Meet K.T. Bowes

K.T. Bowes writes mysteries with older female protagonists. I have written fourteen novels and a fantasy trilogy, but I always come back to mystery writing. Her books are available on all platforms and you can by directly from her website. Now lets find out a bit about K.T.

Have you ever been to the United States and if so, where?
I haven’t, but I’d like to. A university friend went on Camp America one summer and brought back stories of riding horses in Wyoming and falling in love. I’d enjoy seeing the rolling plains for myself. I’m happy with Husband, so don’t need to fall in love again.

What is one expression that is common to your part of the world that might be unusual to us in the US and what does it mean?
‘Don’t rip your nightie.’ It means, don’t get angry or upset. It’s a humorous rebuke. I live with Mr Super-calm, so don’t get to say it as much as I’d like

Where would you take a US visitor to your country to first and why?
That’s easy. I’d take them home, and we’d have a barbeque and some beers. Hospitality is a massive thing with Kiwis. The first thing we noticed was the big blue sky in New Zealand when we got off the plane. A friend warned us it was bigger here, and it’s true. It looks best from a friend’s garden with a bottle in your hand. Then I’d take them to Hobbiton and the set for Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings.

What, in your opinion, are the essential elements of good writing?
The reader has to relate to the characters. Otherwise, it doesn’t matter what happens in the plot. Empathy is one of my strengths and I love unpicking characters and reverse engineering their behaviour so I can better understand them. I derive pleasure from knowing my characters are believable enough to have fans of their own.

What is your work schedule like when you are writing?
I write every weekday, no matter what. After exercising, I shower and go straight to my office. I tell myself I only need to write 100 words but always do more. My method is to write until it feels too hard, as though I’ve hit a roadblock. That tells me I’ve gone as far as I can for that day, so I’ll switch to another task. I’ll edit the next finished novel for a few hours and switch to admin tasks, marketing, accounts – the boring stuff which still needs doing.

Which of your books were the most enjoyable to write?
The Hana Du Rose Mysteries will always have a hold over me, and readers regularly plead for more of that series. But I think Pirongia’s Secret clicked most for me somehow. I loved writing a novel based in the 1990s rural New Zealand with this intensely complicated and insular small town dynamic.  

What were the key challenges you faced when drafting this book?
A Trail of Lies was one of my hardest books to write because I needed to endure a weekend in the New Zealand bush in order to appreciate what Callister went through as a runaway. I hiked into the bush with a Search and Rescue group and stayed there for two painful nights and hated every minute. I’m sure I was a liability. I couldn’t navigate and spent a lot of time running around screaming with something crawling through my clothes.

If you were a tour guide, what would you like a visitor to see?
My friend June has a waterfall at the end of her garden and glow worms. Then there’s the Kaniwhaniwha reserve at the bottom of Mount Pirongia which has a rope swing over a creek. To see the real New Zealand, you need to go off the beaten track and look for the special things that only locals know about. I think I’d do a secret tour, which included all those places.

Thanks to KT for answering our questions and sharing a bit of her writing life with us!

In my writing life, I’m thrilled to announce the final book in the Beach House Mysteries will be released on May 8th. You can pre-order now!

Victoria LK Williams

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