Today we have Jonathan Bowerman the author of the self-published The Secret Realms of Hidden Elves. Jonathan is a relatively recent and active member of Fantasy Writer.org with an impressive enthusiasm for writing. But he doesn’t tell us much about himself, so I just have to do an interview to uncover the secret realms of Jonathan Bowerman. And I uncovered very cool information.
Tell me a little bit about you. Do you have a day job? And if so, what is it? When did you start writing? What’s your education?
Day job: I am a firefighter in Georgia and have been for nearly thirteen years now and before that, I was in the ARMY for four years, also a firefighter. When I am not on shift, I have a full-time job at home wrestling and otherwise entertaining my three-year-old son. My daughters are at an age where they find other things to do besides requiring their daddy’s attention. 😉 I officially began writing in early 2016 but have many fond memories of writing short stories even as a little kid. My imagination never slowed down and it seems like that has stuck with me through all these years. I have a BS in Psychology focused on Christian Counseling with a minor in Global Studies. At one point in time, I wanted to be a counselor and help those who were hurting. I still desire to help anyone in need but no longer as a counselor. I truly feel my education has been a huge accomplishment and a tool in my toolbox when it comes to understanding those around me and learning to both sympathize and empathize with anyone and everyone.
How did you become involved with the subject or theme of your book?
I’ve always been a lover and appreciator of fantasy in any form from books to movies and drawings to role play. Naturally, a vivid imagination goes along with this sort of lifestyle which I passed onto my children. One day, sitting at our kitchen table, my daughters lost something in our house. I’ve forgotten what it was, more than likely a toy or something of the sort. Out of the blue, I blamed it on little “hidden elves” that live in “secret realms” throughout our home. There’s a realm underneath the couch, one behind the refrigerator, a few in the bedrooms, so on and so forth. We began to make up little spells and potions they used to make living among large humans easier; spells that would make humans forget why they came into a room to begin with and magical barriers that would make them invisible to the human eye, to name a few.
Later on in the day, my daughters began drawing little elves, their huts, their environment, and we even started coming up with “jobs” or “passions” (as they eventually became known as). There were builders, beautifiers, protectors, messengers, and the list goes on. After a few days, I found myself still pondering this new “world” my daughters and I had created. I began writing little tidbits of information down and making drawings of my own. I can do this. I can write a book!, it eventually dawned on me. The rest is history. I wrote somewhere around 400+ pages, which was condensed down into 320 official pages, and it took me a little over a year to accomplish something I never thought I’d be able to. This was all thanks to my love of fantasy and the beautiful minds of two beautiful little girls.
What cultural value do you see in writing/reading/storytelling/
The value I see in what I and many others do is planted in the hearts and minds of the young readers and writers I interact with on any occasion I can. Speaking at middle and elementary schools and participating in book fairs helps me encourage our future to do what they love to do: read and write.
The culture I am investing in is children. The hearts and minds of the little ones around us are what everyone should be invested in. It is my goal and my passion to do everything I can to help them realize they can accomplish anything they set their minds to. With my love of adventure and magic, I hope to help them realize there are so much good and opportunity in the world of fantasy from reading what others have created and/or creating a world all their own. I’m fortunate enough to have created a legacy that will, hopefully, live on forever and I strive to help them create one too.
What inspires you?
What inspires me is cheap…some may even say it’s free. My inspiration comes from those around me. Any writer, artist, dancer, performer or anything of the sort knows exactly how good and uplifting it feels to receive a compliment from fans. My heart melted when a ten-year-old girl came up to me and said, “I absolutely love your book! I’ve read it twice already and have started it AGAIN. When does book two come out?!” When I visit schools and have a Meet & Greet with students and they ask me questions about the characters or the world I’ve created, it inspires me to want to write more and more. Other things that inspire me are my children, fellow writers and friends, and my family. My cup of support has been spilling over and I am blessed to receive so much praise. I love them all.
Who are some of your favorite authors that you feel were influential in your work?
At the very top of my list is Christopher Paolini, the author of The Inheritance Cycle. I loved (and still love) his work and his style of writing. The amount of depth and imagination and creativity he includes in his writings inspired me to write my first book and begin The Hidden Elves series. Once I began digging into Paolini as a person, aside from a writer, I gained a deeper form of respect for him. We have a good amount in common and he truly loves his fans and has never forgotten where he started.
Also, let us not forget J.R.R Tolkien. I’ve read all of his books and The Hobbit five times. He is an amazing storyteller and writer. Between him and George R.R. Martin, in my personal opinion, fantasy was taken to an all new level. I would wager on the fact that almost every fantasy author out there has been impacted by one of these two men, if not both, in some way or another. There are so many authors that I could say were influential in my work but I am afraid I don’t remember them all.
What projects are you working on at the present?
Currently, I am about 75% complete with book two of The Hidden Elves series and get new ideas on a daily basis. Aside from that, I am working on two separate Sci-Fi books (not sure if they will be series yet) and I have just started dabbling in cartography. One sci-fi book is a teenage readers’ sci-fi suspense and the other is a teenage+ post-apocalyptic dystopic fantasy. I am excited to continue to let my brain do crazy things and snag a few of those crazy things and put them on paper.
You can find Jonathan on Twitter here:
And you can score a copy of his book here:(Free for Kindle Unlimted users) The Secret Realms of Hidden Elves https://www.amazon.com/Secret-Realms-Hidden-Elves-Beginning-ebook/dp/B07467MTT3/
Images © Jonathan Bowerman used by permission of the author.