Friday, November 16, 2012

Get Lost with Debut Author Jax Garren

Folks, help me welcome Jax Garren to the blog today! Jax is a new Carina Press author. She's also a friend from my local writers' group. We've known each other for several years, complained to each other about our jobs as teachers, and shared the joys of being published in the same year. I'm so pleased to introduce you to her!

Jax Garren is descended from Valkyries and Vikings (she’s part Swedish) but was raised a small town girl in the Texas Hill Country. She graduated from The University of Texas with a degree in English and a minor in Latin and stayed in Austin to teach high school. During her eight years in public education she was in a riot, broke up fights, had cops storm her class with guns drawn… and met the most amazing young people who taught her more about life and hope than she taught them about any school subject.

Jax believes in happily ever afters. She married her real life hero, a handsome engineer who is saving the world through clean energy technology. Her heroine is Marion Ravenwood from Raiders of the Lost Ark, the perfect blend of tough and feminine. Jax blames Marion for her dream of traveling to Nepal to experience Himalayan palaces and monasteries and to drink yak butter tea. Jax can be found at or on Facebook. She would love to raise a glass with her readers to toast courage, adventure, and love.

Book one in Tales of the Underlight

The Beast

Scarred. Damaged. Living with a terrible secret. Agent of the Underlight Wesley "Hauk" Haukon has nothing left but the fight for liberty against the oppressive Order of Ananke. He's starting to lose hope...and then he sees her.

The Beauty

Despite her night job as a burlesque dancer, grad student Jolie Benoit has always played the mostly good girl. That all changes following a scorching sexual encounter with a stranger whose face she doesn't see. After she's kidnapped by thugs and rescued by a man with a very familiar voice, Jolie becomes a pawn in a struggle she never knew existed.

Hauk knows he cannot have her, and resolves to protect his heart and his secrets. But as they work together and grow closer, he finds new reason to keep fighting. Dare he risk hope in a new life, one where Jolie can see past his ravaged face and where their friendship can grow into something more?

The trilogy continues in How Beauty Saved the Beast.

Doesn't that sound fabulous? If you can't wait to read more, here's a LINK TO THE FIRST CHAPTER!


Now let's get to the Q & A!

ALEXA: How often to you get lost in a story?
JAX: Ha! I switched to digital books primarily because my house threatened to look like a junk yard of books. I read all the time. Always have.

ALEXA: What’s the first book you remember reading?

JAX: I have no idea. Apparently when I was three years old, I was devoted to a story about a pig chasing the sun until he realized it set in his own backyard. I don’t remember the name of it, but the idea of chasing dreams while still remembering the good things I already have has stuck with me.

ALEXA: Can you tell us about a real-life hero you've met?

JAX: Not to sound like a complete cheeseball, but my parents are my heroes. My dad is a retired Colonel in the military. He’s a helicopter pilot and war veteran. Aside from all he did fighting in a war, he’s done search and rescue, pulled strangers from floods, put out wildfires… and he’s such a laid back casual man with this attitude like anybody would’ve done the same thing. People are alive because of my father. Most of us can’t say that. My mom is a retired teacher and reading specialist. She was one of the most sought after educators at her school because she deeply, deeply cares about children and their success. She fights for those who cannot fight for themselves, helping them to have the resources they need to be successful in life, no matter where they came from or how they started out. Even in retirement, my parents keep working to help others, doing Meals on Wheels and working as Court Appointed Special Advocates for children in the foster system, helping them find permanent, caring homes. And somehow with all they do for others, they never made my sister and I feel like we came second. They’re totally my heroes.

ALEXA: Fairy Tale or Action Adventure?

JAX: Um, both! I started the Tales of the Underlight as part of my deep-seated need to combine the two. With a romance novel.

ALEXA: What was the first story you remember writing?

JAX: The first story I remember completing (on paper) and being proud of was about a girl who walked up a rainbow and into a world where she could turn into a unicorn, a Pegasus or a mermaid. There was a giant sea turtle who was very wise, and the heroine lived in a cave behind a waterfall. In the end she defeated a two-mile-tall dragon, saving all her new friends. It was epic, I’m telling you. *snerk* It does go to show that my fascination with the paranormal and mythic started a long, long time ago.

ALEXA: Who's your favorite villain?

JAX: Jar-Jar Binks. No, wait, that’s wrong. Darth Vader. He is the ultimate bad guy in every single way. Followed maybe by Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty. I’m looking forward to seeing Angelina Jolie take on that role.

ALEXA: Is writing or story-telling easier for you?

JAX: Writing. I need time to edit!

ALEXA: If you could interview one person (and it doesn't have to be a writer) who would it be?

JAX: Tenzin Gyatso, the Dalai Lama. He always says the most fascinating things, plus what a weird life to know from childhood that you had this incredible and weighty destiny.

ALEXA: Do you read reviews of your books? If so, do you pay any attention to them, or let them influence your writing?

JAX: Yes, I do read reviews. Maybe that’s a brand new writer thing, but I can’t imagine completely ignoring them. It’s really important to me to keep getting better with every book I write. Each review taken by itself doesn’t tell me much, but when a lot of reviews start saying the same thing, I think it’s worthwhile to consider why because that might be something I can work on for the next time around. Or, if it’s a positive thing, it’s good to notice what people are responding positively to and what I should, therefore, hold onto as a writer. I’ve been writing for so long now and, like all authors, have had some setbacks, so the positive things people have said mean a lot to me. The fact that anyone would take the time to read my work and say something—good or bad—is something I’m grateful for.

ALEXA: Tea or Coffee? And how do you take it?

JAX: Both! Coffee in the morning (espresso and water with a splash of cream) and tea the rest of the day. Any kind of tea, and usually with nothing in it, though I’ll throw a little milk into chai when I have it. I love hot beverages.

ALEXA: Which era would you least like to have lived in, fashion-wise and why? Most?

JAX: While occasionally I like to dress up, my wardrobe is dictated by comfort far more than fashion, and I almost always wear pants, so the era I’d most like to live in fashion-wise is definitely the current one. The idea of cinching myself into a corset or wearing umpteen layers (in Texas heat *shudder*) is appalling! The fashion era I’d like least to live in would probably be the late Victorian S-corset. As pretty as bustles are, that looks so miserable! If I’m picking straight up on what I think looks pretty with no consideration for comfort, I’ve always wanted to try on a Marie Antoinette style gown. Soooo gaudy and those panniers are amazing. It’s like you can see the revolution building on the width of her skirts.

ALEXA: What's your favorite movie of all time?
JAX: Raiders of the Lost Ark! Marion Ravenwood is one of the greatest heroines of all time. The wedding was the only saving grace of the fourth Indiana Jones atrocity movie.

ALEXA: If you were a t-shirt, what color would you be and why?

JAX: Sunshiny yellow. I like my books dark and angsty, but in real life, I’m a smile-y girl. Plus yellow is my favorite color, and, at least from what I’ve heard, the favorite color of the insane. But I think that’s a coincidence.

ALEXA: What’s next for you?
JAX: How Beauty Saved the Beast—coming in February (Cover still to come…)

ALEXA: Jax, do you have a question for your fans?
JAX: What’s your favorite fairy tale retelling?
ALEXA: Thanks so much for joining us today, Jax. Good luck with your debut!




  1. Jax and Alexa,
    Thanks for sharing. I'm so looking forward to your debut! Chris

    1. Thanks, Chris! I'm looking forward to it, too. ;)

  2. Jax,

    A woman after my own heart! (Another Scandinavian here...) Love the interview and looking forward to your book!

    1. Thanks April! Go Norse diaspora (otherwise known as "less violent Vikings"). And, wow I sound like a total nerd. Oh well. Heehee.

  3. How much fun to learn more about you! My favorite color is yellow as well; your parents sound marvelous; and I love the work your husband is doing. And you don't sound like a nerd--you sound like a writer who has done her research! Look forward to all your books!! I'm so happy for all the good things going on in your life.

    1. Thanks JaneMP! Yay crazy yellows unite. ;) It's been a whirlwind year, that's for sure. And my parents are 100% marvelous.

  4. Squeeee!!! I so can't WAIT to read this book!

    1. Thanks Irene! Hope you like it!! I can't believe it releases on Monday... So. Weird.

  5. Hi, Jax! Thanks so much for visiting us! I had a blast finding out more about you. Good luck with your release! LOVE that cover!

    1. Thanks, Alexa! Great questions. I enjoying being on the blog!

  6. Love the whole idea of this series. I'm going to buy book 1 now, but I might wait to read until I can glom them all at once!

    1. There aren't any cliffhangers, but there is no HEA until May, so I wouldn't blame you! I do the same all the time. :)

  7. Oh I'm so looking forward to reading this book...I think I heard of this during a trip to Austin & it's stayed with me since. Good luck with your release!

    1. Thank you! I have had a great release day so far! Hope you enjoy the book. And I hope Austin treated you well! I love my city very much.