FOR WORSE by L. K. Bowen, feature
FOR WORSE by L. K. Bowen, feature
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The Big Thrill Discusses FOR WORSE with L. K. Bowen

Book Cover: FOR WORSEEllie is leaving her husband…again.

After twenty-two years of marriage and an unsuccessful separation, she can’t take it anymore. On the surface, she has a picture-perfect relationship. Jeff has been a steadfast spouse. But what seems like loyalty is in reality an obsessive desire for control. Ellie is slowly losing her sight, which means she needs more and more assistance, and Jeff will stop at nothing to ensure she feels helpless and reliant on him alone.

Desperate to escape her psychologically abusive marriage, Ellie turns to an online chat room full of like-minded women in the throes of divorce. Despite their anonymity, these women quickly become Ellie’s closest confidantes. The chat room is a refuge, a place to which Ellie can retreat for solace and support.

Jeff continues to be manipulative and cruel, using Ellie’s failing vision to gaslight her into questioning reality itself. Desperate for freedom, she sinks deeper into the online world, and is drawn into the dark web, where she discovers a group of women with a shocking solution for ending a marriage.

Author Photo: L. K. Bowen

L. K. Bowen

L. K. Bowen recently sat down with The Big Thrill to discuss her debut domestic thriller, FOR WORSE.

A novel is such a major undertaking; there’s the writing of it, of course, then you’re spending months and months revising, polishing, and then promoting it. How did you know this was the book you wanted to spend the next couple of years on?

Because of the fact that I share a disability with the protagonist, who finds strength and courage as she navigates the challenges in the story, I felt that I expressed my own frustrations and anger at being disabled in a way I can’t do in real life. I also hope that Ellie’s struggle and triumph in escaping a bad marriage will resonate with other women, disabled or non-disabled.

Can you pinpoint a moment or incident that sparked the idea for this book?

I decided to stop coloring my hair….and I found a chatroom with a bunch of women who’d decided to do the same thing. Their voices captured me, so different and specific and funny. They had a meetup in NYC on the same weekend as Hurricane Sandy, and one of the women got stranded in NYC with no money and no way to re-up her hotel stay. The women all got together, started a GoFundMe account, got her a hotel room for another night and also found another chatroom-er who could put her up till she could get a flight out. It was all documented online and I thought, what a great way to tell a story…

Were there any particular books, movies, or songs that were knocking around in your head while you were writing this one?

Well, Wait Until Dark was an obvious one, and that fueled the last ten chapters. or so in the initial draft I was also thinking about Where’d You Go, Bernadette, which has no narrative but just documents, texts and other primary resources. It took me years to write the book, so there were a lot of books floating around my brain during that time!

When you first created your protagonist for this book, did you see an empty space in crime lit that you wanted to fill? What can you share about the inspiration for that character?

The character is me, basically, at my most vulnerable and angry There’s a lot of what Ellie is feeling about being marginalized and dismissed by family and society because of her vision loss, which I feel keenly as well. She popped into the whole marriage-gone-bad theme and the chatroom rather easily once I accepted that I was basically writing about my alter ego (all first novels are autobiographical, right?)

In addition to a great read, what do you hope readers will take away from this story?

Don’t stay in a relationship past its expiration date. If someone is abusing you in any way, emotionally, psychologically or physically, get out.

What can you share about what you’re working on next?

Here’s my logline: An interior designer successfully juggles a husband in New York and a husband in Boston—one of whom is imaginary. When a body is found at one of her build sites, she finds herself on the hook for the murder of a man who didn’t exist–or so she thought…


 

Debut author L.K. Bowen was born in Boston and made her way to Los Angeles to work in the entertainment industry. Like Ellie, her protagonist in For Worse, Bowen has the degenerative eye disease retinitis pigmentosa, which is slowly destroying her vision. To learn more about retinitis pigmentosa and other degenerative retinal diseases, or to contribute to finding treatments and cures, please visit www.fightingblindness.org

To learn more about the author, please visit her website.

 

FOR WORSE with L. K. BOWEN

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