Tuesday, December 27, 2011
FEATURED AUTHOR: April W. Gardner
April W. Gardner lives in Georgia with her computer nerd Air Force husband, ten year-old bookworm son, and eight year-old art-loving daughter. The Gardners enjoy watching nature shows, visiting national parks, and eating popcorn and chocolate every Friday during family night. April writes her Lizzie stories for God, her precious children, and every other kiddo who loves a good adventure. She is also the author of the Creek Country Saga, an inspirational historical romance series for moms.
How did you start out your writing career?
I started out as a historical romance writer and have just recently branched off to children’s historical adventure. I’m still writing for adults, but feel it’s also important that our children have good quality faith-filled fiction. If it teaches history along the way—all the better!
What did you learn while writing this book?
I learned so much that if I listed it all here, I’d never get to the next question! But the biggie--Not many know that a portion of Great Britain was occupied by the Germans during WWII. They invaded Guernsey Island in 1940 and stayed until 1945, the end of the war. Five years of misery. I learned this vital bit of WWII history from Ruth Davies, the dear lady who lived the experience as an impressionable nine-year old girl. Ruth is my real-life “Lizzie.”
What did you hope to accomplish with this book?
Children learn best through stories. Problem is, kids these days don’t have many “safe” stories they can read. Through the Channel Islands Resistance series, I hope to give them fun, clean stories that teach lessons about faith and family.
Which character did you have the most fun writing about?
Andre Browning is Lizzie’s precocious little brother. From his bouncing blond curls to his carefree and trusting disposition, Andre is absolutely precious. He is based loosely on Ruth’s younger brother, Les.
What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?
Interesting question! I’d never thought about it before, but I suppose it would have to be the longing to connect with readers and get their feedback.
What aspect of writing do you love the best, and which do you hate the most?
Finally being able to share a story that I’ve labored over and that’s dear to my heart is THE BEST. The worst? Marketing. Don’t even get me started on the drudgery of marketing!
What are three things you wish you’d known before you reached where you are now?
1. Writing is only the beginning of writing.
2. The quality of the book has little to do with the size of the publishing house.
3. My true value resides in Christ.
Can you give us one do and one don’t for those aspiring to be a writer?
Do constantly hone your craft. We never “arrive.”
Don’t give up. If you love to write, then do it, regardless of how “successful” you are.
What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand?
Writers live in two worlds--the real one and the one inside their heads. Don’t be afraid of us. Embrace our weirdness.
When you're not writing, what do you like to do in your spare time?
Organize my home. Hang out with my girlfriends. Read!
What do you do to interact with your readers?
I blog! Come visit me at http://www.aprilwgardner.com/.
Oprah always asks, What do you know for sure?
In the words of Don Piper, “Heaven is real. Jesus is the way.”
Can you give us a sneak peek of your next book?
Lizzie and the Forbidden Crystals is the next book in the series. Lizzie and the gang discover contraband crystal production in their own backyards. Before long, they’re tangled in the middle of it, transporting them across town in their schools satchels. But what do the crystals do, and why do the Germans forbid them? If the soldiers catch the kids, it could mean immediate transport from the island, and those already taken to the horrid work camps in Germany have yet return.
How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)
I adore hearing from readers! They can reach me here:
Lizzie and the Guernsey Gang
Lizzie Browning loves nothing more than her tiny, island-home of Guernsey, but when German bombs drop on her crystal beach, her peaceful world is shattered. For months, the big war on the continent has been nothing more than stories in the paper, but as the enemy takes over Guernsey, the war rushes to her doorstep. For Lizzie, younger brother Andre, and cousin James, the time to escape is now, and they know just how to do it.
Phillip Seifert, the odd boy from down the street, has all the markings of a genuine Nazi-lover. Lizzie knows better than to trust him, but he somehow manages to weasel his way into James’ good graces. Phillip joins the gang in their audacious escape plan, and Lizzie can do little more than pray he doesn’t get them all shot. But Lizzie soon learns that God doesn’t always answer prayers in the way she expects. He might actually plan for them to live under Nazi rule…forever.
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