About K T Bowes:
K T Bowes lives in New Zealand between the Hakarimata Ranges and the Waikato River, where many of her novels are set. Raised in England to soldiering parents, she has lived in four different countries, settling in New Zealand in 2006 with her husband and four children. The dumbest thing she ever did was jump out of a plane at 2000 feet, attached to a fragile piece of silk because a friend asked her to. The best thing she ever did was marry her husband after knowing him only a few months and the scariest thing was arriving at Auckland Airport with a one-way ticket, four small children and a suitcase each.
K T Bowes loves painting Folk Art and landscapes as well as writing. She shares her home with her husband, a fickle ginger cat and often a crazy horse or two in the paddock.
What inspires you to write?
Usually I am running and an idea will pop into my head. I think it through and the characters will start forming their personality for themselves. Sometimes I am inspired by a news item or something from my past but often the ideas come out of nowhere.
Tell us about your writing process.
I just sit down to write and the stuff pours out into the keyboard. It’s never difficult. If I hit a block, I go for a run, drive or leave it altogether. I find that’s a great time to do some editing on something else. I feel sometimes like a magician pulling joined handkerchiefs out of his sleeve. It all just keeps coming and coming and I think it has to be almost done and then there’s more. I find the process exhausting sometimes. When I’m writing like that, I don’t want to go anywhere or do anything and am very antisocial. It was difficult when I had four teenagers at home because I needed to be wife, mother, employee at work and all things to everyone. I find when I am going through a hard time personally, I pour it out onto the page and deal with things that way. Then I read it and edit as I go and I follow that process 3 or 4 times before I’m happy.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
My characters do visit me and tell me things I didn’t know. I’m sure in previous times I would have been locked up and heavily medicated. I often conceive my characters and have a certain perspective of them but they change that for me and can be someone very different. I started writing Blaming the Child and thought Callister Rhodes was a fragile, pretty little teenage girl with family issues but when I was running one morning, it felt like she ran with me and explained herself. She was gutsy and vulnerable and full of more courage than I had given her credit for and she self-harmed. It’s been the same with my latest Hana Du Rose Mystery this time around. I thought that Logan Du Rose was one personality type but he’s way more complex than that. If the readers get a shock with his behaviour in book 7, then they need to know that I was shocked first.
What advice would you give other writers?
Just write and see where it takes you. At worst, you’ll have a document that will give your children an insight into who you are and what you’re capable of after you’ve gone and they’re clearing out your stuff. At best, you’ll have something you can publish. But never just stick something out there. Get it edited properly first. There’s nothing more heartbreaking than a great plot and characters that can’t string a sentence together and nobody will ever finish your masterpiece. You don’t have to pay big money. 10 family and friends passing through can sometimes pick up enough errors to get you by initially. Go through your work once a year or so and get rid of things that don’t work. Time changes your perspective and as you grow and your style changes, go back and apply that to your earlier work.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I went down the route of finding an agent for my children’s book about 9 years ago and got ripped off by one based in the US. It left a very nasty taste in my mouth and I spent 7 years crafting 3 novels of 150k each and then was too scared to do anything with them. My husband read an article about KDP somewhere and researched it for me. I spoke to the head of a publishing company who urged me down the submissions line but then died a week after our conversation. He had encouraged me to do something with my work and not just leave it on a hard drive somewhere so I published on KDP with my husband’s help and never looked back.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I have no idea how it’s going to play out. I love the fact that digital publishing and Createspace have given me the opportunity to bypass the kind of agencies that rip people off, take their work and the rights to it and charge the author a fortune to do nothing with it. I’m glad that the literary con market has had its throat cut. If a publisher approached me, I’m not sure how I react. At the moment the most important thing for me is owning the rights to my work and I won’t be parting with those easily. They are my legacy to my children.
What do you use?: Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: Mystery and Suspense, Teen and YA, Romance
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print