AliceAnn Steward asks:
As a Library Page, I was wondering if you often have to fix the placement of your books at any bookstore or library you browse. I often find your books shelved as if your last name was Gardner, rather than Gardiner.
Also, when you’re traveling around promoting your current book, do you find it extremely difficult to concentrate on your current WIP, or do you channel all your energy into one activity?
It’s great to hear from someone who appreciates alphabetization. I don’t often find my books misplaced because of the spelling of my name. If I do, it’s generally a sign that the entire shelf at the bookstore or library will be an alphabet free-for-all. (The Eason’s in Cork, Ireland, shelves books by the first letter in the author’s last name and no more. I asked whether they had a Faulkner novel, and they said, “It’ll be somewhere on the F shelf.”)
A more common issue is readers — and booksellers, and reviewers — thinking my name is spelled Gardner. That can lead to confusion. At a signing once, a reader handed me a copy of my novel The Shadow Tracer, explaining that she usually never bought hardcovers, but had enjoyed the paperback of The Neighbor she’d picked up at a second hand store, so was willing to give my new book a try. She thought I was Lisa Gardner. When I explained that I wasn’t, she nearly panicked — I could tell that she wanted to grab the book out of my hand and take it back for a refund, but was too embarrassed.
Later, I told Lisa Gardner that story. She laughed. She said that readers frequently confuse her with Lisa Jackson.
As for travel, I’ve trained myself to work on trains, planes, and in hotels. Deadlines provide terrific inspiration.