Interview with historical fiction author M.L. Gardner

Today’s featured guest is
historical fiction author M.L. Gardner. We’re focused on her novel, 1929 Jonathan’s Cross Book One.
M.L. Gardner is an American author currently living in Northern Utah
after spending a decade in the Pacific Northwest. Having grown up a Navy brat,
she’s lived everywhere and considers no one place home. Gardner collects cats
and dreams of opening a no kill shelter in her backyard where she can be
surrounded by her feline friends all the time, despite their love of sitting on
her keyboard.
She is married with three kids and four cats. She writes full time,
living on cheese and Bing energy drinks.
Welcome, M.L. Please tell us about your current release.
1929 Jonathan’s Cross Book One is the
first in a Depression era historical fiction series.
What inspired you to write this book?
I was sitting at home watching the bloodshed on Wall street when the
market crashed in 2008. I remember the horror the day it dropped 777 points. I
had always been fascinated with the Great Depression and had read everything I
could get my hands on about the period. And the way things were shaping up in
this country financially, I was seeing an encore performance of those hard
years. I grabbed my books, compared charts and graphs and had this feeling of
dread wash over me. The roaring twenties were definitely over for us. After
several hours of being glued to CNBC, I had to change the channel. It wasn’t
getting any better and I just couldn’t look at the train wreck any longer. I
flipped through the channels with my mind floating off to one of the many far
off places it loved to roam. But this one wouldn’t leave me alone. Plot lines
and ideas started swirling around and quite literally haunted me. It wasn’t
long before I had to force myself to sit down and start the story. It wasn’t
enough to see it in my head.
Jonathan Garrett has just lost everything. He and his two best friends
were operating one of the top brokerages in New York City until the stock
market crash of ’29. With nothing but the clothes on their backs, these men
must start over. Renting a shabby apartment from a business rival with his eye
on tormenting Jonathan, they begin to rebuild as best they can. Their wives
struggle to make the best of their situations, each coping in her own way. They
begin to make friendships that promise to last a lifetime. As the jobs become
fewer and danger is at their backs, the stakes get higher for these men to find
a way out. Their current poverty, their respective pasts, and their own
struggles all threaten to ruin them. With hope, close friends, and a lucky
twist of fate, they escape the city just in time. They return to their hometown
of Rockport, Massachusetts to begin a new life. Living modestly, and faring
better than the friends they left behind in the city, they begin to think
things are taking a turn for the better. But tragedy is never far behind…
What exciting story are you working on next?
I’m working on Purgatory Cove Book Five. It’s a novella
that takes a peek into the fractured mind of Elizabeth as she splits into a
third personality. I’ve also chipped away at 1931 Caleb’s Err Book Six and am
nearing the half way mark with that. I often write more than one book at a time.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I started getting email
asking about the third book and a few readers complained I was taking so long.
It clicked then along with the realization that I have a responsibility and an
obligation to these people who have taken the time to read what I have put out
in the world and have become emotionally invested in the characters. .
Do you write full-time? If so, what’s your work day
like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to
I am home to write full time,
I don’t write every day. I’d love to but that’s just not how
I work. I’m rather compulsive with everything I do and will often write like
mad for a week and then take a week off. I do a lot of woodworking on my off
weeks and make most of my own pioneer style furniture.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
It’s not really a quirk but I
do have to listen to music when I write. I create ‘soundtracks’ for every book
and run those on a continuous loop while I’m working on a project.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A pilot. I took aeronautics and
actually flew a few times but when I had children I decided to give it up. I
hope to re-learn how to fly after my children are grown.
to connect or find out more:

Thanks for chatting with us today, M.L. Happy writing!

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