Thursday, 17 April 2014

Guest Interview with Jeff Gardiner

I had the pleasure recently to chat with Tirgearr author Jeff Gardiner and ask him a bit about his writing. Below are some of the questions I asked him.

Mary Bradford: Tell us a little about yourself, where are you from, do you still live there?
Jeff Gardiner: I was born in Jos, Nigeria, but left when I was young (my parents were missionaries out there). I’ve lived most of my life in the UK, mostly in South-West London. My teenage years were spent in Ealing, which is considered the ‘Queen of the Suburbs’. I now live in West Sussex. Other than writing and spending time with my children, I listen to a lot of rock music and watch films. I love films from every decade and culture.

MB: Have you a favourite author?
JG: Michael Moorcock is a big influence because he breaks down genre boundaries. He’s always considered to be a fantasy author, but his mainstream fiction such as ‘Mother London’, ‘Gloriana’ and the Col. Pyat sequence are really his finest achievements. My book about his works will be coming out later this year, entitled ‘The Law of Chaos: the Multiverse of Michael Moorcock’. Another writer whose books excite me is Haruki Murakami.

MB: When did you start writing, are you a full-time writer?
JGAs a teenager, I wrote smug, self-obsessed poetry that I really should consider destroying, before someone else sees it. I won a fiction competition and had another story published in my early thirties, then a collection of my stories published (horror, romance, humour – an eclectic mix). My first novel, ‘Myopia’, is a finalist in The People’s Book Prize, which is exciting. I wish I was a fulltime writer, but I teach part-time. This leaves me one day a week to concentrate on my writing, which is great, but also very frustrating.

MB: Do you have a set time for writing? Are you a morning or evening writer?
JGI have children, so it’s a matter of working around them. Evenings work best for me because the kids get up early. I’ve realised how important it is to use every moment you have. Procrastination is your greatest enemy.

MB: Tell us a little about your latest work.
JG‘Treading On Dreams’ (Tirgearr Publishing) is a coming-of-age novel about obsession and unrequited love. Donny is a sensitive man, in love with Selena who is too perfect for him. He quickly learns that he’s going to have to toughen up if he wants to impress her. It’s the eternal question: how do you respond when someone doesn’t feel the same way about you? Do you give up?
Igboland’ (Crooked Cat Books) is set in Nigeria during the Biafran War. Lydia is a missionary’s wife who gets caught up in conflict and passion as she attempts to create her own identity, thousands of miles from her home in England.

MB: Do your books require much research?
JG‘Igboland’ required a great deal of research into Igbo culture and beliefs, which
are fascinating. The protagonist, Lydia, becomes inspired by two Igbos she gets to know – Grace, a victim of the war, and Kwemto, a local doctor. Igbo spiritual beliefs, known as Odinani, are very interesting. We in the west could learn a great deal from their profound view on life and the world around us.

MB: Where can we buy/see your work?
JG: Below are the links to my various author pages and sites for my books
Jeff’s Website:

MB: What an interesting life you have Jeff and your books sound wonderful. It was very good of you to give us some of your valuable writing time to do this interview, it is much appreciated. I hope you will come back again to keep us up to date with your work. 
JGThanks for inviting me over to you blog. All the best.


  1. Congrats on your recent releases, Jeff.

    That's so interesting that you were born in Nigeria to missionary parents. Do you have memories from your childhood there? And do you ever think you'd like to return to live...even if for a short time?

    1. Thanks, Kem. I'd love to go back, but the country is still very unsettled politically. Nigeria gets a bad press due to corruption and bombing that makes news headlines. However, many Nigerians have found great success in the arts, sport and business world-wide. Hopefully one day I will get to explore my spiritual home.

    2. It's always something ruining beautiful places. It's incredible that that part of the world (generally around Africa and the Middle East) that is still to wartorn when the rest of the world is learning to get along. It's a shame you're unable to go back for any length of time because of it. It's the place of your birth. You should be able to return without fear. I hope you can one day.

  2. Nice interview, Mary and Jeff. Lovely to read about your background and writing, Jeff. I love films too and studied British Film History as part of a degree! Your books sound very interesting.

  3. Congratulation Jeff. Nice to get to know you better on Mary's blog.
    Best of luck with your sales.

  4. Thank you Rosemary and Cathy. Good luck to you both.

  5. Thank you all for dropping by. :)

  6. I'm sure it is frustrating being a part-time writer but think how wonderful it is that you have the support of your job to make the writing just that little bit more 'voluntary'. Sounds like you have a fascinating history - we could almost be twins! I lived in Ealing in the 90s and before that went to school in West Susses but I can't claim the Nigeria bit! Ah, we've all written self-obsessed poetry. It's what forms us into who we are (I once wrote a poem from the point of view of a WWI soldier - how presumptuous is that?) but your books sound very interesting and well researched...

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