Chris Gardner

The joys of self-publishing.


Free Sanctuary! Ebook on Amazon 15 to 19 July.

Sanctuary is a sci-fi book for young adults, set in the 25th century. It’s a post-apocalyptic story, a subject which always fascinates me; I love to read different writers’ ideas about the future of the world. My future world is not a pretty one but there is hope and the qualities which make us human are still there. Although I did write it for young adults I know plenty of adults enjoy YA fiction–it’s easy reading and, hopefully, enjoyable. If you do find the time to read it and enjoy it please take another few minutes to write a brief review, either on Amazon or Goodreads or both.

On a slightly different subject, but still about the future of our world–a certain 5 year old, who shall remain nameless, was visiting the other day and an ad came on the TV–one of those ubiquitous ads displaying the wonders of some exercise machine–and he told me he wanted to get one when he grew up. I asked him why and he said because he wanted to ‘get fit’! I should point out that this child never sits still-is constantly running everywhere, is tall for his age and has not an ounce of extra fat anywhere on his body. Yet already he’s getting the message that he needs the latest gadget to improve himself!

My children are adults now but I do remember talking to them about advertisements, especially those on TV, and pointing out the ridiculousness of some of the claims made. It’s sad, but parents, you really have to tell your children that sometimes people lie.

All good parents are careful about the programs their children are allowed to watch on TV, but do they notice the commercials? I think we’re so accustomed to them, especially those that seem to be on all the time, that we tend to tune them out. I know I do. Just be aware that your kids may not have the same filter and that they can’t read the disclaimer that tells us, for example, that the miracles we see in front of us are actually the result of a combination of diet and exercise, rather than ten minutes a day on a magic machine!

Morning television here in Australia is full of both exercise machines and life insurance ads, neither of which are suitable viewing for children. Is this is a time you put your feet up and watch TV while your child plays near by? Perhaps you could just push the mute button when the ads are on–you might think your child’s not taking any notice but he probably is! I know, from experience, how convenient it is to put your child in front of the TV, while you get on with whatever you have to do, and I’m not saying that’s a bad idea. Just be careful and don’t forget to read books to them. This is beginning to sound like a mummy blog!

Happy reading.


Survivalism and baked beans–plus a free ebook!

What is it with people who dig underground bunkers and fill them cans of food and bottles of water etc.,  in the hope of some catastrophic event that only they will survive? There’s been threats probably as long as humanity existed and there’ll always be something new, so I understand the fear. What I don’t understand is what sort of person would want to live in a hole in the ground, with a stockpile of weapons and ammunition, prepared to defend their baked beans against attacks from their hungry neighbours!

For starters, I do not like being underground; I went to a party a few years ago in an old underground mine (I know that sounds weird, but it’s a tourist attraction here–an old gold mine). I tried to forget the tonnes of rock and earth above our heads but couldn’t–not a good environment for me. But then the idea of living in such a world has no appeal for me anyway. If it’s not safe to live  out in the fresh air I’ll take my chances.

I’ve always been fascinated by different writer’s ideas for the future of our world–fictional ideas only. They nearly always involve disaster of some kind and it makes me wonder if we’re somehow hard-wired to expect the world to end one day. Of course fiction does need something a little more interesting than everyday life.

My novel, Sanctuary, began from an idea I had while watching a documentary on homeless kids, who were living in an underground railway system. One of the young girls was carrying a baby and I wondered what would happen to that child.

Sanctuary is set in the 26th century and there are two distinct peoples: the Centrals, who live underground and the Thrallians, who live in a converted shopping centre. The sun has become deadly and no-one can survive outside during the day. The Thrallians live a comfortable existence in their sheltered and civilized environment and most do not know of the Centrals’ existence, until two boys discover a young girl locked up in the room of one of the rulers.

Sanctuary is written for young adults but I know many adults will enjoy it as well. It’s free for 4 days from the 15th to the 18th April, so check it out and if you enjoy it please write a review for me on Amazon.

Happy reading.