My name is Michael Victor Bowman. I write science fiction, fantasy and non-fiction books, articles, blog posts and the occasional social media update. Sometimes I review movies.
If you like quirky fantasy, compelling science fiction and opinions on practically anything, subscribe to my site or follow on social media for regular updates from the right hemisphere of my brain.
I can’t abide long biographical pages, so I’ve written one anyway, but I’ve cut it up into bite size pieces. The first part below is the commercial bit as it usually appears on guest blogs, articles, works of fiction and other places across the web.
The second part is the honest bit where I tear open my writer’s heart and show you the blood-soaked cogs and wheels that churn the soup of my soul within its dark and pulsing chambers.
The Commercial Bit
Michael was once chased by an angry hippo in Tanzania, which was the most interesting seven seconds of his life. The most interesting six seconds are another story…
Michael grew up preferring fantasy to football. As a writer he’ll try any genre at least once, but always comes home to science fiction and fantasy. His published works include ‘The Lucky Ones’, a story about angels trapped on Earth, and ‘Black and White’, a new take on the mythology of dragons. His books can be found on Amazon and, when he isn’t writing, he can usually be found walking a dog.
If you like his work, please stop by and leave a comment because, as Charles Buxton said, silence is the severest criticism.
Sick of social media? Try this: www.michaelvictorbowman.com
It’s an actual blog! It’s easy on the eyes, has an enlightened comment policy, and good taste in books. Sounds like the ideal Tinder date…
Well, that’s the sales pitch out of the way. Now it’s time for the obligatory soppy life story of why and how I write, otherwise known as…
The Honest Bit
I can tell you exactly when I made the decision to write a novel for publication and, hopefully, profit. It was the 15th of June 2006, a Tuesday. It was dark outside so I think it was sometime after 9:30pm. I was standing by the back door, which was closed, looking into the kitchen, which was dark, and thinking. This was no accident: a dark room is the greatest stimulus of the imagination that there is. Our primitive ape ancestors populated it with venomous snakes and Sabre Tooth tigers, while today their modern descendants fill it with murderous psychopaths or nameless supernatural terrors. All of these things have been turned into highly successful films, books and bedtime stories.
Thus, my decision to write was, as every single author alive today will tell you, the culmination of an in-built and life-long love of telling stories. And every author alive will tell you this because it’s true. We need to do it and, speaking for myself, I’m usually happier when I’m writing regularly than when I’m not. At the time of writing this page I haven’t written for a month or more and am feeling pretty anti-social as a result. Is it therapy? Maybe. Does that matter? Not one bit.
So what was I going to write?
My first book was going to be a science fiction thriller about an astronaut called Jon, his genetically engineered fiance and his cyborg best friend. They spend most of their time trying not to be killed by fundamentalist religious fanatics who object to their existence. At one point Jon is briefly regressed into a two year old child by an augmented reality machine and learns a shocking truth about his life as a result. It’s a heart-rending scene which would have you crying tears of sympathy onto your kindle screen and took me several weeks to write. The end of the book is a brilliant, breath-taking climax which will spin your eyeballs in their sockets… and make you weep again at the sheer bloody humanity of it all… but only if it ever gets published! So far ‘Sleeper Ship’ (it’s a working title: I got sick of calling it Book 1) is only two thirds finished, but in getting that far I have written about four versions of this novel in the process.
Those four novels were the making of me.
In them I learned How To Write. But most importantly I learned How I Write and what I want to write about. Unfortunately, the answer to that last question turns out to be practically anything regardless of genre, style, target audience or medium. This makes me a very poor commercial prospect. You see, most publishers prefer it if an author can quickly and simply define themselves, their work and their target audience in three words or less. They also prefer it if you finish a book now and then. Thus, nearly eight years down the line I remain unpublished, either traditionally or digitally (good God, eight years… where did that go?).
But I’ve had some good fortune along the way.
In August 2008 I met A.J. Dalton at one of his book signings in the now defunct Borders Book Store… oh, Borders, how I miss thee. You were a brilliant shop window for Amazon and you even served half decent coffee!
Anyway, at the time Mr Dalton was a struggling self-published author who had to set up all his own signings and publicity, and was learning a hell of a lot in the process (he has gone on to have several books published by Gollancz). Some of this gold mine of hard-earned information he has transmitted to me, along with a great deal of solid writing advice, so it is difficult to be too grateful for his time and energies. Check him out at Metaphysical Fantasy and always remember this life lesson: give credit where credit is due. You get nowhere in life but that someone helps you. Never pretend you did it all on your own.
Also, if you ever see a book signing, go and check it out.
This is already a very long page, and there is much more to say…
… like describing all the agonising hours of research and reading that has developed my knowledge of writing and publishing to the point where I could practically write a book on it… hmm, there’s a thought.
Or like how it’s all A.J. Dalton’s fault that I got started writing fantasy. When I started I was certain my true love could only ever be science fiction, then he sent me a link to an open submission at a small fantasy publisher and said ‘why don’t you try this?’ So I wrote a short story called Heart’s Desire about myths and legends, mid-life crises and loneliness, and whether or not magic can exist. The publisher accepted it but went bust before it could publish anything (it was a very small publisher) but I enjoyed doing it (and since then, Heart’s Desire has found a new home in an anthology! Click the link).
As a result of writing Heart’s Desire, I went on to develop a quirky style of writing fantasy which definitely won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. Thus, most publishers don’t like it. But that doesn’t matter. I don’t write for them. I write for me and my readers.
I put that in bold because it’s important.