Chris Bowron is well-known in Niagara-on-the-Lake as a lifelong resident whose family roots go back four generations — and with a successful career in the real estate industry, he is also rapidly developing a reputation as an author of popular mystery novels set in a different world and culture, a long way from home.
Since his youth, Bowron’s family has divided time between NOTL and Fort Myers Beach, and it is there he has chosen to set his two novels, Devil in the Grass, and its sequel, The Palm Reader, which was released in print and on Amazon recently.
Bowron’s main character is Jackson Walker, a lawyer who in The Palm Reader is investigating a porn ring to help his client who has been charged with distributing child pornography. But the villains he met and overcame at personal danger to himself in Devil in the Grass come back to haunt him in the sequel — as does his heritage as a Seminole Native American, with a grandfather who believes he has some physic powers related to his native spirituality.
That makes for a touch of the paranormal introduced to the plot, a subject Bowron said he finds interesting, although he’s not sure he’s a believer himself.
Walker reflects that ambivalence — he struggles with accepting his physic abilities in Devil in the Grass, although in The Palm Reader, he is reluctantly beginning to believe there might be some truth to what his grandfather has been telling him all along about his gift.
“It’s not in-your-face paranormal,” said Bowron.
“It gives a reader the chance to believe it or not — it’s not hocus-pocus that the mystery depends on.”
Although writing has to be fit into a busy lifestyle — with Bowren juggling a wife, family and a business, he said he loves the craft.
“I love hearing from people who have read my book and like it — it’s amazing. If I can get thousands reading it and liking it it’s even more amazing,” he said.
He does most of his writing while in Fort Myers Beach, where he and his wife have a condo and where he knows the locale, which he portrays with a familiarity in the settings he creates.
He travels to Florida from NOTL every two months or so, usually staying a couple of weeks, where he says the salt water and humidity are good for his health, and the change of pace provides a break from the stress of everyday life.
He sets himself a goal of 300 words a day, which only takes a short time late at night or early morning, when he’s most productive. He’s a high-energy kind of guy who isn’t good at sitting, so that isn’t a hardship, and in some sessions the words come quickly and he can write much more.
But much harder than writing a book is marketing and selling it, he said.
Although some people still like to read their books in print — and those copies make a larger profit than their digital editions — distribution through Amazon, where Devil in the Grass became a best-seller, helps books to reach a larger market, and if enough are sold, helps build an author’s reputation and encourages readers to pick up their other books.
He’s “not ready to give up” his day job, although he is excited he has a new book finished. Although not yet published, this one is a non-fiction titled Waiting for Morning Time, which he said is being looked at by one of the top-10 publishers in the US.
It’s about three men whose boat sank while they were fishing in the Gulf of Mexico, and spent 48 hours in shark-infested waters off the coast of Venice, Florida.
He’s also just signed a deal on a true story about a Hungarian chef who escaped during the Cold War after being shot in the head and eventually reached London, England where he secured a postition working for the Queen Mother, before going to the US, where he ended up as a chef for John and Jackie Kennedy, and four more presidents — eventually working for the American government as a spy.
“I think it will be a fiction, based on his true story,” he said.
And he has already started a third Jack Walker book, but is taking a break from it while he works out some of the plot details, he said.
He’s finding his writing comes easier and quicker and his dialogue is getting better – he’s learned with each book.
But now he’s taking a “crash course” in promoting his work, which is far more difficult.
“You have to get yourself in front of people — promoting is an art. If you can keep readers interested with each book you write, you can sell more books, and become sustainable as an author.”
The Palm Reader has received a great review from a very reputable reviewer — it’s “action packed and exciting with twists and turns, fantastic characters and a truly spellbinding plot — the best book in its genre I have ever read,” said the Columbia Review, which is a feather in Bowron’s cap and bodes well for his other books.
To get a copy of his books or explore more about Bowron and his work, visit his website at, christopherbowron.com.