My guest today is Meg Gardiner, author of the thriller Into the Black Nowhere, which Stephen King calls “Excellent.”
Meg Gardiner was born in Oklahoma and raised in Santa Barbara, California. She graduated from Stanford University and Stanford Law School. She practiced law in Los Angeles and taught writing at the University of California Santa Barbara. Meg Gardiner is the author of fourteen thrillers.
When did you know you wanted to become a writer and how did it happen?
I wanted to tell stories from the time I learned to speak. After that, becoming a professional writer only took a few decades. I wrote for the high school paper. I took a creative writing class while studying Economics at Stanford. While I was practicing law, I wrote short stories and magazine articles. I started a family and taught legal writing at the University of California Santa Barbara. I began to attend writers’ conferences. Finally, when my kids started school, I decided it was time to put up or shut up, and began working on a novel. After that, it took several more years, and multiple false starts, before I wrote something publishable. I got a literary agent and eventually got a publishing deal, for China Lake.
What do you do in your free time?
Read. Spend time with my family. Hike the Alps, go to London museums, tweet, play Solitaire on my phone.
What was your experience like when you first broke into the publishing world as an author?
Thrilling. It was validation. It was an amazing opportunity to see the story I’d spent years creating find an audience. Then, because I wanted to make writing a career, it became work. And it’s a job I’m immensely lucky to have.
A word of advice for new writers?
Learn the craft. Learn exactly how high the bar is, and how to improve your writing so you can clear it. Persevere.
What is your typical writing day?
2,000 words, come high water, snakebite, or my mother-in-law.
What do you like to read?
Thrillers, political nonfiction, science fiction.