with John Bowie:
Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?
John: As long as I can remember, I’ve written. I spent a lot of time as a child hiding in a giant second-hand bookshop in a disused train station. First influence to take seriously was Bukowski. The truth and words filled with heart and soul were hard to ignore. Also, the attitude of just getting on and doing it. Like taking a breath. An automated reflex and a gift. And damn the world if it loves or hates it—it’s for the writer.
Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?
John: Many new and established authors. I’ve made a lot of connections through my e-zine: Bristol Noir. All the writers who submit are very inspiring creative characters and their words match that.
Q3: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing/art? Have any travels away from home influence your work/describe?
John: I was born in Northumberland. An area rich with stories and a history including Vikings, Romans, wars and battles. The scenery is epic too. I studied in Manchester in the 90s, so the bands, music and clubs were a massive influence. I was there when the IRA bomb went off too and saw the aftermath. And, I’ve done lot of travelling around Malaysia, Borneo, Hong Kong and Australia. I’m using these memories, particularly of some of the remote islands, in the current book I’m working on, Viking (due out with Red Dog Press).
Q4: What do you consider your most meaningful work you’ve done creatively so far?
John: I’ve found that my poetry is. As well as being succinct emotional snapshots it’s also an exercise in crafting short prose, even tighter than flash fiction. Each one in my latest collection, Dead Birds & Sinking Ships, is like cutting me open and seeing what’s inside. My work in progress, Walking Towards The Noise, is the same and very cathartic to write.
Q5: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer/artist?
John: I’ve always done it so there was no turning point as such. My credibility and confidence came with other writers and indie publishers reading, getting it and asking for it. Same with the artwork and cover illustrations.
Q6: Favorite activities to relax?
John: I’m a David Lynch fan and have recently discovered and started Transcendental Meditation techniques after hearing him talk about it. His weather forecasts on YouTube are very soothing too. I’d highly recommend Nick Cave’s The Red Hand Files as well.
Q7: Any recent or forthcoming projects you’d like to promote?
John: Please check out my latest crime noir thriller Division (Red Dog Press) and my poetry collection Dead Birds & Sinking Ships (Close to the Bone) both of which came out this month. My artwork is also on Redbubble – tagged The Aloof.
Q8: What is a favorite line from a poem/song of yours, or favorite piece of art or photograph?
Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?
John: My wife. I can’t say enough. We’re co-joined and growing together. Writing is such a huge part of my world and she has been very knowledgeable and supportive through it all.