Interview with J. B. Garner

Hey Legendary readers! So, we’ve been doing author interviews lately and this week I am glad to share my interview with author J. B. Garner!! Here ya go!!

Last week you were talking about balancing the description and plot in your book. Your post held some great advice! How long did it take you to learn how to balance and how did you know when you went too far to one side or the other?

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It took a while before I got everything just right, and to be honest, that kind of balance is a constant work in progress. Every new book and genre calls for shifts in that balance. A modern drama, for instance, might need a little less raw description, as you are dealing with real-world elements people already know, while a full blown epic fantasy might need more description, as you have to evoke the imagery of this fantastical new world to the reader.

As for knowing when you go too far, beta readers, test readers, and editors are the best way to know if you’ve gone too far. But if you have to judge it on your own, you know you’ve gone too far over on description when you reread a section and you start to get bored with it, as excessive description throws off the pacing of the plot. And you know when you’ve gone too far towards plot when you lose the ability to picture the scene and characters in your mind.

In Rune Service: Dwarf for Hire, your main character is not your typical sexy leading lady. What on earth made you think of writing Mary Stone the way you did? Do you want to tell our readers what’s so unique about our heroine?

I guess a few things inspired me. First and maybe most of all, I wanted to break the mold for both a romantic tale and an adventure tale. The fact is that anyone can find love with someone else, and I’ve seen plenty of odd couples and pairings in real life. And as for the adventure bit, far stranger people have been heroes. Why not a four-foot tall bearded Dwarf lady?

Second, I think dwarves as a fantasy race don’t get the same attention as your usual elves and dragons and all of that. I personally find many variations of dwarves to be really cool, and they speak to me. So, honestly I wanted to make a dwarf the heroine of a piece, just to celebrate that coolness.

What books or authors do you think inspired you most?

The funny thing is that I feel like any list I would write would be a horrible disservice, as I have read so many books and absorbed so much media that my inspirations are everywhere. I’d leave critical people out if I tried to make that list.

BUT for Rune Service, I can give some definite inspirations. My biggest sparks for it were Jim Butcher and the Dresden Files, for the urban fantasy elements, and the MythAdventures books by Robert Aspirin and Jody Lynn Nye, for the humorous fantasy bits. Oh, and I have to credit the movie Clerks from Kevin Smith for the idea of the convenience store setting.

What’s your favorite aspect of writing and what part do you have to fight to make yourself do because it’s just draining?

My favorite part is the middle part of each book, where I’m just writing and going and don’t have to worry about getting the initial hook of the first chapter right or finding a good way to stick the landing satisfyingly. As for the draining part, that’s definitely the first chapter! I wind up usually having to rewrite every one of my first chapters three to five times to get it just right and that just takes it out of me.

Okay, I know there’s a sequel to Rune Service: Dwarf for Hire, but are there more tales in store for Mary Stone and what is next on your list to be published?

For sure! Dwarf for Hire is meant to be a fun, on-going tale, with each book being their own individual story, so I have plenty of ideas for the future as we learn more about Mary’s past and her bizarre group of friends. My hope is to have a third book out later this year.

As for what’s next, well, I’m catching my breath at the moment, but I just put out a superhero reverse harem romance, The Miracle Touch, alongside my long-time collaborator, J. A. Cipriano, that I think is a heck of a lot of fun for those looking for action, adventure, and a bit of more adult romance.

Final request. Recommend one of your books, other than Rune Service, that you would want people to read.

Only one? Spoil sport! Okay, well, if I am limited to one, I am going to plug the oddest of my book series, one that was a true passion project. It might not be for everyone, but so far, even the person who bought it on accident and reviewed it wound up liking it.

Check out Three Seconds to Legend, starting with The Opening Bell. It’s a series I can best describe as a mix of family drama, martial arts action-adventure, and coming of age with some sprinkles of LGBT romance and Greek myth, all set in the world of modern professional wrestling. It’s odd, it’s strange, but those who do read it have always found it satisfying.

Thank you SO much for letting me interview you. I really am excited about checking out more of your stuff!

Well, until next time guys!

Book Review: Rune Service by J. B. Garner

Hello Legendary Peeps! Last week you met J. B. Garner and learned some interesting information on how to balance descriptions in your literary world. And let me say, he did a fantastic job of that in Rune Service: Dwarf for Hire.

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I will admit, it took me a little bit to get into the book, but my life was crazy hectic when I read it. (Thank you flu season.) Once my brain cleared up, I was completely absorbed. The characters are hilarious, the action is booming, and the plot kept me rooting for the main character the entire time. I will definitely be checking out book 2: Rune Service: Once in a Blue Rune.

