Pica is coming.

It seems to be my time for catching up on old pals. Today Jeff Gardiner comes to the Bingergread Cottage and I’m ashamed to say he hasn’t been here since “Myopia” came out! He has published at least two books since that and never got to blog them on here! Naughty, naughty Ailsa!

Come in Jeff! Oooh you brought a pressie, how nice, thank you.

Hi Ailsa, I thought I’d bring some mulled wine over – it’s not too early is it?

Not at all! Pop it on the stove to keep warm, I’ll just have coffee, thanks. Here – have some nibbles with it. What have you been up to since the launch of Myopia (if you can remember that far back!)?

Igboland+cover6I’ve had a few books published. Crooked Cat published ‘Igboland’ which is set in Nigeria during the Biafran War; I’ve also had another novel, ‘Treading On Dreams’ published by Tirgearr, LOC+final+coverwhich explores the themes of obsession and unrequited love. Then there’s a non-fiction book that evaluates the life and works of one of my favourite authors, Michael Moorcock, called ‘The Law of Chaos: the Multiverse of Michael Moorcock’. 2014 was a very busy year for me.

Fantastic, I devoured Michael Moorcock’s books in my teens. I’ve got the others on my Kindle but no time. What is in the pipeline now?

I recently signed a three book contract with Accent Press for my YA fantasy ‘Gaia’ trilogy. I’ve finished the first book, called ‘Pica’ (Pica pica is the Latin name for the magpie). I’ve nearly finished book two – ‘Falco’. The series dwells upon our relationship with the natural world. Teenager, Luke, meets a strange boy called Guy who initiates him into a realm of ancient magical powers linked with nature. There’s shape-shifting and other fantasy tropes in there. It touches on philosophical and environmental ideas. Exciting stuff.

Sounds right up my street too! Luke would get on well with my characters. Share something about your non-writerly life with us, could you? I’m terminally nosy and think it is something to do with a farm. I thought you were a teacher. I’m confused. Nurse! She’s interviewing the furniture again. Take over, Jeff, while I pour some tea.Treading+on+Dreams+by+Jeff+Gardiner+-+100

I was a teacher but I recently applied for voluntary redundancy so I could concentrate on writing and other exciting projects. Best career move I ever made. Don’t get me wrong – I loved teaching and being in the classroom, but education has become a political plaything in the UK and all the fun has been squeezed out of it as a vocation. So now I’m writing, editing and doing some supply teaching for a special needs college, plus some extras acting work. I recently enjoyed being in the background for ‘Mission Impossible 5’. Over the last year I’ve been Frankenstein’s monster, a demon headmaster, Santa’s postman, a British police officer and a medium. So you can see it’s all work AND play for me.

Yes, I DO know that eventually one has to get out of teaching no matter how much one loves it. Acting? Are you following me? (fit of the giggles) So, what are your plans for the future? I know you have a young family so hitch-hiking around the world may be out of the question but….

My kids are now 10 and 9! We’re heading your way (ish) in the summer as we visit Paris and Disneyland. As for the future I’m hoping to remain in the position to write, edit et al without the distraction of a full-time job (they’re so over-rated). Accent Press are hoping to really push my ‘Gaia’ trilogy next year, which will be used to spearhead the rebranding of their new YA imprint, plus be a focus for them at the London Book Fair. So I’ve got everything crossed that ‘Pica’ and the trilogy will be successful. Here’s hoping…

Finally, as usual, you links so that my friends can find you again and buy your books.


Jeff’s website: http://www.jeffgardiner.com

Jeff’s blog: https://jeffgardiner.wordpress.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jeff.gardiner2

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JeffGardiner1

Crooked Cat Page: http://crookedcatpublishing.com/item/jeff-gardiner/

Thanks so much for coming, Jeff and don’t leave it so long next time. Lily will forget who you are and attack you!

Can’t have that. I’ll bring along her favourite food next time then. Perhaps I can pop back when ‘Pica’ comes out? Thanks for hosting me, Ailsa. (Hug).

(Big hug) Yes, of course you must! Lily loves anything meaty and me being a veggie doesn’t help. A bit of bacon sandwich would be a real treat for her. Hop on the carpet and I’ll send you home. Byeeeeee!

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