Today, I am loaning my blog to published author Daniel F. Bowman. We both attended Cornerstone University but recently connected through a mutual friend. If you are interested in a good read, especially historical fiction, I would encourage you to check out his book – Alaric, Child of the Goths.
What inspired your novel?
My wife Amanda and I rarely get a chance to take a weekend off and spend it together (without the kids), but back in 2009 we visited the Toledo Zoo (with our son). Amanda was wiped out from walking all around, so I had the chance to watch the History Channel after she fell asleep. We have never had cable, so this was as much a part of vacation as was watching the polar bear tear apart a trash can.
The episode was—you guessed it—about the Goths. I stared at the screen as I heard how a group of farmer-soldiers were cheated by Rome but decided to stand up to her, though she was the greatest empire in the world. They would not put up with bullying. The program ended: “Oppression sires rebellion, and when pushed too far, even the weak and the shattered can rise to challenge their oppressor.” I feel chills every time I hear that.
How did you hear about the writing contest?
I looked for “historical fiction 2012 writing contests” online. I was discouraged by the trouble of getting an agent, and knew that trying to approach a publisher directly for historical fiction was a waste of time. After looking through my list of contests, the best bet seemed to be Creative Print Publishing (CPP), as that had no fee to enter and the winner received publication.
What got you into writing in the first place?
I haven’t always written, though when I think back, I realize that I have tried for a long time. When I was a child, I wrote 1½-page stories of alien abductions, ending before the main character ever made it to the spacecraft! I also like pirate novels, though these always stopped after the third mutiny.
During college, I began writing “The Tinker’s Sons” about two boys (based on my brothers) who were destined to overthrow the evil empire. It was fun telling them the story each night.
Do you have other plans in place along the same storyline?
I began my 3rd book this month.
1st—Alaric, Child of the Goths. (Battle of Adrianople, Fall of Rome, overthrowing the evil empire!)
2nd—Hammer of God (Charles Martel, Battle of Tours —Christian Franks vs Muslim Umayyads)
-Entered in gracenotesbooks.com competition, now being reedited
3rd—Mother of Mexico (Dona Marina, wife of Hernando Cortes—Aztecs and Spanish)
Amanda—my wife and editor—wants a book with a female POV. I’m up for the challenge. It might help me as a husband to get in a woman’s mind.
What are you plans for writing, hobby, full time, dreams?
So far, it’s a nice hobby and publishing was a good goal before turning 30. I barely made it!
Ideally, I would like to get paid for writing so that my main job (teaching ESL) became additional income, rather than the way it currently is. Then again, I don’t know how I would handle the freedom of my own hours. I have a feeling that I would never feel caught up enough to stop working.
Where do you get your ideas?
History is full of stories—true ones (unlike the wildly-adapted-but-still-enjoyable Braveheart, 300, Gladiator…). So many heroes, villains, and tragedies have happened which far exceed the fictional ideas of authors, and many of these stories are known only in boring monographs. I aim to remedy that.
Do you write each day? If so, where? When?
I recently finished a break from writing. After submitting Hammer of God, I wanted to take off the rest of 2012 and prevent burnout. When I am writing, I try to write 1,000 words daily = 5,000 weekly. This is doable and I usually achieve it. Plus, ideally, I could finish a book in six months this way.
Where do you write?
My office (more like a storage room most of the time). Having a door between me and my family is a psychological help for focusing. I also work well as I proctor quizzes at work, wear headphones in the school computer lab so no one interrupts, or am in busy places apart from home. I think it’s because I can ignore everyone there. The non-office places are perfect for putting down ideas, but I tend to need a large chunk of time to put them all together.
When do you usually write?
This is the harder question.
I used to write in the morning, but as my son has proven to be a morning person, I no longer have that time to myself. So I guess this coming year will have me in the office at night. The best tip I came across for “when” is to always plan my next session before I end my current one. That way I can write anywhere/anytime, knowing what I’m supposed to do next. I rarely have writer’s block because of this.
Daniel, Thanks for taking the time to put this interview together. If you are interested in his novel, or have questions for Daniel, please visit his site at http://danielfbowman.webs.com/