Interview with Barry Bowe

When did you first start writing?
Corporate politics got me fired from a lucrative sales management position in Philadelphia. I then vowed to never again work for a large corporation. What next? Having always dreamed of being a writer, I moved to St. Croix to pursue that dream. Needing income, I got a job teaching algebra, geometry, and trigonometry at an expensive private school, moonlighted as a bartender, and took correspondence courses in writing. After a year on the island, I learned enough about writing to convince the editor of the local newspaper to hire me as a sportswriter. Being published almost every day allowed me to experiment, listen to feedback, and make adjustments to my voice and style.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
My first book was published by Warner Books in 1994. Once the deal was signed, it was like we were adversaries instead of partners. To begin with, since it was my first book, Warner limited me to 80,000 words. My original manuscript was twice that long, so they forced me to cut significant content. We disagreed about many editing issues. Guess who won those battles? After all was said and done, since I wasn't John Grisham or someone of that stature, I had to do most of the marketing and promotion. They gave me 50 free author's copies, and that was about the extent of their post-publication cooperation. As an indie, I make the decisions and control my projects.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords gives me distribution alternatives to Amazon. The Smashwords publication process is smooth and uncomplicated. I can virtually have a book ready for the selling process within hours of submitting it. Not to mention that the commissions are higher with Smashwords. Opps. I did mention the commissions.
What do your fans mean to you?
My first book, Born to Be Wild, has been out of print for 20 years. Because of Facebook, my fans convinced me to re-publish that book. They told me how much they liked it, but had misplaced their copies over the years. How could they get a copy? This gave me the opportunity to restore the lost episodes I'd been forced to cut, and to re-publish the book. Fans are everything. They tell you what they like and don't like, and they pass the information along to their friends.
What are you working on next?
By Opening Day of baseball season, "1964: The Year the Phillies Blew the Pennant" should be ready for publication. The book uses that fateful 1964 season as the focus upon which the attitude of Philadelphia sports fans has been altered beyond repair lo these 60 years later. In memoir form, it weaves nostalgic sports moments in my life between 1946 and 1964 into the story. As such, It's a historical look at all Philadelphia sports during that period. Hot on the heels of "1964" will be the crime fictions "Caribbean Queen" and "Stosh Wadzinski." The books are written but in need of an editing once-over and polish.
Who are your favorite authors?
Harold Robbins, Elmore Leonard, and John D. MacDonald.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
When I open my eyes and realize I'm still alive.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I don't remember any of the first stories I ever wrote, but I remember about things them. I didn't know stories had beginnings, middles, and ends. I knew nothing about protagonists, antagonists, or any of the archetypical characters. I just knew I had an idea and wanted to write. So I wrote non-stories. And get this, eager to become published, I submitted all those non-stories to magazines and newspaper for publication. Needless to say, I collected an abundant crop of rejection slips.
How do you approach cover design?
My covers are a collage of vital elements of the story. I try to make them pertinent and visually appealing.
What do you read for pleasure?
The first book I read for pleasure was "The Adventurers" by Harold Robbins. I was 25 or 26. After mandatory readings in high school and college of Shakespeare and boring works of that ilk, I was thrilled to read a book that spoke to me in such graphic tones. I was tickled to learn that four-letter words were acceptable in contemporary literature. That's when I first dreamed of becoming a writer. That dream was delayed for 25 years, but I'm happy to say it was eventually realized.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
Born in a coal-mining town in the Pocono Mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania, everyone I knew until I was five was Polish. My father was in France flying bombing missions over Germany. Because we didn't meet until I was almost four years old, my dad and I shared a special bond. Involved in sports, he took me everywhere with him. Those experiences shaped my upcoming book "1964." My grandmother was widowed with six children. She ran a beer garden catering to Polish miners. When Prohibition put her out of business, she ran a speak-easy and became a bootlegger. She put five children through college and set the sixth up in business. She's the inspiration for "Polish Widow" coming out around next New Year's Day.
Published 2014-02-10.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Eagles QBs A to Z
Price: $4.77 USD. Words: 25,320. Language: English. Published: October 9, 2017. Categories: Nonfiction » Sports & outdoor recreation » Football & rugby, Nonfiction » Sports & outdoor recreation » Football & rugby
A showcase of every quarterback in the history of the Philadelphia Eagles.
Out on Bail
Series: Death Struggle, Episode 5. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 13,120. Language: English. Published: July 1, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Hard-Boiled
"21 Years" is an episodic crime drama following in the footsteps of Sons of Anarchy, The Blacklist, Narcos, House of Cards, and Breaking Bad. "Out on Bail" is the fifth episode of the series.
Nuthin from Nuthin
Series: Death Struggle, Episode 4. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 15,170. Language: English. Published: May 30, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Police Procedural
21 Years is an episodic crime saga following in the footsteps of Sons of Anarchy, The Blacklist, Narcos, House of Cards, & Breaking Bad. "Nuthin from Nuthin" is Episode 4.
Birth of the Birds
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 3,410. Language: English. Published: April 23, 2017. Categories: Nonfiction » Sports & outdoor recreation » Football & rugby
Birth of the Birds traces when and how the Philadelphia Eagles NFL franchise came into existence - while at the same time correcting some misconceptions, dispelling some notions, and introducing a cast of interesting characters.
Matter of Life and Death
Series: Death Struggle, Episode 3. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 17,110. Language: English. Published: April 9, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Hard-Boiled
“21 Years” is an episodic crime drama following in the footsteps of Sons of Anarchy, The Blacklist, Narcos, House of Cards, and Breaking Bad. "Matter of Life and Death" is the third episode of the series.
Purple Wings
Series: Death Struggle, Episode 2. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 13,320. Language: English. Published: April 9, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Hard-Boiled
“21 Years” is an episodic crime drama following in the footsteps of Sons of Anarchy, The Blacklist, Narcos, House of Cards, and Breaking Bad. "Purple Wings" is the second episode of the series.
Where's Beth?
Series: Death Struggle, Episode 1. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 15,260. Language: English. Published: January 2, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Amateur sleuth, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller
WHERE’S BETH? reads fast, with cutting-edge drama, thrills and chills, and plenty of suspense. It's the first episode of the Death Struggle epic crime saga. More episodes to follow.
Born to Be Wild
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 124,680. Language: English. Published: February 8, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » True Crime » Murder
Outlaw bikers on a reign of terror of drug-trafficking, rape, and murder. It takes 20 years and the galvanization of law enforcement - local, county, state, federal, and America's Most Wanted to extract justice. Born to Be Wild drags you into the misogynistic world of outlaw bikers, places you behind the steel bars of prison, and pins a badge on your chest so you can pursue the bad guys.
Caribbean Queen
Price: $4.77 USD. Words: 72,150. Language: English. Published: February 29, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Police Procedural
Caribbean Queen is sexy … Caribbean Queen is a police procedural murder mystery that would make super sleuths like Charlie Chan, Colombo, Sonny Crockett, & Theo Kojak proud to solve … Caribbean Queen is also a love story … and although the action starts at a Flyers ice hockey game in Philly, most of the action takes place on the island of St. Croix