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Tim Bowler - Author

About the 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 by Tim Bowler

Shadows

Shadows

11+ readers

Author: Tim Bowler Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/06/2007

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 they go on the run. It's surely only a matter of time before they're both discovered. Jamie knows the time is going to come when he'll have to emerge from the shadows and face up to his problems - whatever the cost ...

ebook of the month
Apocalypse

Apocalypse

11+ readers

Author: Tim Bowler Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/06/2005

A heart-stopping story that will take the reader to the very core of good and evil - and a vision of the world that is unforgettable. In a hostile community in which his parents have disappeared Kit must face trials and dangers beyond his imagining as well as something he never expects to encounter - love...

ebook of the month

Other books by Tim Bowler

River Boy

River Boy

Author: Tim Bowler Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/02/2019

Grandpa is dying. He can barely move his hands any more but, stubborn as ever, refuses to stay in hospital. He's determined to finish his last painting, River Boy, before he goes. At first Jess can't understand his refusal to let go, but then she too becomes involved in the mysterious painting. And when she meets the river boy himself, she finds she is suddenly caught up in a challenge of her own that she must complete - before it's too late . . . This amazing book by critically-acclaimed author, Tim Bowler, was the winner of the prestigious Carnegie Medal and is being published in this stunning edition for a new generation of readers. With a stunning new cover by Tom Clohosy Cole and an introduction by award-winning writer, David Almond, this new edition will appeal to a whole new generation of readers.

Game Changer

Game Changer

Author: Tim Bowler Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 17/02/2015

Life is hard for Mikey. He's frightened of open spaces and would much rather curl up in his room and avoid the world outside. So going to a noisy, public place is a big deal - but with his sister Meggie by his side, it should be safe. And Mikey is determined to overcome his fear. But things go badly wrong when he encounters a gang and witnesses something terrible. To make matters worse, they know where he lives, and now they want to see him . . . This time, there's no hiding place for Mikey . . .

Midget WITH Dragons's Rock

Midget WITH Dragons's Rock

Author: Tim Bowler Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/06/2007

Midget A unique and unnerving story about Midget - fifteen years old, three feet tall, and target of his older brother's bullying and cruelty. Midget dreams of buying a boat and sailing away, but people say it'll take a miracle for that to happen. Midget knows miracles can happen, but sometimes they hurt people who get in the way ...Dragon's Rock Benjamin can't stop the nightmares. Every night they come - so real and vivid that Benjamin lives in terror and sleep has become a place of fear. He knows he must return the stone he took from Dragon's Rock - this could be the only way to end the horror. But once there he realizes that he's not the only one in torment and the dragon of his nightmares is more terrifying than ever.

Shadows

Shadows

11+ readers

Author: Tim Bowler Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/06/2007

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 they go on the run. It's surely only a matter of time before they're both discovered. Jamie knows the time is going to come when he'll have to emerge from the shadows and face up to his problems - whatever the cost ...

ebook of the month
Tales from the Dark Side: Walking With The Dead

Tales from the Dark Side: Walking With The Dead

Author: Tim Bowler Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 21/09/2006

Stevie is having an unhappy break with his father and his father's girlfriend. In a rage he storms off and eventually finds himself at dusk in a quiet courtyard where a strange old man is washing in an old well. Repulsed by the figure, Stevie nonetheless takes the broken bell the man leaves behind. but that night he wakes to find ghostly figures in his room. They too are disfigured like the old man and Stevie finds himself drawn into their medieval world. Outcasts, excluded from the town, they tell Stevie that the old man, their grandfather, is bent on risking everything to enter the town one last time. Stevie joins in following the old man to try to protect him from the pitiless mob of townsfolk. In a dramatic climax Stevie faces the fury of the crowd and in doing so begins to understand what it is to be an object of hate. This deeply felt story is a gripping read, powerfully told and illustrated by a leading author and illustrator. Sure to appeal to all readers of 11 - 14, its relatively short text broken into digestible chapters and high level of illustration make it accessible to less able and reluctant readers as well.

Rollercoasters River Boy

Rollercoasters River Boy

Author: Tim Bowler Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/09/2006

While trying to cope with the knowledge that her grandfather is dying, Jess meets a boy who challenges her to swim down the river to the sea - her grandfather's ambition. The boy then disappears, and Jess learns her grandfather has died peacefully.

Blood On Snow

Blood On Snow

Author: Tim Bowler Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 15/09/2005

In a fast-moving plot, 14-year-old Will terrifyingly experiences a voice from the past when visiting the Norman remains of Totnes Castle in Devon. He comes to realise that a boy took revenge on the Normans for the murder of his father and was himself killed in 1067 when local Saxons were brutally enslaved to build the Castle. But the boy's spirit cannot rest until the knife he used is returned to the River Dart to complete Saxon tradition. Will breaks into the castle at night to dig up the knife, but then the nightmare begins as he relives his Saxon forebear's horrific ordeal. A gripping story with sympathetic characters. Part of a unique range of books aimed at 11+s that through integration of text and illustration are also accessible to those with reading abilities of as young as 8. Produced in consultation with literacy consultant Wendy Cooling,

Apocalypse

Apocalypse

11+ readers

Author: Tim Bowler Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/06/2005

A heart-stopping story that will take the reader to the very core of good and evil - and a vision of the world that is unforgettable. In a hostile community in which his parents have disappeared Kit must face trials and dangers beyond his imagining as well as something he never expects to encounter - love...

ebook of the month
Starseeker

Starseeker

Author: Tim Bowler Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 15/05/2003

Luke's father is dead and he feels his mother is moving on too quickly. Since his father's death, Luke has changed his priorities, and has fallen into bad company. His new friends persuade him to break into a house when its owner, an unfriendly and unlovable old woman, is out. Once inside he is confronted with the sound of a girl crying, and through a locked keyhole sees a young girl standing alone, crying in despair. Luke becomes drawn into finding out who the girl is, why she is in the house, and why she is so unhappy. Finding the answers change all of their lives. Prize-winning author, Tim Bowler has won the Carnegie Medal, the Angus Book Prize (twice), and the Lancashire Children's Book Award.

Dragon's Rock

Dragon's Rock

Author: Tim Bowler Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/07/2002

Benjamin has terrible nightmares. Ever since taking the stone from Dragon's Rock he feels the beast chasing him. Sleep has become a place of fear, where the dragon hunts him. Benjamin returns to Dragon's Rock in the hope that he can put things right and so get rid of the visions. Once there, his nightmares become even more dangerous. And Benjamin realizes that he's no longer the only person at risk...

Shadows

Shadows

Author: Tim Bowler Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/06/2001

Shadows is a gritty, uncompromising book and also, unusually, a boy's love story. It focuses on Jamie, a fifteen-year-old squash prodigy and his relationship with his overbearing father, who is determined that his son will achieve the success he himself never enjoyed and drives the boy to a point almost beyond endurance. Then Jamie finds a girl hiding in his shed, and in helping her to escape from the danger that is pursuing her, he is at last able to deal with his own problems. He realises that he can't run away for ever. He has to come out of the shadows and face up to his father, whatever the cost. It is the winner of the Angus Book Prize and the Lancashire Children's Book Award. This title comes from the major prize-winning author, Tim Bowler who won the Carnegie Medal with River Boy . It contains strong themes of overcoming fears, helping others, and standing up for what you believe. It provides new cover treatment to match Tim Bowler's wonderful new novel, Storm Catchers . The author was born and brought up in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, and now lives in Totnes, Devon.

Author Info

Author's Website

https://www.timbowler.co.uk/

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