This anthology set is a bundle including Whispers of the Past, Spirits of the West, and Where Spirits Linger. All three anthologies combined into one convenient paranormal set for lovers of ghost stories.
Author Interview: Jeff Bowles
Contributor to two of the anthologies with two stories, including the winning story in the 2019 WordCrafter Short Fiction Contest, "A Peaceful Life I've Never Known" (Whispers of the Past). The other is "Wenekia" (Spirits of the West).
How long have you been a creative writer? What is your favorite genre? What is your favored format? Poetry? Short story? Novel?
I've been writing for about ten or fifteen years now. I like speculative fiction of all types, most especially anything that does something new and different with the genres. I get bored easily. Novels are my favorite to write and read, but for the first bunch of years I was at this, it was all about short fiction. I've written a lot of things in a lot of different genres and modes, but I always come back to fiction. To me, it's the ultimate form of storytelling and more or less has been since its invention.
Your winning story: A Peaceful Life I’ve Never Know, was this narrative based on a real-life experience of yours? Or, was this story from your creative well? What makes this story so tangible that it speaks to the reader?
No, Peaceful Life is loosely based on the wilder side of singer and poet Jim Morrison of the 60s group, The Doors. No spoilers, but some things happen toward the end of the story that take it deep into horror territory. I kind of used Jim as a jumping off point, but he definitely never did anything my character Douglass has done. I liked the idea of a rock star who thought he could get away with anything. I think it's kind of a visceral story, and that's why people react to it. I like visceral storytelling. Like I said, I get bored easily.
How do you write? Do you write from characters’ point of view? Are you plot-oriented? If you have done both, which one works better for you?
Very often, I give myself an easy concept, a jumping-off point, and then I start writing and don't stop until I have something resembling a story. Editing takes longer this way, but very often I find I get something unique and startling out of it. It also works pretty well when I outline and plan everything out, but for the most part, I start with concept and character, and plot rolls out from there. There's so many ways to write fiction, almost as many as there are fiction writers in the world. I like that about the craft. There are some rules, but none of them are precisely what we'd call "hard and fast." In other words, sometimes writing rules are made to be broken.
Where does your creativity stem from? Did you have an active imagination in childhood? Is writing your only creative outlet? Or, are you into other forms of artistry? Painting? Photography? If no other forms at this time, would you like to try out one? If so, which type of creative non-writing format would suit your curiosity?
I'm also a singer and a songwriter, which has come in handy, because I started writing music when I was a young teenager. My ability to use language in an effective way stems from that. I'm not much of a painter or artist, but I do some of that stuff, too. I've always been a creative person. I get itchy and anxious if I go too long without doing something creative. So it's always been projects of various sorts for me, first with music–recording music, performing music–and then when I began taking my writing seriously when I was about twenty-two or twenty-three. I also keep a YouTube channel called Jeff Bowles Central, where a lot of my creative endeavors end up in one form or another. I love this aspect of my life, and I definitely feel kinship with others who are also creatively inclined.
- Amazon page: https://www.amazon.com/Jeff-Bowles/e/B01L7GXCU0/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_book_1
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/c/JeffBowlesCentralEntertainment
If you like this interview, then read the others in the Lingering Spirit Whispers series: