Christian Author Zaria Garrison
Zaria Garrison was born and raised in Greenville County, SC. She began writing as a teen-ager. In 2005 her first novel Baring it All was published by Publish America under her birth name Gena L. Garrison.
However as she continued writing she felt she could no longer write stories that involved explicit sex and violence. She could only write what God told her to write. God gave her stories of everyday people who have faults, struggles, and sometimes pain but they continue to trust in God to get them through. With God’s guidance a new author was born.
Following her transformation as he did with Saul, God gave her a new name Zaria, which means new beginnings. Zaria is also part owner and staff writer for EKG Literary magazine. An online magazine dedicated to being the pulse of the literary community. It can be read online at www.ekgliterarymag.com
V. Richardson: You have released your latest book, Prodigal. How did this story come about and how long did it take for you to write it?
Z. Garrison: Prodigal is a modern day tale of the Prodigal son. I decided it would be interesting to explore this story and to examine the other sibling. From beginning to end it took approximate three months. Of course after that I spent time editing, and re-writing before the final product was completed.
V. Richardson: What do you want readers to take away from Prodigal?
Z. Garrison: The theme is forgiveness. I would like for readers to walk away feeling entertained by this story, but also understanding the importance of forgiveness in all of our relationships.
V. Richardson: I love connecting with author’s who have interesting and inspirational messages to share both in their books and about their lives. You are now writing under a different genre. There is an interesting reason for this. Please share that reason with us.
Z. Garrison: My writing career began with secular writing with my first novel Baring it all. It was an erotic murder mystery. It won some awards and was well reviewed and received. However God let me know that he needed me to use my talent for writing to glorify him. As I grew as a writer I was also growing as a Christian and the graphic sex and violence could not longer be a part of what I was writing. I feel my writing is still interesting and exciting, but now it's glorifies God, and he is pleased.
V. Richardson: Life is a journey and on its path we encounter many experiences, good and bad. With each experience there are lessons of self-discovery. What have you discovered about yourself on your journey to publication?
Z. Garrison: I discovered that I with God's help, all things are possible. There were people who said I'd lose fans by switching genres, but God took care of that. Others said it was impossible to sign with a publisher unless I found an agent; God took care of that also. While waiting for Prodigal to be released I lost my job and I honestly felt there was no way I could promote Prodigal without money. God has taken care of that as well. So I truly believe and know that with him, all things are possible.
V. Richardson: There is always a story behind the glory. How do/did you handle rejection (s)?
Z. Garrison: I am one of those few authors who have been blessed not to have a stack of rejection letters. I queried 1 publisher and did not receive a response. I later learned it was because the company went under. Then I queried my current publisher, and was accepted. So at this point I have not had to handle too much rejection.
V. Richardson: What advice would you offer to aspiring authors?
Z.Garrison: I think in order to become a great writer you must first be an avid reader. So my advice to aspiring writers is to read. Read books, magazines, and newspapers. Read in different genres and read things that you may not normally pick up.
Z. Garrison: My pet peeve is authors who say they don't read. I find that absolutely ridiculous. The arrogance of a person who expects readers to pick up their books, but they will not pick up and read anyone's book is amazing to me. I've never met a singer who said they never listened to music, so anyone who wants to be a writer needs to be a reader as well.
V.Richardson: Great point and advice. A skill or talent must be sharpened consistently and continually. How can readers contact you?
Z. Garrison: They can reach me online at zariagarrison.com, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I also am co-owner and staff writer of EKG Literary magazine. They can read my articles and thoughts there as well.
V. Richardson: Zaria, thank you so very much
for chatting and sharing with me! As always in closing, continue to inspire as you
Z. Garrison: Thank you so much for the opportunity. Please be sure to contact me if there is anything I or EKG magazine can do to assist you in the future.
V. Richardson: You bet!
Prodigal Book Trailer