books of the month desmond elliott 2017 eligible curtis sittenfeld make the most of Lovereading before the fall
Search our site
Lily and the Octopus by Steven Rowley Read the opening extract of the brand new Steven Rowley book before its publication on 05/10/2017

Lisa Gardner Book and Novel

Lisa Gardner - Author


Lisa Gardner was our Guest Editor in January 2011 - click here - to see the books that inspired her writing.

Lisa Gardner has made a name for herself writing very dark novels but the first books she wrote were romance novels – but she decided that she wanted to write suspense books ‘where she could kill lots of people’.

She had various jobs ranging from waitress to management consultant but loathed morning commutes, claustrophobic cubicles and unsympathetic bosses. The only good things were my coworkers and a fresh appreciation of Dilbert cartoons. Lisa now lives in New Hampshire with her husband, who loves auto-racing and black-diamond skiing, and their young daughter.

Author photo © John Earle

Below is a Q&A with this author.

What’s the first book you remember reading? I remember being twelve years old and reading M.M. Kaye’s The Far Pavilions. I was completely enthralled by that book, the way she made the setting, history, and characters come so richly alive. I reread it every few years, and every few years I’m entranced all over again.

Where do you live? And why? I grew up in Oregon, enjoying the luxurious landscape of the Pacific Northwest. When it was time to apply for colleges, however, I was ready for a change. I chose a school back east so I could experience a different slice of American life. It turned out I loved New England living as well. Great history, great beaches, great mountains. I still thought I’d return to Oregon someday, but then I met a particular New England man, and my fate was sealed.

What’s the greatest influence on your writing? Reading. I think that’s the only way to truly learn and digest popular fiction – you have to read, anything, everything, it all helps. I read cereal boxes, entertainment magazines, and Pulitzer-Prize-winning fiction. I love non-fiction, I love historical epics, I love fantasy, westerns, mystery and romance. Basically, I worship the printed word. If you’re going to be in this business, you might as well be passionate about it.

Where do you write? I’m blessed to have my own office. This is a nice change of pace from the days when I worked out of my bedroom. To work and sleep in the same place is to become a very dull person.

Typewriter, Word Processor, or pen? Definitely a word processor. If you saw my handwriting, you’d know why.

What educational qualifications do you have? Have you had any formal tuition in creative writing? If so, where and what? Did you find it useful? Since I sold my first novel while in college, most people assume I studied English. In fact, I graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in International Relations. I did take some English classes, but the formal educational track for writing focuses too much on the literary world for my tastes; you study all the dead white men – Faulkner, Hemingway, Fitzgerald. I love their work, but as a writer I’ve always been drawn to popular fiction. I didn’t want to be Hemingway; I wanted to be Stephen King. As a writing path, commercial fiction is something you must pursue on your own.

Did you always want to be an author? If not, what did you originally want to be and when and why did you change your mind? I’ve definitely always wanted to be a writer. I don’t think it’s something you do, but someone you are. In my case, it was always a little strange as I was raised by two accountants to pursue practical things in life. Starving for your art, living beneath the poverty line – not very practical in an accountant’s world. So I confess, I did the conservative thing and became a business consultant first. But writing continued to call to me, and I found I spent more time writing books than preparing presentations. So I finally gave in and took the plunge. I have to say, becoming a full-time writer is the best thing I ever did.

What were the first pieces of writing that you produced? e.g. short stories, school magazine etc. Growing up, I wrote a lot of really bad poetry. Then I joined the high school newspaper staff where I learned to craft short, well-disciplined essays. I feel as if I still use both skill sets – poetry helped teach me narrative drive, while newspaper articles helped me hone a concise logic flow.

How do you write each novel – i.e. do you block out the narrative first, take each page at a time, create the central character, build a cast of characters? Each novel develops in its own way. Some books come to me as a character first, some as a crime first. Either way works for me. I try to balance plot with character in my novels, so both elements are equally important.

In the case of my upcoming novel, Alone, I started with an idea for a character – a woman who is sympathetic but disturbing, alluring but cold, courageous but frightening. I basically concocted a series of crimes that made this woman either the unluckiest person in the world – or the most dangerous. I then came up with two plausible endings – one that convicted her, one that exonerated her. Then I started writing to see which ending would prevail. It was neat to work on a project that at any time could go either way.

