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Tim Bowler - Children's Author


Tim was our Guest Editor in February 2011. Click here to see his selections.

 

Tim Bowler is one of the UK’s most compelling and original writers for teenagers. He was born in Leigh-on-Sea and after studying Swedish at University he worked in forestry, the timber trade, teaching and translating before becoming a full-time writer. He lives with his wife in a small village in Devon and his workroom is an old stone outhouse known to friends as ‘Tim’s Bolthole’.

Tim has written eighteen books and won fifteen awards, including the prestigious Carnegie Medal for River Boy. His most recent novel is the gripping Buried Thunder, and his provocative Blade series is being hailed as a groundbreaking work of fiction. He has been described by the Sunday Telegraph as ‘the master of the psychological thriller’ and by the Independent as ‘one of the truly individual voices in British teenage fiction’.

 

Q & A with Tim Bowler

1. What inspired you to write Buried Thunder?
Buried Thunder started from an image in my head. I had no idea what that image meant or where it was going to lead, but I followed it because it was so intriguing. I saw a girl rushing through a forest at dusk and stumbling – literally – upon a body, and then a second, and a third; and a figure standing near. By this time I was hooked, so I carried on.
2. Describe the basic story in two or three sentences.
Buried Thunder is a thriller based around an ancient hotel in a small country village. It is the story of fourteen-year-old Maya and her desperate attempts to understand and resist the evil that has closed around her since she and her family moved to the village. Her struggle leads her to the brink of madness and the discovery of a terrifying secret.
3. How long did it take you to write Buried Thunder?
It took about a year. I wrote one big, sprawling draft, realised it was much too loose, went over it with my editor, then pruned it right back.
4. What do you think people will say about Buried Thunder?
I hope they will be gripped by the story and will feel deeply for Maya as she goes through her terrifying ordeals. I also hope it will scare them witless!

5. Are you working on something else at the moment?
I'm busy with a new novel, which will hopefully be published in Spring 2012, together with the new bind-up version of the Blade series, which I'm dying to see.

6.  What is your favourite food?  Vegetarian shepherd's pie the way my wife cooks it, followed by coffee ice cream.

7.  What makes you laugh out loud?  I can never predict what will set me off. I laugh at all kinds of things. The only humour I dislike is humour that is cruel.

8.  What is your one luxury item you would take with you on to a Desert Island?  A basketball.

9.  What is your most treasured memory?  The day I got married.

10.  What is your weakness?  A tendency to be over-driven when it comes to writing, an inability to let it go when I ought to have a rest.

11.  Who is the person you most admire?  I admire many, many people and wouldn't want to single out just one.

12.  What is your most embarrassing moment?  The time I opened a bottle of fizzy water before starting a talk and found myself spraying the front row because someone had shaken the bottle earlier.

13.  What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?  A saying attributed to Goethe: "Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, do it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Start now."

14.  Define beauty.  Something that can't be defined, only recognised (like love).

15.  What are you reading at the moment?  A book called Stepping Stones about the poet Seamus Heaney. I'm also re-reading the Diary of Samuel Pepys and a two-volume collection of the letters of the composer Delius.

16.  What are you reading at the moment.  I'm re-reading Out of Shadows by Jason Wallace (gets better every time) and the collected short stories of Guy de Maupassant (an old favourite). Have just finished Trash by Andy Mulligan, which blew me away.

17.  Favourite holiday destination?  Nowhere in particular but I prefer quiet, remote places as untouched as possible by tourism.

18.  Which authors have most inspired you?  Shakespeare most of all, and various poets, especially Keats and Blake, and certain more recent poets like Heaney and (from the last century) the Swedish poet Gunnar Ekelöf, whose work I've loved since I first met it at university.

19.  What is your favourite children’s book?  Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome.

20.  Most treasured possession?  My life.

21.  Where are you happiest?  There's no single place or experience. Sometimes I'm happiest when I'm with the people I love most; sometimes I'm happiest when I'm alone thinking and working. Happiness doesn't follow rules. It just falls when it falls.

22.  Favourite biscuit?  They don't make them any more but you used to be able to buy biscuits called "Dad's Cookies" and they were absolutely scrummy.

23.  Pet hates?  People who are pompous.

24.  If you could change one thing about the world we live in today what would it be?  I'd make human beings incapable of violence.


