Today Garrett Leigh talks about her writing process and newest release, BULLET.
Plotter, at least in theory. I try my best, but
occasionally the evil curse of the pantster catches me and I just have to ride
it out. Though, for me, that's rarely a good thing. Without the supervision of
at least some vague notes, my manuscripts have a tendency to become utter
hero or tortured villain?
Both. I like my characters deeply flawed, and I
don't believe all villains are bad to the bone. Who doesn't like a bad guy with
your characters or as hard as possible?
Hard. Without doubt. I put my characters through the
mill, build them up, then shove 'em right on through again. Conflict, angst,
hurt, comfort. That's how I roll.
you consider to be the key elements of a great story?
All of the above, I guess, but as a reader I need to
see really great characters. They don't have to be a certain type, but they
must be emotive and likeable. Too often I've picked up a book with a great
plot, only to find I don't give two shits about the ending because the leading
character is booooorrrrrring. I'd rather a dickhead, than a one dimensional
What is the hardest part of writing your books?
Continuity and timelines.
Every editor I've ever worked with tears their hair out over my inability to
keep things coherent. Comments like: 'How can X be doing Y, when you still have
him over at Z's' are a part of my everyday life.
Who has been your favorite character to write?
Oooh, now that's a hard
one. Ash from Slide is my original baby, but I've grown rather fond of Levi
too. He's a big bear of a man, but soft as shit beneath it all. And he doesn't
have much luck, bless him.
line/quote from current work?
I'm quite partial to the opening line of Bullet…
trickle of sweat ran down the center of Levi Ramone’s chest. More beaded his
brow. He shook his head, flicking his dark hair out of his eyes. It was too
long for working on broken-down motorbikes, too long for his momma’s liking,
and definitely too long for porn."
up quite nicely *snicker* and here's the blurb…
Ramone entered the gay porn market for one reason, and one reason only–he
needed the cash to pay his momma's spiraling gambling debts.
years later, he's a veteran with a reputation as one of Blue Boy Studio's most
ruthless tops, and when his boss suggests it's time for a change, he finds
himself staring down the barrel of a gun.
speaking, at least.
Sonny Valentine, a go-go dancer at Blue's sister club, Silver's. Levi has
secretly admired Sonny from afar for years, but there's one problem–he can't
stand Sonny and the feeling is entirely mutual. When Levi learns Sonny is to
play the third part in a scene he considers his worst nightmare, he figures
things can't get any worse.
preparations for the scene from hell collide with tragic events in his personal
life, he finds his fast growing, red hot attraction to Sonny the one thing left
between him and a bullet.
Garrett Leigh lives in a small commuter town
just north of London with her husband, two kids, a dog with half a brain, and a
cat with a chip on her shoulder. She's twenty-nine, and now she's reached that
milestone, she intends to stay there for the foreseeable future. Garrett has
been writing just about her whole life, but it's been about three years since
she decided to take it seriously. According to Mr. Garrett, it was either give
the men in her head a voice or have herself committed.
Angst. She can't write a word without it.
She's tried, she really has, but 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.
Today I have S.c. Wynne here interviewing Character Taylor
Williams from Hard-Ass!
is your name and occupation? Taylor
old are you? Thirty-Four
did you come by your current occupation? I had a horrible home life growing up and I ran away. The man who took
me in paid for me to go to college where I received a degree in Business. I was
pretty gun shy about people so that allowed me to focus on school and being at
the top of my class I got a great job with Peterton Financial.
you like your job? Why or why not? Yes.
I love my job. I used to love it because it was a job with structure. Numbers
don’t let you down or change and then turn on you. They either add up or they
don’t. I love my job even more now that Phillip Daniels has arrived.
is the person you dislike the most? My
is the person you respect the most? Phillip
there anyone special in your life? Phillip
Daniels. He’s amazing.
your favorite meal, and do you fix it yourself or have someone fix it for you? I don’t really have a favorite meal. I love food but I’m too lazy to cook.Phillip loves to cook so he would be the one
making our meal. And it would turn out flawless…like him.
or baseball? Football. But only
watching it. I might get killed if I tried to play it. I’m a numbers guy not a
exercise?Using my calculator. I’m kidding. I like jogging.
hear you’re planning a winter vacation. Where are you going? Is anyone going
along? Big Bear, CA. I’m a little
nervous because I’m not an outdoor macho type of guy. I’m going with Phillip.
