Wednesday 11th December - David Bowmore

Sixteen Questions for Sixteen Authors

Contributor spotlight : David Bowmore, author of “I, Dragon”

The dragon drops from the sky and steps into the interviewer's arena, introducing itself as David Bowmore who wrote the short story “I, Dragon” for the “Dragon Bone Soup” anthology (published in December 2019). In a mere 2,300 words, David tells an epic tale of love and loss, a vast sweep of history, the huge battles of the Dark Wars and the role dragons played in them ... all from a dragon's point of view.

What is your real name and what name do you write under (if they are different)?

David Spillane had been alive for 45 years before David Bowmore came into existence in July 2017. I chose a pen name because I wasn’t sure what my family, or anyone else who knew me for that matter, would think of my writing. Now I’m not so bothered, but David Bowmore exists.

Where do you hail from?

I was born in Newbury, Berkshire but I’ve moved about quite a bit. I lived in Australia when I was young. Now I live in Yorkshire.

What is the greatest thing about the place you call home?

Wherever Jai—my wife—is, then I’m home.

What is the best thing that ever happened to you (writing or otherwise)?

My first story ever accepted into an anthology ‘Sins of The Father’ won best in book granting me the opportunity to have my own collection of stories published. And in June, less than a year later, The Magic of Deben Market was released. It was and still is an amazing feeling.

But, not as amazing as the day I married my wife, on a beach in Jamaica – without a doubt the best thing ever is still being with my soulmate, twenty years later.

What genre(s) do you write in? What genre(s) do you find challenging?

I am most comfortable with mysteries and adventures, or stories with a touch of the paranormal, and I’m rather taken with lit-fic too. I’m not comfortable with horror, although I have given it a go. Considering all I really read as a child was fantasy and sci-fi, I find writing them rather tricky.

I had never written an all out fantasy story before, so the one I wrote for Dragon Bone Soup was my first – I thoroughly expected it to be rejected. Hence, I am very pleased that it made the grade.

How did you come up with the premise for your story?

I thought that you can’t get more fantasy than a dragon, so let’s write it from the dragon’s point of view. And ‘I, Dragon’ was born.

Where do your ideas come from?

When my poodle isn’t whispering me fantastical ideas about time-travelling cocker spaniels from Mars or plot twists for amateur detectives, then I usually respond to short story calls. However, when I wrote my own collection I found myself delving into memories, conjuring characters from bits and pieces of conversation or half-remembered personality traits.

In truth, I start writing and see if the words that come out lead anywhere exciting – some do, some don’t.

What research do you do for your stories?

The story dictates the research. But I try to make things as authentic as possible, especially with historical pieces. Sometimes the research happens as I write, which can be terribly distracting, other times when reading through the rough draft, I will find something that needs to be cleared up. Historical writing needs the most research.

We are both blessed and cursed to live in the age of the internet – so much information is at the tips of our fingers, but one should always double check their findings.

What comes first for you – character, plot or setting – and why?

This is an interesting question. It’s a combination of the three with some stories demanding more of one than the others. For instance, I wrote a story called ‘Who Killed Panama Harlan?’ for a crime noir anthology. The call by definition needed dark stories in the style of crime classics from the early/mid twentieth century. I knew I wanted my story set in England rather than America. And I had absolutely no idea of plot. But I did know I wanted it to start with a bang and the story simple grew from the first line ‘The boys in blue took great pleasure in kicking the office door in.’ From there the story was off and running; the main character grew and the plot developed.

Who is in change of writing the story, you or your characters?

I think my best stories are the ones where the characters take over. They seem to flow effortlessly from my fingertips. When I try to push the character in certain directions, it becomes more of a struggle to finish the story. In essence it is easier when I become the character.

Are you a tea or coffee person?

Coffee – every time.

Which period in Earth’s history (or future) would you like to visit, and why?

I would absolutely and without a doubt live in the 1920s. Although I would need a computer so I could keep writing. And antibiotics.

What are the three best pieces of advice you could give to a new author about writing?

  • Read, keep reading.
  • Write, keep writing because it will take time to find your voice.
  • Edit, get professional help – you will learn much.

What are you working on right now?

I am developing a collection of stories featuring my character from the 1930s, Mortimer Marsh. He’s not the sharpest knife in the drawer. But he is brave and has a friend who is connected, has more secrets than the Vatican and a nose for trouble. Her name is Georgette. Together, they become a crime-solving duo. The stories start light with a touch of comedy but as they progress darker elements and the prospect of war in Europe lend a more sinister tone to the finale.

Ideas are bubbling for a sequel to Deben Market too…

What are your plans for the future?

I’m not sure. It would be nice to think I could live somewhere warm, where the grape is grown and earn a living through writing.

How can readers find you online and on social media?

I’m mainly active on facebook, twitter and my own website/blog – they’re all here: https://plu.us/davidbowmore

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