Author: Jeff Gardiner
Publication: december 5, 2012
“Oi! You four-eyed freak!”
Jerry is bullied for wearing glasses. When he realises his short-sightedness is not a disability, but a different way of perceiving and understanding the world around him, he begins to see things from a new, unique perspective.
He even starts to believe he might have super-powers, but soon learns a great deal about himself and about the boy who is making his life such a misery.
As he becomes alienated from his girlfriend and best mate, both victims of racism, Jerry realises he needs to think hard and put his plan into action.
Has Jerry discovered a new way of dealing with prejudice?
Myopia is a novel about bullying, friendship and learning the hard way.
Jeff Gardiner is a UK writer whose collection of short stories, A Glimpse of the Numinous, was published last year by Eibonvale Press. His contemporary novel, Myopia, explores bullying and prejudice –published by Crooked Cat Books. Both are available as paperbacks and e-books. His second novel Igboland will be published in early 2014. Many of his short stories have appeared in anthologies, journals and webzines. He also has a work of non-fiction to his name.
For more information please see his website at www.jeffgardiner.com and his blog: http://jeffgardiner.wordpress.com/
Tell us something fun about you?
As a student I used to work as a hospital porter. My interview involved being shown a cadaver in the mortuary. The Head Porter summoned me in, pulled out the drawer and said, ‘So what do you think of that?’ A little stunned, I nodded and replied, ‘Um ... yes ... very interesting.’ I think it was the fact that I didn’t faint that got me the job.
What about "Myopia" makes it stand out?
‘Myopia’ explores the effects of bullying, which crushes the self-esteem of so many people. Jerry, the victim and protagonist, devises some creative, ingenious and non-violent ways to confront his aggressors. Meanwhile Jerry is convincing himself that he might have super-powers – a belief that really could backfire. He learns a great deal about himself.
Are there any similarities between you and your characters?
I was born with a squint and I was that kid in your class with a patch over one eye. Whilst I wasn’t really bullied at school, as a teacher I have dealt with bullies and victims, seeing close-up the tragic consequences of this hateful and selfish behaviour.
Are there any new projects in the works?
Yes, I’ve just completed another YA novel with more explicitly fantasy elements. I’m hoping that will be the beginning of a longer series of books. I also feel that Jerry from ‘Myopia’ could have one or two more adventures as he gets older. I will continue writing short stories and have a few about to be released in various anthologies.
What is the question that you wish interviewers would ask, and the answer to that question?
What other books do you have out or coming out soon?
I also have a book of adult short stories called ‘A Glimpse of the Numinous’. It includes horror, slipstream, humour and romance. Next year is set to be a good year for me as I have three more books coming out. ‘Igboland’ is a novel set in Nigeria during the Biafran War in the 1960s. ‘Treading On Dreams’ is a coming-of-age tale about a student with an obsession for a girl he shares a house with, whilst also being lured into a life of sex, drugs and rock’n’roll against his will. Then I have a non-fiction book coming out which discusses the works of writer Michael Moorcock, best known for his Elric and Jerry Cornelius books from the 60s and 70s, but also for his more mainstream later novels such as ‘Gloriana’ and ‘Mother London’. He is a voracious social commentator and even a rock star in his own right, including writing for and performing with space rock champions, Hawkwind.