Niagara-on-the-Lake author and real estate broker Chris Bowron finally has copies of his latest Koehler Books novel, Society of Necessities, in his hands, and he hopes to get them into the hands of local readers this Friday.
Bowron will be signing copies of his fantasy thriller at the Old Niagara Bookshop Friday, July 16 from 4 to 6 p.m.
Originally titled Almost Immortal, the novel follows the adventures of Daniel St. Croix, a small-time crook who meets an untimely demise. Somehow, he finds himself back amongst the living, and discovers the journals of his father, Pierre, whom he had thought was his grandfather.
Via these journals Daniel travels through time, first to the French Revo-lution, and eventually to Egypt in the time of the Pharaohs. There, he discovers that a gold ring he has recently inherited has provided immor-tality first to his father, and now to him, over thousands of years.
And a secret society is itching to get their hands on it.
The name change for the novel came about at the suggestion of the publisher, and Bowron sees it as an improvement from its previous ti-tle.
“They had a few different ones, but they chose this one, and I like it,” Bowron confirms. “A few other things changed from the first draft, in-cluding more detail on the science behind the metal of the ring, to make it just a little more believable.”
For those familiar with the crime thrillers of Bowron’s Jackson Walker series, Society of Necessities is a major departure, weaving elements of historical fiction into a plot worthy of best-selling author Dan Brown.
“The Midwest Book Review out of Chicago gave it a really good review,” says Bowron. “She (Diane Donovan) said ‘people who like The Da Vinci Code will be happy with this book. And Susan Keefe from the Columbia Review said it was more like Raiders of the Lost Ark.”
Local landmarks find a place in Society of Necessities, as well. Readers will recognize The Olde Angel Inn, the cemetery at St. Mark’s Church, the gazebo at Queen’s Royal Park and the Niagara-on-the-Lake Golf Club, all featured in an early chapter, preceding the pivotal loss of life that sets up the rest of the novel’s journey.
Society of Necessities has also launched as an e-book, now available on Amazon. Bowron says even with this, his fourth book, he gets a “buzz” seeing it in print, but his bread and butter as an author comes from sales of the e-book version.
“If I sell 200 paper copies here in town, or in Florida (where he has an-other home) then I’m doing pretty good,” he says. “But I’ll probably sell many thousand e-books.”
To that end he is busy working the online promotion channels to drive up the interest on Amazon, and has lowered the price to an introductory 99 cents for this week only. It should help Society of Necessities climb up the Amazon bestsellers list.
For her part, Laura McFadden, proprietor of the Old Niagara Bookshop on Regent Street, is excited to host the signing this Friday and to sell Bowron’s books in her store.
“He’s an awesome writer,” raves McFadden. “It’s amazing that he cou-ples it with another career. It’s a great accomplishment for any writer to get a book in print. He’s a local writer, and I wish we had more local writers.”
“If you take the entertainment world, virtually everything in it comes from a book,” McFadden continues. “We need writers like Chris, writers in all genres.”
Though Bowron says his printed copies are usually reserved for re-viewers, he’s excited to meet some of his readers Friday at the Old Niagara Bookshop. Books will be available there following this week’s signing event, and also at the Steele Gallery on Mississauga Street.