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Gail Bowen Photo
Photo Credit:
Ted Bowen

As I bent down to cut the last of our marigolds on the Friday before Thanksgiving, I was as happy as I could remember being. The stems of the flowers were cool against my fingers, and their sturdy beauty and acrid scent evoked memories of marigolds hastily picked by my kids and carried off, stems sheathed in wax paper and anchored by elastic bands, to be given to a teacher or abandoned on the playground. It was a morning for remembering, as filled with colour and ancient mystery as a Breugel painting. Above me, skeins of geese zigzagged into alignment against the cobalt sky. The high clear air rang with their cries. A north wind, urgent with change, lifted the branches of our cottonwood tree, shaking the leaves loose and splashing the lawn with gold. Beneath my feet last week’s fallen leaves, bronze and fragile as papyrus, crackled into the cold earth.

-From the opening of The Endless Knot by Gail Bowen

   
  1. What do you love about being a writer?
    Editing.  There’s something quite wonderful about finding the shape of a manuscript.


  2. What is your biggest challenge as a writer?
    The climax.  I’m pretty good at escalating tension but the big confrontation between my protagonist, Joanne Kilbourn, and the killer always seems forced to me.


  3. If you were not a writer, what other profession would you want to pursue?
    I’d teach university. Luckily for me, that’s what I’ve been doing for the past 30 years.


  4. In your opinion, what is the most influential crime novel of the last 100 years?
    Sara Paretsky’s V.I. Warshawski novels. Paretsky carved out a place for feminist writers who cared about issues and her Chicago is Dickensian in its darkness and complexity.

  5. Which fictional hero do you admire or despise the most?
    Nero Wolfe.  How could I not love a man who wears yellow silk pyjamas and knows everything there is to know about geography, human nature, orchids and truly great food?


  6. After writing, how do you spend the rest of your time?
    We have a large, close family. All 6 of our grandchildren are in Regina, so that is joyful focus.

  7. What city or location has the most impact on your writing?
    Regina, but also Cameron Lake in Ontario. We had a cottage there when I was growing up, and I’ve never quite gotten over the experience.


  8. Do your books have a message?
    As human beings it’s our obligation to make sure that every member of society is valued, cared for and treated with respect.


  9. What are you currently reading?
    C. P. Snow’s Strangers and Brothers.


  10. If you could meet any person (living or dead), who would that be?
    Colm Toibin. I thought The Master, his book on Henry James, was brilliant and I’d like to tell him that.


  11. What is your greatest vice?
    Worrying and seeking to control—not positive attributes for a person who loves as many people as I love.


  12. What is your greatest extravagance?
    Travelling with our family. We’ve taken all 10 of us to Chicago, Texas and more lakes and cabins than I care to remember.  Next summer we’re all going to P.E.I. because the grand-daughters are great Anne of Green Gables fans.


  13. What is your idea of misery?
    Being away from my husband.


  14. What is your idea of happiness?
    Having everyone I love well and happy.

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