Curious to discover how leaning into your emotions can strengthen your writing? How about the actionable steps to reach your writing goals? Or tips for creating a financially viable marketing plan for your novel? We talk about it all and much more with Akemi Dawn Bowman.
Akemi is the award-winning author of Starfish, Summer Bird Blue, and her newly released novel Harley in the Sky. She is also a Ravenclaw and Star Wars enthusiast, who served in the US Navy for five years and has a BA in social sciences from UNLV.
We kick off our conversation discussing her career path from joining the navy to falling back in love with writing and ultimately pursuing storytelling full-time as a published author. She shares how she developed the perseverance to grapple with all the rejections that come along with the querying process and opens up about her mental health, finding the right support system, and how to be a great ally for others. We then dive into how she juggles being the best mom that she can to her children, being there as a partner to her significant other, and being a writer; all while maintaining a healthy mental state by prioritizing what’s most important to her, giving herself permission to slow down and take breaks, and cutting out toxic relationships both in-person and online.
Further into our conversation, she shares how leaning into her emotions helps her craft such beautiful and immersive stories, how her writing voice and character development has changed throughout her career, and her experience being an author with multiple published novels. And later, she drops some real-talk about book sales, contracts, and self-marketing, she shares a small but powerful step you can take to help you reach your writing goals, and gives us a snapshot of her newly released novel Harley in the Sky!
Books and resources:
- Author Adalyn Grace (Check out here 88 Cups of Tea episode right here!)
- The Lion King directed by Jon Favreau
- Author Jane Austen
- Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
- Space Boy by Stephen McCranie
Check out these highlights:
- Akemi shares her journey to becoming an award-winning author (5:50)
- How Akemi’s experience being in the navy helped her develop the perseverance to handle the rejection she faced in her querying process (6:33)
- The importance of opening up about our mental health to help us discover a support system we can lean on during challenging times (16:45)
- Akemi shares the most challenging thing she is going through at the moment and how setting priorities for herself is helping her during this time (29:30)
- How to give yourself permission to slow down and take breaks when you’re approaching a stressful deadline (33:32)
- Tips for cutting out toxic relationships both in-person and online (34:50)
- How leaning into your emotions can improve your craft and help you create beautiful prose in your novel (38:40)
- Akemi reflects on how her writing voice and characters have evolved throughout her career (44:50)
- She shares her experience being an author with multiple published novels while dropping some real-talk about contracts, books sales, and marketing campaigns (47:42)
- A snapshot of Akemi’s newly released novel Harley in the Sky and the inspiration behind it (63:35)
“Whenever you’re surrounded by darkness, the challenge is to make sure your heart doesn’t do dark.”Akemi Dawn Bowman
“We only have so many hours in the day, so fill it with the things that bring you light and love.”Akemi Dawn Bowman
“I like language to feel a little bit more like it’s painting a picture rather than just telling a story.”Akemi Dawn Bowman
Say “Hi” to Akemi:
Learn more about “Harley in the Sky”
Harley Milano has dreamed of being a trapeze artist for as long as she can remember. With parents who run a famous circus in Las Vegas, she spends almost every night in the big top watching their lead aerialist perform, wishing with all her soul that she could be up there herself one day.
After a huge fight with her parents, who continue to insist she go to school instead, Harley leaves home, betrays her family and joins the rival traveling circus Maison du Mystère. There, she is thrust into a world that is both brutal and beautiful, where she learns the value of hard work, passion and collaboration. But at the same time, Harley must come to terms with the truth of her family and her past—and reckon with the sacrifices she made and the people she hurt in order to follow her dreams.
Learn more about Akemi Dawn Bowman
Akemi Dawn Bowman is the author of William C. Morris Award Finalist Starfish, Summer Bird Blue, and Harley in the Sky. Her upcoming sci-fi series, The Infinity Courts, is set to release in 2021, followed by her middle-grade debut, Generation Misfits. A proud Ravenclaw and Star Wars enthusiast, she has a BA in social sciences from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She currently lives in Scotland with her husband and two children. She is represented by Penny Moore of Aevitas Creative Management.