Shoya Bowman: From Unemployed to Popular Playwright

Chicagoan Shoya Bowman recreated her life with words. The former property manager, followed her dreams and turned her self-published book, Goodbye Don’t Always Mean Gone, into a twice sold-out play, Love’s Got a Hold on Me.

Bowman visited rolling out recently to share the secret of her success.

We know you are a full-time writer; was writing something you were always interested in?

Bowman: Actually, no, it wasn’t. I really didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up, but I captured writing later on in life. In 2003, I decided I was going to write based off of my failed relationships, as a form of release from anxiety and stress from the failed relationships. So, I just started writing poetry and poetry led to short stories and short stories led to a novel, and writing just took a course of its own and that’s my life now.

Do you have any favorite writers?

Bowman: I do have some favorites. I like Iyanla Vanzant, Nikki Giovanni, Terry McMillan, and Vickie Stringer.

Did being around artistic parents have any influence on you?

Bowman: Yes. I knew, because I am creative and my parents were creative- my mother was a musician, my father an artist. I knew my creativity had to lie somewhere. It laid dormant in me until I became an adult, and one day, decided that I was going to write. I think just watching them aspire to live out their dreams influenced me to live out mine.



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