Happy Tuesday everyone! Ya’ll getting used to my Tuesday shenanigans yet? Let’s hope so because I have a new author today! D.L. Gardner is a fantasy author but she’s also a screenwriter and artist. She’s such a warm person, if you ever get a chance to sit and talk with her, please do. If you’re anything like me, you’ll walk away from that conversation feeling refreshed and like you’ve just eaten a batch of warm cookies. I don’t know what it is but D.L. has a way of bringing comfort to everyone. I mean, I only emailed her, and I felt it. I think a lot of this bleeds over into her writing. Her newest book released last Thursday, and the story is oozing with parental acceptance. As I was reading it, I realized that it was something I didn’t know I needed. My childhood wasn’t full of parental love or acceptance, so it was nice to be able to live in a world where that felt abundant. I think it helped to heal some old wounds and for that I’m eternally grateful to D.L. I highly encourage you guys to check out her new book and her other ones. You can never go wrong with chasing some comfort and diving into a brand-new world. See ya’ll next week!
How did your writing journey begin?
That’s a difficult question because I can’t remember when I didn’t love writing. I wrote poetry, essays and short stories when I was young. I even wrote an opera when I was a teen. I wrote my first novel in 2010 and didn’t finish it. I think I might still have the ¾ draft somewhere. I began writing my first novel shortly after that following some workshops that I took to learn how.
What is your favorite way to relax after a really stressful day?
I love working in my garden and doing complicated puzzles.
In your opinion, what is the biggest misconception people have about being an author?
That it’s easy. That all you have to do is write. No. It’s not easy. It’s a skill that is learned. Forming a story so it makes sense, so that it captures the reader’s attention, characters that are believable and intriguing, grammar, editing, revising, and worse of all marketing are all factors one has to consider when they begin this journey or authorship.
If you had to choose a new name for yourself, what would you pick?
The One Who Tries.
Tell me about the inspiration behind your stories.
Each story I write has its own inspiration. Dylan for instance was inspired by the wonderful people I met while driving an ACCESS bus (transportation for the developmentally impaired). Cho Nisi was inspired by a human predicament...my own...having made errors in my life, not because I'm bad but because I'm human and I wanted to show the journey one young woman takes to redeem herself and fight for her goals. Ian's Realm was inspired by my grandsons who were raised without fathers...that they could be the man they wished their father had been for them...so I told of Ian and his struggles to fight that dragon that kept him down.
Darkness Holds the Son is inspired by today's society and the need for parents to keep fighting to protect their children regardless of the influences in this world that would steal their children's minds and bodies.
Inspiration is everywhere.
What’s your favorite holiday and why?
Christmas. It comes during a very bleak time of year and seems to make everything warm and hopeful. I love traveling home on our rural road seeing houses lit with welcoming lights twinkling in the night sky. There’s something magical about the season, and I know it’s because of the Christ child that is celebrated, it’s just not everyone knows it but they can feel it.
Is writing therapeutic for you? How so?
Absolutely. Writing has always been therapeutic for me. When I was an adolescent, writing poetry helped me connect with my feelings. Today I can do the same thing with my characters, or write the world I love to be in, or see those starry nights again that I remember, or relive a part of my past that was precious to me.
What is the number one thing on your bucket list as of now?
Get our garden bed ready to plant. After that I want to write some more short stories that go with Sword of Cho Nisi, and then write the next book. But I need to garden too. It helps me get away from the computer.
What is your writing process like? Do you have the plot or the characters first?
I usually think of a premise first and then figure out the characters.
Where did you go on your first vacation? Would you visit again?
My parents used to take the family to Las Vegas every summer and there we met our cousins. We would swim and sun bathe at the hotel while they enjoyed the casino. I’m not interested in going to Vegas anymore.
Can you give us an insight to what idea or book you’re working on now?
Yes, it’s another spin off novel from Sword of Cho Nisi. It happens 3 years after Darkness Holds the Son. There are strangers that arrive at the island that steal something I can’t tell you what though or that would be a huge spoiler, and then they raid the mainland. There will be some new faces, and some old favorites in this story and it will be just as fast paced and adventurous as the others.
Do you have any tips for aspiring authors?
Just write because you love it. That’s going to be the only gratification you receive sometimes, but if you love your stories eventually people will catch on and read them. Write like you want your books to last from generation to generation.
My name is Dianne Gardner and I have self-published 21 novels, two novella and several short stories under the name D.L. Gardner. I am an avid reader of fantasy especially in the vein of Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson, and Joe Abercrombie.
I’ve been a columnist for Amazing Stories Magazine representing the fantasy genre. I’ve spoken at conferences throughout the United States and online, the latest being the Imaginarium Convention.
I've written ever since I was a youngster and have led an unusual life having grown up in the sixties, lived in the desert for nearly 30 years in a mud hut, raised horses, sheep, goats and chickens, and seven children. Much of my life experience has morphed into other worlds accessed through portal travel. I've released twelve novels spanning all sub genres of fantasy and one historical fiction based on a relative's WWII letters.
Winner of two Book Excellence Award for my series, Best Urban fantasy at 2016 Imaginarium Convention and a host of screenings and trophies for my historical fiction screenplay adaption from my novels Ian’s Realm and Cassandra's Castle and five Best Screenplay awards for my script based on my novel Dylan.
I believe a story should endure time and be extraordinary enough that it is easily handed from one generation to the next.
"Darkness Holds the Son has a quest to save the world, a magical sword, and a place where darkness resides... An engaging tale filled with magic and parental love." - Independent Book Review Darkness Holds the Son takes us to a small village named Tuluva where Jareth, an unemployed mercenary, and his wife and two children are raising goats to sustain themselves. Things go well for them until the land-baron of Ogress raises their taxes, forcing Jareth to pick up his crossbow and return to the battlefield. Jareth has an even more pressing problem than keeping his family out of debtor’s prison, though. His son Crispin has seizures that are caused by magic and if Jareth doesn't find the source soon, it could be fatal as the boy hears voices instructing him to kill his father. On Jareth’s quest, he discovers that the same affliction is haunting all the children in the kingdom.