Here’s Crow reading this post
It’s so much fun to share people I admire and like with you all.
Crow: Gordon, I’ve come to know you as an author, potter, and teacher… please fill the folks in on what you are about.
Gordon: I’m all of those things — a musician as well — mainly, I think, because I’ve felt driven to find my voice. In person, I’m extremely quiet — through writing, pottery, and music I can express myself far better than I ever could in spoken words. It’s why creativity means so much to me. It feels like I’m creating my own public persona every time I write, play music, or create art. It’s a little terrifying to put these parts of myself out there, because… that’s me, you know? My stories, music, and sculptures are, in a very real sense, who I am. But I have to because without them I’d be mute.
Crow: When a teen what did you imagine you’d be doing at this point in your life? Are you even close?
Gordon: Not even within hailing distance! When I was a kid I wanted to be a park ranger in Arizona or New Mexico. I love the desert southwest dearly and spent many happy times exploring that area with my father, and my goal was to take the park ranger training and spend my life hiking in the canyons and deserts. It didn’t quite turn out that way.
Crow: How many books do you have out and how do you describe them to the uninitiated?
Gordon: Eighteen, currently, with book number nineteen coming out in February of 2023. My books are in the genre known as speculative fiction or magical realism — I think of it as taking the rules of the world and tweaking them a little, and seeing what happens. I’ve described my books as all having the same crypto-theme — what would happen if you put a perfectly ordinary person into a situation completely beyond their understanding? Would they freak out, disbelieve their own senses, explain it away, or accept it at face value? How would that change them and alter their worldview? I’ve always found this idea fascinating, and my novels explore it in various ways.
Crow: At what time in your life did you begin running? Do you write in your head as you run?
Gordon: I’ve been a runner since I was a teen — I’m a very restless person physically, and running helps me keep my nervous energy down to manageable levels. It’s absolutely one of my favorite mind-clearers; if I’m writing and am stuck on a plot point, going for a run often helps me to jog things loose (pun intended). What’s interesting is that idea production doesn’t come from a deliberate attempt to ponder the problem while I run; I usually run with music going, and lose myself in what I’m listening to. Then, out of the blue, presto! There’s the solution I was looking for. It’s like tapping into some kind of collective unconscious.
Crow: What’s the toughest point in your life so far and how did you get through it?
Gordon: The hardest years, by far, were the last few years of my first marriage. I knew things were spiraling and felt completely despondent about doing anything about it. At the time, my sons were still young (elementary school age) and I felt utterly trapped — in a loveless marriage, with my other option being to break up our family. Writing was my salvation during this time; two of the most poignant stories I’ve written, my historical novel Kári the Lucky and my spec-fic novel The Hand of the Hunter, were written during this time, and the pain I was going through clearly added to the emotional punch of the story.
Crow: What’s been the pinnacle in your life so far? Did hard work, luck, or serendipity play parts in it?
Gordon: I’d have to say that my relationship with my wife Carol is the top of the list. When my first marriage broke up, I was 39 years old and honestly felt like I would never find anyone again, that I was going to spend the rest of my life alone. When a mutual friend told me, “I know this woman who you seriously need to meet — she’s a musician, a birder, and is so similar to you it’s scary,” I was reluctant even to try to reach out. But I’m so glad I did. I don’t know if it was luck or serendipity — it certainly feels that way sometimes. I have struggled, and still struggle, with depression and anxiety my entire life, and I know I’m not an easy person to live with sometimes. But Carol is my anchor in all the stormy seas of my often out-of-control emotions, and I truly cannot imagine where I’d be without her.
Crow: I could keep going with lots more questions, but ending this interview on creativity graced by love seems like a perfect spot to stop. Gordon Bonnet’s website is gordonbonnet.com
Gordon is a fabulous human being with unbelievable talents. He is one of the best teachers I’ve ever met.
Crow Johnson Evans
I wish I’d had teachers like Gordon. I bet he’s improved the lives and entertained many people.