1. Can you tell us a little what your story, "Wolf Call," is about?
"Wolf Call" draws on my love of several quite disparate things--Elvis, werewolves, sushi, and Halloween! I never thought I'd find the flavor of them all in a single story, so I decided to write my own. I'm hoping that it's pure fun to read, as it was to write!
2. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
My inspiration as a writer is actually the same inspiration I have as a reader: I love a good story! From childhood I've loved exploring story worlds and having adventures with characters--it's so magical I'm inspired to create my own. Also, my father, Delbert R. Gardner, was a poet and writer and an English literature/creative writing professor who loved reading me books and had a great reading and singing voice. He introduced me to so many magical lands, and inspired my love of reading as well as writing. From the time I was small, I wanted to be a writer like my father--and create books as good as those I loved best! I'm not sure I've achieved that second goal yet, but it sure is fun trying. I'm also a cataloging librarian at a public library, where I get to see a lot of the exciting new books coming out, which is great both as a writer and a reader.
3. What is your inspiration for writing as a whole?
My dad is a huge inspiration for me, in all aspects of life; he was a World War II veteran and had seen a lot, including the Great Depression, that gave him a great outlook and loving attitude. But we both shared a passion for writing. He guided and taught me with my writing throughout my life, offering critiques on a level appropriate to my age and development, showing me the ropes with submissions (including how not to get discouraged), and so much more. In his last years, when submissions became too difficult for him, I stepped in as his agent, and we began to collaborate on a number of projects. That work continues (look for more poetry and fiction from us in the future). In addition to a number of solo publications for Dad, such as his Rhysling-nominated "The Meek Shall Inherit. . . (The Earthworm Speaks)" in Goblin Fruit, Summer 2009, we've had several Father and Daughter special features, including those in Songs of Eretz Poetry Review.
4. Any new work we should keep an eye out for?
Keep an eye out for Virginia Is for Mysteries, Volume II (Ed. Sisters in Crime), which includes a Halloween-ghost story-mystery of mine titled, "The Witches' Bridge," due out from Koehler Books in February 2016.
If you'd like to listen to other podcasts of my work, my story, "Fine Flying Things," appears on Podcastle 260, May 15, 2013. In addition to my other Third Flatiron publications (Astronomical Odds and Playing with Fire), I also have recent stories in Zen of the Dead (Ed. Lester Smith) from Popcorn Press and Torn Pages (Ed. Brandon H. Bell and Christopher Fletcher) from Weird Bard Press. Some of my recent poems appear in Abyss & Apex, NewMyths.com, and James Gunn's Ad Astra.
5. (And just for Juli's curiosity: What are you reading now?)
I'm frequently reading several books at once. Right now I'm thoroughly enjoying Vulcan's Glory by D. C. Fontana (one of my favorite writers for the classic Star Trek episodes), The Winds of War by Herman Wouk, and A Quiet Shelter There (Ed. Gerri Leen; I have a poem in the book; the stories are excellent).
Editor's Note: If you enjoyed this story, you might be interested in reading the whole anthology, Ain't Superstitious, with many more great stories. It's available on Amazon and Smashwords.
Copyright Third Flatiron Publishing 2015