Interview with K T Bowes

Who are your favorite authors?
My most favourite author is MM Kaye, who wrote 'The Far Pavilions'. I have read other work by her, but that novel stands out the most in my memory because although it was fiction, it was built from her own life experiences. It had such a ring of truism that it was eerie. It was huge and took a whole month to read but I really didn't want it to finish. I also love Rebecca Shaw's 'Village Series' and Earlene Fowler's 'Benni Harper Mysteries'. I am an avid reader and will read absolutely anything, from instructions to the backs of shampoo bottles when I get very desperate. I often have a few books on the go at once in different rooms but when I find one that I love, I will carry it everywhere with me just in case I get a few moments down time. I'm not satisfied until I have completely devoured it.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Sometimes I actually don't want to get up. I work and have a family as well as writing. I get up early and go for a run or a blast on my exercise bike - although I have recently rigged up a way of reading my Kindle on the bike. I believe in a forgiving God, which is just as well as I am always doing things wrong, but I have seen how fragile and precious life is. I try to do at least one nice thing for someone a day and that is definitely worth getting up for. Once a day doesn't sound a lot, but it's easy to get to the end of the day and realise I didn't do it, or that I just got too busy in my own stuff and didn't even notice a need. My faith has carried me through a lot of hard circumstances.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I work as an archivist, taking care of old photos and documents. It is a surprisingly busy job. There is always somebody wanting me to search for something. People are becoming more interested in their genealogy as the social fabric starts to tear. It's like the world is trying to find an anchor in history for itself. I have four children at different stages of adulthood and a lovely husband, who I have been married to for almost 22 years. There is always someone popping back home for something or just to say 'Hi' and I think I've finally made it to the 'nice part' of parenting. It felt like a long time coming, but maybe it's actually here.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I can spend hours just feebly thrashing around in my kindle or the e-reader that I inherited from my dad, depending on where something is published, scrolling through until I find something I like. Alternatively I will often go for books by the same author if I have enjoyed something they've written. Word of mouth is a big one. I hate spamming, so very rarely read anything that jumps out at me screaming 'Buy my book' as it has the exact opposite effect on me. I am a member of the Book Review Depot on Facebook and we have an Active Review List, where we purchase each other's books and read for review. I have tended to stick to that list in recent months as I have got to know the authors. The more I read, the more points I get towards getting my own books on the list. I've read heaps of books on there, often trying new genres and opening up a whole world of literature.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes I do. I got a prize for it in school and illustrated it myself. My favourite aunty took the sheets of paper to a friend and turned it into a little book with a hard cover. It wasn't really flash but I remember feeling so special. It was covered in bright blue shiny protective wrap with a little light blue spine. It was about the sun and the wind and is probably in my parents' attic somewhere.
What is your writing process?
I get an idea and then I scrabble to put it down on my laptop. If I'm somewhere without my laptop, I put it into a notebook and then add notes to the bottom of my laptop copy to remind me. My writing just seems to pour out to be honest. There isn't any set format and I couldn't say, 'Oh I always do this or that.' When it's in my head, it seems to burn my brain and I have to just get it out there and move on to the next bit. It can feel quite frenzied and desperate if it is really coming thick and fast and I'm not very good company at those times. I keep going at it until I'm happy with what I've achieved and then I read back over it and edit, doing a sort of beta read as I go. I tidy continually and make sure that I have no loose ends and then I get a couple of trusted proof readers to go through a copy. They give me feedback and I make changes. Then I produce the cover, often without a title yet and wait a few days. The title will come to me and then I check it again on a previewer, make sure I'm completely happy and put it up for sale. Then I hold my breath and hope that someone will buy it.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
My mum taught me to read and write before I went to school and I was reading Enid Blyton from very early on. Probably the most influential book was her 'Castle of Adventure' which held me gripped. It was frightening and full of mystery and intrigue and I had to read it under the sheets with a torch after my bed time because I couldn't put it down. It didn't help reading it in the dark either - just made it much scarier. I think my sister told on me too. I was fascinated with the idea that parents would let their children go off camping by themselves and give them so much free reign to get into these sticky situations. It was so far outside my own life that I just drank it all in. I read everything that Blyton wrote eventually. I loved the world that her characters lived in so much.
How do you approach cover design?
Initially my covers were quite feeble. I don't look at covers particularly much - my e-reader shows covers at about 10% and is black and white so I mistakenly thought that everyone else was the same and didn't look overly hard. For my first novel, I took a photo of my daughter in our back paddock, chose a font and a background cover and my husband fiddled around in Publisher to produce something quite lovely. I have had to push my 'technical envelope' considerably through publishing though and can now make them in Photoshop. I have started uploading new, more glitzy, well thought out covers and it have noticed that sales have risen. I do use family in my photos and local areas of interest and so they are deeply personal.
