The Pura Belpré Award, from a division of the American Library Association in recognition of Latino writers for Latino children and youth, is given annually since its establishment in 1996. Donna-based author David Bowles won this award in 2016 for “The Smoking Mirror,” the first installment of his 5-part young adult novel series. He is especially proud of this since his winning the award was a result of word of mouth as opposed to a huge publicity machine.
While this is not his first jaunt in writing, the series is special to him because the main protagonists, the Garza Twins, are patterned after his children who share a close bond just like the twins in the book, but that’s where the similarities end. He also states that he places the characters in situations that would be trying for him to see his children in. Bowles also includes a dad who is a professor at UTRGV like himself.
Presently, Bowles is working on a graphic novel that will be published by a New York publisher. As with the setting of most of his other works, the story takes place in the Rio Grande Valley – or, rather, an alternative version of the area set in a steampunk environment. He is also working on a screenplay for television series based on his “Border Lore.” He describes it as a horror anthology show based on folktales of the Valley area. To aid in the description, he states that it’s an updated, Latino version of “Tales from the Crypt.”
Bowles also writes book reviews for the Festiva magazine of The Monitor. When asked what his favorite part of writing is, he stated that character development was the most important because he likes to create characters that surprise him based on the actions they take. For more information on upcoming publication dates, please visit Bowles’ personal web page at http://davidbowles.us/.
By Mary Ann Escamilla