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IR Approved Author Ollie Bowen: “My true epiphany was my decision to become a self-publisher, to take my private words public, on my own terms…”

On the Occasion of a Wedding: Eclectic Love Poems received a 4+ star review, making it an IndieReader Approved title.

Following find an interview with author Ollie Bowen.

What is the name of the book and when was it published?

My debut collection of poetry, On the Occasion of a Wedding: Eclectic Love Poems, was actually published on the occasion of my best friend’s wedding:  March 23, 2019.

What’s the book’s first line? 

Its sting is what makes it beautiful.

Readers must decide whether my opening line refers to jellyfish, weddings, love, marriage, or perhaps something more deeply profound?!?

What’s the book about? Give us the “pitch”. 

The book is about the evolution of humanly passion, beginning with the ideals of love and marriage, and ending with what we can learn from it.

Poetic forms and literary styles include loose sonnets, free-form haiku, cento, and even epithalamium, which is a type of poem written to the bride on her wedding night.

Themes broadly range from Californian natural landscapes to slap-stick humor to Sufism, eliciting part deep-stoicism, part light-sensualism, in order to convey the transformative means in which two people can love.

What inspired you to write the book? A particular person? An event?

On the Occasion of a Wedding is a true example of the genre ‘occasional poetry’, meaning poems written to commemorate a particular event.

While fragments of these poems existed for many years, the book was specifically compiled as a personal wedding gift to my friends, Kristi & Matthew.  Had they never gotten married, I do not think I would have ever published!

What’s the main reason someone should really read this book? 

Readers will undoubtedly discover something new about love through my words. The book elicits jarring emotion and fresh opinion, which is precisely its intent.  Some readers will feel it too silly, some too deep. Some too bitter, some too sweet.  Each reader’s journey, like their journey through love, is guaranteed to be utterly unique to them.

When did you first decide to become an author?

I am not an author; authors write as profession.
I am but a poet; I write as confession.

Poetic silliness aside, I never really chose to become an author.  I wrote privately throughout my life, even as a child. My true epiphany was my decision to become a self-publisher, to take my private words public, on my own terms, in my own time.

Is this the first book you’ve written?

Volumes, I have written, but with the exception of my PhD thesis (which I do not recommend), this is the first book I’ve ever published.

What’s the best and the hardest part of being an indie?   

Being an indie author, I can write whatever I want to write.

While I truly value (and desperately need) commercial and editorial input, as an indie, I have the freedom to break norms and barriers.  It’s my time; my money; my mindlings; my book.  If I want to make spelling misteaks, I can.  If I want to mix funny erotic poems, with erudite sonnets, I can.  I don’t have to stick to any publishing formulary, and I can be flagrantly experimental, if I wish. The downside though is I often feel all alone in the world as an indie. Everything feels like bleeding-edge learning, as on-going battle for the simplest recognitions.  Traditional authors drive paved roads, while we indies must be continuous bushwackers.

Which book do you wish you could have written?

Eugene Onegin by Alexander Pushkin.  Writing a romantic Russian novel, in eloquent poetic verse, is pure insanity and absolute brilliance.

 

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