About Margaret Garside
There's not much to tell about me, really. I was born in Texas and raised in California. I attended public schools and roamed the neighborhood in the afternoons.
Los Angeles had a lot of interesting things to do that didn't cost much. On week ends my father frequently took us up to Topanga Canyon to climb the hills, or out to the Mojave desert to look for rocks. When we got older we went to the Planetarium shows at Griffith Park Observatory or to the County Art Museum. Or we would just go to the movies or down to the beach.
I moved to Washington State for college, and that was a revelation. For the first time on my life I lived in a place that had seasons. Steady rain, frost, snow-all were eye-openers to a kid from Southern California, where snow was something for weekend recreation.
I didn't graduate from college, but I've never regretted not finishing (I do regret the crummy jobs you get stuck with without a degree!) An ill-advised early marriage brought me to Oregon. One of those crummy jobs brought me my husband, Joseph (whom I wouldn't trade for anyone). Now we live comfortably in a modest apartment with our two cats.
Not much to tell, really.
I don't remember learning to read. Both of my parents, my aunt, my grandmother and later my sister all read to me when I was little. I must have been seven or eight when I began to write stories of my own. None survive (which is probably a good thing). I made up many more stories that I never wrote down. Most of them were family sagas with many characters and complicated situations.
I first became aware of the Lorrondon family when I was twelve. I was in junior high and doing poorly, miserable, and I suspect, thoroughly unpleasant to be around. I missed a lot of school that year, and it was then that I began to write about this family of mixed Terran and alien heritage, and their adventures in the great Galatic War.
It began as disperate tales. Some were from the family's early years, when they first became involved with the alien Rusorin. Others were about the war itself. Sometimes I was taken aback at how violent some of those early sketches were. Thankfully my mother respected my privacy and didn't go prying into my notebooks! She willingly critiqued anything I showed her, though.
Things continued in this vein for nearly twenty years. I wrote and rewrote, watching my personal style emerge, but I never gave serious thought to why I wrote this. Who else would be interested in reading it? Getting published is next to impossible. Would I even finish the thing? So when I was thirty, I decided to quit. The resulting depressive episode lasted three years, which included hospitalization (brief, but long enough) and medication.
I began writing again. Those three hellish years gave me an insight I might not have otherwise gotten: I write because I must; it's the only reason anyone writes. Whether I finish the work or whether anyone except my mother ever reads it is beside the point.
Of course I want readers. I would never have taken the chance on self-publishing unless I thought people would enjoy the story. And they do, provided I can get them to read the books. It's a tough row to hoe, with lots of setbacks and discouragement. But now the work sustains me.