The Road to Deben Market
by David Bowmore
Please welcome our friend and Author, David Bowmore to the Writers Journey Blog this week. (I am ordering my copy this week of the Rise of Rose... I can't wait for I loved the original Deben Market!)
The Road to Deben Market
Turning fifty at the beginning of 2022 means I’ve been playing around at this writing game for about five years. In that time, a lot of short stories have been written, the occasional poem, one or two books, and a few articles.
Talking of articles, the last time I was asked to write one for the Writer’s Journey was over two years ago. Gosh, can you imagine? Look at everything that’s changed in that time; Lockdown has come and gone, here in the U.K we have a new monarch and are going through Prime Ministers faster than Poirot gets through moustache wax.
As it was for most people, Lockdown was a strange period for David Bowmore, the writer of short stories. I had time on my hands and far too many ideas and projects to focus on each with any degree of conviction. Many are left unfinished, and I hope to return to them in the future.
One thing I did complete was my second Deben Market book: The Rise of Rose. By the time you are casting your eyes over this page, it should be available from The Zon.
Let me tell you a bit about how I got here.
And the best place to do that is at the beginning.
I wanted to write from a young age. No one tried to dissuade me, although my mother kept saying, ‘Get a trade first, David. You can always fall back on a trade.’
My family were readers. Mum was—and still is—into historical romance, Nan read westerns and True Crime magazines, my aunt read me The Hobbit when I was four-years-old. My mum was always telling people I could recognise 200 words before my second birthday. I was destined to be a reader also. My father was a sci-fi mad, especially Asimov. I remember, he smelled of tobacco and saw dust. I can still see him rolling a cigarette, which he could do pretty well considering he only had six fingers and one thumb. Being a carpenter in the 1960s and ’70s was a dangerous occupation. This put me off the idea of getting a trade.
However, an erratic home life and poor education meant I entered adulthood with no idea of how to pursue my half-arsed dream of being a writer. A need to earn money forced me into kitchen work. Oh dear, a trade beckoned. I clawed my way from pot-wash boy in a pub to head chef of a renowned restaurant before escaping the eternally dark hole that kitchen swelters inhabit to become a teacher of young wannabe Gordon Ramseys.
The person who gave me the encouragement to teach was my wife, Jai. A qualified teacher herself, she saw in me a natural need to inform, demonstrate and educate.
As I said earlier, I was destined to be a reader, but many times I was disappointed with the material. Over the course of more than twenty years, I would often say to Jai, ‘I must be able to write better than this.’ Then toss the tiresome book in the charity pile for someone else to endure.
After having heard this for the umpteenth-millionth time, Jai said, ‘Go on then.’
‘Go on what?’ said I.
‘Learn how to do it and write something.’
I bought Stephen King’s On Writing.
A hundred thousand words of experimenting, a patient editor pointing out my schoolboy errors, and six months later my first story was published.
This led to my first book, The Magic of Deben Market (now with the subtitle, Moony’s Mystery). It was a surprise hit for this indie author; five-star reviews all the way, very favourable comments and plenty of love for the main characters. I honestly thought only a handful of people would read it and then say, “Blah, blah, blah, what a lot of old tosh.” But no, I seemed to have hit a chord with my grumpy, but charismatic fisherman and the bizarre town of Deben Market, with its collection of equally odd inhabitants.
Encouraged by this success, I set out writing a sequel or it could even be considered a prequel. Unlike the first book, which is basically a collection of short stories set in the same town, The Rise of Rose is more akin to a novel, but told as short stories/chapters in a linear fashion. In each story/chapter the reader meets new residents, as well as some old faces from the first book, whilst also getting an insight into the two main characters.
The first of these is Charlotte Hood, who some readers may remember from the first book as The Time Traveller. We find out why she originally came to Deben Market in 2002, some of what she did in the intervening years and what her final mission will be. She’s an avenging angel, hard and ruthless on the outside, caring, loyal and principled on the inside.
Then we have the title character, Rose. A local girl who married well, and appears to always do the right thing. Outwardly, generous and caring, she’s a typical do-gooder who gets pleasure from helping others. But Rose is hiding a dark secret, and the more she tries to…
STOP! We’re entering the realms of spoilers, let’s say that all is not a bed of roses for our Rose.
Of course, Moony returns as well as Angelika the Wishing Witch, and Gavin Maddock makes a magical appearance. Other new characters include Val the football-playing grandmother who is haunted by her past, a scout master coming to terms with the damage lies can cause, and an American who has retired to the town to photograph the fantastical. If I’m to avoid an embarrassing telling off, I had better not forget Lady Pargeter—a modern Victorian, if that is not an oxymoron.
To sum up, it’s time travel without a time machine, it’s a ghost story without a haunting, it’s fantasy and magic and wishes, but without elves, wands or shooting stars, and an unsolved murder is to put bed, but no one goes to jail.
My whole life has been pushing me towards Deben Market and when I think of all the projects I started during the last two-and-a-bit years, I really am very glad to have finished this one.
The Magic of Deben Market: The Rise of Rose
The Magic of Deben Market: Moony’s Mystery
Visit David’s website and sign up to his newsletter to receive a free story.
Click the cover to browse or buy.
Bio: David Bowmore was born on a winter’s night with the sound of thunder and the flash of lightning welcoming him into a brightly painted Gypsy caravan. Forty-five years later he started writing fiction. After a steep learning curve, his short stories and flash fiction began to appear in various collections. He tends to write thrillers and mysteries as well as stories with a touch of the supernatural about them, focusing on character and the oddities of being human, sometimes with humour, but more often with dark unreality. When he was younger, he had a love of science fiction and fantasy. In adult life his reading tastes veered towards thrilling mysteries, particularly Golden Age crime. You know the sort of thing – country house murders where everyone is a suspect, impossible locked room mysteries with more red herrings than your local fishing hole. David is an admirer of many authors including Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, Eric Ambler, Patricia Highsmith, Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, Elmore Leonard, Stephen King, and P.G. Wodehouse.