✨ Interview ✨
Congratulations on your new release. Please tell us a little bit about it. What’s your favorite aspect or part of the story? Do you have a favorite character? Who/Why?
Thank you! When I sat down to write this book, I had no idea where it was going. I had a “plan”, but as I was writing, the book kept changing and morphing into something else entirely. I wrote my first draft in two weeks, which was an insane two weeks. So much has changed since then. At first, I wanted to keep myself confined to the young adult genre, but it wasn’t until I let down this barrier that the story was able to blossom.
My favorite part of From the Universe to Me is the vulnerability of our characters, especially Tobias, our main character. I wrote this book in a style that would allow readers to be inside our MC’s mind. I know that many stories rely on description and dialogue, but I wanted to make the reader feel something by showing them what the struggle is really like for someone who is different from what society deems “normal”. You never know what someone is going through, and I feel like this story really captures this and runs with it.
Obviously, Tobias is my favorite character. There is so much of me in him, so I have to love him, but Matt is definitely a close second. He is the epitome of a loyal and caring friend. He brings jokes and heart to the story. In my eyes, he is the perfect best friend!
Did your story turn out as you’d originally planned, or did it veer off in another direction?
Not at all! The original story I created fit into the young adult mold. The content was not as dark and less sexy. I felt like I was stuck in a box with my writing. It wasn’t until I opened the box that the story you see today was really born. The characters also drove the narrative. There were times that I had planned for Tobias or another character to do or respond a specific way, but they just wouldn’t let it happen. As I was writing, I would hear a little voice in my head that would say “that’s not how Tobias would handle this situation” or “Matt would say this”. This was really the first story I wrote like this. In the past, I would never let myself veer off from the original plan, which was so constricting. When you write, you have to be adaptable sometimes.
How do you develop your characters? Fill out a character sketch/form before starting, or do they develop organically?
I develop my characters a little more organically. I have an idea in my head of what characters I want the main character to interact with, but when it comes to developing that character, I’m kind of along for the ride while writing. As I complete the first draft, I keep in mind that I’m just creating the bones of the story. As I revise, I’m paying more attention to how characters would react in situations throughout the book. This is when the characters really develop and talk to me.
What was the most difficult part of writing this book? Why?
It’s a little funny because my favorite part of the story, vulnerability, is also the most difficult part of writing the story. I put a lot of myself into this story. The book is 100% fiction, but I was inspired by my own life. I drew inspiration from the good and bad experiences throughout my life. I knew I had to do this because I wanted to make the story as authentic as possible. While writing, I had to revisit a ton of dark times I’ve experienced in my 35 years of life. I opened a lot of old wounds, but in a way, I was able to heal and learn through Tobias and the other characters.
Tell us a little bit about your work(s) in progress!
I’m still working on the first draft of my second novel. It will take place in the same universe and college as From the Universe to Me. You may see some familiar faces and/or hear some mentions to my first book, but it will be a standalone. I would like to write a horror and/or thriller some day!
What are your favorite genres when it comes to your own pleasure reading? Do you prefer to read ebooks or print?
I love horror and psychological thrillers!
I prefer audiobooks because I have more time to listen to books than I do to sit down and read; however, ebooks over print because you can carry around so many books in one.
Werewolves or vampires?
Vampires! However, I would choose witches over werewolves and vampires.
What’s your favorite TV show?
Hard question! Probably Doctor Who!
From the Universe to Me
by Scott E. Garrison
Publisher: NineStar Press
Cover Artist: Jaycee DeLorenzo
Release Date: April 11, 2023
Genres: Contemporary M/M Romance
Tropes: friends to lovers, coming of age
Themes: age gap, college, family drama, in the closet, mental illness, new adult, teaching
Length: Novel / 59,500 words / 220 pages
Heat Rating: 3 flames
From the Universe to Me is a standalone book and does not end on a cliffhanger.
Eighteen-year-old Tobias Gavin is struggling to come to terms with his sexuality. For many years, the what-ifs of coming out have swirled around his head, so he has chosen to live a lie to keep from disrupting the “normal” life he has created with his family and friends.
That is until he meets Gareth David the day he enrolls for his first semester as a college student. He feels an immediate connection with Gareth…a connection that pushes Tobias to question the way he has been living his life. When Gareth coincidentally becomes Tobias’s History professor, Tobias is forced to confront his feelings and confront the universe.
Tobias must come to terms with his depression, anxiety, heartbreak, and his sexuality before he can even begin to heal his wounds. He believes that everything happens for a reason, but he learns that some experiences are meant to teach even if they cause heartbreak. Once he comes to terms with himself, he might find his knight in shining armor.
Tobias must learn to trust himself and those around him if he wants to find happiness.
Learning to accept himself is not the only lesson the universe has planned for him.
About the Author
Scott E. Garrison is a debut author, who wants to share new, queer stories with the world. He currently lives in the Oklahoma City, OK area.
Alongside writing, he has a Masters in Library and Information Studies and works as a Librarian for an Oklahoma-based library system. He spends his free time reading, baking, watching movies and TV shows with his husband, and cuddling with his dogs, Jarvis and F.R.I.D.A.Y.