Science Fiction Author J. L. Stowers
– A Writer With a Dream
An American Sci-Fi Author with a Love for Epic Space Opera on a Quest to Share Novels & Short Stories with the Universe
Reaching for the Stars
As I grew, learned, and matured I continued to find comfort in tales of epic adventures and standing up for what’s right. All the while, the stars continued to pull at my heart. As my interest in space continued to blossom I grew interested in space travel and the trials of survival.
Surrounded by Inspiration
I became a fan of Star Wars, Firefly, Stargate, Alien, Dr. Who, and so much more.
Regardless of the books, television shows, and movies, I always found myself drawn to the starry heavens whenever I had the chance. Living in a small town offered a brilliant opportunity to view the night sky away from the bright lights of the city. There were many nights where I found my peace with the grass tickling my ears as I stared up at the shimmering pin-pricks from the lawn.
Writing Science Fiction
While I had always created wondrous stories in my mind, it wasn’t until I grew into adulthood that I really began putting them down on paper. I was no longer able to contain my ideas and worlds in my head. Ideas spilled out onto paper with the careful placement of each letter.
I love everything about writing. From a crisp sheet of paper, to the look and feel of the ink as it glides across the white surface, I was hooked early on. Once the craft of writing grabbed hold, there was no letting go.
Feeling out the Genre
I began to fill notebooks, then boxes, of stories, ideas, and even poetry. The therapeutic feeling of putting a pen to paper and allowing the ideas to grow beyond my own mind was freeing. No matter what else was going on in my life, writing was my escape.
Many of those early ideas grew and developed, finding their way into some of my stories today. Others I may revisit and use in the future. They all hold a special place in my heart.
Orbiting My Dreams
While writing was always a passion, being a professional writer seemed unobtainable. Slowly, the idea of writing slipped from my mind as I explored other things.
The funny thing about life is that it’s always changing. Things didn’t go quite as planned as I moved into the next chapter of my life and tried to grow our family. Creating life in my own head was easy compared to the trials we faced trying to conceive a baby of our own. Through this frustrating time I once again found myself in need of an escape.
I turned once more to writing and worked on a story that would later become The Cost of Survival. It was loosely based on a scene I had written years earlier. Only now I was re-inspired by real-life struggles to make it into something more. Over the next year I worked on the story, finally taking pause as we brought our son into the world, and later, our daughter.
Frequently Asked Questions about J. L. Stowers & Writing Sci Fi
What is your favorite part of being a science fiction author?
My favorite part of being an author is that not only do I get to make up these fantastic people, worlds, and adventures – but that people actually read them. Getting an email from a reader makes my day.
To know that I’ve created characters that people resonate with really is inspiring for me.
What advice do you have for aspiring sci-fi authors?
The biggest thing about writing and publishing is that there is no one way to make your dream come true. In this industry you’ll hear a lot of people saying “you HAVE to” or “you should NEVER” and a whole slew of other things. While there are best practices, there are also examples of people who have been wildly successful doing just about everything.
Now, I’m not saying you should go out and break all of the “rules” (which are really more like guidelines anyway). But don’t get caught up in the whirlpool of HAVE-TOs and NEVERS. It’ll suck the energy from you and your writing and can make the journey much more difficult. Instead, listen to those who came before you, those who are doing well, and those who are where you want to be. Learn what worked and what didn’t work from them – and then decide how that works into your goals, lifestyle, and writing style.
What has been your biggest challenge as an author?
Starting in the summer of 2018 our family experienced several losses in quick succession. In a year’s time we lost five family members who meant a lot to us. We then packed up and moved across the state to live closer to our remaining family.
Just as we were managing to find a new normal, 2020 rolled around and I think we all know what happened then. I managed to stay employed throughout 2020 before finally deciding to leave the corporate world and write full time in the summer of 2021.
Now – late in 2023 I finally feel like I’m getting back into the swing of things.
I was thrown off-balance time and time again over the past few years. During this time I’ve had to take a hard look at my sci-fi author career and reevaluate what I was able to do. I had to let go of my original plans and learn to be okay with where I was at after all of the changes we have experienced the past few years. Only then was I able to realistically look forward and come up with a plan that can withstand the challenges that I’m certain will continue to come my way.
Second to life beating the ever-living crap out of me over and over, I’d have to say my next biggest struggle is trying to sort out what idea to focus on next.
Why do you focus on writing sci-fi?
I’m the kind of person that will read just about anything. But when it comes to my writing, I tend to stick to science fiction.
A lot of this has to do with the way my brain works. I’m always analyzing and asking myself why things are the way they are or what might happen if things were different.
Space is fascinating to me. And, while I’ll never get the opportunity to explore that great starry sea myself, I can explore it in my stories. While I love great stories in all genres, my heart will always be drawn to stories that focus on space exploration and grand space adventures.
I’m not saying I won’t ever branch out into other genres, but at this time I have more science fiction ideas than I can write and I’m happy writing it.
What's your favorite science fiction sub-genre?
Space opera, hands down.
I love a great space opera with a large cast of characters that you get to see over and over again. A lot of this stems from my love for Stargate.
What’s not to love about a cast of characters who are like family going off and exploring planets, fighting an alien threat to the universe, all while flying around in cool ships (or jumping through the Stargate).
Pretty much anything that has these elements is something I enjoy.
My second choice would have to be post-apocalyptic stories (the kind without zombies) and alien invasion stories. These stories that disrupt the current status quo and throw the world into chaos are also a favorite of mine.