Any anecdotes about the research or writing of your books? Research remains my favourite part of writing. For The Killing Hour, I spent several days at Quantico getting to know the FBI Academy. I also converted a team of US Geological Survey members to evil. Yep, I literally met a hydrologist on an airplane, told him I needed all sorts of geological information to commit a series of murders, and he cheerfully lined up a team of experts to assist me. My husband and I then spent a week walking the wilds of Virginia with five strangers, looking at the best places to kill people while determining the most logical clues. The geologists were incredibly cooperative and we all had a blast. People really are nice…in a crafty sort of way.

Have any of your books been televised or made into films? Who by and when were they screened? I just had a novel, The Survivors Club, air as a TV-movie in the United States. It starred Roma Downey of Touched by an Angel fame. They did a fabulous job and I was very impressed.

Also, several years back, my first suspense novel, The Perfect Husband, became the German-made TV-movie, Instinct to Kill, starring Mark Dacascos. There’s a lot more nudity on European TV. Needless to say, my husband thought the movie was riveting!

What is a typical writing day? Get up, eat, grab coffee, head to the office. Stare at the computer screen waiting for inspiration to strike. Decide to check e-mail instead. Stare at the computer screen some more. Decide to play computer solitaire instead. Stare at computer screen again. Decide it’s time for lunch. Return to office, check more e-mail, check Amazon.com sales rankings, check e-mail one last time, really stare hard at computer screen now. Decide it’s time for tea. Return to office, check e-mail again. Finally glance at the clock, note the late hour and totally panic. Write furiously.

What is your favourite website besides your own and www.orionbooks.co.uk?
I love www.google.com. One of the best research tools around.

What do you do when you are not writing? How do you relax? What are your hobbies? I used to spend a lot of time gardening and hiking; I love being outdoors. A year ago, however, I gave birth to my first child who now dictates all my waking hours. In the good news department, she also loves being outdoors. In the bad news department, her concept of gardening is to rip all the pretty flowers off their stems. But we’re trying.

Have you started your next book? Can you tell us a little bit about it? I just completed my next novel, Alone, which will be available from Orion in February 2005. I’m horrible at summarizing my own books, but I’ll give it a try:

So there’s a hero, Bobby Dodge, who is a designated sniper with the Massachusetts State Police. He’s called out to a domestic barricade situation, where a father is holding his wife and son at gunpoint. In the course of events, it appears the husband is about to kill his wife, so following the guidelines for proper use of deadly force, Bobby shoots the man dead.

Immediately afterward, allegations surface that the husband wasn’t the threat that night – the wife was. She’s been abusing the son. The husband was only trying to save his child’s life.

That central mystery drives the rest of the novel. What was really going on that night? Who is the real threat in this family? And what does it mean to spend the rest of your life wondering if you killed the right man?

It’s kind of a fun novel. Bobby’s one very sexy man, while the women in the book are just plain dangerous.

If you like Lisa Gardner you might also like to read books by Lynn S Hightower, C. J. Box and Tess Gerritsen.

