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Gardner, Theodore Roosevelt, II 1934- (Ted Gardner, Theodore Roosevelt Gardner)

Gardner, Theodore Roosevelt, II 1934- (Ted Gardner, Theodore Roosevelt Gardner)

PERSONAL:

Born July 20, 1934, in Allentown, PA; son of Theodore Roosevelt (a judge) and Margaret Schaffer (a homemaker) Gardner; married Virginia Louis Twin- ing (a bookseller); children: Melora Eden, Julia Susan, Abigail. Education: University of Southern California, B.A., 1956.

CAREER:

Novelist, essayist, and newspaper columnist.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Award for best overall fiction, Today's Librarian, 2000.

WRITINGS:

The Paper Dynasty (novel), Allen A. Knoll (Santa Barbara, CA), 1990.

(Under name Ted Gardner) Off the Wall: The Newspaper Columns of Ted Gardner, Allen A. Knoll (Santa Barbara, CA), 1993.

Something Nice to See (children's book), illustrated by Peter J. Hamlin, Allen A. Knoll (Santa Barbara, CA), 1994.

(Author of text) Lotusland: A Photographic Odyssey, garden photographs by William B. Dewey, Gregory L. Padgett, Robert Glenn Ketchum, and others, Allen A. Knoll (Santa Barbara, CA), 1995.

The Real Sleeper: A Love Story (novel), Allen A. Knoll (Santa Barbara, CA), 1996.

Flip Side: A Novel of Suspense, Allen A. Knoll (Santa Barbara, CA), 1997.

Give Gravity a Chance: A Love Story (novel), Allen A. Knoll (Santa Barbara, CA), 1998.

(Author of text) Nature's Kaleidoscope: The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, photographs by Robert Glenn Ketchum, Allen A. Knoll (Santa Barbara, CA), 1999.

(Under name Ted Gardner) Wit's End (essays), Allen A. Knoll (Santa Barbara, CA), 2000.

He's Back (novel), Allen A. Knoll (Santa Barbara, CA), 2000.

All Lost Time: A Novel of Baby Fever, Allen A. Knoll (Santa Barbara, CA), 2002.

Momma Baby & Judgie: A Memoir, Allen A. Knoll (Santa Barbara, CA), 2004.

SIDELIGHTS:

Theodore Roosevelt Gardner II, a West Coast-based newspaper columnist and author, has produced novels in several genres, including suspense, juvenile fiction, and romance. His imagination leads him to experiment with both form and subject matter. In Flip Side: A Novel of Suspense, for instance, a mystery unfolds as first a prosecution and then a defense each present a murder case featuring a high-profile Hollywood star as defendant. In order to read the defense's presentation, the book must literally be flipped upside down and backwards. Give Gravity a Chance: A Love Story challenges the conventions of romance fiction by featuring two obese protagonists who grow fond of one another after a blind date arranged simply to shock a racist parent. In a Booklist review of the novel, Deborah Ryan observed: "These two misfits from different worlds … do inspire each other to better themselves, and that qualifies as a happy ending." A Publishers Weekly critic likewise recommended Give Gravity a Chance as "a well intentioned, even sweet-tempered romantic comedy." Gardner's novel He's Back explores the modern-day ramifications of the return of Jesus Christ.

Gardner once commented: "Vanity, it is said, is the spice of something or other. For me it is the spice of writing. I've written epic novels, humorous essays, a children's book, love stories, and a suspense novel. I am constantly invigorated and excited at each new creation.

"Flip Side is a unique book about a high-profile murder case, told from the viewpoint of the prosecution, then by turning the book upside down you get the diametrically opposed defense viewpoint.

"Ideas for stories are all around us—you can't escape them. Ideas are easy. For me writing is also easy and I love it. The hard part is the thinking—the turning of the idea into a gripping story.

"For me the enjoyment is in the process, not the product. The final lines of my children's book, Something Nice to See, embody my philosophy: ‘Fame and fortune are not my survival / My joy's in the journey, not the arrival.’"

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

BOOKS

Gardner, Theodore Roosevelt, Momme Baby & Judgie: A Memoir, Allen A. Knoll (Santa Barbara, CA), 2004.

PERIODICALS

Booklist, November 15, 1998, Deborah Rysso, review of Give Gravity a Chance: A Love Story, p. 574.

Horticulture: Magazine of American Gardening, November, 1996, Christopher Reed, review of Lotusland: A Photographic Odyssey, p. 64.

Publishers Weekly, July 14, 1997, review of Flip Side: A Novel of Suspense, p. 68; October 19, 1998, review of Give Gravity a Chance, p. 54.

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