Maggie Blackbird

Romancing Canada's Indigenous People

Today, I have author Scott E. Garrison in the interview chair.  We’re discussing his latest release From the Universe to Me, a m/m contemporary romance.


1. Hi, Scott. First off, readers have an idea of the writer you, but what about the everyday you? Can you share about your personal life?

Scott: I am kind of a homebody. I love spending time at home watching tv and movies, reading, hanging out with my husband, and cuddling with my dogs Jarvis and Friday. I am a librarian for the Metropolitan Library System in Oklahoma, and I have worked here for almost four years and have worked in the library field for about nine years (nonconsecutively). While working on my masters in Library and Information Studies, I worked as the Assistant Director of Financial Aid at a local private university for five plus years. It took me a few years to figure out what I wanted to do with my life, but I finally found my calling.

2. I’ve been perusing your Goodreads page, and From the Universe to Me is your first novel, a m/m contemporary romance. Why did you choose this genre?

Scott: I chose the m/m contemporary romance genre because I can relate to it more as a reader and a writer. I’m a gay man and have experienced varying levels of gay relationships, but the main reason I selected this genre is because I had this story to tell. I always thought I would become a horror author (maybe one day), but I couldn’t get Tobias’ story out of my head. Also, I wanted to share a story about someone who is still struggling with their sexuality into their college years, which is something that I struggled with.

3. Can you share what inspired you to create this novel?

Scott: In a way, my life and my relationships. Tobias’ story is 100% fiction, but I did get inspiration from the good, the bad, and the ugly things I’ve been through in my life. Tobias struggles with his sexuality and is afraid to come out to his friends and family due to fear of loss, which is something that I struggled with until I came out at 25. I went through so many good times in my 35 years of life, but I’ve also been through some very dark times. I was able to use these experiences to help craft Tobias’ responses to what the universe throws at him.

4. Let’s talk about the main characters. What do you love most about Tobias and what makes you want to shake him?

Scott: I love Tobias because he is kind and cares so deeply (like me). Sometimes he cares too much about pleasing others around him even at the expense of his own happiness, which I know a lot of people can relate. He is trying to go through life and learn more about himself just like everyone else. Writing as an adult about a younger adult character would be the main reason I would want to shake him—to let him know that life does get better. It’s never easy, but it does get better. He is learning every day. He unfortunately has to experience a devastating heartbreak early in his life, but he is willing to learn and grow from these experiences.

5. The same for Gareth. What do you love most about him and what makes you want to shake him?

Scott: Gareth is the prime example of someone that still needs to work on himself. Like every other human on the planet, he is struggling with himself, learning to navigate the struggles of life. I love his vulnerability in the beginning. This is also the main reason I would want to shake him. He is uncomfortable with being vulnerable, and he is not good with communication. I don’t want to give too much away, but Gareth reflects those people in our lives that are not always what they appear to be.

6. Without giving away any spoilers, what was your favourite scene to write and why?

Scott: My favorite scene would have to be the scene when Tobias comes out to his parents. This was also a difficult scene to write. Writing this scene gave me to opportunity to rewrite my own history in a way. I was able to manipulate the reactions and viewpoints of characters—something I have no control over in life. This is also the scene when most of the characters are at their most vulnerable. Tobias and his parents are together on a fence. This is a pivotal moment because the reactions will decide the course of their lives.

7. What makes From the Universe to Me different from other m/m romances?

Scott: I think it is a different perspective. We have a ton of young adult novels about teens struggling with their sexuality (which I love), but we don’t have many adult books about older teens in college struggling with their sexuality. When I started writing, I kept trying to keep Tobias’ story within the confines of the young adult genre, but I found this extremely limiting. I couldn’t tell the full story I was trying to create. Once I took away the barriers, I could finally tell Tobias’ story in a meaningful and authentic way.

8. If a reader asked you why they should read From the Universe to Me, what would you tell them?

Scott: Obviously, I think this story is special, but I think any reader can get something from this story. There are real-life struggles, romance, heartbreak, friendship, empathy, and a little gayness within these pages. Something that I believe any reader can relate. Most importantly, I think that readers can learn something from this story. Everyone is different and that is what makes us special and unique. We don’t all fit into the same box even though there are people who would love to fit everyone into the same box.

9. What can we expect from you in the future?

Scott: I’m hoping more books! I’m currently working on a second book that is in the same universe as Tobias’ story, but it is a standalone. I would also love to write a thriller and/or horror novel some day!

10. I enjoy doing random questions, so humour me:

  • What’s your favourite movie?
    Practical Magic – I can watch this movie over and over without getting tired of it.
  • What book is currently in your e-reader?
    I mostly listen to audiobooks because I don’t have a lot of time to sit down and read. Right now, I’m listening to Five Survive by Holly Jackson. I just finished reading a digital ARC on my kindle from a fellow indie author and friend titled The Night I Spent with Aubrey Fisher by Christopher D. Tantillo.
  • Who’s your favourite musical group?
    The Chicks – I’m not a huge country fan, but their music has always spoke to me. I finally got to see them live last year.
  • What song puts a smile on your face?
    The Story by Brandi Carlile, which plays a big role in the book!

11. Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Scott: Be kind and remember that love is love. We all have our own beliefs and opinions, but one person’s beliefs should not dictate or punish someone who has differing beliefs. We all are unique, and that is what makes us special.


Title: From the Universe to Me
Series: N/A
Author: Scott E. Garrison
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
Release Date: April 11, 2023
Length: 59 500 words/220 pages
Heat Rating: 3 flames
Publisher: NineStar Press

Learning to accept himself is not the only lesson the universe has planned for him.

Blurb: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.

Note:  It is a standalone book and does not end on a cliffhanger.

Add to Goodreads

Purchase at:

Publisher  |   Amazon US   |  Amazon UK

I’m startled out of my thoughts when I hear doors open, but to avoid any more agonizing contact with Anna, I don’t glance over until I hear the deep voice of a man talking to Anna.

I glimpse Anna out of the corner of my eye and notice her entire personality has changed. She appears more alive and filled with energy. She twirls her hair between her pointer and middle fingers, flirting with the man, which goes unnoticed by him. He is standing there exchanging pleasantries with her. When he turns to look in my direction, my heart literally skips a beat.

He is beautiful.

Wow. Drop-dead gorgeous isn’t even the best phrase to describe the man standing before me. The stylish brown hair rising in waves from the top of his head looks natural and void of any hair products, like he rolls out of bed looking like McDreamy from Grey’s Anatomy on a daily basis. His light brown skin and dark brown eyes shimmer, reminding me of silky, smooth milk chocolate. Everything with me always goes back to chocolate, which is why I can’t stop looking at him as he stands next to the receptionist’s desk talking to Anna.

He isn’t ridiculously muscular, but his biceps look statuesque underneath his tight plaid button-down shirt. Dark Levi’s accentuate every muscle and curve his lower body has to offer. My mind immediately drifts to what his legs would look like if he set them free with short shorts or even his underwear. What is wrong with me?

Without even moving, he exudes confidence I only wish I could have. My mediocre body isn’t nearly as memorable as the physique standing before me. Anyone would want to talk to him, to be near his gorgeous face…touch his toned body. This man hit the gene-pool lottery when whatever higher being or the masters of the universe made him.

“Hello… Hey…. Is somebody in there?” he asks, waving his hand near my face.

My eyes adjust to his waving hand, and I realize I have been staring at him with an open mouth, looking like a brainless buffoon.

“Uuhhhh…what?!” I say like a blubbering fool.

“I asked if you are here to meet with me,” he responds with the sweetest expression, ignoring my inability to carry a conversation, which makes my cheeks burn red.

“Hahaha… I wish.” I freeze… What the fuck did I say? Oh my god, I could die. I should run out the door and lay down in the street, praying someone will take pity on me and end my suffering. I’m positive I have turned as red as the couches I’m sitting on.

He chuckles and gives me a bright and warm grin, revealing his perfectly whitened teeth. He towers over me, holding out his hand. “My name is Gareth David. I’m Dr. Richard’s teaching assistant. Who are you?”

Suddenly, an overwhelming urge to jump into his arms and put my hand through his radiantly manicured hair skips jauntily through my mind. That is perfectly acceptable for people to do, right?

I grab his hand, applying enough pressure to give an adequate handshake, so I look less like a dope.

When our hands meet, a rush of warmth spreads throughout my entire body. He glances at our hands and back into my eyes, giving me that perfect grin again. I can’t help but wonder if he observed the same jolt of energy when our hands met. The way he is looking at me makes me feel something I can’t put my finger on, but I don’t want the erotic energy to end.

After gaining my composure, I respond, “My name is Tobias Gavin. I’m here to meet with Dr. Richards about setting up my schedule for the fall semester.”

An Adonis-like smile spreads across his face, and I melt again. “Are you a freshman? I haven’t seen you around or in any of my classes.”

I look at him confused. “Didn’t you say you’re her assistant?”

He chuckles. “Teaching assistant. However, I teach my own classes and cover her classes when she is away. I know it seems weird, but Dr. Richards has taught me well. Besides, I’m almost finished with my graduate degree. I turned in my thesis a few weeks ago.”

His voice exhibits pure kindness that sends warmth through by body, helping me relax.

“May I have my hand back?” He laughs.


My body going tense again, I realize I’m still holding his hand. I hesitate for a millisecond—my body wanting our embrace to continue—before letting go of his hand.

“I’m so sorry. I was listening to you talk and forgot to let go.” Kill me. Someone, please hire a ninja assassin to come kill me now.


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.

Follow Scott:  Blog/Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | TikTok

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