Author, Maureen Bowden
Short Story: The Shadow on the Clock Face
Apologue of the Immortals
Tell us a little about your background and what led you to writing.
I grew up in a working class area of Liverpool and I made up stories to amuse my younger sisters and our friends. At Grammar school I wrote silly poems, usually about pop stars and other teenage crushes and I passed them around in the library while we were supposed to be studying. I married a musician and wrote song lyrics for him, mainly political satire. He set them to traditional melodies and performed them in folk music clubs around the UK. After I retired from my career with HMRC I obtained a 1st class BA degree with honours from the Open University. Two of the modules were Creative Writing and Advanced creative writing. I then began selling my work (mostly F & SF) to publishers.
How or when did you realize you wanted to be an author?
Since I was a child I’ve made up stories and I started to write them down as soon as I learned to read and write. I’ve always known I’d be compelled to do it for as long as my brain is functioning.
What is your writing process like?
Chaotic. Ideas pop into my head, often in the bath. I jot them down in note books or bits of paper and eventually build stories around them. I usually write the beginning and end first and and fill in the middle later.
What inspires you to write?
People. They’re a constant source of inspiration and material.
What part does writing play in your life?
It’s my main hobby. I’ve retired from full time work now and it keeps me sane. It also entertains my family and friends.
What are your aspirations for your writing journey?
To keep writing stories and poems, keep enjoying it, and keep getting published.
What is something you know now about writing you wish you knew when you started?
You don’t have to slavishly obey the ‘rules’. As long as you know what they are and what is their purpose you can break them when it suits the requirements of your story or poem.
Describe your favorite character (you created). Why?
Sophie Melancamp appears in different incarnations in several of my stories, but not as the main protagonist. She’s the rule-breaker; she’s the wild child who holidays in Magaluf and comes back with a dodgy tattoo and body piercings; she’s the schoolgirl who has an affair with the geography teacher; she’s a hippy, punk or Goth, depending on the era, and if I ever write about the early 20th century she’ll be a suffragette chained to the railings; she’s a rebel and crusader at the front of the demo, wielding the banner: Boudicca in lycra leggings. I created her to add another dimension to my stories. I love her and the editors seem to love her too.
Which author(s) inspires you as a writer?
Jane Austen, Terry Pratchett and Will Shakespeare (I think big).
What advice would you give newly aspiring authors?
Enjoy it, don’t let it become a chore and make your dialogue sound realistic.
What works can your readers expect to see in the near future?
Now Cracks a Noble Heart’ to be published in the next issue of ‘Intrepidus Ink; ‘Flakes’ in the anthology ‘Phantom Thieves and Sagacious Scoundrels’ to be issued by Jay Henge Publishing; ‘Unpicking The Stitches’ in the January edition of the Ezine The Lorelei Signal and ‘Lady Jade’ in the anthology ‘The Future’s So Bright’ to be issued by Water Dragon Publishers.
How can your readers find more about you and your works?
I don’t do Twitter, Facebook, blogs or any of that stuff. I’m just an old-fashioned girl who writes stories, so just Google my name and pretty much any fantasy outlet, including Third Flatiron, Hiraeth Books, Theme of Absence, White Cat Publications, Silver Pen, Gwyllion and too many more to list.