Candace L. Bowser

Author Interview Form
Tell us your name and where you’re from.:
My name is Candace L. Bowser (I also go by the pen name Hargrove Perth.) Originally from Pennsylvania I’m now a Midwest
What led to your decision to become an author?:
I loved writing even when I was young. Telling stories came
naturally to me from a very young age. My parents encouraged reading
the classics where I quickly fell in love with Bram Stoker, Washington
Irving, and Mary Shelley. My writing style is highly influenced by
them. Writing is my passion. It is self expression at its finest.
Tell us about what you’re currently working on, and
what you’ve written in the past.:
Currently, I am working on the Dark Days Series which is a
bit different from other series readers might read. Unlike other
series where characters transcend the books, each Dark Days book is
independent and free-standing, focusing on a tragic event, how the
event changes the character, and the darkness that rises from it. Dark
Days Remy Broulette is due to release June 26th 2014 with Ink Smith
Publishing with several other novels in the series to follow. The
Quintessential Gentleman is my other published work under my pen name
of Hargrove Perth. It is part of the Quintessential Murder Novels
series with each book being centered around a turn of the century
serial killer. I have several books available under my given name of
Candace L Bowser including the Wolves of Dullahan Series (5 books thus
far) The Origins Series which is soon to be re-released under the
title of The Children of Lilith, Thirteen Pieces of 8, The Dead Claim
Their Own, Immortal War Tears of Lilith, (the preceding are all horror
novels) Kashmir – a fantasy adventure, and the Mantis series which is
not YA suitable.
What are some of your strongest points as a writer,
and what if anything are you constantly working to improve upon?:
My descriptive writing is my strong suit, I believe. My books
are unique in the grand scheme of the literary world because they
unravel in historical settings, with real historical people, and are
blended with fictional characters. Being able to describe the past
with an accuracy that truly paints a picture of what it was like to
live in that time period is an accomplishment I am proud of and it is
what my fans comment on the most. As for improving, there is always
room to improve regardless of how long one has been writing or how
many books they have published. Each novel written is an
Are you self published, traditionally published or
both? Why did you choose to go that route?:
The majority of my books are self published and are available
as ebooks every where, as are paperbacks through Amazon and Lulu
(which does a fabulous job on print copies and if you order from their
site, you get a substantial discount on the paperback version based on
what Amazon charges for them!) I chose self publishing mainly because
of the experience I had with my first publisher. Unfortunately, I was
naïve to how the predators of the publishing world operated, and I
was never paid for a single book sold. After purchasing my rights
back, I started designing my own covers and doing everything on my
own. This is why I was happy to find Ashley at Ink Smith Publishing
and feel fortunate to be one of their newest authors.
What format are your books available in? Which of
these formats do you prefer and why?:
My books are available for all ereaders and in paperback. A
few select are available as hardbacks but it hardly seems people
purchase those anymore. I personally prefer paperbacks or hardbacks
myself. To me, there is nothing like holding a book in your hand and
being able to turn the page. Besides, if the power goes out for any
length of time, a real book doesn’t need charged and doesn’t need a
battery! How could you go wrong with the real thing?
How do you go about marketing your books?:
I do a bit of everything when it comes to marketing. I do
bookmarks and leave them places. I make custom swag like tee-shirts
and key chains. I carry business cards with me to leave places I
travel. I tweet, I have multiple FB pages, promote on FB groups for
books, have a Pinterest page, a Myspace page, travel blogs, do
interviews and podcasts – basically if you suggest it, I will give it
a try. It doesn’t hurt to try new things and experience new venues
when you are attempting to get your name into the spotlight and
highlight the work you poured your blood and soul into.
Have you ever had to deal with harsh criticism in a
review, and how do you handle it?:
My personal feeling about negative interviews is pretty
simple. You cannot please everyone. You cannot make everyone like your
writing style or the types of books you write. I don’t take anything
personally. My fans are really loyal, they understand that what I
write is different and nearly a niche, so I take what they say and how
they like what I publish over any critic’s words. I always read them,
I always take their opinions into perspective, but I don’t dwell on
what they say. If there is room for something to be improved, you can
bet I will do it, but I will not let someone get to me who read
something and posted a negative review just because they didn’t
understand the subject matter or it offended them somehow. I once had
a negative review posted for my book the Mirror, said they hated the
fact it involved magic, a curse, and secret societies involving the
Catholic Church. I can respect that but it isn’t going to make me
re-write the whole thing because one person felt it wasn’t for
What are your favorite genres to both read and
I like to read a bit of everything – fantasy, horror,
paranormal, murder, mysteries, they are what I am drawn to read the
most. I write paranormal horror, dark romance, and horror for the most
part. Kashmir is fantasy/adventure, and the Mantis Series is an
assassin series – so as you can see, I try to not limit myself but
feel the most comfortable writing horror and dark romance.
What authors have influenced or inspired you?:
Bram Stoker, Washington Irving, Mary Shelley, Dean Koontz,
they all are and will continue to be a great influence to me. I also
love Oscar Wilde and Catherine Coulter.
What kinds of things do you enjoy doing when you’re
not writing?:
Not writing….when that does happen, which is rarely, I have
my own design company and design covers for other Indie Authors and
really enjoy it. For me, it is therapy, a stress reliever ,that I can
get lost in and allow the outside world to fall away. Plus it is
important to me to offer my help in any way I can to other indie
authors I meet. I know how expensive covers can be and how many people
are out there that will over charge for their time. I never charge
over $100 for both a front and back cover because for me it is
therapeutic and it just wouldn’t be ethical.
What software do you use for your writing? Did you
try others before you settled on the one you’re currently using?:
I use Word exclusively but discovered a great, affordable
program called Right Writer. It isn’t for the physical writing process
but rather to analyze it. In all honesty, I really haven’t tried any
other program other than Apache, which if a writer needs a program
that allows you to save documents as WORD or others, it is perfect. It
also takes up less space than Word and doesn’t have the glitches one
runs into using and saving in Word.
What is it that you like about the software you’re
currently using that makes it the best solution for you?:
Right Writer isn’t for the physical writing process but
rather is for the after portion where the book can be uploaded and it
analyzes it for sentence structure, writing strength, and errors. The
program really helps to point out sentence structure that could use a
bit of revision, especially when the majority of what I write are
period novels. Sometimes it is difficult to keep sentence structure
complex when you are writing a first person book in the Victorian
What’s the best advice you could possibly give to
your fellow authors?:
Only you can keep your dream alive, not your fans, not your
family, not a spouse, loved one, or significant other. Write for
yourself because it is your passion, what you love to do, and when you
do that the fans will come later.
Where can people find out more about you and your
I am on Facebook under both Candace Bowser and Hargrove
Perth, Twitter for both, and at my website at
where I update readers on signings, giveaways, appearances, and new
works in progress.