Monday, February 22, 2016

Erika Gardner, Author and Guest Blogger

My guest blogger today is Erika Gardner, author of THE DRAGON IN THE GARDEN, published by Tirgearr Publishing. Here is Erika's fascinating take on how she--and other authors--choose their genre. Or do they choose it?

You Don’t Get To Pick The Genre… The Genre Picks You- Sort of Like a Stray Cat

I love books. I unabashedly, unapologetically adore them. I delight in reading them, dreaming tall tales up, and then writing them down. Stories make me happy and if you are following the lovely Elizabeth’s blog I am guessing it is the same for you. At least the reading part anyway.

Liz writes in some of my favorite genres. The sweep and happy ending of a good romance or the satisfaction of a mystery unraveled just right are the elements that make me curl up on the couch, cup of tea by my side and a book in my lap. They are also two of the reasons that my house appears to have been built of books. My poor husband has given up on building me any more book shelves.

My very favorite genre is fantasy. Not surprisingly, this is what I write. I have frequently had well-meaning friends bound up to me and say, “I have a great idea for your next book!” or “You should write a *insert genre here*.” It doesn’t work that way. Liz would likely back me up. My story telling voice simply won’t do romance, or cozy mystery, or thriller. There is a remote possibility that I could write a ghost story, but then, ghosts fit in quite nicely with my usual fare: wizards, phoenixes, sirens, a chupacabra or two, you get the idea. My novel The Dragon in The Garden contains a dragon (obviously), fallen angels, fairies, demons, a Valkyrie, even some gryphons- just your basic Erika day at the office.

This book started out a children’s book. I had intended it to be middle grade. This lovely idea came to me. A little girl wandering her grandmother’s garden, touching the various garden statues, smelling the flowers until she realizes that there is one statue that is special. It is not a simple figure made of stone; it is a dragon in hiding. I’ve included a picture of the actual figurine that inspired the book. The child, named Siobhan, calls the dragon Daisy and they become friends. Siobhan has a talent, no magical powers, just a special ability. She can see the absolute truth. She sees through lies, illusions, even spells.