Interview with JAnn Bowers   Leave a comment

Today’s interview is with JAnn Bowers. Welcome to the blog. Tell us something about yourself. 

JAnn Bowers Author PicMy name is JAnn. I live in Eureka, Montana. Eureka has played a significant part of my writing career for all the tragic events that happened with my family here. I love Eureka for its nature with the Bitterroots and Rocky Mountains surrounding the valley where I live. With its abundance of nature, I am close to and balanced spiritually with Mother Nature. I meditate outdoors during the summer months and seek indoor retreats while I hibernate away in the winter.  I use my spirituality and meditation to write poetry about visions, thoughts, ideas and creativeness. I am also a divorced mom and grandmother. I have four kids here on Earth with me and one in heaven watching over me. My youngest son is Autistic and the joy of my world. My second daughter lives in North Dakota with my granddaughter and grandson.

 

At what point did you know you wanted to be a writer? (When did you write your first story, for example?)

I knew I wanted to write poetry from a young age when I heard Robert Frost’s work. I absolutely fell in love with the magical formation of poetry. At that moment in my life, I knew exactly what I wanted to do for a career. However, life got in the way and it never happened. I went onto to being married for 22 years and busy raising kids. Once I was divorced, I found my spark again and started writing poetry. Now I have eight books published and working on two more. I just recently published my first memoir, “It’s Now My Time: Coffee, Poetry & The Past”

 

Tell us about your writing process.

JAnn Bowers GoneMy writing process almost always starts off with a deep round of meditation to help clear my mind of any distorted thoughts. Then I proceed to lock my phone where I cannot access social media or receive any notifications either, usually for 30 minutes to 1 hour a day. I turn to the screen and just write. I write what falls from my mind to my fingertips. It maybe love poetry, micropoetry, nature themed, or spiritual themed but it usually takes me less than 3 minutes to write a micropoem and less than 7 minutes to write a longer poem. Once my phone block is over then I save my doc and stuff it away. I use the same document for the entire week. If I go to share on my blog or Twitter, I pull up my document to read and edit and share.
As for writing essays, such as “Is Graffiti Art?” I choose my subject then research. I write my notes as I research the topic. Once I have completed my research I pursue the book format, write then edit and publish.

 

As for my memoir, “It’s Now My Time: Coffee, Poetry & The Past,” it took eight years of starting and stopping and throwing away a lot of drafts before it all came to me. My memoir was hard, difficult and a lot of tears fell inside while I wrote it. With this book, I used the scene as if I was meeting with the reader having coffee and telling them my life story.  Each chapter or entry is in reference to a family member & first love I have lost through death.  After each memory, there is a spread of poetry I wrote in dedication to their memory or about how their death affected me.

 

As for my poetry books, such as “Wasted” I wrote that book on my iPhone while spending several nights up with my youngest son. I was going through a period of depression, anxiety attacks and my past happened to creep in every once in a while.  To me, “Wasted” resembled a part of my life where I wasted many lonely nights fighting a battle within me while seeking for something new and fresh.

 

What is your favorite genre … to read … to write?

My favorite genre is poetry to write. My favorite genres to read are: true stories, true crime, contemporary romance, mystery, suspense, fiction, nonfiction, memoir, self-help and religious reads. I do not care to read erotica, thrillers, and horror.

 

What are you passionate about?

Besides writing, I am passionate about music and art. Back in my college days I took an Art History course and loved it. I still enjoy researching about pieces of art and writing short articles. As for music, music has always been my savior throughout my life. My mom always had the radio or tape deck going and I learned to love it as much as she does. I am a big fan for the 80’s music scene and a huge fan of Def Leppard.

 

What is something you cannot live without?

First would be my kids and grandkids but minus them would be my caffeine. I have to have my daily intake of coffee. I am a huge drinker of coffee when I am writing. Besides coffee would be education or books.

 

When you are not writing, what do you do?

JAnn Bowers NowSince I am disabled due to several health issues, if I am not writing, I am spending time with my kids. We are huge WWE fans and my daughter KayCee and I both enjoy many other sports. If I am not watching sports or a documentary, then I can be found reading or learning something new. Besides, these enjoyments, I like to take long walks when my health allows me too, and yoga.

 

Have you written any books that made a transformative effect on you? If so, in what way?

Illusions of Love & She’s Gone…Broken, Battered & Bruised, these books have taught me a lot about what love really is and what it is not. To me they have taught me not to fall in love so easily and that most of the time all love is an illusion to our hearts and souls. What one may know about love may be just a figment of their imagination.

 

Where do you get the inspiration for your novels?

My past inspires me to write poetry in themes that may help someone through a rough patch in life. My kids also inspire me to write the more cheerful, spiritual connected themes. Music also plays a significant role in my poetry.

 

 

If someone who hasn’t read any of your poems asked you to describe your writing, what would you say?

Very open-minded and sad, that is how I would describe my writing.

 

 

Do you have a special place where you write?

I enjoy writing outdoors on my front steps on my iPhone. But I can write about wherever.  When inside I prefer my desk in my room if the kids are being loud, if not I do like to be out in the kitchen at the island working.

 

Do you find yourself returning to any recurring themes within your writing and, if so, are you any closer to finding an answer?

Yes, love sneaks into almost all my poems and no, I am not getting any closer to why I write about love, and heartbreak.

 

 

 

I’m going to drop you in a remote Alaska cabin for a month. It’s summer so you don’t have worry about freezing to death. I’ll supply the food and the mosquito spray. What do you do while you’re there and what do you bring with you? If you’re bringing books, what are they?

