Liana Gardner is the multi-award-winning author. The daughter of a rocket scientist and an artist, Liana combines the traits of both into a quirky yet pragmatic writer and in everything sees the story lurking beneath the surface. Engaged in a battle against leukemia and lymphoma, Liana spends much of her time at home, but allows her imagination to take her wherever she wants to go.
Biggest literary influencers:
Louisa May Alcott, Agatha Christie, Mark Twain, Rita Mae Brown, Barbara Michaels/Elizabeth Peters, Torey Hayden, Joseph Heller
The book that changed your life:
Ammie Come Home was the first adult novel I read that brought the characters to life and invaded my dreams. While reading, my life became entwined with the characters in the book and I realized the power of the words on the page. It made me want to be that kind of writer—one who pulls the reader into the middle of the story and allows them to experience all sorts of emotions they may not otherwise have. With every book I write, I strive to make that connection available to the reader, to provide the reader with the means for catharsis.
Your favorite literary character:
I’m so torn with this question because I have so many favorite characters, but will settle for the one I usually do… Jo March from the Little Women trilogy. Primarily because Jo and I are, in her words, kindred spirits. The passion with which she lived her life, her willingness to try and fail, knowing she wanted to be a writer and all other goals were secondary, love of family, her sense of duty, and never truly giving up. These are the traits I identify with and why I connected with her character so strongly.
Currently working on:
The Star Warriors and the Secret of the Red Key, the first book in the Middle Grade Homeless Myths Series. Five homeless kids struggle to survive the streets of Los Angeles and unwittingly wind up as key players in a life and death struggle to give humanity a second chance.
Words to live by:
Be the Cat is my mantra because if there is something you are passionate about, think about the cat when the cat has a goal. The cat is consumed by what it is trying to achieve; it remains undaunted in the face of obstacles; you can tell it, “No!” a hundred times, and it might twitch an ear and wait for you to get tired, but it never once loses sight of its goal. This is how we need to approach those things we are passionate about … ignoring the naysayers, keeping our focus, and being persistent until we figure out how to best achieve our goals.
Advice to new and aspiring authors:
Read, study, work on your craft in bite-sized pieces because the only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time, and never ever give up.