Steven Rowley biography

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Steven Rowley
Photo: Malina Saval

Steven Rowley

Steven Rowley Biography

Steven Rowley has worked as a freelance writer, newspaper columnist, and screenwriter. Originally from Portland, Maine, he is a graduate of Emerson College. He currently resides in Los Angeles with his boyfriend and their dog. Lily and the Octopus is his first novel.



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Interview

Steven Rowley discusses the loss of his beloved dog, and how this influenced his debut novel, Lily and the Octopus

Lily and the Octopus came about when you began jotting down memories of your own dear dachshund. Was this writing experience cathartic for you? Did it surprise you in any way?

It was indeed cathartic. Six months after my dog died of cancer, I wrote what became the first chapter of Lily and the Octopus as a short story to help process my grief. I didn't expect it to go anywhere; I was just doing what writers often do—putting feelings down on paper to get them out of my heart and my head. I shared the story with my boyfriend, who encouraged me to keep writing. Still, I felt the story was so deeply personal (and disconcertingly weird) that I wasn't sure it would connect with anyone who didn't know me or didn't know my dog. What has been surprising (and deeply humbling) is the way the book has resonated with so many readers—dog lovers and non-dog lovers alike. I tried to write Lily's story with unflinching emotional honesty, and the connection that people seem to feel, despite the magical realism, is a testament to the power of the truth.

You have also worked as a screenwriter. What do you think are the main differences between the two mediums? Do you have a preference?

When I decided to write Lily ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Steven Rowley at BookBrowse
Lily and the Octopus jacket
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All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Steven Rowley but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
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  • Sara Baume

    Sara Baume

    Sara Baume was born in 1984 in Lancashire, England. She studied fine art before earning a Master's in Creative Writing. Her short fiction has appeared in the The Moth, The Stinging Fly, the Irish Independent, and others. She ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Lily and the Octopus

    Try:
    Spill Simmer Falter Wither
    by Sara Baume

  • Joan Didion

    Joan Didion

    Joan Didion is the highly respected author of five novels, several non-fiction books (including Slouching Towards Bethlehem and Political Fictions), and five screenplays co-authored with her husband John Gregory Dunne (... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Lily and the Octopus

    Try:
    The Year of Magical Thinking
    by Joan Didion

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