Author Interview: DJ Bowman-Smith

Do you play music while you write and if so, what’s your favourite?

Sometimes I like to listen to music while I’m writing, but it has to be the right sort of thing for the scene that I’m working on. I don’t like anything with words. It has to be instrumental. Mostly I listen to classical music and I’m particularly fond of Einaudi. I also love to play rain sounds through my headphones. This works really well for me and does wonders for my concentration.

Have pets ever got in the way of your writing?

I have a whippet called Evie and whippets are very quiet dogs. After her morning walk, she’s very happy to lie in the office with me and have a good sleep. Sometimes I can hear her snoring. And she has a lot of doggy dreams. When I’m writing, this is not really a problem. But if I’m interviewing somebody for my Words and Pictures Podcast, then I will have a bit more editing to do if she makes a noise.

How do you use social media as an author?

My first job every morning is to check my social media and put a few posts on. Through the day I try to add to it and interact with anybody who’s interacted with me. Over the years, I have found the author community to be very supportive. Each social media platform is quite different.They need to be dealt with in different ways. Consistency is important and finding a platform where you feel comfortable.

What inspired the idea for your book?

On TikTok there were a lot of book recommendations. I enjoyed a plethora of novels but couldn’t help feeling that it was a shame only young woman had all the fun. It was then I decided to write a book where the main character is a mature woman. For a long time, I have been thinking about writing a story about witches. Then Lilly, a middle-aged woman who discovers she’s a witch, popped into my head, and she’s been so much fun to write.

What genre is your book in?

The Mid Witch most easily fits into a genre called Women’s Paranormal Fiction. This is where the main character is an older woman and then there is a touch of ‘something other’. In my case witchcraft but it could be vampires or ghosts, etc. But the main point is the older woman at the centre of the story.

If you are planning a sequel, can you share a tiny bit about your plans for it?

At the moment I am busy writing book two of The Mid Witch. This will be called Mid Witch 2. In this story, my main character, Lilly, must decide whether or not it is better to join the coven. As in the first book, she will have to become more confident in order to get in touch with her magical self. And of course, there are many funny incidents on her journey.

What is the most valuable piece of advice you have been given about writing?

‘Use every adjective as if it costs you a toenail.’ I think Terry Pratchett said this. It’s good advice and stops you from over describing things.

What’s your favourite writing snack or drink?

In my desk drawer, I always keep a packet of lactose free chocolate buttons. Add my drink of choice is double espresso. My desk is littered with tiny espresso cups.

What books do you enjoy reading?

I have never stuck to a particular genre. I read many things and usually have a few books on the go at a time. At night I read my kindle in bed. And I love my Kindle Unlimited subscription because it lets me read as many books as I want across many genres. Beside my seat in the living room, there is always a stack of nonfiction books that I’m working through. And I usually have a few fiction paperbacks on the go as well.

At the moment, I am re-reading the Harry Potter series by JK Rowling on Kindle Unlimited. A book called Captured by Rosa Lee. This is also in Kindle Unlimited. In hardback I’m reading a nonfiction book, Amazon Ads for Authors by Ricardo Fayete.  

Which formats do you publish in?

All of my books are in eBook and paperback. I am hoping to bring out an audio book of the Mid Witch soon. Because I am a podcaster, I already have sound equipment which I can use. Lily, my main character, is a British woman like myself.  Therefore, I am going to narrate the book myself. Watch this space.