Garth Elliott / Garth J. Elliott is the nom de plum of Quintin Seegers.
Born in a country town in the northern part of South Africa in the latter half of the 1970's, I spent most of my childhood years entertaining myself. Being the youngest of six you would assume there was always someone to play with. The age differences between myself and my siblings meant that most of them had already left home, were working or already had families of their own. As a result, I whiled away many hours playing with imaginary friends (as most children do of a certain age). Those early years of creating friends, playing out fantasy adventures, sparked my imagination to create imaginary people, worlds and adventures as I grew older.
It was during my pre-teenage years that the writing bug startling gnawing at my feet. It was at the young age of twelve that I wrote my very first story. A simple, brief, story using my friends from school as the characters. During my high school years I continued writing. At the age of sixteen I felt I had enough skill to submit a short story to a magazine editor. Needless to say, that rejection letter was the beginning of a very long list of rejection letters. At some point I became interested in the radio drama genre. One of the local radio stations would broadcast serialised radio dramas in the afternoon for an hour. I would sit glued to the radio, listening to the next episode of my favourite radio drama. That sparked the idea of writing a series for radio. Not knowing much about the genre, I borrowed several books from my local library about the medium and managed to lay my hands on a few scripts. One of my earlier, failed, short stories always nagged at me to make it something more than what it was. I would regularly revisit it, rewriting, tweaking, but it never quite felt finished. Then inspiration hit. It was screaming to become a radio drama. I spent the next six months rewriting the story for radio. Excited about the prospect, I submitted it to the radio station. As was to be expected, a brief, yet very encouraging, rejection letter followed. Enclosed was a copy of the station's submission criteria, as well as a booklet entitled Writing for Radio. Devouring the contents of the booklet within hours, I realised that I would need to educate myself further if I was serious about writing. I enrolled in a correspondence course offered by one of the country's largest universities. There I learned my first lesson when it came to learning from others. Anybody can teach out of a textbook, but to tutor someone on a subject, you have to know the subject - have first-hand experience on the subject. During the initial introductory correspondence with my tutor, I learned that she had a Masters Degree in languages and have published several academic papers on the subject. In hindsight I should have seen it as a warning sign the fact that she had never published anything commercial and was therefore hardly qualified to tutor a course in commercial writing. After several failed attempts to pass an assignment, with very little assistance from my tutor, I gave up and never completed the course. Disappointed and burnt by that experience, I went back to reading every book I could find on the topic. Then, in 2002, I stumbled across The Writing School. After my previous disastrous attempt, I was skeptical about doing another writing course. Then I discovered that their tutors are writers themselves. Not professors that have published numerous papers and wrote countless thesis's on languages. No, these were authors themselves. Eagerly I enrolled. Over the next four years, under the very encouraging guidance of my tutor, I honed my writing skills and learned more than I did about writing up to that point of my life.
Under the pen name of Garth Elliott/Garth J. Elliott, I have since written a full-length drama series for television, an adult novel as well as the first book of four in a science fiction series. During 2008 to 2012 I was involved in producing an animation series based on my full-length drama series Family Secreits written for television. In 2019, under the name Quintin Seegers, I published a novel based on the series under the titles Masquerade (English edition) and Klugspel (Afrikaans edition). I am currently working on my first science-fiction novel and another novel with some of the characters from Masquerade/Klugspel.
Boring facts about me
Real Name: Quintin Seegers
Place of Birth: South Africa
City of Residence: Christchurch, New Zealand
Favourite Food: Anything Italian
Car I drive: Mazda CX5 but I catch the bus to work every day.
Most useful software I own: yWriter by Spacejock Software