What is the best thing that I love about my work? I love the autonomy and control of being a self-published author. I write my books in my own time (no deadlines), edit (with help from beta readers), format, create a cover (with help from my cover designer) and publish, and I don’t have to compromise with anyone else, just tell the best story I possibly can.
What is my idea of perfect happiness? I believe all humans crave basic things: a safe and comfortable home; meaningful work; loving relationships. That’s what I’ve got and I call that happiness.
What is my greatest fear? Beside my horrendous fear of heights, I feel awful if I have hurt or disappointed someone I love. It can’t be avoided in the bump and grind of daily life, but it’s so much better if we are all mindful and gentle with each other.
What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? I can be judgmental at times, and almost every time I dig my heels in and won’t budge, it comes back to bite me. I work very hard at being open-minded and understanding but, you know, human nature gets in the way sometimes.
What is my greatest extravagance? Pens and nail polish! I could happily spend hundreds of dollars on both (and probably have!), and when I find one of either that I love, I stock up like crazy, even resorting to ebay if the item has been discontinued.
On what occasion would I lie? I certainly work at not having to, but there are times when I soften the truth in order to not hurt someone. I suppose it’s a matter of getting my idea across without being brutal about it.
What is the influence of role models, in my work and in my life? My mother was an accounting and business machines teacher and my dad was an artist, so from her I learned practicality and reality, and from him I learned creativity and idealism. While either leaning, in excess, can be a disadvantage, I think I’ve got a good balance of both, which has served me well.
What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work? As with most artists, it’s probably the self-doubt. Halfway into a book, I may hit a wall and not know exactly what direction the story is going to take, and then I begin to wonder if it is going to work at all; luckily it usually does.
When and where was I the happiest, in my work? I can write anywhere, so the “where” is irrelevant, but I’m happiest when my conscious ideas for a book get a sudden boost from my subconscious, and all of a sudden a minor point I introduced earlier comes back in a big, important way, or various themes I’ve woven into the story suddenly all come together. That’s when the magic happens, and when I know the story is really alive.
If I could, what would I change about myself? Probably that I wouldn’t worry so much. I tend to take on responsibility for a lot of things (and people) that aren’t really my obligation, and so I end up worrying about things I have no control over.
What is my greatest achievement in work? Aside from my books, now numbering 17, I’m gratified to give back by facilitating self-publishing workshops and helping newbie writers navigate the convoluted process of getting their words in print. I’ve been able to help several writers polish and publish their dream, then I promote them with an interview on my own blog, just as a boost to get them out there in the world.
What is my most inspirational location, in my city? I live in a small town (10,000 people) in northern Arizona, so we don’t have the cultural outlets that larger cities do, but I am inspired by the many ruins of ancient Indian cultures in my area. Walking among stone walls, picking up pieces of pottery that are 1,000 years old, wondering who lived there, who made that pot, intrigues me to no end.
What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city? Probably my own back patio where I can watch the birds at the feeders or the cumulus clouds build up into a summer rainstorm. Beyond that, though, Arizona is famous for its Mexican food, and I frequent several restaurants in my area for enchiladas and tacos.
Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime? My husband, Bud, has been wonderful about helping and supporting me. He is my alpha-beta reader, so he’s the first to read a new book and catch many of my typos, as well as giving me invaluable feedback about the story.
Whom would I like to work with in the future? Being a writer is a solitary path, so I don’t envision working with anyone on a book, but I love being part of the community of IndiesUnlimited.com. It’s a fabulous group of writers who know exactly what I’m thinking, feeling, going through, and we regularly help each other with cover designs, blurbs, technical or marketing questions.
What project, in the nearby future, am I looking forward to work on? Whatever the next book is! I never know what I’m going to write next; just depends on what idea grabs me by the throat and drags me to the keyboard.
How can you contact me?
My webpage is at http://www.newmoonrisng.net, my blog is http://mjb-wordlovers.blogspot.com/ and my Author Central page on Amazon is https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B002BLJON0. I’m also on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/Melissa-Bowersock-author-164670386962492/), Twitter (https://twitter.com/MJBowersock), LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/in/melissa-bowersock-a9571a12) and Google+ (https://plus.google.com/u/0/114343394565497768903/posts/p/pub).