How I Got Published: Gail Bowen


 GAIL BOWEN’s first Joanne Kilbourn mystery, Deadly Appearances (1990), was nominated for the W.H.Smith/Books in Canada Best First Novel Award, and A Colder Kind of Death (1995) won the Arthur Ellis Award for best crime novel; all 14 (and counting!) books in the series have been enthusiastically reviewed. In 2008, Reader’s Digest named Bowen Canada’s Best Mystery Novelist; in 2009, she received the Derrick Murdoch Award from the Crime Writers of Canada. Bowen has also written plays that have been produced across Canada and on CBC Radio. Now retired from teaching at the First Nations University, Bowen lives in Regina.

How I got published – Gail Bowen – November 6, 2014

I’m always uneasy talking about my writing career, because so much of it simply involved being in the right place at the right time.  In 1987, at the request of my friend Rob Sanders, now publisher of Greystone, I had co-written a novella titled 1919: The Love Letters of George and Adelaide for Western Producer Prairie Books. My writing partner had no interest in continuing to write, but I did. When my husband and I were doing our graduate degrees in English, mysteries were our summer reading.  I wrote Deadly Appearances and sent it to Rob, who was then with Douglas & McIntyre just at the moment that Douglas & McIntyre were beginning to publish mysteries.

         The manuscript was a mess, but Rob hired Jennifer Glossop an extraordinary editor and she whipped the novel into shape.  When D&M decided to cut their mystery line, I’d just completed the manuscript for A Colder Kind of Death. 

Rob Sanders called M&S and the next day James Adams phoned and asked to see the manuscript. I’ve been with M&S ever since.

Visit here and here for more on Gail Bowen.

18 thoughts on “How I Got Published: Gail Bowen

  1. Bowen’s mystery novels feature Joanne Kilbourn, a widowed mother, political analyst and university professor who finds herself occasionally involved in criminal investigations in various parts of Saskatchewan.


  2. I recently had the pleasure of attending an author reading by Gail Bowen in East Gwillimbury, Ontario. I have been to several author readings at this venue and she was by far and away my favorite. Funny, self-deprecating, sincere, and the consummate storyteller. If she’s ever in your ‘hood, do yourself and favour and go and see her.


    • That’s why she’s received so many awards. I’m currently reading her latest book, The Gifted. It’s more than just a mystery but also about family dynamics and I like how she tackles the bigger subject of neighborhood gentrification.
      If ever I get a chance to listen to her you can be sure that I’ll attend as I’ll attend any of your events, Judy. 🙂
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Always appreciated.


      • Thanks for inviting me, Carol. It’s was a pleasure to write about those long ago days and it’s great to hear from your readers. Happy holidays! Gail


    • Thank you for generous and encouraging words, Judy. That was a very happy evening for Ted and me, and being given a tour of the Sharon Temple the next day was a gift I’ll always remember.


    • Judy, this may be the second time I’ve commented. I’m new to the blog response. That said, Ted and I had a great evening with you all at East Gwillimbury. We’re so grateful to the organizers for bringing us there. Our tour of the Sharon Temple the next morning was a memory I’ll always cherish.


  3. Hi Gail from a Mackenzie Art Gallery pal from long ago. 🙂

    I continue to enjoy your books, thanks for all the entertaining hours of reading you’ve given me over the years. My fav in the recent past was The Nesting Dolls, loved that book. You’ve done so well with your work. 🙂

    I have several books/eBooks published too now, if you stop by at Amazon you can visit my author’s page: Geraldine Helen Hartman

    Have a wonderful weekend and hopefully the Prairies aren’t TOO cold yet. 😉 It’s sunny and warm here in BC and I’m loving it.


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