My name is Garrett Hutson. I write upmarket historical mysteries and spy fiction, driven by flawed characters who are moving and unforgettable. I write about ordinary people in different times and places who struggle with faith, family dysfunction, and all of the moral gray areas of life. I write realistic fiction, so my work is always diverse and LGBT-inclusive.
I’m from Indianapolis, and I attended Ball State University. I spent a semester in France, studying at LaSabranenque language center and doing restoration work on a 12th century chateau, while living in a restored medieval village. It was an amazing experience! I also studied history at Butler University.
I have a grown daughter, Paige. My husband David is a veterinarian, and we have several pets—dogs, cats, fish, and back-yard chickens. We live in Broad Ripple, a very walkable and eclectic area on the north side of Indianapolis.
I have been a bookworm my whole life, and my early favorites included the authors Mark Twain, Robert Lewis Stevenson, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie and James Michener. I devoured the Hardy Boys mystery series, and the Black Stallion series. Later favorites included F. Scott Fitzgerald and Gore Vidal. Lately I’ve read a lot of Alan Furst, Ken Follett, Joseph Kanon, and William Kent Krueger. I am also an avid reader of history books.
I began making up stories before I knew how to write, and started writing stories as soon as I was able. I won ribbons in the Young Authors contest in the fourth and fifth grades, and I was hooked. From then on, I knew I wanted to be an author when I grew up. I got a Smith Corona typewriter when I was sixteen, and spent the next two years typing out a never-ending manuscript; it was silly and juvenile, but in hindsight there was some good stuff in there about familial relationships and growing up.
After college, I resolved to get serious about becoming an author, and spent the next two years on my typewriter, creating the first draft of Duncan MacKenzie. It was massive and poorly-written, but I was proud of it. I revised it over the next two years while my daughter was napping, but then life got complicated and I stopped writing for several years. I don’t recommend that. Finally in 2003, I began writing again–I churned out several short stories that fall, and began the first draft of what I then called Murder at Sutton’s Pond, now published as In a Safe Town.
I spent the next several years unsuccessfully submitting short stories, revising Sutton’s Pond, and doing a complete rewrite of Duncan MacKenzie. I joined the Indiana Writers Center, took several of their classes, read books on writing craft, and gradually got better. Then in February 2009 I attended my first writers’ conference–the AWP Conference in Chicago. I was blown-away by the energy, and thrilled to be surrounded by so many writers. I resolved right then to attend the conference again when it came back to Chicago, and I did in 2012.
2012 was a big year for my writing. Not only did I attend my second AWP Conference in March, but I also attended my first Midwest Writers Workshop in July of that year, and did my first-ever pitch to an agent. I had recently completed The Swiss Conspiracy, and was over the moon that an agent was interested in it and wanted to see pages. He ultimately passed, but it was the first time a publishing professional expressed interest in one of my stories. I also made a couple of friends at MWW, and got hooked up with a monthly critique group. The IndyScribes still meet monthly, and I couldn’t ask for a better group of critique partners.
I’ve attended MWW almost every year since. I’ve made several good writer friends over the years, and I met almost all of them at MWW. I also credit MWW with helping me improve my craft.
After several years of querying and pitching agents, and getting several personalized rejections, some complimentary–in October 2016 I released In a Safe Town under the Warfleigh Publishing label, and followed it with The Jade Dragon in 2017, Hidden Among Us in 2018, and Assassin’s Hood in 2019. All are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, your local independent bookstore, or anywhere books are sold.
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