April W Gardner lives in Georgia with her husband and two children. A proud military spouse, Gardner writes books for kids and for their moms. She blogs at Reflections in Hindsight and at Clash of the Ttitles. We’re delighted to have the chance to talk with her!

MTAR: How did you choose the genre you write in?
April: It sorta chose me! I met this amazing woman named Ruth Miller who has an amazing childhood story. When she shared snippets of her time living under Nazi occupation (1940-1945), and I told myself I HAD to know more. Once I sat down with her to get the full story, I just knew I had to write it and even though I my genre was strictly historical romance, I veered into childrens historical adventure just for the sake of this story.

MTAR: Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
April: Brock and Bodie Thoene had the most profound influence on my writing goal, which is to share history through fiction. I never expected to include children in that, but what more worthy goal than to influence children for good?

MTAR: How do you market your work?
April: For my Lizzie book, I’ve found that getting into schools and libraries is the most effective way to reach children. And it’s SO MUCH fun interacting with them. Their enthusiasm and optimism is contagious!!

MTAR: What was your favorite chapter (or scene) to write and why?
April: I think I enjoyed Chapter Two of The Guernsey Gang the most. It depicts the German Luftwaffe (air force) attacking the island and Lizzie and her “gang” getting caught on the beach in the middle of it. It’s Ruth’s real-life story and her memories of that afternoon—as fresh today as they were all those years ago—sparked my imagination in such a way that I almost feel like I experienced it myself.

MTAR: Are there certain characters you would like to go back to, or is there a theme or idea you’d love to work with?
April: I plan to bring all four characters back in the next installment. And the next, and the next, and the next!

MTAR: What has been the response to the book?
April: The best compliment I received recently was this: “I am a firm believer in children’s literature being well-written enough for all ages to enjoy. Children do not need to be ‘talked down to’ in order to understand hard topics. In fact, by challenging their vocabulary and understanding of history, a book can help stretch their imagination and intellect. This book by April Gardner does an excellent job of it.”

MTAR: Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
April: Just keep writing, writing, writing. What do you do? You wriiite! (to the tune of Dory’s “just keep swimming” LOL)

MTAR: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
April: Suzanne Rogers Fenney is a wonderful new, and upcoming author. Check out her YA novel, The Last Great Wizard of Yden!

MTAR: Do you work with an outline, or just write?
April: I tried to write by the seat of my pants once. Never again!! I’m a died-hard outliner.