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Monday, August 7, 2017

Author Guest Post - Rhys Bowen

I am excited and happy that Rhys Bowen is joining us today  She writes two mystery series that are each wonderful.  She writes the Molly Murphy and the Royal Spyness mysteries.  

 A little background about Ms. Bowen.  Rhys was born in Bath, England, of a Welsh/English family, and educated at London University. She worked for the BBC in London, as an announcer then drama studio manager. She sang in folk clubs and also started writing her own radio and TV plays.  She married and settled in the San Francisco area, where she has lived ever since, raising four children. (Although she now spends her winters in her condo in Arizona.)

She gave us an interview in 2010 (click here.)

How my own experiences shape my characters.

One of the good things about being a writer is that I can take episodes from my own life and foist them upon my characters. This works especially well for embarrassing events. Events that were mortifying to me: now I can laugh at them as I make poor Lady Georgie suffer with them.

In my teens and twenties I had a checkered career. I studied at a drama school. I worked in BBC drama (an amazing experience working with top actors of the day. How many twenty-two year olds get to tell Sir John Gilguid where he is supposed to stand on the set?) I also sang in folk clubs. This was the Sixties, the age of folk music. I was friends with Al Stewart (of Year of the Cat fame) and through him I became a regular at a couple of folk clubs in London. And through him I met Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel. They were also just starting out in their careers and sang at the same clubs, and also stayed at the same house in London, inhabited by a motley crew of young creative types. I was actually sitting with Al in a café late one night when Paul and Artie came to say goodbye. “We have to go back to America,” they said. “Our manager says our song Sounds of Silence is doing quite well.” A moment in history.

Of course I can’t use the Sixties for Lady Georgie, but I did use another of my brief and not too successful careers. Modeling. I thought if I became a model it would give me time to write. I  enrolled at a modeling school and then their, 
agency sent me out on a job. Modeling for a fashion house for their spring collection. I had to put on clothes quickly, come out and walk up and down. This went fine until I was given a strange garment. The skirt was long and very tight. I could hardly get it over my hips (and I was super skinny). It buttoned behind the neck. I started to walk out, taking tiny steps. That’s when I noticed something flapping beside me and realized it was culottes and I was in half of them! I wanted the floor to open up and swallow me but I had to walk all the way back again. 

So I made Lady Georgie suffer that same embarrassment, only she is modeling in front of Mrs. Simpson! How mortifying. Poor Georgie.

In subsequent books I have inflicted more embarrassing moments upon her. However I have never found myself in such a pickle as happens to her in On Her Majesty’s Frightfully Secret Service, when she is trapped in a room with… Well, you’ll have to read the book to find out more. Enjoy


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THANK You Ms. Bowen.  Oh my gosh, Al Stewart and Simon and Garfunkel.  Very cool.  I remember Georgie's failed modeling attempt.  That was great to get a different insight into what Georgie suffers!

Here is a video of an interview last year.

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lindalou said...

Wow... that is cool. I got to see Simon and Garfunkel in concert in Memphis. I lucked into front-row seats. They were awesome. I still play their music...

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