Over the past few months I have been working with author M.L. Gardner to create a candle inspired by her book, Sayan Knights. We came up with an amazing fragrance for main character, Nicholi, and his candle was released in my store this week. When I read Sayan Knights, I was on vacation in Ireland. I started it one morning and it was finished the following night. I absolutely devoured this story and I hope you’ll take a chance on it. Right now, M.L. has been kind enough to offer the Kindle version of Sayan Knights for free (11/19 – 11/21) while we promote her book inspired candle. But before you go, grab a cuppa and take a few minutes to read my interview with author, M.L. Gardner. She’s a wonderful person!
Hi, M.L! Thanks so much for taking some time to talk with me and my readers. I’d love to start this interview off with some questions about you so we can all get to know you better. Can you tell us a little about how you became a writer? Has writing always been your passion?
I didn’t start writing seriously until I was in my thirties. I loved to write stories as a child, but after a traumatic experience I stopped for twenty years. I wrote a blog post on it, explaining it in detail to my readers. If you’re interested in gory details (and the humor I managed to find in it) you can read it here.
I’m always intrigued with a writer’s process. How do you write and what inspires you in your writing?
Most of my ideas come at random times in random places and lack manners as they like to interrupt whatever I might be doing and demand attention. In the case of Sayan Knights, I had that idea driving through the Cascade mountains and envisioned a small village. The ideas will roll together and start to fit into a very general summary that I can pitch to Lisa (best friend and co-plotter) and we can usually expand the idea. After that, I do a two page summary with more detail and a clear beginning middle and end. That’s when we know if it is a viable project. If it is, I break it down into scenes with a lot more detail. I use Scrivner and I’m able to transfer those notebook scribbles into a file and start working.
You have a great blog where you talk about all sorts of interesting things, to include your family. As a mom myself, I know that I have a few guilty pleasures to balance all the things I do to support my family. What are your guilty pleasures?
My cats. I have four, which is a good start. Honestly I take cat adoration to a level that accurately earns me the Crazy Cat Lady title and I’m proud of it.
I do have a lot of hobbies that I use to de-stress. While I am a writer, that is only one of the things that make up “me”. Home and family is everything and when I’m not writing I’m doing a host of other things, my favorite being carpentry. It’s my Prozac and my cure for writers block. I just had a nasty bout of block, actually and the result was a seven foot tall pioneer style baking hutch and a lot of ideas.
Let’s switch gears here and talk about your books, specifically Sayan Knights. I really enjoyed it! I know my readers would love to hear how you came up with the story and where the storyline is headed in book two of the series, Anareta.
I’m so glad you liked it! The concept for Sayan came to me while driving through the Cascade Mountains about three years ago. I passed by a beautiful green valley deep in the mountains and pictured a village functioning in the 18th century (or thereabouts). I wondered what they were doing there. The answer? They were hiding. Well, why? I asked. (Yes, I talk to myself in the car. Thanks to bluetooths, no one thinks this is strange.) Hmm. Why. Well, they’d have to really hate large populated areas to live so inconveniently. As I came out of the mountains and saw Seattle in the distance, the stark contrast gave me an idea.
At first I thought I might venture further into the past and write this village’s story. But after seeing the city, I realized that not only did the village and the city exist together, they existed together in the future. I grabbed my phone, called Lisa and pitched the idea.
Anareta will reveal a lot more about Nicholi and Quinn. It also takes the reader closer to the city, giving them more of an idea of what this future dystopian world looks like. There are a few sideline characters who begin to play a much bigger role as well.
Sayan Knights is the first book of it’s own series, but you have a popular series already written – the 1929 Series. I’ve just started book one and can tell I’m going to really like it. Can you give my readers an overview of this series?
The 1929 Series is set in the Great Depression. It follows three couples who lose everything in the stock market crash, face trials and adversity and highlights the ingenuity it takes to survive and start a new life. Since completing it I have dubbed it the “genre-jumping” series with something for everyone.
When we began working together, you told me you wanted a candle for Nicholi, the main male character in Sayan Knights. Why did you choose his character?
Nicholi is a strong, commanding character. He knows what he wants and he will go after it. I don’t think that we so much wanted him to have a candle first, but rather he demanded it.
Finally, I always like to share with my readers what authors are reading. They love book recommendations! Do you have a favorite series or author? What was the last book you read that you’ve been telling everyone about?
Well, the book I’m currently reading is “The Complete Outdoor Building Book” by John Burton Brimer. I’m trying to get plans together for spring furniture and patio landscaping. However I did just finish “Written in My Own Heart’s Blood” by Diana Gabaldon and loved it. That one I do tell people about.
Thanks again for taking time to talk with me today. It was a pleasure to work with you on your book inspired candle and to read Sayan Knights!
Thank you. I absolutely love the candle you created. I couldn’t be more pleased!