Welcome to Author Spotlight! Each week will feature a different author. We’ll get the scoop behind their writing life and dish a little. The authors will also be giving away a copy of their latest book. FUN.
This week April Gardner is in the Spotlight! To win a copy of April’s latest book, Wounded Spirits, leave a comment on this post!
Share a little bit about yourself. Married with kids? Empty nester? Do you work full-time and write when you can squeeze it in?
I’m so pleased to be featured on your Author Spotlight!
Here’s a snap-shot of my life—I’ve been married 13 years to the USAF’s smartest computer geek. And the hottest. Grin. We have two amazing, elementary-age kids. One boy. One girl. We are America’s perfect family…at least until we take a road trip and inevitably end up trying to strangle each other.
I have the great blessing of being able to devote myself full-time to writing. Somehow, I still struggle finding time to actually write. It boggles my mind how other writers who work even part-time jobs manage to ever finish a book. I greatly admire them.
And share something about your writing. What’s your genre(s), your areas of interest…
My absolute, all-time favorite genre is historical fiction. If it has romance added in, all the better. I’m a sucker for a unique setting or time period.
My current writing is set in the early 1800’s in Creek Country, the area of Alabama and Georgia that the Creek Indians inhabited before it became part of the United States.
How did you get started writing? Did you have a dream of being a published author?
I started writing because there was a historical account that just had to be put into novel form. I figured I may as well be the one to do it. That was 11 years ago. Today, the story can be found in the form of my debut novel, Wounded Spirits.
After you started writing seriously–how long was it before you were published?
Aside from a cup of good, strong coffee, what helps you get all of your “brain cylinders” firing so you can write well? Do you have any favorite places and routines when you write? How many hours a day do you spend writing?
I plot my novels by summarizing scenes. Since I have a set number of scenes to write, I try to tackle X-number of scenes per week, versus words per day. It’s a different system than most, but it works for me.
What has been the biggest help to you in the journey to publication? Writers’ conferences? Writing groups? Your mom as your first draft reader?
Critique partners! Without a doubt, my crit-partners have been the absolute best thing for my writing. I don’t have to stress so much over that first draft. If I write flat characters or if my setting isn’t clear enough, my critters will find it. Having them relieves so much pressure! And, of course, they help make my writing shine.
What are your biggest distractions?
My biggest distraction to writing is my own fear of failure. When I say “failure” I mean it on many levels—from the crux of the plot down to the next line in the paragraph. That being said, encouragement is my main motivator. An author can never receive enough encouragement from her readers. Note to readers–If you loved a book, let the author know! She’ll thank you for it.
What was one of the best moments in your career and what was one of the worst?
So far, the best moment in my career has been making #1 best-seller status on Amazon. It was completely unexpected, but one of those moments I’ll always cherish.
What do you least like about being a writer? Most like?
Right now, I’m not enjoying my first deadline. It’s pushing my writing skills to a whole new level. Forced growth is good, but it’s not always comfortable. What I enjoy the most is meeting so many wonderful cyber-friends.
What is the role and importance of an agent?
My publishing house doesn’t require an agent, so I don’t have one yet, but I would love to!
Pretend I’m a customer at a bookstore looking for a good book. Give me a one or two sentence promo to convince me to buy your book.
Hey, check out this awesome book! It’s about a Creek warrior who’s fighting to get the white settlers off Creek land. In the middle of battle, he agrees to protect his brother’s white friends. Life gets complicated when the enemy he’s supposed to hate becomes a beautiful woman with a quiet strength he can’t resist. I’ve heard Wounded Spirits is one of the best new stories out there, and I love Suzanne Fisher’s novels. That just goes to show I have great taste in fiction, so you can trust me. 😀
Did I convince you?
What’s on the book horizon for you?
Warring Spirits, the sequel to Wounded! It’s tentatively scheduled to release this fall.
Tagline: Three cultures, one battle. A thousand Warring Spirits
Last question, how can readers find you and your books?
I love to hear from my readers! You can find me at these locations:
Wounded Spirits is available on Amazon.
Thank you for sharing your writing life with my bleaders! (blog + readers = bleaders)
I’ve loved visiting with you today!! Thanks for having me.