Interview with Author Garrett Rowlan

Born in San Francisco in 1948, raised in LA, graduate in History at Cal State LA in 1971. Read Krisnamurti’s Thing on These Things and decided to follow my heart and do what I loved, basically read and write. Lived in Sacramento four years doing factory work and moved back to LA in 1976. Journalism, computers, caretaker (for my mother) and 26 years a sub teacher at LAUSD, retired in 2012.

What is your greatest accomplishment as a writer so far?

Two novels published. To Die, To Sleep (James Ward Kirk Press) and Too Solid Flesh Melts (Alban Lake Press). 70 other stories published.

Why do you write?

A touch of hypergraphia, ego, the desire to leave something behind, probably because I have no kids.

What is your writing process? (Any favorite places to write? Any interesting quirks, traditions, or rituals you may have? How many times might you revise something before being satisfied with it? Besides you, does anyone else edit your work? Etc.)

I write in the mornings, often take a clipboard and walk around the town of South Pasadena, California, writing as sentences occur to me. A touch of cannabis sometimes helps.

Do you have anyone (friends, relatives, etc.) review your works before you publish them?

Outside of editors, no one else reads my stuff until it is published. I feel that giving yourself some time between versions is the best way to proceed. (Advice I give but don’t always follow.)

Could you give us an idea of your upcoming works without spoiling anything?

I have published a few stories and essays about Jorge Luis Borges, and I would like to use his story “The Library at Babel” as the basis for a novel.

Do you have any writing events coming up? For example: something being published/released? A reading of one of your works? Interviews? Any speeches or talks?

I have four stories accepted and a fifth is probable. I just finished a novel and am looking for an agent, but I’ll probably end up self-publishing.

What advice do you have for novice writers?

As I once read on the back of a novel by Anthony Burgess, “Just keep writing.”

What do you feel are the most important resources a writer can use?


Where can people find out more about you and your writing? (websites, social media, etc.)