|Erle Stanley Gardner|
When I was a kid, I went to the Lux Radio Theater to see the Perry Mason radio show being broadcast and got the autographs of all the stars.
A lawyer by profession, Gardner had an active practice in Ventura for many years. I began reading Gardner's mysteries when I was a young mother living in Oxnard--where some of his tales were set.
I'm not sure if I started reading him because of the Perry Mason radio plays or the TV series, but both were my favorite shows for the entire time they were on.
|Raymond Burr as Perry Mason|
I've visited Gardner's law office and the Ventura coutrhouse where he defended his clients.
I participated in an Erle Stanley Gardner weekend in Temecula, where I learned he owned and lived on a large ranch until his death. He wrote many books while living there, four at a time. He had four secretaries he dicated too. (One he was romantically involved with.) During that Gardner weekend, I met three of those secretaries who had many intriguing tales to relate about the author.
Gardner took all of his friends (most lived on the ranch with him) on many camping trips, many into Mexico. He even wrote while he was off on these adventures.
No, I don't write anything like Erle Stanley Gardner, but I think I did learn one big thing from him, a writer never really takes a vacation from his/her writing.
What about you other writers out there? Is there an author who has really influenced you?