Michael Dowle recently released his new novel, Laura, Come Back to Me, in April 2018. We wanted to catch up with the author and find out how his life had changed since becoming a published author.
Did you always dream of becoming an author?
It was seven years ago, when life events made me evaluate what I really wanted to do. I’d found an empty notebook which inspired me back then; it does to this day. That’s when I realised it could happen.
What was your first job?
As a boy, delivering newspapers. I had to wake my brother up every time so that we’d be on time! Full-time work was in the customs clearance (documentation) industry. On my first day, I walked into a porta-cabin office, unknowingly seeing my oldest and best friend had changed his job, starting at the same company as myself. An incredible coincidence! There were lots more of those to come in my life!
How did you come about writing your book? Was that your intention or did you start writing for fun?
I’ve always written long notes, letters, messages and poems for loved ones; and reports at work. Initially, I came up with half a story about a magic letterbox after finding that notebook. It was far too repetitive, so I shelved it. After that, I began to think seriously about writing. Four years ago, 'Laura, Come Back to Me' popped into my head. That was the light bulb moment, when I started to believe I could seriously do it. But it took another year to find the ending.
What was your life like before you became an author?
I’d always been a hard-working, easy-going, happy guy, dedicating my time to my family and friends. Played lots of sport; football, squash, running, swimming. Seven years ago when my marriage ended, I had to re-evaluate where my life was going. Now, a couple of relationships later and single, I know all I want to do is write.
Did you face any struggles before becoming an author? If so, how did you overcome them?
The lack of time always got in the way. That was until I became a postman four years ago. I’d managed to write Laura with no ending. That job funded my travels, and three years ago, I found the ending in New York. An accident in 2017 as a postman led to my job ending, which gave me the time to commit to writing. Now, I’ve written the second of four linked stories in February and March this year, after reading a Stephen King book. That inspired me to write my second book from start to finish in six weeks.
Now that you are a published author, how has your life changed, if at all?
I listen more than ever to people. Really listen. And I’ve purchased a Dictaphone; a great tool. If I’m not writing, I read; that comes from my mother, an avid reader! I talk incessantly to everyone about my first book and how wonderful writing really is. There is a different approach to my thought process nowadays; ideas pop into my head anytime. As one of my granddaughters said to me, “You’re weird grandad!” She’s right, but I think in a nice way!
Can you please describe a typical day in your life now?
The first cup of tea of the day is always the best! That hasn’t changed. Music is on first thing, or occasionally, the news. I’ll read for a while, then spend a few hours writing. But not every day. When I’m in “The zone” for a few weeks, I’m lost in my own world of a new story. It feels amazing; it really does. Then I need a break before proof-reading the story several times, visiting family and friends, or walk on the beach, as I genuinely feel drained.
What is your most memorable moment of your life as an author?
Receiving the e-mail from Pegasus, and speaking to Suzanne Mulvey on the 4th of July 2017. Fantastic! The next day was my mother’s 85th birthday. Some of my family were present when I told them that day. It was just the most brilliant feeling…so far!
In a few words, how would you review your experience with Pegasus Publishers?
Friendly, supportive, kind, efficient. And professional. I’m over the moon I’ve been given this chance, and I am still pinching myself.
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