Dianne Gardner: Oil Paintings and Fantasy Sagas

Deception Peak: The Ian’s Realm Saga (Book 1) by Dianne Gardner. Available in Paperback, Amazon Kindle and Audiobook formats from PDMI Publishing LLC

Deception Peak Audiobook

Dragon Shield: The Ian’s Realm Saga (Book 2), coming May 2014 from PDMI Publishing LLC.

Dianne Gardner Ian's Realm II Dragon Shield

Dianne Gardner is an author and illustrator for PDMI Publishing LLC. She’s an active member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and the National League of American Pen Women. She has written young adult fantasy novels as well as articles for national magazines and newspapers and is an award winning artist.

Having only been published since 2012, her books, art and productions are taking the dragon by the tail and making wind! Her trailer The Dragon Shield placed as a semi finalist in the Moondance International Film Festival and Dragon Shield is a finalist in the 2014 EPIC Ariana Award for children/YA fantasy.

Dianne is currently working with her prize-winning crew on a screenplay and movie of Cassandra’s Castle.


Good evening, Dianne! Here are my nine questions.

Good evening, Daven! What a pleasure. Thank you for the interview and space on your blog. I appreciate it!

1) What inspired you to write your first story?

As you know, I’m an artist. I have a studio filled to the brim with oil paintings. I sell quite a few, and mostly do commission work, having done quite a few book covers and inside illustrations as well. I always wanted to paint a dragon and I love to paint big. So when I painted Stenhjaert, the 4 ft X 9ft 3-panel oil painting, I knew I had to write about him and the young man, Ian, who tackles him.

Dragon Shield Ian art by Dianne Gardner

Ian Wilson, protagonist of Dianne Gardner’s Ian’s Realm Saga, released by PDMI Publishing LLC

2) Have any events in your stories been inspired by your real-life experiences, or real events which happened to your friends/family?

Many. I’ve lived in the desert, camped in the wilderness, participated in Hopi and Navajo ceremonies, had horses, drove wagons across the desert, climbed mountains and baked bread in a cast iron dutch oven on the coals and many many more. I hope to put all my experiences in my stories at some point!

3) Do you build your fantasy worlds before you begin writing, or do you make adjustments to the fantasy world as you are writing?

I have a pretty good idea what my worlds are going to look like before I start writing. In fact, it’s the worlds that I see that really do inspire my stories. I am always making adjustments though. For instance, in “Altered” Abree and her brother were originally from Socorro, New Mexico, but I needed to get them closer to the border and nearer to the Rio Grande, so I fabricated the town named Sunrise instead, changing the terrain a little and adding some mesquite and ironwood trees.

4) Which character in The Ian’s Realm Saga would you like to be best friends with?

They are all so dear to me, I’m not sure. Ian is like a son. I think the most amazing person is Amleth though. Amleth was designed to look like someone I knew many years ago. I always admired his calm and his sense of justice. He’s one of those characters, at the moment who seem perfect. I do remedy that later in the series when we see him from a different viewpoint in Diary of a Conjurer, book 5 (after Rubies and Robbers).

4) What popular songs capture the essence of your characters?

Every character has a different song. I listen to a lot of Il Divo for the Realm Saga. There isn’t any music that inspired Altered (I wrote it too fast, really) but Pouraka, the story I’m writing now the song Memory is perfect.

5) Which actors do you envision playing your characters?

It’s funny, but I don’t really see any one in particular. Mostly because by the time any of these stories came to being a movie the actors I’d choose now will have all grown up. Most of my main characters are young between 15 and 18. These child stars just grow too fast.

7) What has been the most insightful criticism of your work?

My concept editor Gwen Whiting is always there to tell me where I need more emotion. I have a habit of doing my drafts like a locomotive. I like intense and moving and I think I do it really well. Gwen makes me go back and add emotion and I’m really glad for it! I’m learning to do it on my own now.

8) What is the best compliment you have received about your work?

Oh there have been so many that bring tears to my eyes. The best compliment is when someone really gets the gist of the story…when they tell me the essence, the heart of my work. I’ve had some reviews that have done that and I think that has to be the best compliment for an author!

9) Is there a story you want to write, but haven’t yet?

I want to finish “Pouraka.” It’s a story about mermaids and dolphins and men, and their struggle to coexist in a changing world.

Daven Anderson is the author of the “Vampire Syndrome” saga, released by PDMI Publishing LLC.
Daven also works in PDMI’s marketing department, writing company promotional posts and assisting authors with their social media strategies.

Why I Started Writing

In 1983, a young auto-shop student named Daven Anderson was reading Stephen King’s new novel “Christine.” Daven loved the story, but he found the factual errors King made describing its 1958 Plymouth “protagonist” to be as distracting as they were amusing. Daven swore then that if he ever wrote a novel, it would have no errors in its car descriptions.

