Connie (C. Marie) Bowen is an award-winning author of paranormal adventures laced with suspense and romance. She grew up in Denver, Colorado, and has a love of western history, science fiction, fantasy, and ghost stories. Her life travels took her from Denver to Wichita, Kansas, before she eventually settled in North Texas to raise her two boys.
A LEED Accredited Professional, Connie worked as an Architectural Project Manger for retail construction prior to deciding an empty nest gave her the opportunity to follow her writing muse.
She is a PRO member of Romance Writers of America; Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal Sub-chapter of RWA; North Texas RWA, and Savvy Authors.
What is the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done?
I bungee jumped. My husband and I and our youngest son were on a visit to Colorado. We spent the day at Heritage Square riding the alpine slide and decided to try the bungee. No, I wouldn't do it again.
What adventure would you like to have that you haven’t done yet if money and skill were no problem?
I would go on an African photo safari or take a cruise around the world.
Robin Hobb, George R.R. Martin, and Diana Gabaldon. Although their stories are vastly different, they write with such richness that you become part of their world. They are excellent world builders and their characters grow and change across the story.
I believe color says something about a person’s personality. What’s your favorite color?
Hmm. I actually have two. One is a light burgundy. Darker than pink, lighter than wine. The other color is peach, not orange and not gold, but somewhere in between. They should never be worn together.
If you could have a do-over life, what one thing would you do differently?
That is so hard. Every choice would change where I am, and I'm pretty satisfied with how things turned out. I guess I wouldn't let the bullies see me cry in seventh grade, and I would have learned much earlier not to care what people thought of me.
What would you do again?
Have my kids. They are the best things, the best times, and the best friends I've ever known.
What is your writing process from conception to finished MS?
I get an idea, or a character, or a setting. I set up a story board and throw every crazy idea at it. Then I organize the ideas. Some change, some fall by the way side, but eventually I have a loose chapter outline. Then I round up the characters and hope they cooperate. As any writer will tell you, they often have minds of their own. I follow the outline and write the story, then go back to the beginning and fix the POVs, backstory, pacing, etc. The first draft gets it all, then I trim.
Are you a planner, panster or both?
I'm the planner. The characters are the pansters. They wander off and misbehave. My husband once asked me what I was thinking about. I had to explain that I wasn't thinking at all. I was listening to two of my characters argue about what they were going to do.
Hunter is a character in book two of the trilogy I'm writing. The research for "Hunter and Lily Graham" was done online using maps, historical records, you tube videos, anything that would help.
What is your all-time favorite movie? TV show?
Movie – The Princess Bride or Stardust.
TV show – Firefly.
How important do you feel writing workshops are to any writer?
Essential. As with anything you do in life, you have to learn how to do it. Those skills are not simply bestowed upon you. Workshops are teachers helping students. You can be both your entire life, depending on what you know and what you are trying to learn.
If you could learn one new skill, fear and money no deterrent, what would it be?
I would learn how to ride a motorcycle.
If you had a million dollars to donate to any one charity, what would it be?
I'd need three million. Meals on Wheels for seniors, Women's centers (Medical and safe houses), and The Humane Society.
What advice would you like to give to an aspiring writer?
Write something. Take classes and join a writer's group. Enter contests. Find a critique partner, or three. Learn to take constructive criticism. Trust yourself enough to know that sometimes the critics are wrong.
Did anyone mentor you or help you along the way? Please tell us about your mentor and what you feel they contributed to your writing career.
I took a self-editing class through RWA. The teacher was fantastic. One of her stories is in Vol. 1 of the Cowboys, Creatures, and Calico anthology. Linda Carroll-Bradd changed the way I look at my writing from the ground up. Next would be the two critique partners I have now, C. A. Jamison and Jodi Hale. They are both outstanding writers and I am very lucky to have fallen in with them.
What is the best advice anyone ever gave you?
From my mom: Raising kids is easy. All you need to do is feed them and love them and let them grow up.
If you could live anywhere in the world you wanted to, where would it be? (Language is no barrier)
There are a lot of places I'd like to visit, but only two places I'd like to live. Either in Denver, with my mom and family, or in Chicago with my two boys.
Where do you write?
At my computer desk in the front room.
How much time do you devote to writing each week?
Too much right now. I'm starting a business and the learning curve is kinda steep. I write every day for 5-6 hours. That includes editing and media.
Do you have a day every week that you take off?
On the weekends I like to hang out with my husband. Even then I usually get an hour of writing, critiquing, media, or editing in.
What is a genre that you have not attempted that you would like to try?
Fantasy. Like Robin Hobb or GRRM, build a world from the ground up.
Is there anything you would like readers to know about you?
I can't think of anything you haven't asked. I'll have to get back to you on that one.
Find out more about Connie and her stories on her website.
Thank you to The Romance Room for allowing us to reprint this interview.