Father a woodworker; mother a journalist. Education: Attended University of Massachusetts and Clemson University. Hobbies and other interests: Playing the violin, travel, walking, reading, riding his motorcycle.
Home—New Bern, NC. E-mail—[email protected]
Has worked as a draftsman, photographer, copywriter, graphic artist, community college creative writing teacher, editor of a city magazine, and water quality researcher for the Neuse River Foundation; cofounder of a graphics company; freelance writer; licensed pilot.
Won a national contest for story "The Cat from Hell."
Guns (novel; "John Hardin" series), Medallion Press, 2006.
Diamondback (novel; "John Hardin" series), Medallion Press, 2007.
Contributor of short stories and articles to periodicals, including Reader's Digest, Saturday Evening Post, Yankee, Grit, Amicus Journal, Southern Boating, Troika, Hatteras World, Grit, Overdrive, AOPA Pilot, Southern Aviator, and Heartland USA.
Phil Bowie is a kind of jack-of-all-trades. He has worked as a photographer, graphic artist, businessman, editor, and even as a water quality researcher. A writer, too, who once earned an award for writing the short story "The Cat from Hell" with Stephen King, he has written hundreds of articles and short fiction works for various magazines. It was not until he published Guns, though, that he added "novelist" to his list of credits. Guns is the first in a series of stories featuring John Hardin, a former criminal turned pilot. In his earlier life, Hardin became mixed up with arms dealers, but he then served as a witness against his former boss and was put under federal protection in the witness protection program. Moving to a small town out west, he started his life over until his name gets in the newspaper for rescuing a couple from a boat during a storm. The news item comes to the attention of his former boss, who sends out a hitman to murder Hardin. But Hardin's girlfriend is accidently killed instead. The rest of the story involves Hardin's plans for revenge.
Critics of Guns found the book to be a somewhat flawed but still skillful work for a first-time novelist. A Publishers Weekly critic felt that the author "leans on … details too often, slowing down what could be an absorbing, fast-paced tale," but appreciated that Bowie "did the homework" in researching the story. "Bowie is a skilled writer," asserted Clayton Bye for the Gotta Write Network. "I wouldn't have guessed this was his first novel. Take away the lengthy monologues he blatantly uses to provide backstory and you've got a terrific book."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Publishers Weekly, June 12, 2006, review of Guns, p. 36.
Sun Journal (New Bern, NC), August 20, 2006, Tom Mayer, "‘Guns’: Setting Sights on What You Know," interview with Phil Bowie.
Gotta Write Network,http://www.gottawritenetwork.com/ (October 30, 2006), Clayton Bye, review of Guns.
Phil Bowie Home Page,http://www.philbowie.com (September 24, 2007).