What do you read for pleasure?
I love a good mystery for pleasure, something to draw me in and keep me intrigued. I'm not keen on erotica, zombies, vampires or occult type things. If someone tells me that a book made them cry, I will tend to avoid that. I really enjoy a good comedy, something to lighten my mood and make me feel refreshed. I want to feel better by the time I've read the final page, not worse.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have Kindle and a Sony e-reader that I got from my father. I alternate between the two but find that I read much more on my Kindle.
Describe your desk
My 'desk' can be anywhere - literally. I have written in the greenhouse, in the car, at the beach, on my bed and on the dining table. My desk is basically anywhere that I can get peace and quiet and time to create or edit.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in England and West Germany. My father was a soldier in the Royal Air Force and I moved schools a lot. I knew what it was like to feel isolated and lonely as friends disappeared overnight when their father was moved on without warning and I experienced crushing vulnerability. West Germany during the Cold War was not a fun place to grow up and our school bus was searched by armed gate guards each day. Life could be quite restrictive and it wasn't like today, when you can Skype family on the other side of the world. We had a phone box down the street and telegrams to contact home, which only added to the sense of desperation when something went wrong. My first teen book, 'Free from the Tracks' is massively influenced by the awful secondary school I went to, once we were back in England. It was an horrific place to try and get an education and I'm not quite sure how I managed it.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I knew that what I had written was good and could rival the books out there, but didn't know where to begin. I read about the vicious circle of not being able to get a publisher without an agent and not being able to get an agent without being published and couldn't see a way into it. I had tried seven years earlier to get a childrens' book published called 'Dumb Dog' and ended up paying an agency who claimed the rights to the book and did absolutely nothing with it. It left a nasty taste in my mouth and I was afraid to get into it again. I love the control of being an indie and using my own resources to produce something that I am proud of. There is huge satisfaction in that.
When did you first start writing?
I started writing as soon as I could hold a pencil and make literary shapes on a page. I wrote poetry and decorated it. I found that it helped when I was walking through something difficult, putting it down on the paper and then being able to let it go. I guess that I do that now, just in novel form. Everything goes in, personal issues, rows with my husband, problems at work. Nothing is sacred.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
For me, the greatest joy of writing, is taking my own very real experiences and transposing them onto the page. Things that have deeply affected me and that I worried about writing down, seem to have touched other people in some way. The greatest joy of writing is when someone stops you and begs you for details of your next novel and seems genuinely desperate to get their hands on it.
What do your fans mean to you?
I absolutely love it when someone tells me how much they enjoyed my work. It's a personal affirmation, which tells me that all those hours I spent pouring myself into something precious, actually means something to someone else and has had a positive effect on them. I get quite excited when I get a new 'like' on my hanadurose Facebook page and try to interact with everyone. I can't imagine that I would ever be stopped in the street, and would probably die of pleasure and embarrassment if it happened.
Published 2015-11-23.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Pirongia's Secret
Series: Escaping the Back Country. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 46,890. Language: English. Published: July 6, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Cozy
Who murdered the boy on Pirongia Mountain? Who knows a secret? And what remains when innocence is gone forever? Four isolated are teenagers keeping far too many secrets. They dream of escaping the tiny rural town beneath the mountain, but a murderer has other plans. One of them has stepped on a hornet's nest and may not get out alive at all.
The Bee Queen
Series: A Keeper's War. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 43,510. Language: English. Published: May 28, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Sci-Fi & fantasy
They think they know what's best for her. But what if they don't? Would you fight for a destiny you didn't want? She has a bee nature, but she's not a bee. She doesn't want the remnant of the swarm her mother left her. And they don't want her.
Perpetual Winter
Series: A Keeper's War. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 77,610. Language: British English. Published: May 3, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy, Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
What if you hated your destiny? The last hive has fallen and it's all up to you. What if there’s no other way? Estefania is the last virgin queen able to rule the bee colony. But it's not what she wants. Her quest is to find out why the old queen killed her mother. She doesn't care that the perpetual winter is coming for her. She doesn't care, but she soon will. She's the last queen.
Du Rose Family Ties
Series: The Hana Du Rose Mysteries. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 153,040. Language: English. Published: January 7, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths, Fiction » Romance » Suspense
A stray child. A mother’s heart. Cuckoos in the family nest. As a prophecy still winds its wicked fingers through the lives of her children, Hana Du Rose is forced to consider its truths once again. "The sons will be the ruin of this family."
