Elena Dorothy Bowman is an honors graduate of Fitchburg College where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering and Management.
She grew up in Dorchester, Massachusetts and spent 25 years working as an aerospace software engineer.
She now writes full time and serves as an officer in the Massachusetts Chapter of the National League of American Pen Women.
Her books include Sarah’s Landing: Contact (Writer’s Showcase Press, 2002); The House On The Bluff (Write Words, Inc., 2006) and Gatekeeper’s Realm (Write Words, Inc., 2007).
In a recent interview, Elena Bowman spoke about her writing.
When did you start writing?
I have been writing off and on since way back when it only cost a dime to go to the Saturday Matinee, or any other time I could scrape up the price of a ticket. And in most cases when the ending was not to my liking, I felt compelled to go home and rewrite it. I discovered I enjoyed writing stories… putting words down on paper gave me a sense of accomplishment… but I never did anything with it.
When I wrote my first novel it was just for the pleasure of it. It wasn't long after that writing became an obsession with me and I have been writing for publication ever since.
How would you describe your writing ?
My first book was a science fiction, mystery, romance novel. It didn't start out to be a series, but four novels later, it was.
After completing the series, I decided to try another genre, so I settled on a mystery novel. That novel ended up being a three book series and I have since learned that it is not only a mystery novel, but it spans three genres: romance, mystery and the paranormal.
Who is your target audience?
I don’t believe I gave that much consideration when I wrote my first novel. I was probably thinking of adults who were interested in science fiction, but have since learned that a younger audience is also into the genre, so I suppose I could say, my target audience is a general one.
What motivated you to start writing?
My early interest in space and working in the space industry had captured my imagination, and was instrumental in writing my first novel. The influence of Jules Verne and the writers of the Buck Rogers, Star Wars, Babylon Five series probably had a hand in motivating me to write science fiction.
Being an avid reader, the written works of earlier scribes captivated me and I would say were the most influential in my career as a writer.
How have your personal experiences influenced the direction of your writing?
I don't believe that my personal experiences influenced the direction of my writing in any way that I could consciously say. However, there is no way of knowing if something, or some experience from the sub-conscious seeped through and wound up in the pages of my books.
What would you say are the biggest challenges that you face?
They were finding an agent who believed in me and my work, a publisher who thought my work was worth publishing and getting published.
How do you deal with these challenges?
I sent out query letters to every agent and publisher that published or represented my genre I could find in the Writer's Market. I can't say that every one of those query letters were answered, but some of them were. Most of them were just a short note that said "no thanks". No explanation, no reason given. Others were form letters that when you get down to it, basically said the same thing. But I do recall that many rejections were positive in that they were personal replies written by the agent or publisher in their own hand, and encouraging me to persevere even if they weren't in the market for my novels. I found that extremely encouraging as if they'd actually sent a contract instead of a rejection letter.
Do you write everyday?
I try to write every day, at least 10 pages… but that doesn't always happen. I spend every spare moment I have on my writing. Sometimes that takes me to the wee hours of the morning.
What is the Gatekeeper's Realm?
My latest book in print is the Gatekeeper's Realm. It's the second book in the series of a house one could say was enchanted. A house that appears to be alive because of a relic that dates back to the Crusades.
In the second book, the appearance of uninvited and mysterious spirits from an earlier era causes the unusual experiences that befall the guests. Some disappear into strange worlds, others into prehistoric times. The main characters do all they can to enlist the townspeople and the 'local' ghosts, who have inhabited the house since the 17th Century, in searching for them. But since the house has a mind of its own, and able to invoke visions that confuse and disorient the inhabitants to the point that no one can be sure where they looked was still in existence, the searchers wonder if they will ever find the answers.
Which aspects of the work that you put into the novel did you find most difficult?
This may sound strange, but I didn't have a problem with the book at all. It was as if someone else was writing it and I was a bystander watching the words as they flowed on the page.
Which did you enjoy most?
Seeing the words as they flowed on the page and wondering who and where all these words were coming from.
What sets the book apart from the other things you have written?
It's not a science fiction novel, as some of my other books are… it's a romance, a mystery, and a thriller with much of the paranormal running through it.
I would say it is similar [to the others] in that it is also a love story, with a mystery that needs to be resolved as is The Sarah's Landing Series.
What will your next book be about?
At the moment, I am working on two projects: one is a paranormal novella and the other hopefully will be an historical one.
What would you say has been your most significant achievement as a writer?
Since all writers work to be published, I would have to say, that being published is my most significant achievement, considering all the books that are available and the difficulty an unagented writer has on being published by a traditional publisher.
How did you get there?
Perseverance! Sending my work out in spite of rejections until the right traditional publisher, Write Words, Inc, Cambridge Books, ebooksonthe.net came my way.
How many books have you written so far?
At present, I have written eight full novels. All of my books have been published in ebook format by Write Words, Inc's ebooksonthe.net. Two are presently in trade paperback editions, with the others to be released this year by Write Words, Inc's Cambridge Books.
The titles of my novels are: Sarah's Landing I: Contact (published March 2007 ); Sarah's Landing II: The Telepaths of Theon (published February 2007); Sarah's Landing III: The Barbarians (published April 2007); Sarah's Landing IV: Genesis (published May 2007); The House On The Bluff: The Legacy Series Book I (published February 2006); Gatekeeper's Realm: The Legacy Series Book II (published November 2006); Adam's Point: The Legacy Series Book III (published January 2007) and Time-Rift (published August 2006).
This article was first published by OhmyNews International.