Reily Garrett - Hackers, Detectives, and Sociopathic Stalkers
Reily is a West Coast girl transplanted to the opposite shore. When she’s not working with her dogs, you can find her curled up with a book or writing her next story. Past employment as an ICU nurse, private investigator, and work in the military police has given her countless experiences in a host of different environments to add a real world feel to her fiction. Over time and several careers, many incidents have flavored the plots of her stories. As our Author of the Day, Garrett tells us all about her McAllister Justice Series.
Please give us a short introduction to what the McAllister Justice Series is about.
The McAllister Justice Series revolves around six siblings and finding their significant others. Each book details the trials and tribulations of belonging to a large and caring family and follows one of five alpha-males and their younger sister in their day-to-day lives.
You used to work as an ICU nurse, private investigator and military police. How did these experiences shape your writing?
As far as work experience shaping my writing—Circumstances in each path have shown me a wide variety of the highs and lows of which man is capable of achieving. Whereas I’ve seen a patient’s mother-in-law chase him down the center aisle of the ICU with a knife, I’ve also listened to a dying man who belonged to the society for the humor impaired (yeah, that’s actually a thing), crack jokes days before his passing. I’ve observed strength coming in many forms and find that people still amaze me. The phrase “truth is stranger than fiction” has applied to more of my experiences than I’d care to admit.
Why mystery thrillers? What drew you to this genre?
As far as why write mystery thrillers…this is a bit of a convoluted story. The first book I ever wrote (written under a pen name and will release next summer) was a paranormal romance that included one kiss.
An editor read it and told me I needed to get over my squeamishness in regards to writing romantic scenes. So… I sat down at my computer and wrote what I considered a scorcher. Carnal Beginnings was picked up by a publisher and received Top Pick at the Romance Reviews. Though I finished writing the Carnal Series, it wasn’t what I wanted to eventually write. However, it was my “foot in the door” with a publisher where I learned quite a bit. I’ve had much fun with the Crofton brothers in the Carnal Series (think erotic version of the McAllister siblings). I might do another series in that genre.
Once I had the Carnal series under my belt, I branched out and started with The McAllister Justice Series. I’d decided to write the types of books I wanted to read. Though all my novels are plot driven, I prefer to focus on mystery and thriller aspects with side orders of sass and smartass along with a bit of the unusual. My love of science wound me through bioprinting and implanted microchips in Inconclusive Evidence and Carbon Replacements. Along the way, I’ve met readers who were well versed in each field and shared their knowledge. It has been a fascinating experience.
Tell us more about the McAllister brothers. What makes them so special?
The McAllister brothers will always be special to me; they quickly became near and dear to my heart. I think there are so many folks like myself, who would love to come from such a large and close-knit family. Though they drive each other nuts on a daily basis, when something threatens one, they pull together as a unit and stand untied. In a world gone crazy, that makes them special.
Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?
Secret skills? Hmm…no, not me. But my time is divided between writing, baking, and my beautiful furbabies, my longhaired German shepherds. My dogs are my life.
I love baking specialty cakes when not at my desk or working with my second set of kids. Fondant and sugar work has become a passion.
If you could choose one character from your book to spend a day with, who would it be? And where would you take them?
If I could choose one character to spend the day with…I would choose Billy McAllister. I love a dry sense of humor. I would probably nudge him into flying an ultralight with me, hoping he had never been up before. Everyone should experience a flying go-cart at least once…lol. There’s nothing like it.
Do you have any interesting writing habits, what's your average writing day like?
As far as interesting habits, I don’t know much about fellow writer’s days so I consider mine—normal. My days start with either a four-paw wake up or wet nose nudge, followed by a little cuddle time with my fur kids. I can site many research studies on the benefits of owning a dog or cat, but in the end, they’re just a part of my life—and my family. There are also dogs as integral characters in each of my stories.
After breakfast, I grab a cup of coffee and settle in to start answering emails. My furry companions sit in the office with me and keep me company. Though they are normally well behaved, they remind me frequently that there is more to life than work. We have intermittent play sessions outside, throwing the ball, gardening, etc. (For some reason, they’ve decided this year that it was okay to pull the plants out of the raised boxes. Raptor, in particular, likes strawberries. Leyna, whose name stands for Snow Angel, has been my inspiration for much of my writing.
What are you working on right now?
At the moment, I’m starting on Abby’s story. She’s a kick-ass lawyer dealing with baggage on one hand and over-protective brothers on the other. Considering the amount of starch in her stride, this will also be a fun book to write.
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
When I started on this journey, I had no idea what to expect, only a dream of what I wanted to accomplish. I have been so fortunate to have met such incredible folks along the way. Contact by readers from all over and has proven fascinating with the experiences they’ve shared.
Though I’m not as active on Facebook as I’d like, I plan on changing that aspect. For those curious about my books, you can find snippets at reilygarrett.com. To interact on a personal level, reilysview.com is where I post day-to-day activities, current pictures, etc. I love to chat about cakes, books, and dogs. I can be reached at [email protected]