Friday, May 31
Doors 5:00 p.m. | Event 6:00 p.m.
USM’s Glickman Library, Portland

Free and open to the public.
Refreshments served, cash bar.

Storied crime author Lisa Gardner writes award-winning novels that are addictive. Thankfully for us, there are more than 30 of them, with some 22 million copies in print. That’s more copies than the entire population of New England, where she and her family live. Around the globe, critics admire her and readers hail her psychological suspense, irresistible characters, vivid writing, and twisted plots. It’s no wonder her novels land at #1 on the New York Times bestseller lists.

2018 Flash Fiction Contest (BOX)The MWPA is proud to honor Lisa Gardner with our CrimeMaster Award for Distinguished Achievement.

Fellow New York Times-bestselling author—and CrimeMaster Award-winner—Tess Gerritsen will introduce Gardner at the ceremony Friday, May 1 at 6:00 p.m. at USM’s Glickman Library in Portland. The event is part of the kickoff to the 2019 Maine Crime Wave.

Gardner’s work brims with power plays, greed and jealousy, families in jeopardy…. “I like characters who are flawed but trying, strong but vulnerable, imperfect but interesting,” she explains. “The characters feel like people you know, which makes the books hit closer to home.”

Gardner is tricky and funny, and can kill with both weapons and words. She’s created two much-lauded series: One stars Detective D.D. Warren—one of the mystery field’s greatest characters. The other crackles with the suspense and realism that comes from the insider world of FBI profilers. “All of my books have started with a voice in my head,” she reveals. “I’m fortunate that character, for me, is the part of writing that comes naturally. It’s almost like going into character, as if you’re an actress.”

Gardner maintains she’s suited only for writing: “I tried a bit of everything, and failed each time. Can’t draw, suck at poetry, and have no patience for the corporate world. But somehow, I love stories. Give me a single line, and I can tell you the movie or book it’s from. Freakish, but there you have it. I love books, books love me.”

It’s no surprise her talent revealed itself very early: She wrote her first book at just 17 and “had the good fortune to sell it when I was 20,” she remembers. “Granted, I worked on it for three years and rewrote it four times, so it’s not quite an overnight success story.” But in publishing, it’s darn close, and she’s been writing and publishing ever since.

“I love that magical moment when it all comes together in a way I couldn’t ever have imagined,” she says. “I always think of writing as a giant leap of faith. There’s that ‘ah-ha’ moment when things fall into place. Those days are amazing and precious. The art takes over, and I’ve actually completed a novel despite myself.”

Lisa Gardner with handcuffsBesides being a celebrated master of psychological suspense, Gardner is one of today’s most beloved authors. With four TV movies, a number of short stories, and an impressive array of international awards, she’s also renowned for her work with at-risk kids and homeless animals, and for her generosity to fellow writers. When she finally takes a break from her computer, she loves to hike, garden, kayak, travel the world, and—of course—read.

How does she do it all? “I’m a research junky,” she explains. Her intimate knowledge of police procedure, criminality, violence, and psychology is impressive. “It’s the criminal mind that fascinates me. Although all of my novels have a stand-alone plot, each explores the same basic, primordial question: What is the nature of evil? Interestingly enough, there isn’t one single answer.” Her books are rich with complexity. “I’ve always liked action and adventure,” she admits, “and a hope of happily ever after.”


Location USM’s Glickman Library, Portland

Parking Parking is free in USM’s garage. Entrance and Exit gates are open and no tickets are dispensed. Upon entry into the garage, you will be prompted to press a button, which will raise the gate for you to enter the garage. Entrance into the garage is on Surrenden Street. To exit the garage, approach the exit gates slowly. They will automatically open for you. There is no longer a need to take a ticket or have it validated.

Questions Please contact the MWPA at 207-228-8263 or