pole I was attached too, I might have run screaming down the halls.

Okay, I’m exaggerating a little bit, but I really was terrified walking into that operating room.

My anesthesiologist was the best! And it really helped make a huge difference in the experience. He explained everything he was doing, step by step, and constantly asked me how I was feeling. He gave me a spinal block and then helped me lay down on the operating table.

Around me, the O.R. staff began their pre-op dance, while I fell into a warm fuzzy drug induced state. I remember my arms being strapped down, my legs being positioned and strapped down, the gentle rub of cleansing solution across my abdomen, and  then the curtain went up for the final performance.  My world was that blue curtain sitting inches away from my face. Beyond that, people were talking and doing things, but they seemed so far away. It dawned on me at that moment that I didn’t know where my hubby was, and before I could open my mouth to ask, someone grasped my hand.  He was there, right at my side. I couldn’t turn my head to look though, I was so focused on that curtain and what was happening beyond.

Hubby


The anesthesiologist was at my ear, again asking me if I was okay and reminding me of what symptoms were normal to feel. He offered me a mask for oxygen and I accepted it happily. I needed to breath. As long as I was breathing, I was okay.  I remember thinking “Breathe, just breathe,” through the odd pressure and pushing that was happening behind the curtain.

Hubby had my hand and I was squeezing with all my might as I listened through the fog to hear what the doctors were saying. I remember hearing “Oh my god that’s a lot of fluid.” That was accompanied by the first wave of released pressure. Then, they said they were pulling out my baby. That was the second and biggest relief of pressure.

Hunter came out and screamed almost instantly. His cry was music to my ears! They told Dad (Hubby) it was okay to take pictures if he wanted and then they lowered the curtain just a little. I craned my neck but couldn’t really see anything beyond pink skin and chunky baby legs.

A nurse in the background who I assume was taking notes asked “Is it a boy or girl.” To that, my hubby responds, “Are you kidding? His junk is bigger than mine!”

Hunter continued to scream while they worked on him. A nurse said it was okay for hubby to come over. I squeezed his hand one last time and said “Stay with the baby.”

I laughed and cried and felt such relief all at the same time. He was out, he was crying, and that had to mean he was doing good.

Time sort of became a blur at that point. I felt lots of tugging and pulling on my belly while I listened to the cries of my son. I just can’t explain how comforting it was to hear him, knowing that he was at least healthy enough to cry. And let me tell ya, he is not a silent baby! This boy has a set of lungs on him. 



In the background I heard them listing his stats. Born at 1:42PM, 9lbs 4oz, 21 inches long. What a big boy!

Then he was wrapped and they brought him over to me for a quick kiss. Hubby snapped off a picture and the doctor reminded them they needed to see the cardiologist. Off to the NICU they went while I was being sewed up.


I hated the separation time. I felt the loss the instant my husband and son left the room.

They wheeled me into recovery, attached lots of wires to me to monitor my heart, blood pressure, and oxygen. My Doula was allowed to come back in and visit me, she tag teamed with my mom so someone was with me at all times. I didn’t want to be alone. I can’t describe the empty feeling I had but it was less when there was someone with me. And that had been my one big request. If I had to have a C-section, I didn’t want to be left alone for any reason in the hospital.

Jenny, my wonderful Doula, smuggled in my cell phone and I was able to keep in contact with Hubby in the NICU. He sent me pictures of Hunter and told me what test were being done and how Hunter was doing. I was so grateful for that. It kept me sane. Though I was in another part of the hospital, I wasn’t too far away as long as I had that life line.

Hunter had an EKG done, had blood drawn, was put on monitors, and given the goopy eye stuff while he was in the NICU. Through it all, Hubby was right there at his side.   



After about 2 hours, Hunter had passed all of their test with flying colors and was ready to be released from NICU. That was a big sigh of relief, but they were taking their sweet time discharging him down to the regular nursery. Now that I knew he was okay, I wanted to hold my little man and start breastfeeding ASAP. I was watching the clock like a hawk, waiting for them to come through the doors. Finally, at close to 4pm, I was able to hold my little man! 4 days later, we were released to go home. 

Big Sister loves her baby brother




Welcome to the world Hunter Alexander Salidas.

Not even a werewolf can outrun the past


Title: Broods of Fenrir
Author : Coral Moore
Genre: Urban Fantasy


Shapeshifter Brand Geirson was raised to rule the Broods of Fenrir, but he refused his birthright. Instead, he killed their brutal leader–his own father–and walked away.

