Erin Bow: poet, novelist, chewer of pencils.
Hi! My name is Erin Bow -- physicist turned poet turned author of novels that will make you cry on the bus.
In the beginning, I was a city girl from farm country—born in Des Moines and raised in Omaha—where I was fond of tromping through woodlots and reading books by flashlight. In high school I captained the debate team, founded the math club, and didn’t date much.
In university, I studied particle physics, and worked briefly at the European Centre for Nuclear Research (CERN) near Geneva, Switzerland. Physics was awesome, but graduate school kind of sucked, and at some point I remembered that I wanted to write books. (I say "physicist" because there's no other shorthand, but actually I'm a scientist the way the kid who dropped out of med school is a doctor.)
Books: I have ten of them — six novels (one still forthcoming), and three volumes of poetry (one still forthcoming) and a memoir (the poetry under my maiden name, Erin Noteboom). The novels are a pair of stand-alone high fantasies, Plain Kate and Sorrow's Knot, and the science fiction duology The Scorpion Rules and The Swan Riders.
My latest is the middle-grade adventure Stand on the Sky, which just won the Governor General's Award for young people's literature.
My poetry has won the CBC Canadian Literary Award and several other awards. My novels have a fistful of honors, including the GG, the Canadian Library Association Book of the Year award, and the award sometimes called "Canada's Newbery," the TD Canadian Children's Literature Award. No one read the memoir.
Right now I'm holding out hopes for novella #6, and drafting novels #7 and #8. Eight is going to be funny if I have to kill someone. I'm working on poetry book three, which is about science and scientists.
Did you notice I got to Canada in there somewhere? Yeah, that was true love. I'm married to a Canadian boy, James Bow, who also writes young adult novels. I have both American and Canadian citizenships, and I live in Kitchener, Ontario, where I work out of my garden shed.
James and I have two tweenaged daughters, both of whom want to be scientists.