If you’re looking for a fun, fast-paced read, then Rune Service: Dwarf for Hire is just for you.

To find out more about the book or purchase, just click here.

 

Rune Service: Dwarf for Hire

A prince in danger, an epic quest, and a cup of coffee, all at your local Easy-E-Mart!

When Mary Stone started her overnight shift at the convenience store, she never expected to run into an elf begging for help because she is supposed to know magic. Key word, supposed to.

Now she’s caught in a world where dragons are real, wererabbits are a thing, and the creatures that go bump in the night really do hide under beds. 

And all of them are after her.

Worse, if she doesn’t find a way to master her powers and save the elf who turned her life upside down, she may never find out the one thing she’s been after all these years. The truth about who she really is.

 

Special Guest: J. B. Garner

Hello legendary readers! Today, we have special guest author J. B. Garner. I recently read his book Rune Service and fell in love, but you’ll get to hear more on that one next week. This week, he’ll be sharing some seriously helpful advice on balancing your writing. And heeeeeeeere’s J. B.!

Hello! My name is J. B. Garner, author, editor, and fellow reader, living in Pensacola, FL. I hope you’re all having a great day, and I also hope you’re ready to talk writing! MeLeesa asked me if I could take a second to talk about one of my favorite topics when it comes to the art of wordsmithing, so thinking about it, I decided to have a chat with y’all about description in fiction and how we look at the world, both real and fictional. Enjoy!

As a writer, your job is a hectic one. Not only do you need to create and characterize your cast, you have to script the plot, provide dramatic tension, and so on. One of the most important duties you face is the creation and description of the world surrounding your characters. After all, every actor needs a stage on which to perform!

There are many theories and styles of writing descriptive text, too many for such a humble article as this. What I want to focus on today is the balance of description with the action of the plot. Essentially, the effect that unbalanced description and exposition can have on the pacing of your story and how to work around this unbalance in a natural way.

We all know what unbalanced description looks like. When every character is introduced with a paragraph of lovingly written description, from top to bottom and every bit of clothing, that is unbalanced. When every intricacy of the environment is laid out, that is unbalanced. When every action is laden with adverbs and adjectives, no matter how minor, that is unbalanced.

I’ve heard it said that the more senses you can engage with the reader, the more memorable your writing becomes. I don’t deny this, but it must come in a natural balance. Trying to engage too many senses at once or simply giving into purple prose causes the kind of unbalanced text blocks I talk about above. The detrimental effect this can have on your plot, especially the pacing of it, should be obvious.

Worse yet, unbalanced description is unnatural when it comes to how we perceive the real world. When you meet someone for the first time, especially in passing, do you really pay that much attention to them? The human mind loves to generalize and categorize things to deal with the amazing breadth of input our sense provide. On first sight, most things in our environment are categorized and then put into a box, then otherwise ignored until we force ourselves to focus on them.

That’s why unusual things draw our attention so easily. They don’t fit in a predetermined category and our brain sends the signals that we need to focus on this thing closely. Even on things that we focus on, data doesn’t just come in like a computer readout. Different people focus on different aspects of people and objects. Not every detail is immediately apparent or important. On top of that, the situation the observer is in dictates a lot about where his/her focus will be. A character in a dangerous action sequence will have far different priorities and focus than one sitting at a bar, for example.

You can use this naturalistic approach to description and observation to balance out your descriptions. As we naturally pick up details over time as focus and perception change, you can likewise parcel out description over a scene instead of clumping it all up in one paragraph. Consider what a character’s focus might be and use that to describe the most important details at the time, bringing the rest out as they come to the fore.

You can even use this technique to add to your characterization efforts. What a particular character sees first in another can be a clue as to their priorities, background, and knowledge. How a character sees their world can be as insightful as how they interact with it.

I hope that was helpful! Until next time, good reading, good writing, and good luck!

Wow! Thanks J. B.! I suddenly have the urge to go back and check my new manuscript to see how I’ve been ding with that. Lol.

Ok. To learn more about J. B. Garner and his work, just click here.

J. B. Garner was born in Baltimore, MD on December 1, 1976, the youngest of three children. While still young, the family moved to Peachtree City, GA. His parents always encouraged his creative side and J. B. began writing and drawing from an early age. Though considered talented by his teachers, he never fully applied himself and bounced through high school and into college at the Georgia Institute of Technology. During his freshman year, his father died suddenly.
Grief and lack of purpose caused J. B. to drop out of school. If not for a few close friends, he might have dropped out of life as well. Taken in by his friends and given a second chance, J. B. matured, applied himself, and finally, after over a decade of hard work, is now back to doing what he loves the most: writing.