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Bonnie Gardner Books & Biography


After spending most of her life as either an army brat or a military wife, the last people that Bonnie Gardner expected to find herself writing about were military men. After all, she'd looked forward to the day she could put that spit and polish and moving around behind her. Then she sold her first book. Her hero was ex-military. Then she sold her second book. Her hero was retired military. You get the picture. When her editor suggested that she use her military knowledge and background, she resisted. She really did. But common sense won out. After all, they say to write about what you know, and that's what she knew. Bonnie grew up on army bases around the world. According to her parents, one of the first homes she lived in was a converted World War II army barracks. She lived in Hawaii before it was a state, and has either visited or lived in almost every state of the Union. During six years in Germany in her formative years, Bonnie developed her love for reading and movies. (In those days, there was no American television to watch overseas, so books and movies were her entertainment.) Even at the tender age of 12, she was a critic. If she didn't like the ending of a book or a movie, she'd spend half the night rewriting it in her mind. Though she didn't actually write any of these ideas down, she honed her skills by writing long letters to friends she'd left behind. Finally, when she was almost 16, her father retired to his home state of Alabama, and there, Bonnie met her husband. Wayne was the cutup sitting next to her in geometry class at Marbury High School, the last of 11 schools she'd attended while growing up. She tried to ignore him, but his clowning won out. They married at 19 and have been together for over 30 years. They have two grown sons, one of whom is now serving in the air force - the third generation in their family. Though Bonnie swore she would never marry a military man, Vietnam intruded and Wayne was drafted. He joined the air force because his father had retired from the air force. It was only supposed to be one enlistment, but...he stayed for 25 years, and Bonnie followed him whenever she could. And Bonnie wouldn't have missed a moment of it. She learned how to do things she never thought she could do - like repair a toilet - when her husband was away for weeks or months at a time. She learned how to be alone. And she learned she could handle anything if she set her mind to it, even Casualty Duty when she and her husband had the unpleasant task of notifying a friend that her husband had died in the line of duty. All those things made Bonnie what she is today, and all of that experience shows in her books. When she writes about her men in uniform, she knows them. She knows the joy and the pain of loving a man in uniform. She knows their wives, their girlfriends, and their mothers. She's been all of them.

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