The Burning Mind: out today in Britain


Hey there, Britain. My new novel The Burning Mind (aka Phantom Instinct) is published today in the UK. You know you want it. Go on. Go on, go on, go on.

The Burning Mind: reviews in Closer magazine and Crimetime

BURNING MIND PICThe Burning Mind (aka Phantom Instinct) will be published in the UK on Thursday. The first reviews from British publications have arrived, and I’m happy that they have nice things to say about the novel.

Closer magazine has chosen the book as one of its Hot Picks. It calls the book a “gripping psychological thriller” and says, “This suspense-filled book is a must-read.”

Crimetime says:

“In a previous incarnation (as Meg Gardiner), M.G. Gardiner was an author who had the absolute measure of the contemporary crime novel, in which plotting of tensile strength was matched to characterisation rich in nuance… if anything is new, it is, surprisingly, an even more assured sense of authority (recognised in a jacket encomium by Stephen King, who compares Gardiner to Lee Child and Michael Connelly)… As in the earlier The Shadow Tracer, there is a storytelling ethos at work here which fully justifies the oldest cliché in the reviewer’s lexicon: this one is unputdownable.”

Yeah. Happy, relieved, and thoroughly delighted.

Me and Edgar, hangin’

Meg and Edgar

Here I am at Bouchercon 2014 with my BFF Edgar & his little buddy the Raven, who will just not shut up. NEVERMORE. Yeah, we get it.

Mr. Poe is wearing his happy face.

Hello from Bouchercon

Bcon LB

I’m in Long Beach attending Bouchercon, the “World Mystery Convention,” along with a couple of thousand others. I love this event. Where else would the convention program have such an awesome, twisted cover?

I’ll collect anecdotes, gossip, and blackmail material as the weekend progresses. More to follow.

Where I get my ideas, Part 479: Driving down the highway


Where do you get your ideas?

Writers are asked this question almost incessantly. It makes us groan. That’s because writers don’t think coming up with ideas is strange or difficult. Ideas are everywhere. They accost us when we blink. Finding ideas is not a challenge. Finding good ideas is a challenge. Finding shit-hot, blow-the-doors-off-your-mind ideas is the challenge. But ideas themselves? They’re in the air we breathe.

I have a couple of standard answers to this question:

1) I have a T-shirt that I picked up in Haight-Ashbury. It says: “Everything I need to know I learned from the people trapped in my basement.”

2) And there’s my website FAQ:

So where do your ideas come from?

Prophetic dreams.

No, seriously.

I start vicious rumors about my relatives, then sit back and watch the fur fly. After that, the books write themselves.

You’re starting to annoy me.

Oh, all right. Headlines. The human heart. My deepest fears. The inner voice that says: if it scares you, it’ll scare readers too.

But to be non-snarky for a minute, ideas drive past me at all hours of the day and night. I just have to keep my eyes open for them.

My daughter sent this photo. Now that I know such a thing exists, how can I not write a scene that makes use of the Grumpy’s Bail Bonds van?

The van could come to the rescue of a wrongfully arrested heroine. It could lead a parade. It could put the pedal down and arrange bond for the driver of a getaway car while the police chase is still in progress. See what I mean?

In other words: Send me crazy photos. You never know when they might end up sparking a scene in one of my books.

The Burning Mind: Phantom Instinct UK edition


Here’s something shiny and new: the cover for the upcoming British edition of Phantom Instinct. And yes, the novel has a different title for the UK. Just as translations usually have different titles (in Germany The Dirty Secrets Club is called Die Biechte — “The Confession”), different countries sometimes give a book a new title that the publisher thinks will connect the best with local readers.

As for M.G. Gardiner — British readers also love authors with initials. It’s me.

And the novel is exactly the same. From the opening shootout where Harper Flynn and Aiden Garrison fight flames and gunmen, down to the American spelling.

It will be published in the UK on 20 November.

You know, just in time for the holidays. Because what’s a better way to spend a chilly dark December in Britain, than reading a rip-roaring thriller?

Coming up: Bouchercon in Long Beach


I’ll be attending Bouchercon from November 13-16. This year it’s in Long Beach, California, which should be a great place to hang out and talk about mystery fiction for a long weekend.

Here’s my official schedule:

Kick Ass Women: Solving Crimes and Taking Names
Moderator Hank Phillippi Ryan
Laura DiSilverio
Meg Gardiner
Terri Nolan
Karen Olson
Ingrid Thoft

November 15, 2014 Saturday 11:30-12:30 Promenade A

Here’s my unofficial schedule: Talk, laugh, meet everybody I possibly can, eat, attend panels, stay up late discussing books, enjoy the sunshine and cool Pacific breeze. If you’re planning to attend, please let me know.