Author Spotlight: Garrett K. Jones

Holly Huntress
9 min readDec 29, 2021

This week’s author in the spotlight is author Garrett K Jones, better known on social media as his handle, GKJ publishing. You can find him on almost every platform; Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, iTunes, and more. Want to hear more about all of his projects and writing? Check out my interview with Garrett K Jones below!

Author Interview with Garrett K. Jones

When did you first start writing?

The first time I ever really remember to start writing was in third grade. My teacher showed the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie from 1990, and then prompted the class to write a story — my first exposure to writing fan fiction — and write a story about ourselves meeting the Ninja Turtles and what we did. On the backside of the story, we had to draw a picture of some of the action. I loved it because it generated this love for creativity in me that only ever came out when I was playing with my action figures. I would come up with these elaborate storylines, and in the event I didn’t have a certain brand of toys, the figures I did have stood in for them.

From there it progressed to creating my own fan fiction, usually stemming from whatever I was into at the time… usually X-Men, Spider-Man, or Batman… but the big one for me was Power Rangers… the OG MMPR came out when I was in grade school. Even as an adult I still love that series even as corny and campy as some of it was.

When did you know you wanted to be an author?

As far as being an author, I don’t think there was this singular moment where I’m like, “I want to be an author”. I just always knew it was something I wanted to do, I loved creating and coming up with stories, and I gravitated to those activities. I like producing too, and I got exposed to traditional storytelling, which gave me fantastic public speaking skills and taught me how to work an audience better than theater, but I was always writing stories, and scripts. In fact, some of the oldest stuff I wrote in middle school and high school are now incorporated into my published work.

Was there any author or book in particular that inspired you to write? Or a teacher/mentor?

Writing and creating was an outlet for me. It got me through boring classes in middle school, high school, and even through college. I always had a notebook and a pen or pencil with me for the purpose of writing, and it helped me pass the time when I was an exchange student in Japan. I’d sit in class unable to understand what the teachers were saying because I didn’t understand the language very well, and that’s how I wrote the original version of what became my first published book. I read widely and varied, and while I had some teachers who encouraged my creativity, I never really had one particular teacher or mentor who guided me towards this.

I had great instructors in college when I worked on my bachelor’s degree, but if anything I think the biggest influence was a creative writing teacher I had at junior college. This guy was a fat slouch of a man who rode his bicycle across town to campus yet still looked like Jabba the Hutt. He had his favorites who kept taking his class, he never actually gave us any usable feedback; no suggestions, mark-ups, or even workshopping. He’d give us an assignment, and then verbally berate what he read to the class in his voice instead of ours. I almost quit writing because I nearly failed the class. I actually looked into pursuing a different degree, and eventually settled on removing the front wheel from his bike and throwing it in the dumpster behind the college theater. Best moment ever.

What genre do you write?

So mostly I write fantasy. Initially, the characters I created were designed to be comic book superheroes. When I did my undergrad, my focus was on comic literature and I was amazingly able to write off hundreds of dollars in graphic novel purchases as textbook costs. But when I was in Japan, I was dabbling with trying to flesh out a story for these characters. I realized that modifying them for the epic fantasy genre akin to Tolkien was the way to go and I’ve never looked back. I have dabbled in poetry. And I wrote songs and poems in high school and college, and I’ve dabbled in other forms of fan fiction and science fiction, but I’ve always come back to fantasy. I’ve thought about working on a true romance story or maybe even a western, but there will be time for those later, I think.

What inspires you to write the most?

What inspires me? I don’t know, I just kind of follow it when it hits. I could be listening to music or watching a movie and I’ll see something that looks really cool and it jumpstarts the part of my brain that refuses to sleep and requires copious amounts of caffeine and rum. I’ve been inspired by conversations with friends and family, or by something I’ve read.

In one case, I was inspired to write a story about a water demon trapped inside a fountain in a small town park. The Civic Park in my hometown had this old brick water feature that bubbled up a fountain of water with this weird flux in the pressure. The fountain was inconsistent and it looked to me like some kind of spectral entity struggling to break itself free from its liquid incarceration. It stuck with me, and I never shared what I developed until I incorporated a modified version of it into one of my books.

What is your favorite thing about writing?

My favorite thing about writing is getting to create these different worlds, whether fantastical or leaning more towards reality. I like to tell stories… it’s one of the oldest traditions and there is something really cool about that. I was talking with a friend today, and he commented that he noticed that the way I talk with people and the way I thread one thing to the next is like I’m narrating a book without writing down the words. It’s kind of neat because pretty much every writer I’ve met has something similar… we have this keen love for storytelling even if all we’re doing is carrying on a conversation.

How many books have you written? What are they called? Where can they be found/bought?

I’ve technically written six books, but only five are published. I have four published books in my ongoing fantasy series called “The Archives of Icínq-Régn” — The Heirs of Menonias; The Destiny of Dragons; Rise of the Shadowkin; and Hadran Corvis of Farfell. I’m in the process of writing/editing through Book five in that series. All four books can be ordered off of Amazon in both paperback and Kindle formats. I’m currently trying to produce an audiobook version of The Heirs of Menonias.

