Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Erle Stanley Gardner's Influence on Me

Erle Stanley Gardner
Author Erle Stanley Gardner's first book was published the year I was born. I didn't bother to count how many books (many) or short stories (hundred plus) have been published, but there were a bunch.

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
When I was in labor with my third child, much to my husband's dismay, I wouldn't go to the hospital until the Perry Mason episode I was watching was over.

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?

Marilyn

7 comments:

  1. Great Blog, today, Marilyn. Thanks

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  2. Agree, great blog, nice to know about "you and Erle," (smile). Confession--I keep at least 20 or so episodes of Perry Mason saved on my DVR for those times I just want to visit with Erle Stanley Gardner and Raymond Burr and gang--very comforting watching those old episodes. I wish they still had that Temecula Festival. Erle and P.D. James...

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    1. Yes, I truly miss the Erle Stanley Gardner writing festival--I loved going down there and I gave lots of presentations to hopeful writers.

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  3. Loved your blog as it brought back such wonderful memories. Erle Stanley Gardner books were some of the first grown-up mystery/lawyer books I read as a child and I thought Raymond Burr was the quintessential lawyer. Both obviously influenced me in my career choices. Glad to know others felt the same way.

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    1. Hi, Debra, I never wanted to be a lawyer, but I through Gardner was definitely a wonderful writer and Perry Mason the best when it came to figuring out the real bad guy.

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