Mountain of Authors' 2017 Keynote Speaker was local author, historian, musician Mark Lee Gardner.
An award-wining historian, author, and musician, Gardner has appeared on the History Channel, PBS American Experience, ABC World News, AMC, the Travel Channel, American Heroes Channel, Encore Westerns Channel, Book TV, NPR's All Things Considered, Irish National Radio, and BBC Radio.
Mark writes for both popular and scholarly audiences, having published with numerous periodicals and websites such as The Daily Beast, Wild West, American Cowboy, True West, New Mexico Magazine, and Journal of the West. His op-eds have appeared in the Los Angeles Times and on FoxNews.com. Mark's previous books include the critically lauded To Hell on a Fast Horse: The Untold Story of Billy the Kid and Shot All To Hell: Jesse James, the Northfield Raid, and the Wild West's Greatest Escape.
Gardner has also been performing the historic music of the American West for more than thirty years. As a "living history" educator, he has re-created the authentic music of the Santa Fe Trail, the battlefields of the Civil War, the cow camps of the Southwest, and Old West outlaws such as Billy the Kid and Jesse James. Using vintage instruments and historic playing styles, he has entertained audiences for countless museums, historic sites, symposiums, college classes, and elementary schools. His music has been featured in several National Park Service films and PBS documentaries.