JAnn Bowers If OnlyI have lived four years in Alaska before. But it was before my inner light switch was turned back on.  This time around I would pack my suitcase for hiking since I didn’t get the chance to do much outdoor enjoyments while I lived there. Then, I would definitely bring lots of writing paper and pens, and a camera. For books, I would bring my favorite books which there is too many to list. I would spend my days enquiring nature at its best and worst and in the evenings I would write about my experiences and poetry or read. I would definitely take a lot of photos this time.

 

 

Talk about your books individually.

 

Illusions of Love – this book is written about a close male friend I fell in love with who I thought had the same feelings which he did but he was too scared and hurt by the painful events from his ex-wife. The poems in this book are my honest feelings about love and him.

 

She’s Gone…Broken, Battered & Bruised- This book was written for the same male friend but only after he broke my heart. When he told me that cold winter morning that he didn’t want to ruin our friendship for a relationship with me, it broke my heart and ripped my soul to pieces but we stayed friends.

 

 

Only If I Could – After much needed time to heal from my heartbreak and once I felt I had recovered and could move forward this book took shape as a rebirth of me, it does still have poetry that reflects back onto my broken heart.

 

Is Graffiti Art – This started and ended as an essay for my college final for Art History. I was always interested and thought graffiti was an amazing art form but once I got into researching and learning the history of it I grew to love it even more. This book also references to 5POINTZ, the graffiti mecca of the world that was demolished in New York City. My daughter and I both crusaded in helping to save the building but it was whitewashed after I had finished my course.

 

Words Whisper to Me – This poetry book is my favorite one! It shows my love for writing poetry and how much my world is full of words and poetry.

 

Poetry Playground – This is a 2-section book. The first section is fun, quirky poems about my kids and life in general. The second section is nature poetry that I wrote while I lived in Idaho.

 

Wasted – This book is about all the wasted time in my life. In this book, the feel of the poetry is if I am seeking to find what life is really about.

 

It’s Now My Time: Coffee, Poetry & The Past – This is my memoir of life events and experiences and how they affected me. It discusses the death of many family members and also my mental illness and physical chronic pain.

 

 

 

Was it your intention to write a story with a message or a moral?

A message! All my poetry is about sending a strong message of hope to my readers that life does go on and it does get better if we only turn the switch on inside of us to create the life we want to have.

 

What do you want readers to think or feel after reading one of your books?

I want them to think or feel that they have any and all power to better themselves and to overcome any obstacle in life.

 

What influenced your decision to self-publish?

I have never sought a publisher. I have always enjoyed self-publishing. But, if a publisher offered me a contract, of course, I would take it. Self-publishing, to me, allowed me to build up my audience and my self-confidence in my writing. It has taught me so much about what the readers want and how to deliver my books to them.

 

There are people believe that traditional publishing is on the ropes, that self-publishing is the future. Do you agree? Why?

Yes and no. I believe it is harder now to get picked up by publishers because places like Amazon makes it easier for independent writers to get their books out into the market. I honestly believe that traditional publishers have their minds shut off to some really good and strong talented writers. As for the future, no one should or can predict what it holds in any industry.

 

What do you find to be the greatest advantage of self-publishing?

Being in full control of every aspect of the book, from writing to editing to creating your own covers to setting your price and choosing which industrial platforms who want. I personally prefer to publish through Pronoun.com than Kindle Direct. In the past, I had several issues with my book formats not working with Kindle Direct whereas with Pronoun they have a simple format for poetry where my books look and feel professional. The self-marketing does get hard and tiresome, but it is also fun to meet and collaborate with fellow writers that are willing to be a beta reader, swap blog posts, or promote you on social media.

 

Conversely, what do you think self-published authors might be missing out on?

Having someone to do the dirty work of promoting their books. Self-publishing writers have the long haul of self-promoting their books and getting them out there, versus having a personal rep or agent helping.

 

With the number of self-published books increasing by such a huge rate, it is really difficult for authors to make their books stand out. How do you go about this?

I concentrate on the inside of my book first then I approach the cover during the editing scene. That way I know what I want and what I think will attract readers. I think the cover and title stands out the most but the blurbs are so important as well. I honestly think it takes trial and error with each book to see what happens with the audience. Some of my books have been on the very top of best sellers on Amazon and some have made lower marks. Those are the trials and errors.

 

Who designed your book cover/s?

My daughter KayCee K designs all my book covers and graphics. She is so talented and has such a huge imagination to match. She runs her own blogging promotional service for authors at Double Decker Books, so she sees and deals with all sorts of writers and their work. I think this has helped her out when she creates mine. She also runs her monthly e-magazine where she does a majority of the graphics and layouts herself. Her magazine is “Double the Books”.

 

 

Do you believe that self-published authors can produce books as high-quality as the traditional published? If so, how do you think we should go about that?

I believe we can produce high-quality books on our own if we take each step of the process seriously and do a good enough job. I take each step very personally and professionally. Editing, covers and blurbs are what attracts and keeps readers coming back for more.

 

Where do readers find you and your books? 

 

I welcome you to grab a free book! Grab a copy today!
Amazon Author http://amzn.to/2qnfOmE
Website http://bit.ly/2rK0rEz
Social Media
https://twitter.com/Echoic_JAnn

https://jannbowers.blogspot.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Echoic.JenniferAnn.72/

https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/63237527-jennifer-jann

https://www.pinterest.com/Echoicjann/

https://www.instagram.com/jannbowerspoet/?hl=en

ALWAYS include links, author photos, and cover art. It makes for a prettier interview and readers want to find you and your books.

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