Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester is happy to shine a spotlight on Kathleen Rowe, who came out to the store last week to give a talk about the Charles River, including activities families can do on and around the river.
We had a wonderful time chatting with Kathleen at the event. If you missed it, here’s a peek at how cool she is!
Thank you for joining us for an interview, Kathleen! Can you please tell us briefly a little about yourself and your writing? How would you like us to introduce you?
Although I started out in Colorado, I have come to know and appreciate New England for its natural beauty and culture. I have been interested in the Charles River for a long time, wanting to explore and learn about it then to paint some of its scenes and to write about it.
For readers unfamiliar with your work, how would you describe what you write? What can readers expect from Exploring the Charles River?
Readers can expect, along with the history of this famous river, places to visit and trails to follow, events to attend, and suggestions for taking to the water.
What kind of research went into writing this book?
The research included many driving/walking trips and many hours of research with books, articles, and websites.
What is your favorite research story? What cool facts and findings didn’t make it into the book, but you loved discovering?
When I began researching the river, in Milford, I saw it disappear underground in Milford and after a bit of searching, I found it on the other side of the main street of town behind someone’s back yard.
What was the inspiration for your book? What were the steps you took to bring it from initial inspiration to the finished book?
The inspiration for my book was the result of many trips along the river and explorations into its history. I am a curious individual who loves to learn and make new discoveries.
What was the biggest challenge in writing and putting out Exploring the Charles River? How did you overcome that challenge?
Editing and re-editing took a lot of time and care. However, I am determined to stay with the process.
What draws you to the particular genre or style that you write? What do you think draws readers to these kinds of books?
I think it is my overall sense of curiosity and desire to learn that propels me to learn more. The readers tend to be people who love the outdoors, especially those who want to know where to hike, tour the river in a boat, or fish.
What is your favorite part of being a writer? Of the whole writing and publishing process? What do you think has been your greatest lesson in the journey thus far?
My favorite part of this experience has been that it has opened doors for me to present before groups and then enjoy the interaction with my audience. People at these presentations love to reminisce or share their experiences or discuss the places of interest they have found.
What piece of advice would you want to share with other writers?
Discipline is very important. I struggle with getting back into my craft when I have been pulled in other directions. I need a more regular schedule.
How important has the New England setting been to your writing?
Besides the obvious interest I have in nature in general and the River in particular, New England is an area where history seems to be more revered, maybe because it goes back farther than in many other parts of the country.
What piece of advice would you want to share with other writers?
I would say that a person needs to be passionate about their subject.
What question do you wish interviewers would ask you, and what would the answer be?
I would like to be asked how I acquired this interest – which is in the Preface of my book and which I share with the groups when I speak.
What else can we expect from you in the near future?
I will write more nonfiction on a related topic – maybe in the direction of biographies of notable environmentalists.
What is/are your passions when you’re not writing? How do you make time for your non-writing hobbies/things you love?
My other passions include painting, gardening, and reading.
What are some of your writing-related hobbies, crafts, addictions?
My paintings include watercolors of natural settings, and I have painted some scenes of the river.
What does your writing space look like? What do you need to have around you while writing or editing?
It is usually a bit messy, unfortunately, but it is a pleasant surrounding with art work and a pretty lamp. When I need more light in my workspace (especially during rainy days), I go upstairs to the dining room where there is a lot of light from different directions.
What is one thing that most people don’t realize about you?
I can be a perfectionist, which I often need to put aside when painting and in the early phases of starting a blogpost. BTW the blogposts keep me fresh in my writing and encourage me to research areas where there may be uncertainty.
What has been your favorite adventure during your writing career?
My favorite adventures have been the hikes I have taken with friends.
While you’re writing, do you prefer music, silence, other? Please elaborate!
Silence is usually fine. If there is background music, I keep it low.
Writers very often have furry or feathered or otherwise non-human companions to “help” them through their work. Do you? What do you have? How do they “help” (or, “not-help”) with your writing?
I don’t have furry or feathered friends at my side. It would probably help to have a romp with a pet from time to time.
Do you have any favorite foods or drinks that must be in the vicinity (or must be avoided) while you’re writing or editing a piece of work?
There must be small snacks like nuts and seeds and hot or cold teas (as far away from the computer as possible – learned the hard way).
What is the greatest lesson you’ve learned, thus far, in your writing career?
I still need to learn more about promoting my work and publicizing my speaking engagements of which there have been many lately.
Are there any groups, clubs, or organizations that you would recommend to other writers that have helped you in your career?
I have been assisted by membership in Independent Publishers of New England.
Where can people find your work? (Besides ABSW ;)–though they should totally check here first!)
My book Exploring the Charles River is featured on Amazon and Barnes and Noble and at Independent bookstores. You may order from the company who published it: Merrimack Media, Boston. I also maintain a blog at: explorethecharles.com.
How can we follow your work, share your awesomeness, or otherwise stalk you in a totally non-creepy way?
You may want to be at one of my book talks. I turn up in a variety of places – libraries, bookstores, group residences, and environmental organizations.