Episode 01: Self-Care, Perseverance, and Learning from Rejection with Akemi Dawn Bowman

Oct 1, 2018 | Podcast

In This Episode…

In the first episode of the Wonderfully Bookish podcast, I chat with Akemi Dawn Bowman, author of Starfish and Summer Bird Blue. Starfish was one of my favourite books this year, so I was excited to have Akemi as my first guest!

Akemi discusses her inspiration, some self-care tips for aspiring writers trying to get their book published, and shares some insights into how to persevere when submitting to agents and publishers. If you’re an aspiring writer, this is for you!

About the Guest

Akemi Dawn Bowman is the author of Starfish (a William C. Morris Award Finalist) and Summer Bird Blue (out September 11th, 2018). She’s a proud Ravenclaw and Star Wars enthusiast, who served in the US Navy for five years and has a BA in social sciences from UNLV.

Originally from Las Vegas, she currently lives in Scotland with her husband, two children, and their Pekingese mix. She is represented by Penny Moore of Aevitas Creative Management.

Guest Links


⭐ Art is something Akemi has always loved. She explains that in her first novel Starfish, Kiko doesn’t communicate well because of her social anxiety, so her art is an insight into her soul and how she’s feeling. Akemi imagined how Kiko would be feeling at each moment in the book and decided what she would paint based on that.

⭐ Writing a second book compared to a debut is an entirely different experience. Once you’ve already got a popular debut, the calmness of writing massively changes when you have a book deal, and the pressure to please people increases. You’re no longer writing for yourself, but writing with an audience in mind.

⭐ Furious writing habits can be good to get words out and meet deadlines, but they’re not always healthy. Akemi’s method is super intense, and it gets exhausting and quickly leads to burnout. You need to find a way that works for you:

  • Be responsible for yourself
  • Don’t mimic what others are doing
  • Don’t take anything as universal advice
  • It’s OK to take a break!

⭐ It’s so easy to read so many different stories about people’s querying and publishing experiences, but again, it’s important not to take anything as universal advice. If you’re getting rejected based on your query letter then look at that and improve it, but if you’re getting rejected for the writing, focus on making it better. But whatever you do, be gentle with yourself. It takes luck, patience, and belief that your time will come!

On the Wonderfully Bookish podcast, we talk to authors, bloggers and bookworms about all things bookish and wonderful!

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