YA Feature: Dianne Gardner

The Author- Dianne Gardner 

Now on AmazonI'm both an author and illustrator living the Pacific Northwest. Having really started my writing career doing interviews and articles for the National League of Pen Women's Magazine I found the desire for creativity was pulling me into fiction. I've always loved fantasy. It was my favorite thing to read when I was young, I was such a dreamer. I think something happens to a person when they get older that they realize if there's something you haven't done in your life, now is the time. Well, I had never written what was in my heart in a full length novel. I've painted it. But paintings leave so much to the viewer to interpret, that oftentimes what the artist really wants to say is overlooked. It was time for me to write.

A lot of my life has been pretty darn colorful. Sometimes very dark, but always unusual. I spent many years living out in the desert wilderness of the American Southwest, lived in a hogan made from adobe and cedar for thirteen years, co-owned 25 horses both pure bred and Native American ponies, traveled horseback and by wagon throughout the Navajo reservation, herded sheep and goat, worked in the forest planting trees and piling, farmed on barren soil and even lived in a teepee for a short while. I spent many long years using survival skills as a way of life.

Later my life turned around and I found a purpose in Christ. I studied pastoral counseling and was a Pastor's apprentice at a mainline church which ultimately has led us to feeding the homeless for over thirteen years. Today I'm able to draw on both my survival experiences and my passion for people, especially young people,to write. My stories are for entertainment, yes, but you might just find some subtle soul searching answers in them as well, and they will always stress an appreciation for nature.

The Books

The Ian's Realm series began I think because I've always wanted to paint a dragon. ( It's funny, but I have always believed that dinosaurs were really dragons.) That's when the story started taking shape. Here was this monster in this other world that someone needed to confront. And he couldn't be a super hero. What would the challenge be in that? No. There are too many dragons in our lives that having a superhero come and destroy them would be just too easy. My hero had to be an everyday boy, maybe even a bit on the timid side, who doesn't want to confront a dragon much less kill it.

And the dragon was so beautiful, wouldn't it be just like people to worship it no matter what it did to them?

Some bookie questions

Favourite genre and why?

I love fantasy, especially YA. Stories about other worlds are like parables. Many authors use them as such. Think of all the Dystopian novels that warn us what might happen if..? A good fantasy, like Lord of the Rings, can show the human race the rut that they are in and where it's going without offense and in a way that makes people think. Fantasy can have a big part if shaping our lives and making us aware of reality.

Favourite book series and why?

Narnia. I love the simplicity of the series and how it touches the heart.

Favorite author and why?

C.S. Lewis. He spoke to both children and adults about the value of life in its simplest form.I think Lewis understood more about life than many of us will ever know.

An author you would recommend my readers check out?

I think no matter what YA readers pick up, they should familiarize themselves with the classics. Through the Looking Glass, Mark Twain's work, the Narnia series, Tolkien, and even some Shakespeare. For modern days authors Richard Schmidt, Rick Riordan, and of course I'd like to recommend my series. Young adults are enjoying my books!

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Blog with all sorts of work in progress reports for the next four books and short stories in the making, how to build a yurt, sailing on a tall ship, a place for fan art and more...http://dragontargeseries.blogspot.com/

Twitter @DianneGardner

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