Monday, January 2, 2012
Interview with Historical Fiction Author April Gardner
“Wounded Spirits is a powerful story of love, loyalty, the effects of war, and faith in God. The writing is vivid and compelling. The characters were so real I felt I knew them, and I was caught up in their lives and compelled to read on. The ending was sweet yet realistic. The story and its characters will stay with me for a long time.” --Author Melanie Dickerson
Hello, April. You have a new series called "Creek Country Saga." Please tell us about the first book, Wounded Spirits.
A loyal warrior, Totka takes scalps with little compunction. When beautiful and courageous Adela is placed in his charge, his hands are already bloody with guilt. He’s certain she could never love him. He’s the enemy, after all, and the source of her grief.
Wow! I love historical fiction. Where did you get your inspiration for this book?
I grew up hearing that my many times great-grandfather was Chief Red Eagle/William Weatherford. Turns out, he’s probably not, but I still cherish the stories of his bravery in the face of Jackson’s overpowering army. It was the story of his extraordinary leap from the bluff that made me wish I could read the account in novel-form. I’d never written more than a high school paper, but I figured that if this particular story was ever going to be written, why not do it myself? Eight years later, I held the book in my hands.
I’m so glad you asked! Warring Spirits just released in November and is already getting some great reviews. It picks up two years after Wounded Spirits. Here’s the back cover blurb: In 1816 Georgia, escaped slaves control the land just beyond the American border in Las Floridas. Lost somewhere between white and black worlds, Milly follows hope to the only place that can offer her refuge—the place Georgians are calling Negro Fort. The first, sweet taste of freedom convinces Milly that surrender is not an option. Death would be more welcome.
Major Phillip Bailey has orders to subdue the uprising and return the runaways to their masters. Forced to fight alongside Creek warriors—the same who etched the scars into his mind and flesh—Phillip primes himself for battle. But inside, a war already rages—return for the woman he thought lost to him, or concede her to the enemy she loves; follow orders or follow his heart.
A Reviewer wrote, “The adventures are so smoothly crafted, the history so wonderfully woven, it's easy to forget that the story and the characters are fiction.” Another reviewer said, “In Wounded Spirits, author April W. Gardner, brings a little-known American historic period and native people to rich imaginative life. Not enough has been written about the noble Creek and their mighty Confederacy.” What kind of research did you have to do to create this story and keep it accurate?
Years and years of it! LOL! But it was so much fun. I have a huge stack of great books including Pickett’s “History of Alabama.” If there was ever an entertaining history book, this is it. Pickett has such a way of writing that his book reads like a story, and it was written during the lifetime of many of the figures he mentions, so he got his facts straight from the “horse’s” mouth. I have Pickett to thank for quite a few of the interesting accounts in Wounded Spirits.
That’s interesting. Thanks for an awesome interview. Okay, now it’s time to tell us something about the real you that we’ll never forget.
I can solve a Rubik’s cube. It takes me about ten minutes, but I can do it! It’s my only claim to braininess.
Hahaha! That’s really something. My husband tried to figure it out several times and it was so hard. He loves a challenge. We both agreed that it must take a genius to figure that thing out. So now we know the real you! The Rubik’s Cube Genius!