He invited me up there for Christmas. I’ve never liked holidays. Until now.
you had one wish, what would it be? That
I’d been born with different parents so I wouldn’t distrust people so much. My
entire life would have been different. But I would still want to have met
Phillip Daniels. Knowing him has given me hope.
Analyst Taylor Williams knows there’s an embezzler at Peterton Financial, and
he’s been doing everything he can to catch the crook. Unfortunately the numbers
keep adding up to him being the thief.When corporate sends in Regional Manager, Phillip Daniels to catch the
crook, it’s obvious he suspects Taylor right off the bat. Phillip is gorgeous,
sexy as hell and a hard ass. But when it comes to sexual attraction logic can’t
compete. Even though Phillip suspects Taylor might be the thief, he can’t keep
himself from bringing him into his bed, time and time again. Will the numbers
add up to a happy ending for these two?
“What the hell is this?” I asked, scowling as
Randy dumped a huge, sloppy pile of files and data sheets onto my desk.
“He wants us to go through all of these, ASAP,” Randy said.
us to go through all of these?”
“The new hard-ass is here.” Randy’s voice had
the usual respect he afforded the higher-ups. None.
I swiveled my chair and peeked out of my
office to see a man standing with the bigwigs in front of the shimmering
Christmas tree in the lobby. The new guy was about forty, black hair, at least six
feet tall, with broad shoulders impeccably encased in what was probably a
two-thousand-dollar designer jacket. His jaw was tense, belying the air of
relaxed confidence he was doing his best to sell.
The guy allowed a polite smile as Sally, the
receptionist, pulled a piece of shiny silver tinsel from his shoulder. Knowing
Sally, she’d be positioning him under the mistletoe first chance she got.
“Where did he come from?” I asked.
“Why didn’t anyone tell me he was already
here?” I asked, ignoring Randy’s taunt.
“I mean sooner. Why didn’t you tell me sooner? Did you explain to him we’ve
compiled this already?”
“I tried. He’s good-looking, but he might be
lacking in smarts.”
“It makes no sense to go through these. We
have it all in digital files already.” I grumbled, flipping through the sheets.
“What is this, 1984?”
“You can take it up with Pretty Boy yourself.
Looks like he’s making the rounds, and he’s coming this way.”
Great. This was who they sent? We’d
been hemorrhaging buckets of money, though those losses were largely due to
theft. Reviewing data printouts of losses we’d already reviewed a hundred times
was a waste of energy and cash. Peterton Financial was a large, well-oiled
machine, which meant it took a lot of money to pay for all that square footage.
I guess I’d have to shut up and let the new boss take a stab at fixing our
branch’s problems. And when he left, like the last two, I could get some actual
“Ten bucks says he doesn’t last the week,”
Randy whispered, waving a bill in front of my nose.
I eyed the new guy’s perfect haircut and
aquiline nose. Maybe he was tougher than he looked? Probably not, but it was
only ten bucks.
“Like taking candy from a baby,” Randy said,
tucking the money back in his pocket.
Lucinda Mercy, the office manager, stopped at
my office with Mr. Haircut.
“Taylor Williams, I’d like to introduce our
new regional manager, Phillip Daniels.” She smiled at me, lipstick on her
teeth. “Taylor is the senior financial analyst for the New York project.”
“Nice to meet you, Taylor.” Daniels took the
lead. His shake was firm, the skin of his manicured hand smooth. I got a whiff
of grapefruit, lavender, and lemongrass. He smelled terrific, I wasn’t going to
deny it, but his gaze appeared tepid at best.
It had been a long time since I’d met someone
as good-looking as Phillip Daniels up close and personal. In fact, I hadn’t
been up close and personal with anyone in quite a while. But that was no excuse
for being rude and leering at the guy.
“Hope we can accomplish some fine work
together.” Was it me, or did I sound like I was coming on to him? Crap, I
needed to get laid and fast before I embarrassed myself any more.
“I see Randy dropped off the files I want you
to comb through,” Daniels said in a velvety voice.
“About that, we’ve got all this on the
computer. I don’t need to go through the hard copies,” I said, meeting his cool
“I’m afraid I’m going to have to insist.”
I gave a surprised laugh. “No, I mean it’s
been done several times already.”
“Then one more time won’t hurt anybody, will
I hesitated. Did he have bad hearing or
something? “I’ll see if I can get to it.”
