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THROUGH THE WRINGER With Bestselling Author, R.J. Garcia

Hi Members of the #Parliaverse! Welcome back to another exciting edition of Through the Ringer. Today we are featuring bestselling author of Nocturnal Meetings of the Misplaced and The Call of Death, R. J. Garcia who provides insight into her world, her characters, and what is on her horizon...

1. What / who first inspired you to start writing?

Growing up with dyslexia, I had a love-hate relationship with books. I loved the covers and the idea of escaping into them, but often got made fun of because it took me longer to learn to read than the other kids. I’d flip through a picture book and make up my own story. By thirteen, I connected with my first real book, The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. From there, I devoured more and more books and discovered so many protagonists who like me didn’t quite fit in. I wanted to write about those kinds of characters.

2. What made you want to specifically write for younger audiences?

I have always been drawn to coming of age fiction and movies. I think it is such a fascinating time in your life to explore. You are on the cusp of so many things. Also, working with young adults inspired me to write about them.

3. Your stories seem to tackle subject and content that is dark, spooky, and gritty. What made you select this genre / lane?

I love horror movies and novels as much as a good coming of age story. My mom was always reading Stephen King, renting scary movies, and watching reruns of The Twilight Zone. Elements of horror and suspense always crept into whatever I’d write. Writing is also like therapy for me. It helps me process some heartbreaking issues like domestic violence, child abuse, and neglect, which I’ve seen too much of at my work.

4. You’re also a social worker! What do your clients think of your stories?

Have a lot of them read either of your PH books? I don’t usually talk about my writing with clients but was inspired by one particular teen boy I mentored to write the Tommy character in Nocturnal Meetings.