Friday, August 6, 2021

Connor & Kevin Garrett Interview - Spellbound Under The Spanish Moss


Photo Content from Connor and Kevin Garrett

Connor Judson Garrett is the author of the novel Falling Up in The City of Angels, the co-author of the Book Excellence Awards Finalist in the Young Adult genre Spellbound Under The Spanish Moss, along with several surrealist poetry books. Besides book writing, Garrett writes blogs, website copy, and content for major brands like SnackNation, ZipRecruiter, and Texas Pete. Kevin Garrett is a professional advertising photographer and writer, whose work has appeared in numerous publications, including Vogue, Forbes, Coastal Living, Boulevard, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and Private Clubs.

        
  


What was the greatest thing you learned at school?
The greatest thing I learned in school was how to persevere. Due to ADHD and a few other difficulties, the traditional education system wasn’t a comfortable or natural feeling environment for me. However, giving up was never an option and so I see merit in at least being able to blend in when necessary. These challenges don’t stop once school ends — they extend into adulthood and into the workplace, so understanding how to mainstream yourself enough to function in a variety of environments is critical.

What are some of your current and future projects that you can share with us?
We are currently working on editing and revising the second book in the Spellbound Series — Fragrance of A Shadow. Additionally, we’ve begun working on the third book of the series; however, that may take several years due to increasing complexity, scope, and several other factors.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
The most rewarding experience is the work itself. Whether a publisher, an agent, or even your readers give you validation or not, the greatest and most important satisfaction is how you feel about the story. Are the characters impactful? Is the plot coherent? Is it inventive? And above all, did you successfully say what it is that you were trying to say through the tale? Is it a book you would want to read if you hadn’t written it?

Why is storytelling so important for all of us?
Storytelling is everywhere, but it starts within. Every single event and moment is processed and then we create a narrative around it afterwards. This is how we frame happiness, sadness, joy, and expectation. The story you tell yourself is potent and equips you to triumph or prepares you to succumb to hard times. Besides that, storytelling is an art form that allows us to entrance, amaze, and generate awe in each other. The right words in the right order are magic — spells of the real world, with the ability to make people fall in love, to start wars, to heal, and to give hope.

Can you tell us when you started SPELLBOUND UNDER THE SPANISH MOSS, how that came about?
We started Spellbound Under The Spanish Moss while I was in Lebanon, living near Byblos, the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world. My dad, meanwhile, was writing back in Atlanta, Georgia. We used Whatsapp and Google Docs to collaborate and the process was intentional, scheduled, and workman-like.

What do you hope for readers to be thinking when they read your novel?
I hope they are entertained. At the same time, I hope the story helps think of humans more dynamically — to understand that good and bad can exist in the same individuals. Beyond our inherent qualities, we make choices for better or worse. Additionally, death and grief are important themes to me and I hope Spellbound helps them explore the meaning of life and how to make our time on earth impactful.

What part of Gareth did you enjoy writing the most?
My dad focused more heavily on Gareth, ironically. I focused more heavily on his father’s character — Samuel Greyfin.

If you could have written one book in history, what book would that be?
Possibly Slaughterhouse Five. The way it blends genres is genius. It also happens to be one of the greatest anti-war books of all-time and it deals with serious themes using extremely interesting literary devices. Vonnegut was a master of his craft. And so it goes...

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
Wally from Spellbound and Edward Bloom from Big Fish would talk and talk and talk and spin endless yarns back and forth. I think they’d get along swimmingly.

Tell me about a favorite event of your childhood.
Growing up, I loved soccer and loved competing. Any game scoring lots of goals was a good one. There was one game that stands out to me...it was before I had gotten good. We had a crosstown rival, Metro North. They were a little more organized and better trained than us. They understand geometric patterns and why they matter in soccer a lot sooner than we did, so they knew how to work together as a team. And they had a player named Emannual who was highly skilled. I took every matchup personally, so if they beat us, I felt Emannual had outmatched me. Anyways, they were up 1-0 in a 90-minute match. We had about 1-minute left and I had nearly given up. I ended up scoring in the final 30 seconds, so the game ended on a tie. I had games where I scored 5 or 6 goals in my life against high level competition, but this memory stands out because it laid a foundation for me — to simply never give up.

TEN DREAM VACATION SPOTS
  • Greece
  • Italy
  • Spain
  • Indonesia
  • Japan
  • Israel
  • Ireland
  • (Tulum) Mexico
  • Morroco
  • Croatia
Best date you've ever had?
My fiance and I have had quite a few. But we met in Paris...there’s an old cemetery there named Pere Lachaise where Edith Pilaf, Jim Morrison, Chopin, and a number of legends are buried. The tombstones themselves are a wonder, along with the cobblestone paths, and the mosses and plants. We went there together and walked and talked.

What was the first job you had?
I worked in the deli at Publix frying chicken, slicing meats, and making sandwiches. It wasn’t so bad, but those early jobs made me appreciate my white collar work.

Which incident in your life that totally changed the way you think today?
Many have, but I would say the death of my grandfather when I was three, almost four. It was an open casket funeral and I remember everything about it from the white country chapel to the rainy day to the fact that I couldn’t pray him back to life. That was my first exposure to finality.

Where did you go on your first airplane ride?
I’m not entirely sure actually. Maybe Jamaica? The travel writing component of my parents’ careers was doing well during that period, so it would likely have been that or maybe the move down from New York City when I was a baby.

First Heartbreak?
Getting rejected by my third grade crush at the Sock Hop Dance lol

You have the chance to give one piece of advice to your readers. What would it be
Be kind to yourself. Try to keep perspective. Zoom out and breathe — as difficult as that may be at times. And don’t give up. Bad days are temporary.

 


Young Gareth Greyfin must find a way to save his father Samuel after he is bitten by a one-eyed snake. With little time before the venom will reach his father’s heart, Gareth follows his father’s instructions to bring him to a cabin in the swamps outside of Savannah, Georgia—the home of a witch with a fearsome reputation.

The witch sends the fearful young man on a quest for five ingredients for the potion that offers the elder Greyfin’s only hope. Accompanied by the witch’s raven as a guide, Gareth’s desperate journey leads to encounters with a cast of characters that defy imagination. The duo is joined by an old banjo player, and they learn that heroes come in unexpected forms.

Along the way, Gareth learns a family secret and a deception threatens to destroy his budding friendship with the Raven and possibly the life of his father. Will his bargain with Evangeline pay off or will Gareth be the one to pay the price?
You can purchase Spellbound Under The Spanish Moss at the following Retailers:
        

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you CONNOR & KEVIN GARRETT for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a $10 Amazon Gift Card.

*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*
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16 comments:

  1. I don't get bored a lot but sometimes I scroll through the TV channels and look at something I've never seen before.

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  2. I watch a lot of TV when I’m bored but I’m very seldom bored.

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  3. "What do you do most when you are bored?" Listen to books.

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  4. I read or watch movies when I'm bored.

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  5. I watch TV or listen to music. I also love puzzles and reading.

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  6. Watch TV or read a book.

    abfantom at yahoo dot com

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  7. I read--might have to change the book though!

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