“On the contrary, I want you to make this a
He might be gorgeous, but he was either dumb
or an arrogant prick. “Maybe I’m not making myself clear. These have already been gone through and saved to the computer.” I spoke slowly,
in case he was having trouble understanding the big words.
“Look, Taylor, is it? We need to get
something straight right off the bat. I’m your boss, and I’m giving you a
“I understand that, but I have a lot of work
and this is a waste of my time.”
Lucinda gasped and looked nervously between
Phillip and me.
“Do you want to catch the thief, Taylor?” he
“What does that have to do with—”
“You should be willing to do whatever it
takes. Since you’re so familiar with the data, it shouldn’t take you long.”
“It’s not as simple as that. Going over all
this is extremely time-consuming,” I said. “I have other things I need to get
“I’m sure you’ll work it out. I expect a
He turned his back on me and walked to the
next cubicle, perhaps to spread his good cheer.
first thing I think of is…the shower. Steam. All that hot water, a bath sponge,
lots of foamy body wash… And
a couple of guys. What’s
not to like? Although
Beck and Zach don’t get under water (that we can see)!
BLURB from HIGH CONCEPT:
his desk and lowered himself into the chair. A pile of reports sat waiting for
his attention. Ridiculous. He was a homicide detective, not a secretary. This
was a waste of his skills. Field cases waited, infinitely more interesting and
requiring a detective’s intuition.
Across the room, Van met his gaze and looked away. Beck spun his chair toward
the windows behind him. Sheets of water rippled down the windows, blurring the
building across the street.
After the shooting, Beck’s ex-lover had made it clear as still water that there
was nothing left between them. At least Van had understood the pressures of the
job, the danger, both on the street and in the department. Homicide was a macho
division, and the other detectives were unlikely to accept an alternate
orientation. He and Van had agreed to keep their relationship under wraps. Had
they had a relationship or just been fuck buddies?
Nights in a soft bed, Van’s hot tongue everywhere until Beck squirmed with
need. A firm grip on his cock, stroking.
“What would you like tonight?”
Heat rushed to his groin. Mind-blowing sex—no doubt about that—but was that all
They’d never eaten at a restaurant unless it was out of town. They’d never
taken a vacation together. Van liked sun and sand and room service; Beck
preferred snow and skiing and grilled steaks at the lodge. And they never
stayed over at each other’s places.
Sure didn’t sound like a relationship. Hell, when he’d been lying in the
hospital with his shattered shoulder pinned together, wondering if his hand
would ever work again, he’d turned to Van expecting emotional support, and his
lover had gunned down the only thing Beck had left.
Van had left nothing at Beck’s apartment except travel brochures.
The first time Beck had risked his heart, and he’d gotten blown away for his
trouble. Staying secreted in the closet precluded Van paying attention to a
disabled boyfriend. “It would look strange if I spent extra time with you,”
Van had said, and he’d been careful not to visit more often than any of the
others. At that point, Beck had wished his injuries had been more severe, that
the bullet had hit a few inches to the right and down, preempting Van’s assault
on Beck’s heart. Death had sounded better than total bereavement.
Anger had overtaken depression in short order. The first thing he’d done after
arriving home was deep-six the tropical-vacation brochures littering the
In the ensuing weeks, Beck had fought through the pain of physical therapy and
the loss of the relationship.
As Beck’s psychologist, Jay had helped him work through most of that. And the
painful inquiry about the shootings.
“Hey.” Soft brown eyes gazed down at him, wary, not welcoming. The familiar
scent of Van’s bay rum aftershave reached Beck, and his stomach clenched.
“Well. What can I do for you, Detective Gates?”
Van plopped a folder on his desk. “Got a computer request that needs your
“Don’t think I can help you.” Beck picked up a pen, tapped it on the folder.
“I’m not a computer expert.”
Van’s full mouth thinned, lips pressed together. “It’s a search for vehicle
license plates. Need it for the murder book.”
Helpless to resist, Beck’s gaze wandered down Van’s chambray-clad torso. The
memory of burying his face in Van’s groin set off a twitch in his own.
Once upon a misspent youth, Whitley read and wrote stories under the covers at night. Then real life intervened, bringing with it a career in the medical field. After years of technical writing, writing romance and inventing characters in interesting situations turned out to be addictive. Two heroes is twice as nice. A pot of coffee and a storyline featuring a couple of guys makes for a perfect day.