I’m very excited to present the debut of a new feature here on the blog that I’m calling Kugs says Aloha...based on my other series of books. I’m equally excited that my first interview features my friend R.V. Bowman, author of the Pirate Princess Chronicles! I was privileged to serve as an advance reader for book #1 in the series, Hook’s Daughter: The Untold Tale of the Pirate Princess, which I highly recommend you check out right after reading our interview!
R.V., my friend, welcome to the inaugural edition of Kugs says Aloha!
Thanks so much for having me!
Let’s dive right in. Why do you write?
I write for two reasons. First, because there are all these characters in my brain that are clamoring to have their stories told. Second, because I am a reader. Books/stories have been hugely important in my life. There have been characters that were huge influences on my life. The idea of doing that for someone else, for creating a place, people and events that readers love is like magic to me and it is deeply fulfilling. To hear my middle-grade students arguing with each other as to who gets to read my book first, I just don't even have words for that.
That’s very cool. I’m always amazed at how many writers are or have been teachers, myself included. When did you first realize that you were a writer?
I was a storyteller first. When I was in elementary school, we used to go out to recess whether it was -10 or 100 outside. When it was super cold, the girls would huddle by the wall. I would sit in the middle and spin stories. As long as I kept everyone entertained, I got to stay in the middle which was the warmest spot. By sixth grade, I had decided I was a writer. I've written in one form or another most of my life.
Where did you grow up that it was -10 at recess?
I grew up in Michigan around the Detroit area. And we always went out to recess no matter how cold or how much snow! I'm actually a lover of all things winter.
What is the first story you remember writing?
I wrote this truly horrendous adventure story about a girl shipwrecked on an island who was befriended by these panthers. One was all white and one was all black. They often bristled like pinecones.
That sounds way better than my first book, an eight-page complete history of dinosaurs. What have you published to date?
As you know, I published my first novel on Oct. 31, 2018. It's the first in a middle-grade fantasy adventure trilogy called Hook's Daughter: The Untold Tale of a Pirate Princess.
I really enjoyed it, as did my teenage daughter. What are you working on right now?
Book 2 in the trilogy - Pan's Secrets: Rommy's Quest for Answers. I'm hoping to have it out by the end of March/early April.
I’m looking forward to it! Do you remember one line or paragraph that you wrote and thought immediately, "Wow-that's really good?”
I wrote the first scene of Hook's Daughter: The Untold Tale of a Pirate Princess. It's a fencing competition. I went back to read it and kind of forgot it was my own writing and was pulled into the story.
I’ve experienced the same thing. I’m actually reading my first novel to my children now and periodically I come across a line that I don’t remember writing and being impressed with it. It sometimes makes me a little anxious about the writing I’m doing now. Have you experienced that?
I don't know that it makes me anxious. To me, it kind of feels like magic because there is something that happens when I am writing. I mean, I do the work and the plotting and the research, but then I kind of "fall into the hole" of the story. When I go back to read it, I'm often kind of amazed that those words came out of my head. I can never get over that I get to bring people and places to life that didn't even really exist before. It's kind of the same feeling I got when I had my kids. I'd look at them as newborns and just be completely blown away that I grew this whole being and here they were - somebody brand new.
What do you know now that you wished you knew five years ago?
I wish I knew that in order to write a book, I needed to say no to other things. I spent a lot of years not focusing and just spinning my wheels. I wish I knew I didn't need anyone's permission to focus on one creative project.
You can have dinner with three other writers, living or deceased. Who's coming for dinner? Why these particular writers? What do you hope to learn or experience with them?
Just three? It's hard to narrow them down but I think I'd invite J.R.R. Tolkien, J.K. Rowling, and Joanna Penn. Tolkien was a genius and just listening to him (or going for a walk since he was a big walker - C.S. Lewis was too) would be beyond amazing. I think I'd want to know about how he created his worlds and how he tied all of his plots back together in the end. J.K. Rowling created some of the best known/loved characters/worlds in modern history. She also writes to my age group. I'd love to know so many things from her like how she built the Harry Potter world, how she deals with such a large amount of success and still connects with her readers. Joanna Penn is my modern writing hero because she looks at writing as a business and thinks long term. I'd love to just pick her brain for my specific platform. Also, she just seems super nice and like someone I'd enjoy chatting with.
Those are great choices. I’d like to be at that dinner. I’ve had the chance to meet Joanna Penn and you’re right, she is super nice. She told me once, “When I solve a problem for my own author business, I tend to write a book on it!” In that vein, what advice would you offer writers who are just starting their journey?
If you want to write books, you are going to have to say no to some things. Writing requires not just time, but emotional and physical energy. Also, just start. Don't take another course or read another book on writing or watch another YouTube video. Just start.
Exactly. Just get started! If I ever get a tattoo, it will probably be “Just keep writing” on the top of my hands. How can I support you as a writer?
Share ways writers are successful. I love Joanna Penn because she makes being a full-time writer seem so possible. I am super jealous that you got to hang out with her. She's always so optimistic and was really the person who made me think I could actually BE a writer.
She is tremendous. As we finish up, I ask every writer this, what are your three favorite words?
Splendidly; lalapalooza; serendipitous (at the moment - these are subject to change)
Well, this interview went splendidly! Thanks so much for taking the time to talk with me!
Thanks again To R.V. Bowman for talking with me! You can check out book #1 in her series on Kindle Unlimited and get the eBook for .99 cents March 5-8. Book #2 in the series, Pan's Secrets: Rommy's Quest for Answers is dropping on May 1st!
Please check out her homepage HERE!