The Literary Vixen presents…
Joining us today is the husband/wife writing duo, K.L. Garrison! Their debut novel, Almost King: The Rise of Jerik released on February 4th 2021.
Tell us a bit about yourselves.
Well, we live in Texas, have a horde of children, spend as much time as possible in the woods or on the lake. K.L. is Comanche and is actually a tattoo artist as a day job. I’m an editor and publisher and SAHM.
How many books have you written? Which is your fave?
Only two so far. Almost King: The Rise of Jerik and its sequel, out in August, Jerik the Unsteady.
K.L.: I don’t think I have a favorite, really. I think maybe Almost King— developing the characters was fun and gave me the inspiration to keep going.
Karmin: I refuse to choose.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
K.L.: When my wife challenged me to write a story… though, when I was younger, I would write stories here and there. I’ve always had the imagination. But, honestly, I probably wouldn’t have written anything without Karmin’s poking and prodding.
Karmin: I write small things here and there— once I wrote a huge 300k dark fantasy and lost the entire file (remember to extra backup your stuff, folks)— but writing has never been my dream. I like the other side of book stuff which is why I’m an editor and publisher.
What was your hardest scene to write?
Can’t tell you that— spoilers.
K.L.: Spoilers (but really anything dealing with Jerik).
Karmin: Reading what he wrote and then filling in extras almost broke my heart, especially at the end of Almost King.
Where do you get your inspiration for your books?
K.L.: That’s hard to answer… I’ve always loved history, particularly where there’s not a written history but more oral so we don’t truly know everything like the viking and indigenous histories. It gives more room to build into stories… like, we know Vikings did come to North America and I wanted to see what could have possibly happened between them and those of my culture.
Karmin: *points at K.L.* I do have a short in an antho coming out later this year and that inspiration was just being mad as hell.
What does your family think of your writing?
K.L. & Karmin: They love it. Everyone has been so supportive and it gives greater motivation. The kids think it’s the coolest thing that we both work with or write books. They’re all little bookworms themselves.
What is one of your guilty pleasure reads?
K.L.: Honestly, I don’t read much fiction. It’s mostly historical biographies and such.
Karmin: I have SO MANY! But I wouldn’t call them guilty pleasures. I just like stories, especially dark ones where the villain has the upper hand. BUT, to name some favorites, All the Ways You Never Loved Me by Rue Volley, House of Deceit by Julie McCord, Being Mrs Dracula by Faith Marlow, Dragon’s Call and Raven Daughter by A.D. Trosper, JackRabbit7 by Sarah Jayne Carr, DragonLance by Weis & Hickman… I feel like I’m doing a disservice to many by not listing more.
If you could travel to anywhere in the world, where would you go?
K.L.: I don’t know, really.
Karmin: I like where I am. But if we’re talking vacations, I’d be happy as all get out to just road trip around the country and then visit some friends up in Canada.
What are you currently working on?
K.L.: We just finished up Jerik the Unsteady. I’ve already started formulating the third (unnamed) book for the Tale of Two Nations series.
Karmin: So so many things. Aside from Jerik the Unsteady, I’ve got Indomitable Ink and all the things going on there. Art books, books in indigenous languages, horror, some anthologies… I’m never not busy, honestly.
What is advice would you give to other authors?
K.L.: I guess it would be to try not to overthink it. It seems to play out better if you just write whatever comes first and clean it up later. It may even piss your editor off (*glances at Karmin*) but you’ll get a less forced-feeling, more authentic story if you just roll with the emotions.
Karmin: Be bold but don’t be a jerk. You should absolutely be proud of the work you put out but to ignore the help given you along the way, the opportunities that get you where you’re going, and the people that were just there for you is really gross. There’s no need to act better than others when being grateful and humble will get you where you want to be. And for the love of books, listen to advice given when asked for and take it with a grain of salt.
What is the one thing you want people to know about you and your books?
K.L.: That’s a hard one. I always wanted to write something that people would enjoy reading as much as I enjoyed writing. Even though it’s a historical fiction, it’s always been my hope that people would read it and think, “This could have happened.” I want people to feel it’s authentic with just enough wiggle room to leave the rest to their imagination. About me? I never wrote and thought to go anywhere big… I only wrote it because it was a story I found hidden in myself and thought “others might enjoy this, too.”
Karmin: I mean, I may be biased but, the books are pretty great… how often do you see something written about natives by a native?! But also… if the only thing you know about Norsemen/Vikings is the show Vikings… maybe don’t use that as a comparison because this is based off actual mythology and history.
Thank you K.L. Garrison for chatting with me! I will include their information down below. Check out their release, Almost King today!
Take what they want.
They are Austmenn.
Live in harmony.
They are Waterfall People.
For these two nations to find peace, all hell must break loose.
Growing up as one of the few indigenous children in his town, K.L. always looked for ways to share his culture and heritage with those around him and learn from them in return. Sharing stories has been a way of life for many and to be able to share his stories with the world has been a lifelong dream. He deeply believes that teaching and sharing cultures breaks down stereotypes and brings the world together, often telling children, “Although you may all look and speak different, you’re who your god made you and you should not be afraid to be yourself.”
K.L. lives in east Texas with his family. When not writing, he spends his time with his children- the most important people in his life. Being outdoors is close to K.L.’s heart and walking through the forest, hunting, fishing, working with horses, or building a new project are favorite hobbies of his, though K.L. has never been one to turn down a good video game, either.