Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.

Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?

My name is Trevor Garroutte and I am 31 years old.

Fiona: Where are you from?

I am originally from Southern California. However, I currently reside in Tucson,  Arizona.

Fiona: A little about your self (ie,  your education, family life, etc.).

I was born and raised in Southern California until I was 20. I am one of 8 children, so I have a large family.  I joined the U.S. Army as an infantry medic when I was 20. I deployed to Iraq in 2009 through 2010. I was released from the army in 2011 so that I could pursue a degree in English. Unfortunately, that was cut short because I was diagnosed with liver cancer. I was homeless for a short time thereafter. In order to heal mentally, I walked across the country from California to South Carolina.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

Stomping in Puddles was just release May 14, 2018. A memoir of my walk across the United States. It is my first book to be published.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I started writing in high school when I was 15. I wrote chapters of a book to turn in as assignments. I remember the first time I did this, my sophomore English teacher was returning all of our papers back but I got a note instead. She asked to see me after class. Instead of the earful I was expecting, I was asked if I ever thought about publishing my work. It was in that moment I knew I wanted to write. I never published my early work though. I always thought my voice sounded too youthful. Like I knew nothing about the world around me and it showed. That is, until now.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

The day my first book was published. I’ve invariably been hard on myself about taking the title of writer. I’ve always told myself that until I published, I was writing, not a writer.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

It’s more like who. I had gained a small following from walking across the US. I used a facebook page as a sort of blog. I would update them as to where I was or what I was going through. They wanted me to write a book based on my posts.

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

While I was in El Paso, my pack was stolen. I was left with my cell phone, wallet, and a few bucks. No where near enough to get a hotel. That night a storm came in. I tried to take shelter but I was getting soaked anyway. All I could think about was ‘Life had taken away my lemons, so I’m going to stomp in some puddles’. I began to think that moment was the embodiment of my entire walk.

Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?

I feel it’s completely informal. I wanted it to feel like I was telling you a story person to person and less like a timeline or historical document. I wanted to make you laugh and cry right along with me. This did become difficult at times. I would have to break myself, tear down my walls and expose myself in an attempt to communicate exactly how I felt in those moments. If I made you cry while reading my book, chances are I was crying when I wrote it. It’s not just words on paper, you’re reading a piece of me.

Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

It’s as 100% authentic as I could get it. Every part of that story really happened. Every person I talked to, every word I said is real. However, I feel compelled to say that the book is largely recalled from memory. A number of the stories were documented on my Facebook page as I walked, but the details are from memory. I may have mixed up a town with another or the words of a person with someone else’s but it is to the best of my abilities.

Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?

My story is the traveling. I didn’t need to go much further from my computer desk while writing it.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

I did. I hired a local photographer with a very specific image in mind. We did a shoot for hours trying to get just the right shot. I chose the final print and own the rights.

Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

There is light at the end of the tunnel. We are resilient, fierce, and powerful. You just have to find it within yourself and you can overcome anything.

Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?  Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?

I read a lot of books. Most of the books I read are new to me, but are certainly not new.. The Alchemist has been around for over 25 years but I’d never heard of it until I was walking near Quartzsite, Arizona. That story resonated with me, it’s probably my favorite book. I read a lot of fiction. Particularly mysteries, thrillers, and fantasy. I don’t think there is one author I would solidify as above all others.

Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.

My Facebook page! I’ve never thought so many strangers could make feel so supported in my life. Every single one of them is the reason why my life is better now than it ever could have been. They are truly amazing people.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

I do! I have at least six book ideas that I have always been considering. I’m not sure what the future holds for me as far as a career in writing but I’d certainly love for it to happen.

Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

I put my heart and soul into that book. Not every story was worked out to its full potential though. I think it has a lot to do with how inexperienced I am as a writer. I wouldn’t go back and redo it now but maybe in a few years I would be better equipped to smooth out the rough edges.

Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?

My keyboard is waterproof! Also, that I have a long road ahead of myself if I want to do this as a full time job.

Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?

Jason Segal. I don’t even have to think about that one. I can see myself in every character I’ve seen him perform. I think he could do an amazing job playing me.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

The book isn’t going to write itself.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

Yeah! I want to hear from you! Go on Amazon and write a review, drop your thoughts in a comment, tweet at me, send me a message! Even if it’s to tell me I suck. I wrote this for you. I put a piece of me in those words for you. The walk was for me. This book, it’s for you.

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

Bhagavad-Gita As It Is

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

I remember reading a lot of Dr. Seuss for my first books. Then I remember reading all of the Goosebump books. When i was in 6th grade, I must of read every single one the school library had. Every time the scholastic book fair opened at my school, I was there looking for more.

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

I have realized that more and more I have begun to laugh when things are bad and cry when things are good.

Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?

Spongebob. For a birthday party. We were both born July 14, 1986.

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

Thinking like a crazy person. Like buying an Island and reenacting Cast Away just to see if I could do it. Walking across the US has had some negative side effects. Also video games!

Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?

Comedies and bromances are my favorite. I could binge watch How I met your Mother and The Office over and over. I Love You Man is my favorite movie.

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

I love seafood and sushi. I’d eat it all the time if I could afford it. Blue, probably is my favorite. More like a midnight blue than a royal. I listen can listen to just about anything. My go to is probably R&B from ‘90s and ‘00s.

Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?

I’d probably draw, or paint. Ways of expression, even if they are just personal, have always been important to me.

Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?

Drinking! With my liver issues I almost never drink. If it’s the last thing I do, I’d probably do what thing I hardly ever get to enjoy anymore.

Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?

“He proved himself right by dying” See my hobbies.

Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?

Yeah! https://www.facebook.com/TGarroutte/