Wednesday, 23 September 2020

A Slice of Cake With... Lee Garratt

This week I am delighted to have a slice of cake with fellow author Lee Garratt.

Lee has been a kibbutznik, a Metropolitan police officer, has taken people up the Mekong river and hiking in the Polish mountains, and is currently a middle aged teacher with delusions of grandeur, living in Derby, England. Brought up on a diet of John Wyndham, Hemingway and Le Guin, from Rochdale's public libraries and WHSmith's, he writes a variety of poetry and prose.

What kind of stories do you write?

Hmm. Well the two books that I have had published that are all mine are both collections of my short stories and poems so they are generally something of a mixed bag! One is more fantasy (genre heading alert) – personally I see lots of influences of Ursula Le Guin here. They seem to be often set in a vaguely familiar timeless Earth type setting. My sci fi (apologies!) seems to me to be somewhat old fashioned perhaps, and pretty ‘English’. I see lots of John Wyndham influences (overdue a revival in his popularity surely).

Can you describe your writing why?

Fame and fortune! Ha. It’s difficult to be precise with this. On some level it is an egoism I think. A striving to impress and, yes, be recognised as a ‘good writer’. On another level, I find, no matter the struggles and frustrations of life, the actual act of creating something of worth, very satisfying! When I finish something and get it published I find that incredibly pleasing. I suppose, for lifetime readers like myself, the ‘book’ is something sacred. To get something published with my own name on it will always be a buzz I think.

Share with us your favourite passage from the book you enjoyed writing the most

I don’t think this is particularly representative but this story Bitter Weeds, from my collection, Other Times, Distant Lands, was a fun one to write.

Zarg looked at the moon above and spat. Generations beyond count, he and his people had lived on this planet and their hatred of it had only grown more fierce, more strong with each passing year. Lived here. Hah that was a joke. Survived here barely. Hid in caves away from the burning sun. Buried themselves deep into the earth to escape the freezing cold of the nights. Scrabbled at the red soil for miserable amounts of water which, no matter how much they filtered, still tasted like old metal. Ranged for miles and miles to hunt and kill the elusive garbs, beasts that ran without exhaustion, fought and kicked like devils when finally cornered, and tasted like hell itself when roasted.

Tell us about your latest project

Ok. It’s called New Worlds and, similar to Other World, Distant Lands, it’s a collection of my short stories and poems. While ‘other worlds’ is more sci fi though, this is much more varied. It ranges from the fantasy of a story about a magical flute to the alternate history of an imagined England that never threw off the yoke of a feudal Norman rule. It ranges from the 1980s Manchester of my childhood to the wilderness of 18th century New England. It’s great – you should buy it.

What is your favourite cake?

Lemon Meringue. Always has been, always will. The smack of YELLOW calls to me across any crowded bakery.

A great choice, Lee! You can check out Lee's books on Amazon

Join me next week when I have a slice of cake with Kimberley Cale.

If you would like to take part in A Slice of Cake With... please fill in the form found here. I'd be delighted to have you.

You can also support my writing endeavours and buy me tea & cake - it's what makes the world go round! 

Claire Buss is a multi-genre author and poet, completely addicted to cake. Find out more about her books on her website Join the discussion in her Facebook group Buss's Book Stop.