Featured Books, with extracts, by Lisa Gardner

Crash & Burn by Lisa Gardner
Crash & Burn
Lisa Gardner
A psychological thriller with a very clever plot line. You, the reader, will formulate many different scenarios and theories which will ‘crash and burn’ one by one as a new detail is revealed by Nicky’s returning memory. She, poor girl,...
Format: Hardback - Released: 16/07/2015
Crash & Burn by Lisa Gardner
Crash & Burn
Lisa Gardner
A psychological thriller with a very clever plot line. You, the reader, will formulate many different scenarios and theories which will ‘crash and burn’ one by one as a new detail is revealed by Nicky’s returning memory. She, poor girl,...
Format: Paperback - Released: 16/07/2015
Fear Nothing by Lisa Gardner
Fear Nothing
Lisa Gardner
An injured detective, a pain management therapist who can feel no pain and a convicted murderer, three strong, independent women each with their own individual vulnerability. Tense, well-paced and utterly absorbing, this is a tale of sisters, of nature v...
Format: Paperback - Released: 23/10/2014
Fear Nothing by Lisa Gardner
Fear Nothing
Lisa Gardner
An injured detective, a pain management therapist who can feel no pain and a convicted murderer, three strong, independent women each with their own individual vulnerability. Tense, well-paced and utterly absorbing, this is a tale of sisters, of nature v...
Format: Hardback - Released: 07/01/2014
Touch & Go by Lisa Gardner
Touch & Go
Lisa Gardner
Sarah Broadhurst's view... A family disappears and Tessa Leoni is called in to investigate. With no witnesses to the abduction, no obvious motive and so far no ransom demand, the family seemed to have just vanished without trace. So...
Format: Paperback - Released: 24/10/2013
The Killing Hour by Lisa Gardner
The Killing Hour
Lisa Gardner
HEADLINE'S LATEST AMAZING THRILLER ACQUISITION: New York Times bestseller Lisa Gardner's backlist moves to Headline with the fourth book in the FBI Profiler series, THE KILLING HOUR.
Format: Paperback - Released: 11/10/2012
Catch Me by Lisa Gardner
Catch Me
Lisa Gardner
The latest brilliant novel in the D.D. Warren series from Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller Lisa Gardner.
Format: Hardback - Released: 02/02/2012
Love You More by Lisa Gardner
Love You More
Lisa Gardner
Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller Lisa Gardner returns with her brand new D.D. Warren paperback, LOVE YOU MORE.
Format: Paperback - Released: 31/01/2012
Live to Tell by Lisa Gardner
Live to Tell
Lisa Gardner
January 2011 Book of the Month. Incredibly suspenseful but much more than that Lisa Gardner has a superb way of slowly turning the screw as she reveals more of the...
Format: Paperback - Released: 20/01/2011
Hide by Lisa Gardner
Hide
Lisa Gardner
I have been reading this American thriller writer for some years, watching her books get better and better and knowing that a truly excellent one would come … well, here it is, her best yet. A mass grave of six...
Format: Paperback - Released: 04/03/2010
The Neighbour by Lisa Gardner
The Neighbour
Lisa Gardner
A riveting book that I found hard to put down. A young mother disappears in a novel that explores how physical and sexual abuse can have a devastating effect on future relationships and how we protect ourselves from past memories. ...
Format: Paperback - Released: 04/03/2010
Say Goodbye by Lisa Gardner
Say Goodbye
Lisa Gardner
This American crime novelist is top notch. Tension ratchets up wickedly, it’s hair-tingling stuff and compulsive, addictive, inventive, surprising and very clever. It’s not a book to be missed. However, if you’re arachnophobic then don’t read it. Comparison:...
Format: Paperback - Released: 04/03/2010
The Survivors Club by Lisa Gardner
The Survivors Club
Lisa Gardner
A gripping page turner with plenty of characters and plot twists to get caught up in. The Survivor’s Club have formed as victims of a serial rapist who is then shot dead on the day his trial is due to...
Format: Paperback - Released: 04/03/2010
Alone by Lisa Gardner
Alone
Lisa Gardner
For 300-some pages, Gardner will keep you spellbound—not just by her plot but by the beautifully realized character of Massachusetts police sniper Bobby Dodge. A twisted, effective psychological thriller. Comparison: Tami Hoag.Similar this month: Jeff Abbott,...
Format: Paperback - Released: 04/03/2010
Hide by Lisa Gardner
Hide
Lisa Gardner
I have been reading this American thriller writer for some years, watching her books get better and better and knowing that a truly excellent one would come … well, here it is, her best yet. A mass grave of six...
Format: Paperback - Released: 04/03/2010
The Killing Hour by Lisa Gardner
The Killing Hour
Lisa Gardner
We believe this will be Lisa’s breakthrough thriller. It introduces a new and likeable crime heroine, Kimberley Quincy. Quincy / Rainie series: 1. The Perfect Husband 2. The Third Victim 3. The Next...
Format: Paperback - Released: 04/03/2010
Gone by Lisa Gardner
Gone
Lisa Gardner
A gripping read which keeps you guessing for most of the book. It is the story of a hunt for a missing woman and child, with red-herrings galore. Pierce Quincy, a retired FBI profiler and who has featured in previous...
Format: Paperback (a Format) - Released: 04/03/2010
Say Goodbye by Lisa Gardner
Say Goodbye
Lisa Gardner
This American crime novelist is top notch. Tension ratchets up wickedly, it’s hair-tingling stuff and compulsive, addictive, inventive, surprising and very clever. It’s not a book to be missed. However, if you’re arachnophobic then don’t read it. Comparison:...
Format: Paperback - Released: 05/03/2009
Say Goodbye by Lisa Gardner
Say Goodbye
Lisa Gardner
Maybe not one for the 'arachnophobes' amongst us. A man is taking prostitutes and requesting they allow his pet spiders to crawl on them, a “harmless fetish” you might say but the prostitutes are starting to go missing. FBI Agent...
Format: Hardback - Released: 24/07/2008
Hide by Lisa Gardner
Hide
Lisa Gardner
Hide puts a whole new spin on the meaning of identity in her latest novel. Who we are is just one part of the story. How we became who we are is the focus. We’re taken all around Boston...
Format: Hardback - Released: 07/02/2007
Gone by Lisa Gardner
Gone
Lisa Gardner
A gripping read which keeps you guessing for most of the book. It is the story of a hunt for a missing woman and child, with red-herrings galore. Pierce Quincy, a retired FBI profiler and who has featured in previous...
Format: Paperback (a Format) - Released: 04/10/2006
The Survivors Club by Lisa Gardner
The Survivors Club
Lisa Gardner
A gripping page turner with plenty of characters and plot twists to get caught up in. The Survivor’s Club have formed as victims of a serial rapist who is then shot dead on the day his trial is due to...
Format: Paperback - Released: 16/02/2006
Alone by Lisa Gardner
Alone
Lisa Gardner
For 300-some pages, Gardner will keep you spellbound—not just by her plot but by the beautifully realized character of Massachusetts police sniper Bobby Dodge. A twisted, effective psychological thriller. Comparison: Tami Hoag.Similar this month: Jeff Abbott,...
Format: Paperback - Released: 19/10/2005
Alone by Lisa Gardner
Alone
Lisa Gardner
For 300-some pages, Gardner will keep you spellbound—not just by her plot but by the beautifully realized character of Massachusetts police sniper Bobby Dodge. A twisted, effective psychological thriller. D.D. Warren series:1. Alone2. Hide3....
Format: Hardback - Released: 17/02/2005
The Killing Hour by Lisa Gardner
The Killing Hour
Lisa Gardner
We believe this will be Lisa’s breakthrough thriller. It introduces a new and likeable crime heroine, Kimberley Quincy. Quincy / Rainie series: 1. The Perfect Husband 2. The Third Victim 3. The Next...
Format: Paperback - Released: 21/10/2004

