Thursday, 31 January 2013

Interview: Daniel Bowman

How did you get started writing?
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 tried pirate novels, though these always stopped after the third mutiny—I needed a story where it already had a plot.
  How did you get the ideas/information for your book?
 “Alaric, Child of the Goths” began on a vacation. My wife Amanda and I visited the Toledo Zoo in Ohio. She was wiped out from walking all around, so I watched the History Channel after she fell asleep. We do not have 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.
       History is full of stories—true ones (unlike the wildly-adapted-but-still-enjoyable Braveheart, 300, Gladiator…). So many heroes, villains, and tragedies far exceed the fictional ideas of authors, and many of these stories are known only in boring monographs. I aim to remedy that.
What do you think your next book will be about? Any tentative title?
I hope to publish “Hammer of God” this year. Euric and Guntharic, brothers living in medieval Hispania, watch as their parents die and their sisters are taken captive by the Muslim Umayyads, who conquer their nation in a single battle. Euric flees north to Francia, where he dreams of becoming a knight, his fate intertwined with that of Duke Charles Martel. Meanwhile, Guntharic experiences life among the Umayyads, suffering through a long enslavement as he learns their advanced culture and befriends both Christians and Muslims. Will the two brothers ever see each other again? What will happen when the Umayyad host finally faces the Frankish phalanx at the epic battle of Tours?
       I am also writing the tale of Hernan Cortes’ wife, Dona Marina, so my wife can finally read a book with a female main character.
What tips do you have for other writers? (persevering, proofreading, publishing, promoting…) Anything unique/strange/wonderful?
The best tip I came across 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. 
        In college, I told my brothers part of a story each night, taking notes at the same time so I could type them out! They got annoyed, but I still have those stories.
What is your life like outside of writing family like?
I have been married to Amanda, my first and only girlfriend, for over eight years and we have two children, John and Anna. I enjoy an eclectic range of hobbies: playing piano and composing music, reading ancient languages, and teaching English as a Second Language to students from over fifteen countries.

“Alaric, Child of the Goths” is available at Amazon.
Visit Daniel Bowman.

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