Michael Bowler grew up in San Rafael, California. He attended St. Raphael’s School and Marin Catholic High School before attending Santa Clara University. Titanic and her tragic fate fascinated him for as far back as he can remember. He has a vast collection of artwork, memorabilia and virtually every book ever written about the disaster.
He majored in English and Theatre at Santa Clara and got a master’s in film production from Loyola Marymount University. He partnered with two friends as producer, writer, and/or director on several films, most notably “Fatal Images,” “Dead Girls,” “Hell Spa” (later re-edited and titled “Club Dead”), “Things” and “Things II.”
He has written a number of unproduced screenplays and is currently working on other novels he has outlined. He’s been teaching high school in Hawthorne, California for over twenty years.
He has also been a volunteer Big Brother to seven different boys over 28 years with the Catholic Big Brothers Big Sisters program and a volunteer within the juvenile justice system in Los Angeles for 27 years. He is a passionate advocate for the fair treatment of children and teens in California, something that is sorely lacking in this state.
His first novel, A Boy and His Dragon, was originally written in the 1980’s before fantasy stories enjoyed a major renaissance, and has remained unpublished to this day. It is intended as the first of a trilogy.
A Matter of Time, his second novel, was originally written in the 1980’s and completed in the mid-1990’s as time permitted.
You can visit Michael on the web at www.michaeljbowler.webs.com.
I’ve always been fascinated by Titanic and writing this book, in a way, allowed me to board that Ship of Dreams for a short period of time and almost feel like I was really there. I also believed in the emotional resonance of this story and felt certain others would embrace it as well.
What was the experience like writing A Matter of Time?
It was stop and start for a long while because I was working full time. Also, as I got into the story I realized I’d violated my own cardinal rule about writing – I didn’t know how the story would end. Thus, I got probably three quarters into it and had to stop for quite some time until I realized how it had to end. Then everything fell into place.
How did you come up with the title?
The title is actually a line spoken by one of the characters. It’s a very innocuous line when delivered, but takes on portentous weight later on in the narrative.
Can you tell us more about your main character, Jamie Collins?
He’s a college student and aspiring writer. As such, he’s a bit shy and awkward in social situations since he tends to live within his own mind a lot conjuring stories he wants to write. He’s easy going, but also somewhat lonely, absolutely certain he is not destined to find his true love.
What are his strengths and what are his weaknesses?
He’s a young man of strong character, very honorable and loyal, but still filled with self-doubt. Thus he continually second guesses his decisions and has to be assured by others that he made the right ones.
Are there any supporting characters we need to know about?
Jay is Jamie’s best friend when the story begins, at least until Maggie comes between them. She is the sister of Jamie’s roommate, Dan. She at first dates Jay, but later decides she prefers Jamie. It’s Dan, outgoing babe-magnet and the polar opposite of Jamie in personality, who truly becomes Jamie’s best friend during the course of the story and who really gets him through the long and painful journey. There are also Jamie’s estranged parents and Dr. Denton, Jamie’s writing professor and mentor. All of them are dramatically changed by what Jamie goes through.
Can you open to page 25 and tell us what’s happening?
Jamie nearly passes out in the cafeteria, prompting Dan and Maggie to insist he go to the infirmary for a checkup. Unfortunately, Jamie already knows that whatever’s wrong with him can’t be helped by a regular doctor.
What about page 65?
Jamie tries to convince Dan that there is someone else inside of him, that he is either reincarnated or that he’s housing the soul of someone else, someone who’s rising to the surface. The ever pragmatic Dan doesn’t buy a word of it.
Now that A Matter of Time has been published, what’s your next project?
My next project is titled, Children of the Knight, which I hope to have out in the near future. I expect this one to generate controversy with its themes and conclusions and condemnations of our society. Here is a summary:
At any given moment there are hundreds of homeless, abused, abandoned or simply unwanted children wandering the dark, dangerous streets of Los Angeles. There are also thousands of young gang members wandering these same streets — undisciplined, violent, without direction or focus, many of whom would gladly leave the gang life if another, more favorable, alternative was presented. What if someone came along and presented them with just such an alternative? What if this same man also united the other unwanted children under the same purpose? And what if that man may or may not be the legendary King Arthur, himself?
This charismatic young leader, who claims to be the once and future king, wins over these children, young and teen, unwanted and gang member, and leads them on a crusade to establish a new Camelot within the City of Angels. They use the sheer weight of their numbers and the acquiredgood will of the people to take on the politicians, the police, the school system, and all the morally vacuous adults who have neglected and rejected them. If these people do not start doing what is right, Arthur’s powerful new Round Table may just have to force them.
Children of the Knight is a dramatic adventure tale that is exciting, funny, joyous, and tragic, yet always thought-provoking in its questions about right and wrong, about the value of children in our society, and about the use and abuse of power. Mostly, however, it is a moving story of lost kids in desperate need of adult love and guidance who ultimately gain a truer understanding of themselves and their own worth.
Thanks again for the interview, Michael. Do you have anything else you’d like to tell us?
Anyone who is interested in my work, including an excerpt from Children of the Knight, can go to my website: michaeljbowler.webs.com. Thanks for taking the time to talk with me. I appreciate it.