I’ve read one book by Jeff Gardiner, but I intended to read all of them. Why? Read my words about the book “A Glimpse of the Numinous”…
“Impressive”, that’s the best description I could come up to label this book.
A Glimpse of the Numinous by Jeff Gardiner gave me the opportunity to travel between genres, images and identities, and with only one ticket. With comedy, romance, thriller, horror, this book it’s a truly marvel of multitasking; it is impossible to get bored during its reading – we are facing an astounding writer.
All in all, A Glimpse of the Numinous is no ordinary book. If you’re searching for linear stories, then this book isn’t for you. But if you want to experience something different, then by all means, buy the book. You will have some much fun.
1. Do you have a specific writing style?
That’s difficult for me to say, and probably easier for an objective reader to analyse. I consciously do not write to a formula or even to a specific genre. I believe great writing can adorn any genre. I’ve read amazing horror, fantasy, detective, literary, romantic and children’s books. I have a very fertile imagination, which feeds into my writing, and I like to think I’m quite good at realistic dialogue, and at creating sympathetic characters. I love using language and some of my book titles are good conversation starters. The word ‘numinous’ sound magical to me, as does ‘Myopia’ – the title of my YA novel. I start a novel with a clear plan of where I want to get to, but love to leave things open and flexible so that the story and characters can ‘come to life’ and sometimes surprise me.
2. What books have most influenced your life?
As a kid I was mesmerised by books such as ‘The Wind in the Willows’ and ‘The Little Grey Men’ (by BB). As I entered adolescence I found Michael Moorcock, which began my lifetime fascination with everything he’s written (see my book ‘The Law of Chaos: the Multiverse of Michael Moorcock’). I developed a passion for stuff by H Rider Haggard, Algernon Blackwood, Charles Dickens, Arthur Machen, Herman Hesse… this list could get enormous. Mervyn Peake’s ‘Gormenghast’ trilogy is a huge influence, as are Moorcock’s masterpieces, ‘Gloriana’ and ‘Mother London’. Graham Joyce’s ‘Tooth Fairy’ is another that stands out for me.
I hope you don’t mind me mentioning the vital role of music in my life, too. For years I’ve listen to rock, metal and prog – especially such artists as Yes, Metallica, Pink Floyd, King Crimson, Hawkwind, Dream Theater and Steven Wilson. Music has inspired me a huge amount, listening, attending gigs, reading lyrics and absorbing artwork. It would be disingenuous of me not to mention the part music has played in my writing.
3. If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Michael Moorcock. He was very kind when I wrote ‘Law of Chaos’, and answered all my idiotic questions very patiently. He writes a lot about writing itself. Stephen King’s book ‘On Writing’ is about the best I’ve read as an aid to writing fiction. I’m with several publishers and each one has a community of authors with whom I share tips; ask and offer advice. The writing community is extremely friendly and helpful.
4. What are your current projects?
I recently signed a three book contract with Accent Press for a YA/crossover fantasy trilogy. The first book is called ‘Pica’ (see what I mean about titles?), which is the Latin name for magpie. These books are set in our modern world but contain characters who have rediscovered an ancient magic linked with the natural world. I’m also keen to write screenplays and have completed a few which are currently being submitted to various agents.
5. How much research do you do?
This depends on the book. My novel ‘Igboland’ is set in Nigeria, inspired by my mum’s diaries from when my parents lived there (I was born in Jos, Nigeria). I decided to research the Igbo culture and the Biafran War, which are very important elements in the narrative, and my research was extensive for both. I learned a huge amount about the Igbo beliefs, known as ‘Odinani’, and some of the horrifying truths about the ethnic cleansing that went on during the Biafran War. One of the characters in ‘Igboland’ is an Igbo woman who is a victim of guerrilla brutality. Sadly, the tragedies continue in Nigeria to this day with the terrifying presence of Boko Haram.
6. Do you write full-time or part-time?
I took voluntary redundancy from my teaching job, which has now afforded me more time. I have to take on other work to make enough money to survive, but it has given me this wonderful opportunity to just get on and write.
I’ve been given the gift of time and space, and must not squander it! I usually get 2-3 days a week when I can get 4-5 hours to concentrate on my writing until the kids get back from school.
I also try to use evenings and early mornings when I can. With six books published and three in the pipeline, plus all my stories in various anthologies and magazines, I think I’m quite prolific.
7. Where do your ideas come from?
I don’t mean this to sound annoying – but from my imagination. Growing up I always assumed everyone had a vivid imagination with a constant internal dialogue. My mind is full of images, colours, voices and musings, which makes it difficult sometimes to have a normal conversation with others, because when someone starts talking to me I have to break whatever intense thread is currently buzzing inside my head. I realise that makes me slightly irritating, and I’m working on it. So all my ideas tend to be personal. The stories in ‘A Glimpse of the Numinous’ are flights of fancy each based on a definite premise: what would the god Dionysus be like in the modern world? What would happen if a man developed a close relationship with a seagull – you know obvious things like that. ‘Myopia’ explores creative responses to bullying; ‘Igboland’ is about personal and national identity; ‘Treading On Dreams’ deals with obsession and unrequited love; ‘One Night in Amsterdam’ (under my pen-name Jaz Hartfield) is a fun-packed erotic romance!
8. How can readers discover more about you and you work?
I have an active online presence and I’d be keen to hear from anyone who’s enjoyed any of my works.