Gone Phishing
Series: Troubled. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 64,180. Language: English. Published: October 15, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Romance, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Mystery & Detective
Two teenagers with the odds stacked against them take a dangerous gamble when they challenge an online catfish who's trying to make a fool of a vulnerable man. Edgar's hell bent on wrecking his life for love but can Dane and Sophia stop him making the worst mistake of his life?
All Saints
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 74,340. Language: English. Published: August 5, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Cozy
The Saints have rules and disobeying them draws consequences. As Ursula rises from the ashes of her empty life, she discovers passion and excitement in an unexpected place. The Saints don’t associate with referees and that’s what Teina Fox is. Ursula has broken rule number one of the Saint code. She faces a dilemma; stop seeing the sexy referee or lose her place in the family.
Series: Escaping the Back Country. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 89,810. Language: English. Published: May 1, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Women's fiction » Chick lit
When Deleilah Hanover's world collapses along with her abusive marriage, she finds herself back where she started in the tiny tourist town in the foothills of Mount Pirongia. But there was a reason she left and the secret haunts her with renewed strength, sullying old relationships and threatening new. Only two people know the truth and they aren't telling but it will come out. It always does.
The Actuary in Trouble
Series: The Calculated Risk. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 87,700. Language: English. Published: May 13, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Traditional British, Fiction » Romance » Suspense
Recovering from the devastation of Rohan’s last job as The Actuary, Emma Andreyev tries to settle into life as lady of the manor in the small English town of Market Harborough. But as her husband retires his alter ego and promises to become a respectable businessman, trouble descends from too many quarters to be pure coincidence. The Andreyevs are in trouble; but who's at the centre of it?
Logan Du Rose (Novella)
Series: The Hana Du Rose Mysteries. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 11,960. Language: English. Published: February 7, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Short stories, Fiction » Women's fiction » Chick lit
When a young Maori boy travels from New Zealand to London to visit a sick uncle, his life changes as he struggles to shoulder massive responsibilities. His eyes are opened to the depravity within his own family and the precariousness of their existence back home. In a single day he finds and loses love. Logan Du Rose leaves Aotearoa as a boy and returns a man.
The Hana Du Rose Mysteries Boxed Set - Books 1 - 4
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 565,520. Language: English. Published: December 22, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Suspense, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Amateur sleuth
Only one man can offer Hana salvation. The question is, can she trust him? If you like feisty heroines and strong, kick-ass men, you’ll love the Du Rose family. The only series to ever make a reader's eyeballs fall out. Buy the boxed set to get over 500,000 words of quality writing across four gripping novels from a New Zealand author.
The Actuary's Wife
Series: The Calculated Risk. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 106,730. Language: English. Published: October 25, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Historical, Fiction » Romance » Suspense
Rohan and Emma seem determined to make their relationship work but it's hard being married to The Actuary. When Dolan, the sexy Irishman reveals Rohan's hiding something, Emma does her own investigating and is heartbroken by what she finds. Before she can resolve her romance issues, Emma's work at the school uncovers a century old deceit which may just get her killed first.
The Actuary
Series: The Calculated Risk. Price: Free! Words: 128,120. Language: English. Published: October 25, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Suspense, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Spies & espionage
A Russian ex-lover and a girl on the run. It's a combination which spells disaster. Emma's in hiding and Rohan tracks risk for a living. He always knew where she was. But the risk has doubled and they have more to lose this time around. Someone else is waiting for Emma to emerge, someone with an agenda of their own.
Du Rose Sons
Series: The Hana Du Rose Mysteries, Book 8. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 148,800. Language: English. Published: February 23, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths, Fiction » Women's fiction » Chick lit
One sin she can’t forgive. He knew that. He did it anyway. It seemed nothing and nobody could replace Hana in Logan’s affections. They’ve arrived home from a trip to Europe looking stronger than ever as a family unit. Yet disaster looms in the shape of an unexpected visitor, throwing the Du Roses into turmoil. The past will not leave them in peace.
A Trail of Lies
Series: Troubled, Book 3. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 111,030. Language: English (New Zealand dialect). Published: December 30, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Romance, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Social Issues
Awarded a 5 star review from Readers' Favorite and a best in genre award from Authors' Cave. A distraught teenage girl, a lonely New Zealand mountain of secrets and a boy with bush-craft skills. What could possibly go wrong? When Callister decides to run away from home, it's the first of many bad decisions which will come full circle and trap her in a nightmare of epic proportions.
