In April, I received an email from a small publishing company called Seventh Star Press. The company expressed in working with me as a reviewer. While I rarely turn down a review request, when I let the company know that my schedule was full through the spring, I expected them to lose interest in me. After all, there are lots of reviewers out there. They graciously didn’t, accepting my timeframe of August for reviewing two of their publications.
Dragon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The first I’ll post this week. Redheart is a young adult fantasy about a dragon! It’s written by Jackie Gambler, about which I couldn’t find much online. I do have a request in for an interview. It’ll appear here on Friday.
For now, let me tell you a little about Gamber’s childhood. According to her website, she spent a lot of her youth writing. It just her a while to figure out that writing has always played a part in her life.
Along the way to becoming a full-time writer, Gamber received employment as a soldier and later a secretary. Then she became a mom. And now she’s a versatile writer.
Looking at Gamber’s resume, I believe her when she says that’s always dabbled with writing. She’s written flash, short stories, novellas, and full-length novels. Starting a few years ago in 2008, several of her publications have won awards. She’s also written scripts for children’s plays and seasonal vignettes and even produced a multi-media passion play. In addition, you can catch her reviews at EnglishTeaStore. Besides all these, Gambler created a writers’ group, ran a writers’ conference, taught a ten-hour seminar on science and fiction, and helped with student writing contests.
English: Ray Bradbury autograph. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
When asked what authors inspired her, she listed three: Ray Bradbury, Charles Dickens, and Mary Shelley. For her, Shelley was ahead of her time, tying dark themes to emotional issues. As for Bradbury, he wrote fantastic stories with such conviction one must believe them. This quality would be important to someone like Gamber, who writes about mythological creatures such as dragons.
No doubt, part of the inspiration behind the Leland Dragon series is Gamber’s personal interest in genre stories. However, credit must also be given to a dream she had one night of a dragon. That dream stuck in her mind, even after she woke. Eventually, that dream became an introduction to characters, and from those characters, a world.
When asked by Fantasy Review which characters she most identifies with, she responded that “I’m sure bits of me go into all my characters, in secret ways even I don’t understand.” Specifically though, Kallon and his child Sela share her “woe is me” attitude that turns up in the challenges of life. Gamber admits that she doen’t deal well with discouragement, which is perhaps why she tries to find answers in her fiction.
I’ll leave you with one last tidbit. Most authors have outside interests. Gamber is no exception. She loves to knit! She notes in Fantasy Review that so far she’s only tackled scarves and hats, but then she doesn’t do it for the size of the project, rather for the soothing rhythm. Also, her husband and her love weekend motorcycle trips into the country.