Jim Gardner lives in rural, southern Illinois on a pond in the woods. Depending on the day, he can be found on a tractor in a hay field, sorting cattle in a dusty, fly filled stockade or teaching High school History.
His short story October Horse October Baby was selected for publication by Writers Digest. His non fiction articles can be found in Hoosier Family Living and South Eastern Illinois Family Living.
"I always found creek beds and the contents of abandoned houses more interesting than a playground. There is a presence on old farms. You can feel it when an owl drops from the high branches of trees silhouetted by the moon and in the silence of places which time has abandoned but men once toiled."
Describe your desk
My desk is a section of my loft that looks out over the house below me. It helps me to have space. My other 'desk' is my screen porch. I have a few framed photos of family members and ancestors on my desk along with random old photos. I have long side section with handwritten notes.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in two different places. My family lived in northern Illinois where we had a house surrounded by dense woods. My brother and i spent hours year around in those woods. In the summer, I also spent time in southern Illinois on my grandparent's farm. This was probably the most significant influence on my writing. My grandparents were products of the early 20th century. Their way of telling stories, their values and the relics and old structures on their farm shaped my imagination. Deep woods with creeks that sometimes wouldn't see a human visitor for years, were my play ground. Very spooky turf.
A Bargain with Hecate: The appearance of three fully grown trees at the top of the valley brings a never ending dusk on the villagers. One by one, the town elders and friar meet horrific deaths. The villagers only hope may lie with the last survivor of a pagan tribe. Five short stories of dark fiction and altered realities.