Richard C. Bower is an award-winning writer, poet, and journalist. He’s the official Mansfield Town Football Club poet. He has worked with the BBC, OCD UK, and Gitanjali and Beyond (a peer-reviewed academic international journal) amongst many others.
Accredited by UNESCO Nottingham City of Literature, and a member of the prestigious Authors Club (as was Oscar Wilde et al), Richard C. Bower is the international selling author of ‘POSTMODERN’, the inspirational bestseller ‘Sanctuary’, and the imminent new release ‘Pleasures In The Pathless Woods’.
Originally from Mansfield, Richard and his work have recently been celebrated as part of the very first Nottinghamshire Day, and his work is being critiqued in classrooms around the UK and Europe; being compared alongside the classical works of Ted Hughes and Dylan Thomas.
Tell me what inspired you to write ‘Pleasures in the Pathless Woods’?
The seedlings for this book were planted a few years ago. Ever since the public became aware that I was a writer, I was quickly compared to Lord Byron and also referred to as ‘the nature poet’. My first two collections – POSTMODERN, and Sanctuary – both contained flashes of nature based writing, which was well received, so with Pleasures in the Pathless Woods I decided to write a full collection around the theme of nature and its cyclical rhtyhm through the seasons. It is also replete with mystical magic and insightful spiritual philosophy.
How hard was it to get your first (debut) book published?
I was blessed in how my deal came about – there’s a bit of a story to tell here! I’ve been a writer all of my life – keeping journals, note pads, diaries, etc ever since being young. It was normal for me to do such – and because it was normal to me, I assumed it was the general norm and that everyone did it. I thus never thought much of it and never told anyone. This way it remained until as recent as 2013. My mum suddenly passed away with cancer. I started to see a bereavement counsellor to try and help stabilise me at a crucial juncture in my life. After a couple of sessions, my counsellor spotted my introverted nature and suggested I wrote a basic journal throughout the week in which to write down any emotion or thought as it occured. So I did. When i took it into her the next week – and I remember this moment vividly – my counsellor read it, every page, before closing it carefully and looking me in my eye and asked if I had ever shown anybody my writing? (This is very emotional to me – it’s bringing tears to my eyes right now as I type this) I replied ‘no, why would I?’ She strongly encouraged me to do so, of which I did – very tentatitively, at first, to close family and friends. Each person I showed encouraged me further and further until I, with trepidation, started to post my musings on social media. This is where my publisher spotted me … and was quick to offer me my four-book deal. I see my entire journey as a writer as my mums passing gift to me. I love, and miss, my mum dearly. People often remind me how proud she would be of me – and I believe she is beaming up there right now as she looks on, and observes, the world!
How long did Pleasures in the Pathless Woods take to write?
Sanctuary was released in 2020 so after that I honed in on my concept for Pleasures. It documents a magical journey, with an abundance of hidden delights, and messages, for the reader. I believe that – like nature – the test of a good piece of work is that it can endure and grow with you, and you can continue to rediscover it, and it rediscovers you.
Do you have a writing playlist and, if so, do you want to share it?
My aural delights were derived from immersing myself in the beauty of natures rhythms whilst writing this book. My ‘playlist’ therefore aptly includes the early rising Blackbird with its low-pitched fluty verses, the clear and rippling notes of the Robin, the confident voice of the Song Thrush that dominates a dawn chorus, the fine warbling of a Black Cap, the rocking sense of the Great Tit, and the voice of the Coal Tit that resonates loudly from the conifer tree in my garden!
Do you take notice of online reviews?
I do glance an eye over them and am interested in people’s thoughts. I am not driven by them though, as (experience has taught me) some people have dishonest agendas.
Would you consider writing outside your current genre?
As well as being a published author (my next two books are different to my first three by the way – you’ll have to trust me with that as they are top secret for the time being) I am also a journalist and freelance writer by trade so therefore consider any genre of writing. The key for me is that it (a particular project) has to appeal to me – it has to sit well with me as a person, and then on a creative level. I have worked with a lingerie brand, my local football club, a race horse owner, music and culture magazines, the BBC, OCD UK, international academic journals, etc etc … that’s just a small sample of the type of work I have considered and undertaken.
What did you do before you became a writer?
I primarily worked in professions where the role was to help others. I did so in the guise of an Employment Advisor and a Careers Advisor.
Which authors inspire you?
On The Road by Jack Kerouac really opened up the doors of literature, and inspiration, for me. My influences range from William Blake, Jim Morrison, Oscar Wilde, Charles Bukowski, etc. When younger, I considered Irvine Welsh as my ‘favourite’ author and would consume everything he released. Right now, I’m also discovering the work of some 18th century female poets such as Anna Letitia Barbauld and Mary Robinson that I’m finding really interesting.
Which genres do you read yourself?
I can be reading upto a dozen books at any one time. To answer this question the genres of the books I am reading at the moment include spirituality, history (of literature), religion, philosophy, psychology, self-help, biography, mythology, fiction, and poetry. This actually gives you an insight into my writing too.
What is your biggest motivator?
I am motivated by the pursuit, and attainment, of happiness – right here, right now – and by spreading a positive message, and energy, on an individual level and, indeed, with the whole world!
What will distract you?
Life and obstructive thoughts that find their way into ones mind can potentially cause distraction. To circumnavigate such, I adhere to rising early (often 5/6am) and writing for a few hours before, and as, the day awakens. I do this daily, when the mind is fresh and full of awe, wonder, and inspiration.
How much say do you have in your book covers?
As with all my creative output, I have complete control with everything I do. I have a fantastic relationship with my cover artist, Natalie Mosley, who understands deeply the concept of my work and translates it perfectly in a visual way. Natalie is an inspirational artist in her own right.
Any books that you’re looking forward to in the next 12 months?
Well, next up in my ‘to be read’ pile – that I’m particularly looking forward to – are Ethics by Benedict Spinoza, Ghosts Of My Life (Writings On Depression, Hauntology, And Lost Futures) by Mark Fisher, and Love & Fury by Paris Fury.
Any plans, projects, or events in the near future?
Pleasures In The Pathless Woods is due to be released in Spring 2023, and I will be performing at a number of events up and down the country to promote the book. To keep a track of where I’m going to be appearing (my tour hasn’t been publicly released at the time of me writing this), people can follow me on social media. I am on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube … just type in my name, Richard C. Bower – or just Google me!