Author Interview: CHUCK BOWIE
I'm pleased to welcome another hard-working author to the blog today to talk about their journey to publication!
Here we go...
Chuck Bowie graduated from the University of New Brunswick in Canada with a Bachelor Degree in Science. Originally from Miramichi, he lives on the East Coast of Canada. Growing up as an air force brat, his writing is influenced by the study of human nature and how people behave, habits he picked up as his family moved nineteen times in his first twenty one years. Chuck loves food, wine, music and travel and all play a role in his work.
His writing will often draw upon elements of these experiences to round out his characters and plotlines. Chuck will at times share his thoughts with a brief essay, some of which can be found on his website. http://wwwchuckbowie.ca
His publisher has just received his latest novel , set in Ireland and England, entitled Her Irish Boyfriend, fifth in the international suspense-thriller series: Donovan: Thief For Hire. This follows The Body On The Underwater Road, Steal It All, Three Wrongs and AMACAT. All of his published novels have been paperback best-sellers in New Brunswick. He has just completed and published the first novel in a new cozy mystery series, set in a fictional town in New Brunswick, and is working on the follow-up in this series.
Chuck is married, with two sons. He and his wife Lois live in Fredericton, New Brunswick.
Tricia Parker was a woman with a past; one that led to a marriage break-up and the complete severance of ties to her very wealthy ex-husband and daughter. Fifteen years later, Tricia suddenly appears, wanting to talk to her daughter, and a day later, Tricia’s body washes up on an underwater road. The prime suspects are her daughter and ex-husband, who are summering in St. Andrews.
Friends who see their predicament contact Donovan and Beth, who are no strangers to murder, and who have certain skills in solving crimes.
As Donovan begins piecing together the elements of the case, he happens upon an old acquaintance, a particularly nasty art thief who shouldn’t even be in that part of the country.
The Body On The Underwater Road is a story set in two countries. It’s about estranged families, old money, and secrets. And murder.
Who are you and what do you write?
Hi, I’m Chuck Bowie, from Canada. I’m a mystery writer whose twin areas of focus are International Suspense-Thrillers and Cozy Murder Mysteries. This writer’s life started when I wrote an essay in Grade 8. It was so good that I surprised myself. I received a B for my efforts, and when the teacher advised me that she didn’t give As, I vowed to earn an imaginary A every time I wrote. Well, I tried, and am still trying.
Can you give us a basic rundown of your writing journey so far?
My journey as a writer began as I sold short stories and tourism articles to make a few dollars, as my wife and I raised a couple of boys. (They were good at hockey and making music, two expensive hobbies!) After selling a few essays, I tried my hand at writing novels, and seemed to come up short every time I hit the eighty page mark. Finally, I learned about the power of creating an outline before you start, and that was how I broke that magic eighty page mark!
In my fifties, my work took me to Romania, and I woke up one morning in a strange country, alone, and with this idea for a contract thief who had his own notions about right and wrong. When my protagonist arrived fully formed that morning, he brought with him a complete plot for my first thriller: Three Wrongs. And then the hard part began! I just finished the final revisions to Book 5 in my Donovan: Thief For Hire series, and it’s currently at my publisher’s offices now, in time for a Christmas drop, I hope.
What's been the hardest part?
For me, the big challenge was in learning how to write well, after having written for most of my life. But I had mentors, editors and Beta Readers. So editing, the most stressful part of my early writing career, may now be the most satisfying part of writing. I watch the quality of my writing elevate with every draft I or my editors touch. Very satisfying, I must say.
Would you go back and change anything?
These days, I have the comfort of knowing my past cannot be changed. That having been said, if I could change anything, I would probably have studied Literature (Arts) at uni, instead of Biology (Science). It would have been nice to have acquired my writing skills earlier, but that’s water under the bridge, right?
What are your plans for the future?
Who knows what the future holds, but I am taking a chance at shifting it, just a little bit. Recently, an idea for a new series overtook me, and I am now alternating between writing thrillers and cozy mysteries. My first cozy in the Old Manse Mysteries: Death Between the Walls just came out. I am so excited! Cozys are warmer, less explicit, perhaps a bit more romantic, and in my case, one of the main characters is actually this quirky east coast Canadian town. I’m having such fun. And the good news – at least, I believe it’s good news – is that I’m already halfway through the second book in the series. I truly hope to be a bit better known in the next five years, so, to quote my wife: ‘Write better, and write faster.’ I think this is good advice for writers just starting out: try to become better with every project you write, and try never to go a day without a line.
And most importantly…
Ketchup or Mayo? - While I love ketchup on my burger, I do love Cajun Mayo on my sweet potato fries.
Night or Day? - Just like that blues song ‘The night time, is the right time,’ so I prefer evenings over the day.
Inside or Outside? - A day outside in the sun is a beautiful thing, but there’s something to be said for being in my office, immersed in a good book (reading one, or writing one).
Twitter or Facebook? - I was a FaceBook guy, but am gravitating toward Twitter and Instagram
e-book or Paperback? - I love eBooks and Paperbacks. This is a very Canadian non-answer, isn’t it? Ha!
Rain or Sun? - I love the sun, don’t mind the rain, and despise the wind. Dunno why.
Keyboard or Notebook? - Once I started typing/keyboarding years ago, I only use paper and pencil as a last resort. The exception being on a resort. I wrote some wonderful scenes on a notepad in a bar in Cuba. I’d trade the beach for the bar at two, to write. The bartender kept me supplied with non-alcoholic pineapple-coconut water drinks as I wrote from two until five. (My wife would come back from the beach at five, and I’d quit writing and switch over to Proseco.)
Comedy or Drama? - I like light comedy over comedy, and light drama over drama. Mysteries all the way, baby!
Chocolate or Chips? - Do I have to choose?
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