Travis Daniel Bow


Travis grew up in Reno, NV (where he raised pigs for FFA). He earned degrees from Oklahoma Christian University (where he broke his collarbone in a misguided Parkour attempt) and Stanford (where he and his bike were hit by a car), and he now does research and development work for Nikon. He has seven published short stories, three pending patent applications, one wonderful son, one beautiful wife, and one loving God.

Smashwords Interview

What's the story behind Thane?
I started writing Thane in 2003. I was fifteen. I had vague plans to be the next Christopher Paolini (who had started Eragon when he was fifteen and was just starting to become famous). The problem with this plan (ok, ONE problem with this plan) was that I didn't have a story. What was I going to write about?

Well, there would be fighting. That was a given. At that time I spent a good portion of my days throwing knives, slinging rocks, and shooting arrows in my backyard. I was getting ready to sign up for fencing classes at the local community college. I was practically a fighting expert.

Unfortunately, "fighting" isn't a story.

I completed my first draft in one year. It was called "A Time for War", and I use the term "completed" loosely, because the story had no end. In fact, the only thing completed about it was that it was already longer than the majority of in-print novels.

I kept writing. Between 2004 and 2011 I wrote in spurts, sometimes for hours a day (usually in the summers between semesters), sometimes not writing at all for months. By early 2011 I had re-written everything three or four times and had a 206,000-word manuscript with lots of potential, but still no ending.

That summer I decided to get serious about things. I was working nine hour days at an internship, but every day after work I came home and shut myself in one of Stanford's computer labs for two hours minimum. By the end of the summer, I had a 184,000-word story (yes, a real story, with a beginning and ending and everything). I was stoked.

I finished grad school at the end of the year. In the summer of 2012 I sold my first few short stories (for a whopping $10 and $7), and by December I had completed a third draft that was tighter (167,000 words), neater, and (I thought) pretty darn good. It was time to find an agent.

But what category did my novel fit into? It was set in an imaginary world of swords and castles (like fantasy), but it had no magic, elves or other "fantastical" elements. It had young protagonists (like young adult), but was considerably longer and deeper than the typical YA novel.

So I pitched to both genres. As it turns out, fantasy agents want fantasy, YA agents want high-concept plots with a definite genre, and neither one wants to look at 167,000 words from a new author.

I began to look at breaking "Thane of Botan" into two shorter books. I was reluctant, at first, but as I began to split and re-write and re-write again, I realized that I actually had two distinct stories. Excitedly I fleshed out the first story and pitched it to more YA agents, first as "War Knot" and later as "Thane".

This was a good move, because I began to receive requests for partial and full manuscripts. Unfortunately, the replies that came back all had the same basic message: "This is really good... but I wouldn't know how to place it." The basic problem--that my book did not fit squarely within any particular genre--was making the traditional publishing approach look less and less feasible.

I began to look into self-publishing. I found that it was surprisingly easy to do, and surprisingly difficult to do right. I learned Photoshop, CorelDraw, and bit about HTML. I conscripted friends and family members to proof-read, went through six or seven iterations of design on the print version, and got everything formatted for the ebook. I told myself that I would finish by June of 2014. At the time of this writing (mid-May of 2014), it looks like I'm going to make it.

So here we are. Thane, the first of at least two books in the Everknot series, is finished. I hope you like it.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Travis Daniel Bow online

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Everknot Duet
How two boys changed the fate of a nation.


Price: $3.99 USD.

King's Table

Price: $3.99 USD.


King's Table
Series: Everknot Duet. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 116,800. Language: English. Published: February 28, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy
A condemned rebel fights in the gladiatorial death-rings until the most infamous traitor living ropes him into a web of plots, lies, and deception.
Series: Everknot Duet, Book 1. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 81,740. Language: English. Published: June 1, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Adventure, Fiction » Fantasy » General
(4.00 from 1 review)
A fletcher's apprentice finally finds his calling in a brotherhood of elite rebel spies... until he discovers his leader's plot to betray them all.

Travis Daniel Bow's tag cloud

boys    boys adventure    brotherhood    brothers    castle    deception    espionage    everknot    friendship    intrigue    princess    rebels    revenge    spies    spy    spying    sword    swords    thane    training   

Smashwords book reviews by Travis Daniel Bow

  • Fearsome Creatures on Dec. 12, 2014

    A short and sweet collection of short stories about various alien monsters, competently told. The tone and type of story reminded me of episodes from Star Trek or Firefly: each one centered around the reader gradually discovering the powers and limitations of the alien monster. Pros: Some clever alien species (from ship-devouring fungi to super-hunter alien raptors). A pretty standard (but capable) story-telling style that keeps the focus off of the writing and on the story. No metaphysical rambling or elaborate descriptions of alien anatomy (both of which are all too common in sci-fi). Fun, interesting scenarios. Cons: Not emotionally engaging. The characters seem incidental to the story: they serve as a framework for exploring a clever speculation about a type of alien or “what if” scenario. This isn't necessarily always bad--especially for this type of fiction, the story really IS more about exploring some interesting ideas than it is about the struggles of characters--but I tend to prefer something that I can care about. Also, the stories tend to end suddenly, especially the first one. There is a lot of build up, description of characters and back story, and then the climax of the story is summarized in a few swift authorial sentences. Overall, these stories aren’t necessarily earth-shattering, but they’re fun, short, and somewhat interesting. Note: I was given an advance reader's copy in exchange for an honest, non-reciprocal review.