For hundreds of years he’s avoided brood society, until a werewolf kills an innocent human woman and Brand finds himself dragged back into the violent politics of the shapeshifters. When the two brood women who mean the most to him come under threat, he must take up the throne and risk becoming the kind of vicious bastard his father was, or let the broods descend further into chaos–taking the friend he swore to protect and his lover with them.


Tell us the story behind the story. What inspired you to write this novel?

Well, that’s kind of a long story, but I’ll try to give you the Cliff’s notes version. I first saw the phrase “broods of Fenrir” on a wikipedia page and immediately fell in love with it. I started reading the referenced source, which was a Skaldic poem called Völuspá and after that it was all over.

Tell us about the book cover. How does it represent your book? How did you choose the artwork?

The cover was designed by the very talented Amanda Kelsey at Razzle Dazzle Design. She deserves all credit for how lovely it came out, because what I gave her was a very basic description of Brand and tell her there should probably be a moon and a wolf on there somewhere; she did everything else.


Excerpt:
Broods of Fenrir by Coral Moore

Chapter 1 - Excerpt
Brand walked along the yellow crime scene tape that cordoned off the dilapidated building. His gaze wandered over the stained brick wall and broken windows. He remembered when the building was new, how modern it had seemed rising out of the barren landscape. The abandoned industrial complex south of downtown had deteriorated from a Denver landmark into a crumbling eyesore over the last several decades. 

Glare from the bright, early winter sun prevented him from seeing inside the dim structure.

The patrolman guarding the perimeter passed a long, appraising look over him. Brand nodded to the man and handed over his identification. The uniformed officer glanced at the badge. He gave Brand another once-over and frowned. “Private security? You’re not authorized to be in this area.”

Between his height and the presence of the wolf inside him, most humans found Brand intimidating. They would never be able to define exactly what bothered them, only a vague sense of strangeness. The more sensitive they were to the energies of the natural world, the harder he had to try to put them at ease. If the man in front of Brand had been a wolf, his hackles would have been raised.

Brand pulled off his sunglasses and smiled without showing his overlong canine teeth. “Detective Grant asked me to stop by.” He kept his voice light, trying to convey that he was just another guy, there to do his job when he’d rather be anywhere else.

With a pensive creasing of his forehead, the officer seemed to come to the conclusion that Brand was no threat, and his expression eased. He turned to speak into the radio at his shoulder. “Tell Grant a guy named Brandon Geirson from Sword Security is here to see him.”

For Brand, dealing with humans was easier than interacting with his own kind. Aggression was counterproductive, rather than required. He appreciated that humans responded better to courtesy than intimidation, something that would never work in the brutal subculture into which he’d been born. The constant battle for rank among the Broods of Fenrir brought out unwelcome feral tendencies.

The crackling that answered was all but incomprehensible. The patrolman handed back Brand’s identification. “He’ll be here shortly.”

“Thanks, I appreciate it.” Brand slid his sunglasses back into place.

“Sure thing.” The officer nodded and resumed his scan of the area.

Grant emerged from the building a few minutes later and jogged over to the edge of the cordoned-off area. He made a beckoning gesture with one thick-fingered hand.

Brand ducked under the yellow tape. “What’s going on, Grant?” They’d never met under what could be called pleasant circumstances, so Brand wasn’t surprised Grant seemed perturbed.

Grant led the way toward one of the oversized loading doors that had been propped open. Police personnel wandered in and out of the building. Snatches of conversation drifted over to them.

Grant paused several feet short of the entry. “We got a call about a body inside. Your company is the security outfit for this place?”

Brand swiped a hand down his face. He hoped some kid hadn’t thought to have an adventure exploring the empty derelict and instead had fallen down an open elevator shaft. It had happened before, and the guilt gnawed at him. “They don’t pay for anything but one guard doing occasional walks of the outside.”

Grant made a note, then fixed his astute eyes on Brand. “Must be frustrating for you.”

Brand sighed. “It is. I’ve tried to talk to the owners about it, but they aren’t interested in spending money to keep out trespassers.”

“Well, in this case, it’s not some adrenaline junkie looking for a new high.” Grant shook his head. “Wish it was. Lady in there is all slashed up.”

Brand froze in the act of scratching his jaw. “She was murdered?”

Grant looked over his notes and gestured toward the page with one finger. “The coroner’s hemming and hawing about bites that look canine, but there’s no animal I know of would do that kind of damage.”