Twenty-six years later, Daven borrowed the four Twilight saga novels. Upon reading the ending of “Breaking Dawn,” he thought “I could write something better.” That same day, he laid the foundations for the Vampire Syndrome saga.

Daven started with a brainstorming exercise: “Imagine all your co-workers as vampires.” Daven’s twenty years of working retail offered him a cornucopia of choices, but the most intriguing possibilities for characters were his co-workers with special needs.

Thus was born Jack Wendell, a Special Olympics champion sprinter who becomes a vampire. Since Daven would not settle for writing just a vampire version of Forrest Gump, he needed an antagonistic vampire world that would challenge Jack’s life right from the moment of his transformation.

Enter Lilith, the President of the Vampires; and her husband Damien, the Chief Venator (law enforcer). A couple that challenge each other’s existence, not just Jack’s. Trapped in a 253-year train-wreck of a marriage, which was inspired by the gleeful nihilism of “The War Of The Roses” and “Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry.”

Jack also needed a friend to guide him through the first steps of his new life. Enter Zetania Vinescu, Chief Venator of Romania. Damien orders Zetania to kill Jack. Lilith over-rides her husband and orders Zetania to protect Jack. Zetania forced to play a cat-and-mouse game to save Jack from her fellow Venators.

By the time Daven went to bed that fateful night, he had created the four main characters and several key story elements, all of which are present in the published novels.

The next day, Daven accepted the challenge of reconciling science with the world’s vampire folklore. This ultimately led him to add a race of alien vampires, the Pures, and ascribe certain folkloric attributes (ie: harmed by sunlight and garlic) exclusively to this species.

The Vampire Syndrome saga is the culmination of years of Daven’s meticulous research and story crafting, expertly weaving truth and fiction into a seamless whole as never before. At last, a vampire saga where everything makes sense. And yes, even the cars are accurate, fulfilling the decades-old promise Daven made to himself.

A million people said they could write something “better.” Daven Anderson bought his version of “better” to life, and thanks to PDMI Publishing LLC, you too can read the “better” vampire saga.

A Day That Will Live In Infamy

December 7th is a day that will live in infamy…

…so it’s the perfect day for me to go live as @DavenAnderson on Twitter. 😉

The Twilight Saga: Just The Stares

Finally, Honest Trailers takes us straight to the true essence of the Twilight saga! 😈

(yes, it is a bit surrealist to watch 24+ minutes of staring!)

How to blow a customer’s mind

Today at work, a middle-age male customer had a Breaking Dawn Part 2 Blu-Ray in his shopping cart.

Obviously for his two adolescent daughters, who were with him.

When I finished ringing up the order, I said: “There’s a million people out there who said they could write something better than Twilight. Meet the one who did.”

I handed him a copy of Vampire Syndrome.

They were studying my novel, going “cool”.

The kicker was, they didn’t seem to realize it was my creation until I pointed to my “Daven” name tag, and said “Not too many guys out there with my first name, and as you can see it’s not just a pen name.”

Another copy of my novel, sold! 😀

Breaking Dawn Part 2: Better than the novel?!

Ah, what blasphemies I bring forth unto you! How can such be? The mere thought of a moving picture surpassing the printed word! The canes of discipline beg to strike my posterior in a most aggressive repetition.

Alas, dear readers, it has happened before. Who among us would dare to differ that even Peter Benchley’s sterling work in Jaws lacked a certain instinctual impact that one could only achieve from the witness of a mechanical shark named Bruce? ‘Twas so nice to savor quiet reposes in the deserted waters of the Los Angeles beaches circa 1975 a.d., the would-be throngs of bathers held at bay by the recall of the emerging fin and its ominous tone of accompaniment.

In the darkened twilight of the theatre, the vortex of energy from adolescent hormones would sate the most thirsty of psychic-energy vampires, leaving them full as ticks. 😈

The paid broadcasts before the feature presentation bought forth a most odd twist of what their purchasers suppose to be “demographics”. Who among the adolescent assemblance would know of these painted minstrels of generations past, or for that matter the mechanized magnetic reels used to relay their fortissimo fortitude to the common folk?

After such miscues, it was of most welcome relief to sight the fine lass Mrs. Bella Cullen finally released from her weakened state of servitude to the human condition. Verisimilitude via vampirism, the most dramatic allegory of maturation to the adult state.

And for we, dear readers, the moving picture form releases us from seeing the tale through Bella’s limitations. Differences thereof most readily apparent even years before, guided to ultimate form in the saga’s ultimate film. The screen affixed us in the clairvoyance of Alice, allowing us to visualize the visceral version of a future path not taken. A future surpassing the peaceful forever of the Cullen clan, many would propose. A future satiating the audience’s primordial lust for combat, the ghostly apparitions of gladiators embedded in our collective consciousness, springing forth once more to entertain generations anew.

But let us not forget that it is the printed word that lays the foundation for the visions that we seek.