One Heartbeat
Series: The Hana Du Rose Mysteries, Book 6. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 143,400. Language: English. Published: September 19, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Women's fiction » Chick lit, Fiction » Cultural & ethnic themes » Cultural interest, general
One chance. One life. One heartbeat away from eternity. A face from the past disturbs Hana’s second chance at love, pitching her backwards as her old life bleeds into the new. She's forced to deal with buried hurts and learn that forgiveness is a two part process. If you like small town mysteries with heart, then you’ll love the Du Roses. Buy One Heartbeat to get a taste of mystery down under.
The New Du Rose Matriarch
Series: The Hana Du Rose Mysteries, Book 5. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 122,700. Language: British English. Published: June 4, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths, Fiction » Women's fiction » Chick lit
Motherhood at forty-five is not quite what Hana Du Rose expected and she feels disappointed in herself. Her previous stalker is behind bars but another danger is getting ready to stretch its wicked fingers and make her life unbearable. Who is the handsome man in the black Mercedes and why is he intent on punishing Hana? Why is it that she can't ask her husband for help this time?
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 39,230. Language: British English. Published: June 4, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Historical, Fiction » Cultural & ethnic themes » Cultural interest, general
Awarded a 5 star Readers' Favorite review. After stealing a historical treasure in New Zealand, Lara flees to the UK, finding work at a local museum and friendship with new neighbours, Kerry, an eccentric primary school teacher and Arama, a handsome, aggressive businessman. Delving into the museum artifacts, Lara finds solace and hope but before she can accept love, she must forgive herself.
Demons on Her Shoulder
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 68,320. Language: British English. Published: June 4, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Traditional British, Fiction » Women's fiction » Chick lit
A man of prejudice. Another of healing. And one wearing guilt like a shroud. Three men with the beautiful counsellor in their sights, each with the power to destroy her carefully crafted life. While Jayden works hard to help the ailing parish, someone else has murder on their mind.
Sophia's Dilemma
Series: Troubled, Book 2. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 35,040. Language: English. Published: January 24, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Chick Lit, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Social Issues
For Sophia, life is a mundane, teenage existence, except for her hot, bad-boy boyfriend, Dane McArdle. Along with all that brooding hotness comes a drug-addicted mother and violent stepfather. When a body is discovered in Dane's home, Sophia must do everything possible to help him, but her efforts are wasted. Even worse, she believes Dane has returned to his old habits and her dreams are over.
Du Rose Legacy
Series: The Hana Du Rose Mysteries, Book 4. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 186,940. Language: English. Published: December 27, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Women's fiction » Chick lit
End of the line. End of a life. Is this the end of a legacy? Awarded a 5* review by Readers' Favorite. As Hana struggles to deal with her husband's complicated life, her own past hunts her with a vengeance, threatening to unpick her new marriage and plunge her back into loneliness. When tragedy strikes deep in the New Zealand bush, nothing will ever be the same again.
Free From the Tracks
Series: Troubled, Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 34,300. Language: British English. Published: December 22, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Social Issues, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Romance
A girl with secrets. A bad boy in trouble. A community out to get them. Driven out of her friendship group, Sophia finds comfort in all the wrong places. Her secret will detonate her world and it’s easier to become involved in someone else’s troubles than face her own. If you like teen books with a dose of reality, you’ll love Free From the Tracks. Download at your peril and stay awake reading.
Hana Du Rose
Series: The Hana Du Rose Mysteries, Book 3. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 181,100. Language: British English. Published: December 22, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Women's fiction » Chick lit, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths
Awarded a 5 star review by Readers' Favorite. A secret marriage. A dangerous pursuer. And a disastrous life lesson with far reaching consequences. Hana needs to decide whether to run, or stay.
The Du Rose Prophecy
Series: The Hana Du Rose Mysteries, Book 7. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 149,590. Language: British English. Published: December 19, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths, Fiction » Women's fiction » Chick lit
A prophecy in the making. History for the taking. And disaster beckons the sons of an ancient family. Decades ago on a mountain in New Zealand, a rich landowner sat with her grandson and told him the stories of his people. She prophesied he would be the one to rebuild their legacy. Thirty-five years later and Logan Du Rose is battling deceit and murder to make it happen.
About Hana
Series: The Hana Du Rose Mysteries, Book 2. Price: Free! Words: 191,880. Language: British English. Published: November 26, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths, Fiction » Romance » Suspense
Awarded a Readers' Favorite 5 star review. She's stumbled across a mystery that will change her life forever. Frightened and alone, Hana needs to keep moving or the blonde man will find her. He's hurt her once before. Next time he'll make sure he finishes the job.