Dread slithered up Brand’s back, raising the hairs on his neck. “Canine?”

Grant flipped a few pages in his notebook. “Maybe some coyotes came in after the guy was done with her and had a snack, who knows?” He shrugged. “All I know is, there’s no dog-like thing on Earth that would slice her up that way.”

Brand knew firsthand that wasn’t true. Bloody images bubbled up from the deep place he’d buried them. His stomach turned while he battled the painful memories. “Why’d you ask me to come here?”

“I need to know about anything unusual going on in the vicinity.”

He met Grant’s cool stare. “Kids come to get their kicks exploring the empty building. It’s been happening since they closed the factory down years ago.”

Grant scribbled some more notes. He pushed a few buttons on his phone and held it up for Brand to see. “You know her?”

Bruises and cuts covered the woman’s swollen face. Brand swallowed to alleviate the sudden tightening of his throat.

At the bottom of the frame, bloody gashes in her clothing made the pain she had endured before her death obvious. Teeth marks were visible along one side of her neck. Not canine, not at all, though Brand understood why someone who didn’t know about the existence of his kind might assume that. He closed his eyes briefly and searched for calm. His temper flared, but he regained control. “No, I’ve never seen her before.”

Grant harrumphed. “That’s all I’ve got for you right now. I’ll call your office when we clear out of here.”

“Thanks.” Brand offered his hand, and Grant shook it with a short nod.

While walking back to his motorcycle, Brand mulled over what do to next. Leaving the investigation up to the police was out of the question. Even if they could figure out who’d done it, they were ill-equipped to deal with one of the brood. The responsibility of seeking justice for the woman’s death fell to him.

The leader of the brood in the Denver area was a long-time friend and one of his biggest clients. In all likelihood, a member of Erik’s brood had murdered that woman. That placed Brand in a dangerous position since he wanted to put the wild animal down.

Where can readers find out more about you and your work? 

Get to Know the Broods of Fenrir (And win an Ebook copy)


Broods of Fenrir
Author : Coral Moore
Genre: Urban Fantasy

The original inspiration for my werewolf story came to me a while browsing the Wikipedia page on Fenrir

There, in a paragraph about the Poetic Edda (a collection of ancient Skaldic poetry) I first read the phrase broods of Fenrir and immediately fell in love. There is a roundness to words that to me feels like a growl. From there, I ventured out into the convoluted paths of the internet to learn more about Fenrir and his broods.
In my travels I found a gem of a site, voluspa.org, that has beautiful translations of Icelandic and Norse Eddas and Sagas. The stories there spurred my imagination for weeks afterwards, even prompting me to learn some Old Norse pronunciation so that I could speak the original lines.

The 40th stanza of the Völuspá (The Prophecy of the Seeress) in particular really started the gray cells churning:
The giantess old | in Ironwood sat,
In the east, and bore | the brood of Fenrir;
Among these one | in monster's guise
Was soon to steal | the sun from the sky.

The web site explains that the brood of Fenrir is a pair of wolves, named Skoll and Hati, who are prophesized to consume the sun and the moon.

Most mythology has roots in fact, describing occurrences that earlier man didn’t understand. So, I started to wonder, what might have served as the inspiration for a story like this. My imagining of the race of werewolves that spawned this tale became the seed of an idea that grew into my book, Broods of Fenrir.
In my alternate history, werewolves are a separate species from humans and were enslaved by the Norse in pre-Viking times. Their culture was repressed by the aggressive barbarians, and after a time they adopted a variation of the Skaldic myths as their own origin story. Eventually, some of the brood escaped captivity and fled to Iceland, Greenland and North America ahead of the Viking expansion through those areas. Their violent, tumultuous background is the basis of some of the darker scenes in my book.

The research I did while writing was extensive, but not much of the actual detail made it into the story. Instead, I let the knowledge of Norse culture and language I gained flavor the characters and world they inhabit.

For a chance at a free eBook copy of Broods, tell me about your favorite myth adaptations.
**Post a comment below to enter to win.** 
You have until  12/8/11 to post your comments to enter to win the contest. Please be sure to include an email address or some way for us to contact you. (If we cannot contact you we cannot award you your prize.)
Winner will be announced on 12/9/11


Thanks to the lovely Katie for hosting me!
* * *
I would love to talk to you about werewolves and Norse mythology on Twitter. Please stop by my website and say hello or read an excerpt of Broods.

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