I also have a Kindle Ebook of poetry called “The Lover, the Fighter, & the Philosopher” which includes a variety of different poetry styles that I wrote during my college days, many of which were written during a poetry writing workshop class I took for my degree. And while I haven’t written them, I’ve produced two audiobooks as the narrator. The first came out in February and is called “Acid Trip: LDS vs LSD” by Christopher Kimball Bigelow, and I’m in the process of finishing the second project; it is not ready for release yet. The finished audiobook can be found on Amazon/Audible and in iTunes.

I am unofficially writing something for NaNoWriMo… I’ve had this idea for a story swimming in my head for the better part of a year. While I should be working on Book 5, I’m taking a break to work on this project just to clear it out of my head. It’s a different genre and style, and I didn’t start it until about a week and a half ago (as of 11/19/20) and I already wrote 32,000 words on it. I also host a podcast which is on most major platforms. It was originally called Creator’s Corner, but I’ve retitled it Story Tellers. I also host a vlog on YouTube where I do weekly segments. I give my top ten recommendations in a particular genre, I do author interviews, I give writing tips, and then I promote my books.

Have you tried to go the traditional route with publishing?

I have not gone the traditional publishing route. I’m very much a control freak when it comes to my work so I haven’t done it. I’m also a bit of a coward in that regard… I really don’t want to deal with rejection. I know, it’s stupid, but that’s how my mind works. So I looked into self-publishing. I found a few different sites that offered vanity publishing and it was expensive. Eventually, someone told me about Kindle Direct Publishing. I investigated from there and found CreateSpace which are both owned by Amazon. I started my first book on Kindle and then migrated it to paperback, and I’ve just continued that route.

Who is your favorite author now? What is it you like about them?

One of my favorite fiction authors in Jonathan Stroud; he’s from the UK and he writes the Bartimæus Series and Lockwood & Co. I haven’t read the second series, but I love the first one because of the sophistication and humor he uses. The series follows a 4th level djinni named Bartimæus who is summoned to earth and his adventures are madcap magical mysteries that take place in the modern-day UK. The chapters written from his perspective are told in first person while other characters are followed by a 3rd person narrator. They are absolutely brilliant. I also love Larry Correia, a science fiction/humor writer. He wrote one of my favorite audiobooks, “The Adventures of Tom Stranger: Interdimensional Insurance Agent”… it’s two hours of solid storytelling and witty, laugh-out-loud humor.

Probably the most life-changing book that I have read is “Don’t Stand Too Close to a Naked Man” by Actor/Comedian Tim Allen. It was quintessential for me growing up in my late teens and early twenties; it helped me understand myself as a man, and helped me understand why women are so captivating. Spoiler alert, it’s because I don’t understand them. It was recommended to me by someone I had come to know via email and letters while in Japan, and now she’s a tenured professor at UC Davis, so I must have gotten a great piece of help from her when she sent me the book.

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

As for advice, I think I’m really the last person who should be giving advice. Write what you know and write what you love. We are all experts in our own way… something that we enjoy and obsess about more than anything else. I love movies, comics, and fantasy. My dad always said I lived in a fantasy world. While he meant it as an assessment of how my head was always in the clouds and daydreaming, it really was true. I live and breathe fantasy. I don’t read it much because I don’t want to steal ideas from those authors if I can help it. But because that’s what I normally write, it comes from a place of expertise and love.

Also, if you know why you write, that’s important. When I did my BA in creative writing, the focus included “social action” which is like social justice’s little sibling or something. I was pretty blunt with my academic advisor… I don’t care about changing the world… humans suck, but the best ones read. I said I just wanted to entertain, and I still hold to that. Know your why… everything will fall into place.

Are you on Twitter/Instagram/Facebook or do you have an author website we should check out as readers?

I am on social media, and I’m trying to build my presence there. My @ for Instagram and Twitter is @gkj_publishing, and you can find me on Facebook by searching GKJ Publishing. My website is www.archivesofthefivekingdoms.com; there are pages linked to my vlog on YouTube and my podcast. Here is my youtube channel. My podcast (Story Tellers) is on most major platforms (Apple, Google, Spotify, and others), or just go here. I also offer a merchandise store through Teespring (check it out here). The products feature the cover art for my books. I also have a Patreon page — patreon.com/gkjpublishing — and I’m always looking to find fans and supporters of my work… patrons get early access to the first vlog of almost every month.

End of Author Interview with Garrett K. Jones

It was great hearing about all of author Garrett K Jones’ projects and successes. It is a lot of work being an author and self-marketing, and utilizing every platform available to us is a great way to put yourself out there!

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Thank you for reading!

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Holly Huntress

Author and content creator. My books - the Broken Angel series & Unbound - can be found on Amazon!