Featured Books, with extracts by Tim Bowler


Sea of Whispers
Sea of Whispers
Tim Bowler
Award-winning Tim Bowler tells a complex story which captures the mystery and intensity of life on a remote island where survival depends on the unpredictable powers of the sea. Hetty is used to being a loner but it is not...
Featured in: 11+ readers | 14+ readers | eBooks
Format: Paperback - Released: 02/01/2014
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Blade 4: Endgame
Blade 4: Endgame
Tim Bowler
Blade has done all he can. But it's not enough. Men are swarming over the city hunting him. And his enemy is still free. But Blade isn't finished yet. He has strength in him for one more fight. And it's...
Featured in: 14+ readers
Format: Paperback - Released: 03/01/2013
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Sea of Whispers
Sea of Whispers
Tim Bowler
Award-winning Tim Bowler tells a complex story which captures the mystery and intensity of life on a remote island where survival depends on the unpredictable powers of the sea. Hetty is used to being a loner but it is not...
Featured in: 11+ readers | 14+ readers | eBooks
Format: Hardback - Released: 03/01/2013
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Blade 3: Firestorm
Blade 3: Firestorm
Tim Bowler
Blade is back in the big city. Back where the trouble started. A bad place to live. And a worse place to die. He never meant to return. But there are things he's got to put right. Things that matter....
Featured in: 14+ readers
Format: Paperback - Released: 02/08/2012
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Blade 2: Flight
Blade 2: Flight
Tim Bowler
This is the second double edition in the unmissable Blade series, previously published as Breaking Free and Running Scared.  Blade is in danger. He's frightened. His enemies are all around him. And they're closing in. He's got to run, get...
Featured in: 11+ readers | 14+ readers
Format: Paperback - Released: 07/06/2012
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Blade 1: Enemies
Blade 1: Enemies
Tim Bowler
This is part one of an unmissable series.  Previously published in two parts as Blade: Playing Dead and Blade: Closing In, this is a stunning new package for this groundbreaking series. Narrated by Blade himself, be prepared to enter his...
Featured in: 11+ readers | 14+ readers | Books for Boys
Format: Paperback - Released: 02/02/2012
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Buried Thunder
Buried Thunder
Tim Bowler
A tense and haunting thriller in which the power of the forest looks set to destroy all around it. Drawn to the forest around the house, Maya witnesses strange and unnatural events. Even when in the safety of her new...
Featured in: 14+ readers | eBooks
Format: Paperback - Released: 08/12/2011
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Buried Thunder
Buried Thunder
Tim Bowler
A tense and haunting thriller in which the power of the forest looks set to destroy all around it. Drawn to the forest around the house, Maya witnesses strange and unnatural events. Even when in the safety of her new...
Featured in: 11+ readers | 14+ readers | Books of the Month | eBooks
Format: Hardback - Released: 03/02/2011
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Blade: Risking All
Blade: Risking All
Tim Bowler
For Blade life is simple, in his eyes at least.  Win and live, win and die. Just one big enemy left: Me. From the Carnegie Medal-winning author of River Boy, Starseeker and Bloodchild comes the final title in this startlingly...
Featured in: 11+ readers | 14+ readers
Format: Paperback - Released: 02/09/2010
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Blade: Cutting Loose
Blade: Cutting Loose
Tim Bowler
From the Carnegie Medal-winning author of River Boy, Starseeker and Bloodchild comes the penultimate title in this startlingly compelling series. Contemporary, pacy, and utterly gripping, Blade takes you on a roller-coaster ride through the secret, dangerous life of its unforgettable...
Featured in: 11+ readers | 14+ readers
Format: Paperback - Released: 01/04/2010
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Blade: Mixing it
Blade: Mixing it
Tim Bowler
This is where we find out - who's the hunter, who's the prey? From the Carnegie Medal-winning author of River Boy, Starseeker and Bloodchild comes the sixth title in this startlingly compelling series. Contemporary, pacy, and utterly gripping, Blade takes...
Featured in: 11+ readers | 14+ readers
Format: Paperback - Released: 07/01/2010
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Blade: Fighting Back
Blade: Fighting Back
Tim Bowler
Another hard hitting title about Blade, newly back in the Beast, the city he left when he was eleven. Blade hates the Beast but he has no choice but to go back if he is to rescue Jaz who has...
Featured in: 11+ readers | 14+ readers | Reluctant Readers
Format: Paperback - Released: 03/09/2009
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Bloodchild
Bloodchild
Tim Bowler
