The professional version: Jared Garrett is the author of the number one bestselling scifi thriller Beat and a bunch of other lies in book form. He is a family man raising six kids with his best friend and wife of two decades.
He’s been telling stories since he was thirteen and found himself weeping over Bridge to Terabithia. Recently relocated from Utah to Seattle, he has worked in education and corporate training for years, delivering training globally for Amazon for the last two years.
He had an odd childhood in a nomadic cult, which he left at seventeen. He’s worked as a firefighter, a BBQ restaurant manager, a bellman, and as a rubber vulcanizing engineer, among many others. His stories have been nominated for and won several awards, including First Place in the Vera Hinckley Mayhew contest in Utah and Honorable Mention in the Writers of the Future contest.
His favorite authors are Stephen King, Terry Pratchett, Robert Ludlum, Katherine Paterson, Douglas Adams, Patricia McKillip, Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells, Robert E. Howard, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and many more. If you ask him where his story ideas come from, be prepared for a lengthy discussion about inspiration dust, hauling a towel wherever you go, and dogs. Lots and lots of dogs. No, seriously. Dogs.
The expurgated version: Jared Garrett is a family man with an adorable, fun, and wonderfully intelligent wife and six silly kids. They are transplants to the bustling metropolis of Black Diamond, Washington- near to Seattle. He has written fiction, user manuals, SEO copy, radio scripts and textbooks and has won first place in the Mayhew writing contest at BYU and received honorable mention in the Writers of the Future contest. He grew up in a cult, worked as a firefighter and a BBQ chef, speaks four languages, and is mastering the art of writing fiction during public transit commutes. He’s the author of many novels and is currently seeking representation.
The unexpurgated version: I was born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1974. By the time I turned eleven, I had lived in New York City, western New York State, Virginia, DC, Pennsylvania, Denver, Dallas, Utah, and Arizona. To put it very briefly, I was born and raised in a cult that was a splinter group from original Scientology. That’s all I’m going to say about that.
The first book I remember reading was The Poky Little Puppy. Soon after, I read The Little Engine That Could. I was about six and even then I recognized that the first book was awesome and the latter was fundamentally flawed. If you’d like to know why I say that, email me and I’ll be happy to fill you in.
I quickly moved on to Walter Farley’s The Black Stallion series. I loved them. I fell in love with horses and became instantly addicted to the sensation of being transported into another world and living in that new world for a time. Why? See the reference to ‘born and raised in a cult’ above.
Then I read Bridge to Terabithia and had the experience in which a book changed my life. My heart broke as I read that perfect book, yes, I said perfect book, and it hasn’t ever fully healed. I wanted to move people like Katherine Paterson does. I wanted to distill prose down to perfect storytelling. That book made me want to become a writer. Incidentally, Ms. Paterson is a very fine person and she actually wrote me back when I wrote to her.
Forgotten Realms, Dragonlance, Wheel of Time, Mercedes Lackey, R.A. Salvatore, Agatha Christie, Robert Ludlum, and John LeCarre soon followed. I have read almost every book in these worlds and by these authors. I’ve moved on to biographies, historical fiction, and have branched out into more fantasy and YA stuff. If you want a suggested reading list, I’ve got a lengthy one.
Lately, I’ve been reading Brandon Sanderson, books by good friends, books about discreet methods of burying bodies, lots of urban fantasy such as Jim Butcher awesomeness, picture books to my kids, and nonfiction like John Adams and Truman.
Why is my bio full of books? Because each book I’ve read shows a little bit of where and who I am when I am reading it.
2014 has been a year of extraordinary events, including the miraculous finding of kidney cancer in my wife BEFORE it started killing her, being laid off, the death of my final grandparent, and happiness too great to measure. With a lot of shredded, broken moments thrown in.
In my day job, I work as an instructional designer for Amazon. I write when I can make the time, usually in the margins of the day. I spent just over two years freelancing full time, which was fun and exciting but ultimately unsustainable. See the reference to ‘six silly kids’ above.
Finally, I’m Mormon, a gardener and I love and like my family. I do insane things like run Ragnars, the Insanity workout, and remodeling bathrooms and I prefer German chocolate cake, since you’re asking. See the reference to my birthday above.