Author Spotlight: Brian D. Garrity
Friday, April 13th, 2012

Brian D. Garrity was kind enough to answer a few questions about his love of music, writing, film, and photography. He's an interesting guy and it was a pleasure to get to know him a little better.

How did you get into Photography to begin with?
Brian: Growing up I drew a lot, and at the age of about eleven started taking pictures and making short films and animations on Super-8. During college in Minneapolis, I played in bands and hung out with the local underground music scene, documenting shows. Around 1985, a shot I took of Sonic Youth was published in Cream Magazine, and I guess that's when I found a niche. It was a natural extension of the skills I'd been playing around with all those years, plus it payed.

Do you have a picture that you've taken that you're especially proud of?
Brian: There's an editorial shot I did in the mid-nineties that people seem to gravitate towards. It's a telephoto black and white close-up of my girlfriend's legs. She's wearing a Betty Boop skirt and combat boots, grasping the leash of a toy dog sitting at her feet. The aromatherapy tycoon Horst bought a print to hang in one of his mansions.

Did you always think that you wanted to be an author, or was that a goal that developed later in life?
Brian: Definitely later. I'd always devoured fiction and loved making up stories, so I fancied becoming a filmmaker, which was what I studied in college. It became apparent that making movies was a remarkably convoluted process, involving too many people and too much money. It's extremely rare for a filmmaker to be allowed to pursue their singular vision. So I focused on the photography, still chasing scenarios in my head, which is pretty pointless if they're not documented. Then I had a little lesson in mortality after a bad fall down the staircase of a warehouse, New Year's night, 2001. I was pretty broken. While convalescing, Rutger Hauer's soliloquy at the end of Blade Runner kept running through my head. So I started writing.

What was the inspiration for the world you've created
in Godless, Bullseye, Inc., and Ready-Made Dreams?
Brian: Ready-Made Dreams was written first, during the buildup and invasion of the second Bush's second Iraqi War. Godless was intended as the opening of an epic rock'n roll novel with a Sci Fi edge. And Bullseye Inc. reflects trends that seem to be happening with expanding corporate branding, homogenizing culture, taken to an extreme. They were all written independently, so the inspirations were varied, but by mixing characters from different narratives, it created an interesting time-line with back-stories to lean on.

What's the chronological order of those three stories?
Brian: For now, Ready-Made Dreams is the end. But one of the novella's implied themes deals with alternative realities, so you never know. Godless is the opener.

Do you have more stories planned for the world you created in Godless and Bullseye, Inc.?
Brian: I think it would be fun to explore the underground band that Hondo, Barris, and Zelda belong to in Godless. It's always been a bit of an obsession to tell the ultimate rock'n roll story. Harlan Ellison's Spider Kiss and Don DeLillo's Great Jones Street are outstanding works on the subject, but dated, and I haven't seen anything of that caliber on the contemporary music industry yet.

Would you ever make a full-length novel of those characters or that world?
Or maybe just a collection of short stories, similar to Ray Bradbury's Martian Chronicles.
Brian: Right now I see them as a series of vignettes. Originally it was to be one great sweeping novel, but written as shorts they seem to acquire a life of their own, going off in unexpected directions.

Which musician/band did you have the most fun taking pictures of?
Brian: There were a lot of great experiences, but I'd have to say Marilyn Manson. I toured with him twice, and he was so giving with his time and so damned interesting, it's pretty reflective in the images.

Do you see a correlation between your incredible gift for crafting memorable and vivid scenes in your stories and your background in photography?
Brian: That and filmmaking. I don't have any academic background in literature, as anyone who's helped me edit can attest, so it's got to come from somewhere. Actually, I've never taken a photography class either.

What was your inspiration behind Still Waters Run Deep, does it come from anything in your own life?
Still Waters Run Deep by Brian D. Garrity
Still Waters Run Deep
Amazon Paperback
Kindle coming soon

Brian: What a friend calls my 'opus,' Still Waters Run Deep is a novel about the misadventures of a gang of River Rats on the upper Mississippi in the seventies. I grew up on the Mississippi. I was a River Rat. Moving to the Twin Cities, making new friends, we'd trade war stories from our childhoods. The reaction to mine was pretty universal: dude, you should write a book- all we did was hang around at the mall.

Are you working on any books or stories that you're excited about?
Brian: Just finished an erotic horror short: Auto Lurkers. Dubious market potential, but it was fun to write. I've been tinkering with Skyway, an intended literary piece, for a few years. It's written in the second person point-of-view, a difficult format. There are a couple concepts for photo publications in the works as well.

Any more full-length novels on the way?
Brian: I'm considering working on a piece that I started about five years ago. It starts as a satire on the commercial photography industry and slowly turns into this hallucinatory horror trip – kind of a reflection on some of the experiences in the industry.

In Godless one of the factions is the "National Church of Athletics",
is that a commentary on anything in particular?
Brian: Over the past thirty years I've seen sports rise from a celebrated pastime to a kind of fanatical devotion, on par with nationalism and religion. All three seem to thrive in politically conservative climates, so I made an extreme extrapolation for the story.

Do you listen to music when writing or editing, and if so what do you listen to?
Brian: I usually have music on when writing, but there was a time I worked exclusively at the Library. The silence and the academic surroundings actually helped me focus. While finishing Still Waters Run Deep, I had the radio tuned to a seventies retro station, which is probably one of the reasons the book contains an extensive playlist of seventies hits. Working on Godless, I was into The Bronx, and band author Charlie Huston referred to in one of our correspondences as 'real skull fuckers'. I couldn't agree more.
Does it change depending on whether you're writing or editing? Is it based on mood?
Brian: Rock'n roll. Always.

Be sure to check out Brian D. Garrity's novel Still Waters Run Deep in paperback on Amazon. Kindle Edition coming soon.

Thank you for visiting for another Author Spotlight.
Cifiscape Volume II: The Twin Cities is out now in paperback, Kindle, and Nook. iPad/iPhone coming soon.