If you’re on the hunt for a book that will really grab you, put shivers down your spine and ensure that at the end of every chapter you gasp for breath, then Bowler’s Bloodchild is the novel for you. Incredibly atmospheric of...
Featured in: 11+ readers | 14+ readers | Books of the Month | eBooks
Format: Paperback - Released: 04/06/2009
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Starseeker
Starseeker
Tim Bowler
Luke is in trouble. Skin and the gang have a job for him. They want him to break into Mrs Little's house and steal the jewellery box. They want him to prove that he's got what it takes. That he's...
Featured in: 11+ readers | eBooks
Format: Paperback - Released: 04/06/2009
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Blade: Running Scared
Blade: Running Scared
Tim Bowler
From the prize-winning author of the prestigious Carnegie Medal comes the fourth title to feature the enormously engaging central character, Blade.  Pacy, gripping and very cool and contemporary this series will engage even the most reluctant reader.  A roller-coaster ride...
Featured in: 11+ readers | 14+ readers
Format: Paperback - Released: 02/04/2009
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Blade: Breaking Free
Blade: Breaking Free
Tim Bowler
The third in the Blade series, this is another short, very accessible novel for teens. Pacy, gripping and packed with action, and a central character that’s incredibly engaging, even the most reluctant reader will devour it. Blade is in even more danger...
Featured in: 11+ readers | 14+ readers
Format: Paperback - Released: 01/01/2009
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Bloodchild
Bloodchild
Tim Bowler
If you’re on the hunt for a book that will really grab you, put shivers down your spine and ensure that at the end of every chapter you gasp for breath then Bowler’s Bloodchild is the novel for you. Incredibly atmospheric of...
Featured in: 14+ readers | eBooks
Format: Hardback - Released: 04/09/2008
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Blade: Playing Dead
Blade: Playing Dead
Tim Bowler
Totally gripping teens thriller written in a direct and compelling style. Tough kid Blade wants no one to know him. He’s a loner and wants to keep it that way. It’s the best way to keep out of trouble. But...
Featured in: 11+ readers | 14+ readers
Format: Paperback - Released: 01/05/2008
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Blade: Closing In
Blade: Closing In
Tim Bowler
The second in the Blade series, this is another short, very accessible novel for teens. Pacy, gripping and packed with action, and a central character that’s incredibly engaging, even the most reluctant reader will devour it. Blade is on the...
Featured in: 11+ readers | 14+ readers
Format: Paperback - Released: 01/05/2008
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Frozen Fire
Frozen Fire
Tim Bowler
Non-stop tension and utterly compelling are the hallmarks of a Tim Bowler thriller; so much so, that you’ll be drawn into the characters and the story from the very start. He is pre-eminent in the field of psychological thrillers in...
Featured in: 11+ readers | 14+ readers | eBooks
Format: Paperback - Released: 07/06/2007
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Shadows
Shadows
Tim Bowler
In the competitive world of squash, Jamie's dad is determined that Jamie should succeed where he failed. Jamie feels backed into a corner and doesn't know where to turn. Then he discovers the girl hiding in his shed and together...
Featured in: 11+ readers | eBooks
Format: Paperback - Released: 07/06/2007
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Frozen Fire
Frozen Fire
Tim Bowler
Non-stop tension and utterly compelling are the hallmarks of a Tim Bowler thriller; so much so, that you’ll be drawn into the characters and the story from the very start.  He is pre-eminent in the field of psychological thrillers in...
Featured in: 11+ readers | 14+ readers | eBooks
Format: Hardback - Released: 07/09/2006
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River Boy
River Boy
Tim Bowler
Grandpa refuses to stay in hospital, as he is determined to finish his painting, 'River Boy', before he goes. At first Jess can't understand his refusal, but then she too becomes involved in the painting. And when she meets the...
Featured in: 11+ readers | eBooks
Format: Paperback - Released: 07/09/2006
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Apocalypse
Apocalypse
Tim Bowler
Kit and his parents are washed up on a small island where the local community is hostile. In his struggle to stay alive and make sense of what is happening Kit is forced to confront good and evil in unexpected...
Featured in: 11+ readers | eBooks
Format: Paperback - Released: 02/06/2005
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Storm Catchers
Storm Catchers
Tim Bowler
Fin's sister, Ella, is kidnapped, snatched away from the house in the middle of a storm. As the drama unfolds, a complex web of family secrets is revealed. The consequences will change all their lives forever.
Featured in: 11+ readers | eBooks
Format: Paperback - Released: 02/06/2005
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