Loading other books by Lisa Gardner...


Author Info

Author's Website

www.lisagardner.com

Author's Facebook

Find Lisa Gardner on Facebook

Author's Facebook Latest

Loading facebook updates...
Loading twitter updates...

Did you know

At Lovereading you can download and read an Opening Extract and an online review of books by Lisa Gardner and hundreds of other authors.

Author 'Like for Like' recommendations


You can trust Lovereading to show unbiased reviews by actual, ordinary readers that help likeminded booklovers choose their next great read.

Linda Hill

Lovereading is an amazing place to be, the website is wonderful and to me if I'm sad I'll go here and it cheers me up!

Sophia Upton

Discover new authors and enjoy old favourites; oodles of literary gems to uncover at Lovereading with candid reviews from real reviewers.

Emily Wright

My horizons have been broadened by some of the books I have been lucky to review and I expect it to be no different in the future.

Daran Bellingham

It is a website dedicated to those who adore reading It really is a one stop shop for book lovers. Love it!

Edel Waugh

I love Lovereading because I get to read great books and then get to tell everybody how good they are.

Sally Doel

I love 'try before you buy' extracts. I love the wide range of authors & genres. I love the author info. I love books!

Judi Davies

The books for review are always great reads, brilliantly written, and introduces me to a huge variety of, established and new, authors.

Lesley Hart

Lovereading4kids

Lovereading4schools