ALMA KENNEDY BOWEN
Recently retired as executive editor of the daily newspape, The Times of Gainesville, Georgia, Alma Kennedy Bowen is now focusing on her career as novelist and historian. Combining talent and a love for writing and history with her deep affection for the people of North Georgia she has brought forth a first novel, The Cement Duck.
Growing up in the Appalachian foothills of Clarkesville in North Georgia, Alma describes herself as. "born to write." However, she didn't recognize this until she was 30 years old. Alma recounts the circumstances; "I went to The Times to interview for a bookkeeping job and Editor Johnny Vardeman asked me to write something. Although I was surprised, I interviewed my aunt that weekend, wrote a story about twenty times and gave it to Johnny on Monday. He asked me to come back later in the week for several hours of tests by the Saddler Company out of Chicago. "That's how I became Women's editor for The Times and discovered my love of writing."
She has been writing since.
Alma, shown here with her husband, who answered to both Clyde and Randy, balances and mingles life with a family which includes three children and four granddaughters, and a multifaceted career. In 2009 Alma lost Randy to a 10-year illness. Alma continues to miss him, as she continues with a number of activties including the work on her second historical novel.
It was several years ago that Alma's attention was directed to the events which serve as background for this first novel, The Cement Duck. Applying her capacity to experience situations with emotional depth and, with respect, through the eyes of others, she began to imagine the motivations and reactions animating those affected by the event. Her fictional characters began to form and complexities of plot and actors germinated for some years. Retirement provided a few blocks of uncommitted time and, consulting her characters, she put The Cement Duck to paper.
The result is delightful. A style polished through many years of professional writing holds the reader to few pauses before the ending. The characters are real and substantial people reflecting Alma's great understanding and insight into the workings of human nature.
A professional and citizen in the finest sense, Alma Bowen has always demonstrated a deep commitment to service for the community, local and global. She has held many leadership roles in the arts, education and civic organizations and groups and is a beloved citizen of the North Georgia communities.
For more details, please read more here.
There is good news, especially for those who enjoy her first novel. Alma’s working on a book set in the Georgia mountain town of Helen when it was the home of a huge sawmill, the biggest sawmill east of the Mississippi. She has found information about this period, beginning about 1912, but she wants to talk to anyone who has information about the little town at this time. You can reach her by e-mail at this link. Using stories she has heard about old mountain culture, the new book is bound to be as compelling as The Cement Duck.
Follow the links on the right to Alma's blog for more about Alma and The Cement Duck.
W. Lorraine Watkins, November 2009