About the author
Hi. My name is Mark Gardiner. I lived in Calgary, Alberta, for half my life. I worked as an advertising copywriter there and was an avid fly fisherman. I fished the Bow (of course) and the Crowsnest (especially during the spectacular stonefly hatches). I had above-average success on those rivers, but was always humbled when I traveled north to Stauffer Creek, aka the North Fork of the Raven. I must have been a sucker for punishment when, one year, I vowed that I'd fish the Raven and only the Raven. I diarized those experiences, and those notes became Year of the Raven.
The book got immediate interest from several good publishers, but in the end, none of them believed they could market it; it was just too different than anything else in the fishing canon. Fishing the Raven for the year described in this book was such an intense experience, and the run-around I got from publishers over my manuscript was so frustrating, that I virtually stopped fishing for a long time. I focused on my other passion, which was motorcycle racing.
In 2002, I quit my job in the ad business, sold everything I owned, and moved to the Isle of Man to compete in the world's oldest, most famous, and most dangerous motorcycle race: The Isle of Man TT. My memoir of that experience, Riding Man, is now in development as a feature film at Escape Artists. There's also a nice documentary film about that period in my life, called One Man's Island. And I wrote a screenplay of my own, based on another true story from the history of motorcycle racing. I ended up being typecast, I guess, as a motorcycle guy and not a fishing guy. It could’ve gone the other way.
It's hard for me to believe that almost 20 years have gone by since I last fished the Raven. In that time, the publishing industry has been transformed by the internet. The publishers that frustrated my efforts to get this book into print have disappeared, and been replaced by new means of printing, promoting, and distributing books. I can now release Year of the Raven myself, and that's what I've done.
I hope you like it. In the meantime, I've finally decided to take up a fly rod again. I now live in Kansas City, so the nearest good trout water is a few hours south of me in the Ozarks. If I have any notable success, I'll let you know right here, on this blog.