Monday, April 9, 2018


An interview with author Janelle Garrett.


Hi! Welcome to Zigzag Timeline. Can you tell us about your background as an author?

Hi, thanks for having me! My background is pretty simple, to be honest. When I was younger I used to write stories and dream of being an author someday. My parents were, so I think it was just something I always assumed I would do. But then as I got into my young adult years I realized it was nearly impossible to make a living doing it. So I got my RN degree instead, but writing was in my blood. So now I do both.

What got you into writing?

For as long as I can remember I loved story. Either through reading, being read to, or through writing. If I could attribute it to two things, it would be my mom who homeschooled me and was a writer herself. Talk about learning to have thick skin when someone edits your work! I would get papers back and half the page would be red lined. But it only spurred me to do better, to have cleaner work, and to be appreciative of constructive criticism. To this day negative feedback doesn’t bother me that much. The second thing would be CS Lewis. I read The Chronicles of Narnia when I was 8, and from then on, my goal was to be as imaginative and original as possible.

What was the first idea you had for your book, and how did the story grow from there?

I had extensive knee surgery two years ago and was bed bound for twelve weeks. I hadn’t written in years, and while I was recovering, I picked it back up to keep my mind sharp, otherwise I would have lost it being confined for that long! I had a three and two year old at the time, so needless to say, it was a looooooong three months. But as I was resting, it was like a vision came to me. I was brainstorming about what to create, and in walked a figure shrouded in black with a blade strapped to his back. I could see it plain as day…he was lost in a misted wood, trying to rescue someone. The story took off from there. I finished the first draft of the manuscript in less than two months.  

Among your characters, who's your favorite? Could you please describe him/her?

Although I love them all for various reasons, Priva has to be my favorite. He’s the vision I had when I was recovering from surgery. He’s a warrior raised to follow the command of the King, but as he realizes that his calling is far greater than that, he begins to explore new aspects of himself. His character develops from mission-bound bladeweilder only wanting to do his duty to discovering his own identity apart from the tasks he is given. That’s one of the main themes that runs through Rift in the Deep. Who are we? What gives us purpose and meaning?

What's your favorite scene from your novel? Could you please describe it?

I can only choose one!? Well, the opening scene is probably one of my favorites. Because that’s the original vision I had, writing it out was a blast. Priva comes to awareness in the middle of a wood with no idea how he got there. His senses are completely shut down, and all around him is darkness and mist. He knows that he is on a mission to save someone, but had no intention of entering the wood until he was ready to give payment to the Dreads, mysterious creatures who are blocked into the wood by the Covenwitches.

What's your favorite part of writing? Plotting? Describing scenes? Dialogue?

I would say character development. That has a lot to do with plotting. Taking that character on a journey and seeing them either grow as an individual or lose themselves because of circumstances or flaws that they can’t overcome.   

How long does it take you to write a book? Do you have a writing process, or do you wing it?

From start to finish is anywhere from one month to eight months. My novella The Tale of Briton’s Fury was only 20k words, so it was complete within six weeks, editing and all. The Survival Guide for Nursing Students coming out next month only took four weeks. Rift in the Deep took about eight months. The second book Rise of the Warlock King coming out next month was about the same.

What is it about the genre you chose that appeals to you?

Fantasy has always been my favorite, going back to reading CS Lewis as a kid. That led to JRR Tolkien in middle school, which led to Robert Jordan in high school, and then the rest is history. I’ve been avidly reading fantasy most of my life, so it was a natural thing to write it. The appeal, I think, is in the fact that I can create my own world. I love being able to use imaginative storytelling in that way…almost like I’m a kid again! 

Are there any books or writers that have had particular influence on you?

Of course there is CS Lewis, JRR Tolkien and Robert Jordan as I’ve mentioned. Besides that, I’ve really enjoyed the Hand of Thrawn series by Timothy Zahn, Writing Deep Viewpoint by Kathy Tyers, The Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind, The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, and pretty much anything by Ted Dekker, just to name a few within the sci-fi/fantasy/writing genre. But I read prolifically, so there are too many to mention!

Did you ever surprise yourself when you were writing your book? Characters who took on lives of their own? Plot elements that took unexpected turns?

This happens quite oftenJ I don’t outline, so the plot and characters take on a life of their own while I write. Of course, that makes the editing a little challenging, since there tend to be more inconsistencies when you wing it. But I’ve found that even when I outline my characters go off script all the time, so it was pretty useless to make them stick to my grand plan. 

Thanks for stopping by!


A darkness lurks beneath the surface, brooding, waiting. The Deep writhes in currents of power, holding the Rift at bay. But the Stewards, accessors of the Deep, have not walked the Lands in three hundred years. Their legend lives on, but it is just that. Legend. No one living remembers. And the witches wait for their return, when all four Stewards can unite to bring about the downfall of the Rift. 

Brate Hightower knows of such legends, but it has little to do with his daily life. He toils on his farm, alone and wondering when he will be able to travel to the Forest City and sing in the halls of the Triumphant King. Malok Mountain Keeper lives in isolation, studying as an acolyte and longing for the day he can become a Brother and spend the rest of his life gleaning as much knowledge as he can. Graissa del’Blyth lives in discontent amongst the wealthy, longing for a life of purpose and justice. Priva Car’abel is a bladewielder, at the beck and call of the Flatland King and searching for a missing Princess. All of their lives change in an instant, and none of them can predict where their paths lead. Will they step up to the challenge and embrace their destiny? Or will the lure of power or the challenge of a new, rising foe be their undoing?

The sphere hangs in the balance. They must succeed, or all will be lost in darkness and shadow. And if they are to embrace the call, they will need the help of the Covenwitches.  


Janelle Garrett is a jack of all trades. Registered nurse, stay at home mom, medical records consultant…and writer. Her passion from the time she was ten was to write stories with unforgettable characters. The sphere came into existence when she was bed-bound after knee surgery, and in walked a character shrouded in black and trapped in a magical wood on a dangerous mission. The story flowed from that vision. You can catch her on twitter @JanelleGwriter or at her blog, Go to her website to sign up for her email updates and receive a free book. No strings attached, and you won’t be spammed. You’ll receive monthly updates on new work, promos, and freebies, as well as release dates for the rest of the Steward Saga.

Amazon link, available in KU, ebook and print:
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