Hi, I am K T Bowes and I live and write in New Zealand in an area called the Waikato. I emigrated here in 2006 with my husband and four young children on a one way ticket, bringing only a suitcase each.
I have always loved to write and make up long, embellished tales. While my children were small, I was the family story teller and if I wasn’t reading someone else’s book aloud, I was making up something of my own. I never quite knew what was going to come out of my mouth until it opened, but my repertoire included numerous recounted exploits of my incredibly entertaining younger sister and were usually entitled, ‘A Naughty Aunty Becky Story.’ My children loved those the best and would clamour for them, but my sister would kill me if she ever found out.
I have a long list of irrelevant qualifications including Law diplomas, Special Needs Teaching, Counselling and goodness knows what but my English Literature degree is probably my most prized and writing has allowed me to bring that out and finally dust it down. I remember my father commenting once during my varied career that I had never used ‘that English degree you spent three years getting’ but now I am. And it feels great.
I began writing seriously – as in, my first novel, About Hana, didn’t end up lost on a broken flash drive or accidentally deleted off a hard drive – shortly after arriving in New Zealand. I had many works which had been written down prior to this and then had taken absolutely no care of, but this one seemed different somehow and I lovingly backed it up and genuinely wanted it to survive. Immigration is exhausting in every possible way, mentally, financially, physically and above all, emotionally and I wasn’t prepared for how utterly hard it was going to be. In my head, it was going to be like landing in a soft armchair and finding friendly, readymade cushions but in reality, it was like falling onto ice. The first few chapters of About Hana I produced, often in the car between work and school pickup, kept me sane and allowed me an escape from the real world. Initially, it was only meant to be a few short stories about a woman who worked in an all-boys school and they are humorous and lighthearted. The location was based on a Mormon school I had seen in the south of the city, but which has now closed down. By the time I introduced the scene where two attackers try to snatch Hana’s handbag, I was hooked and the mystery and intrigue unfolded in front of me like a carpet. The first three books in The Hana Mysteries were initially one massive story but once it was finished, Amazon pulled a face at the size of the upload and I had to break it into three. I would love to do them as a boxed set eventually.
I looked at publishing when the About Hana, Hana Du Rose and Du Rose Legacy were all finished and edited. I spoke to someone I knew socially, who was the head of a big publishing firm in Auckland and had fine publishing pedigree. He gave me some advice and then said that he would take a look. A week later he died and it seemed even more important somehow to get the book published. When we first arrived in New Zealand and were struggling financially, I tried to sell a manuscript and artwork that I had called, ‘Darcy Dumb Dog’ to a childrens’ publisher. I went round and round in circles between agents and publishers until I didn’t know what I was doing. I even ended up parting with money at one point, for nothing in return. I didn’t want that experience again and researched Kindle Direct Publishing. It took a lot of courage to follow through and after a few attempts my novel went live. I was a nervous wreck during the upload process, which I needed my husband’s capable techie help for, but afterwards, I felt incredibly peaceful as though it was truly meant to be. I never expected that one day, all eleven of my novels would be bestselling in their categories!
My other passion is painting and I love the flexibility of oil on canvas, especially when painting buildings or landscapes. I have done a number of commissioned works and still get requests, although work, family and writing keep me too busy to do many. I was recently persuaded to donate two works to the National Party for auction and was staggered by the amount they raised, especially as they had been sitting behind the door in the spare bedroom. I also love American Folk Art, especially where it involves me taking an old piece of furniture and decorating it and making it look beautiful. My husband hates me doing that as he loves exposed wood and our biggest fallout was when I painted our pine Welsh Dresser white while he was at work although he did secretly admit to me recently that it does look better.
We keep horses in our back paddock, usually problematic ones that my youngest daughter has to sort out and make saleable. I used to ride with her and loved it but after two serious falls and lots of broken bones, I have decided that I don’t bounce like I used to anymore, so have taken up road running instead. I run most weekdays, between 5 and 10km each run.
The Hana Mysteries
(currently consists of six books):
Hana Du Rose,
Du Rose Legacy,
The New Du Rose Matriarch
(made the first cut in the ABNA awards 2014)
The Du Rose Prophecy.
Free From the Tracks,
Blaming the Child.
Mystery/Romance books based in England towns where I lived:
Demons on Her Shoulder
Find me online at:
Find my books at: