Author Spotlight: D. L. Gardner

  • an artist, author, screenwriter, and lover of ocean breezes and mountain wildflowers

Readers, let’s give a good, hearty welcome to this week’s guest!

Walking in the woods is her favorite pastime and yes she talks to trees and they talk back, telling her tall tales of faraway places and ancient times. Dianne writes fantasy as you might guess, and she loves tinkering with real history while stirring ethnic legends and mythology into the mix.

With a passion for a good wholesome story, D.L. Gardner also (Dianne Lynn Gardner) dives into the adult and young adult fantasy genres. She is both a best-selling author and an award-winning illustrator who lives in the Pacific Northwest, USA. Dianne loves a book that ignites the imagination, strengthens friendships, spurs courage, and applauds honor. Though she targets her stories for young adults, her books are enjoyed by all ages.

Dianne Gardner is an accomplished artist, novelist, and screenwriter who dabbles in filmmaking. She’s been an artist since she was a child, and has been an apprentice to world-renown artists. Her forte is portraiture and figure, but she also loves to Plein air paint.

Dianne has had a passion for the written word, having indulged in poetry in her young years and loving to write essays at school. She began writing novels in 2013. Dianne writes primarily fantasy novels including all sub-genres, with a love for historical fantasy, but has also written a historical novel based on actual letters by a relative during World War II.

Dianne, thanks for agreeing to be here today. Most interviews start off with the boring stuff, but I know what readers REALLY want to know.

If you could have any pet (real/fantasy/no-allergies/no worries about feeding it) what would it be?

I’m a horse gal and my pet would be one of those big long-maned Andalusians that loves to run on the beach at sunset. It would be our evening ritual and then we’d go hide out in a meadow somewhere away from people, just him and I.

What a classic!

What do you write? And how did you get started?

I write fantasy. I have always loved fantasy stories and traveling to other realms beyond ours. C.S. Lewis wrote “You can make anything by writing” and that has become a theme quote for me.

I wrote my first fantasy novel after deciding I had too many paintings in my studio and had no need to paint anymore. I had always wanted to write a novel, and so this dreary rainy day I booted my computer and started my journey. I have to mention though that as much as I wanted to write a novel, I also wanted to paint a dragon and so I did. And while I painted him, I also painted the story of his conqueror in my mind.

I must admit I’m jealous! To create new worlds in both words AND paint!

What do you like to read?

I like to read a lot of different genres. Historical fiction and fantasy are my favorite genres.

An excellent selection.

Name one commonly accepted piece of writing advice that doesn’t work for you

Write what you know.

I write fantasy. I do a lot of research and pull from my experiences and from the people I meet. But if everything I wrote was what I knew, I wouldn’t be able to write fantasy. That rule just doesn’t fit with the genre.

Exactly. Ground your story in the reality of humanity, but let your imagination soar!

Name one commonly accepted piece of writing advice that works for you

Show, don’t tell.

After writing a draft, my favorite revision is going through my expositions and making it into story. Whenever I need a greater word count, I can rely on those passages that I ‘summarized’, and creating dialogue or a scenario to make it come alive.

Not that there shouldn’t be exposition, but it should be scattered throughout the story and never in one lump and only if it can’t be relayed in some other form.

Those tactics sound familiar to me.

Shameless Self-Promotion time!

Here are only some of the books you can find by DL Gardner.

Book 4 of the Sword of Cho Nisi series drops on April 14th.

Sword of Cho Nisi (Book 1)

Erika, the youngest daughter of a legendary king, aspires to be a warrior and follows her brother to war against the dark wizard. She accidentally kills a king during her first battle and that mistake costs the allegiance of an island whose magic her father’s kingdom needs to win the war. When she attempts to right her wrongs, she instead falls in love with the island’s heir. Arell, at first, has no idea she killed his father but is thrust upon a throne he never wanted, pitted against an enemy he never asked for, is then, once the truth is revealed, is forced to exile the only woman he ever loved. Can the two forget their grievances in time to save their kingdoms?

Ian’s Realm Saga

In another world accessed through modern technology, Ian and Abbi fight the evil forces that hold the Realm inhabitants their prisoners. An adventure fantasy that includes five books four short stories and a novella with another book coming soon.

The Ian’s Realm Saga (Book 1-3)

When reckless Ian enters a portal to another world, he’s thrust into a conflict with dragon worshipers — and an epic battle between good and evil… A magical fantasy collection

When Ian Wilson and his father discover a portal to another world, they venture in. But Ian’s father disappears and Ian is abducted and enslaved by dragon worshipers. Thus begins this adventure fantasy saga.

Hoarfrost to Roses

Adele Johansson is the town outsider, desperate for a chance at redemption… Her parents are murderers, sentenced to hang, and she must live on the charity of an aunt and uncle she barely knows. Her only hope is to marry but how can she do that when she has been forced into a society to which she doesn’t belong?

Grai Madison is on the brink of inheriting a vast fortune until fate steps in… Just before Grai can take command of his grandfather’s estate, he is brutally stabbed and robbed. Left for dead, he is saved by a spirit who takes control of his body to save his life.

When Adele stumbles into the ruins that shelter Grai, she finds a man whose mystery must be unraveled before his would-be killer discovers them both.

Or do they unravel their heartstrings instead?


A magical realism literary novel.

The adaption written by the author was voted Best Screenplay in both the LA Edge Film Awards and European Cinematography Awards 2019 and came in as a finalist New York Cinematography Awards

The family calls Dylan “slow” and his abusive mother claims he’s wicked. He might not think fast. He takes a while to form the words he wants, but Dylan has magic. He can spin marbles from oyster shells, and whip up Chicken Alfredo by tapping his thumbs together. Dylan hopes to be a famous chef someday and put his magic to good use. Unfortunately, the only one to appreciate his supernatural abilities is his loving uncle and caretaker, a disabled Vietnam veteran. When Uncle Jim dies, Dylan is thrust into a world he’s not ready for.

Check out D. L. Gardner across the web!

Website | Art Website | Facebook | Patreon | Youtube | Pinterest | Amazon | Goodreads


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