Q&A With Angie Bowie
Angie Bowie is a bona fide icon. She helped kick off the glam rock era by encouraging her then-husband, David Bowie, to take his bisexual glitter persona on the road as Ziggy Stardust.
Angie and Davie Bowie divorced in 1980 but are credited with being the world’s first openly bisexual couple and their open marriage was a transformative agent in cultural developments of the 20th century. She’s written a number of books about her epic life and now is self-publishing two: “Pop.Sex” and “Cat-Astrophe.” The second is a poetic coloring book illustrated by Littleton artist Rick Hunt with proceeds going to support a hospice for the homeless. Bowie plans to be in NH in June to promote the books and gave us this interview.
A lot of your books have been about the past. Do these two new ones mark a change? I don’t ever look back at the past. I have no use for it. I always look forward. I’m in a new phase of productivity and I’m taking advantage of this new age of online publishing. Now I need to turn out all the books that I’ve been working on for the last 20 years.
“Pop.Sex” was one of those? Yes, I started researching it in 1997 and I worked on it steadily. By 2002 I had 200,000 words, so I’ve edited it down a bit.
Tell me about “Cat-Astrophe.” I promised my friends at Malachi House (a hospice for the homeless in Cleveland) that I’d help them raise some money by telling the story of this abandoned cat, Pooh Kitty, we had taken in and gotten to know. I was just waiting for an illustrator, then I met Rick on Facebook and we started chatting.
And things took off? Yes, once he got drawing. People always tell me I’m enthusiastic, but you know it multiplies once you get involved with other creative people who are enthusiastic.
“Cat-Astrophe" cover by Littleton artist Rick Hunt
Why make it a coloring book? Well, I just loved Rick’s work but it’s so sparse with color so I asked him to just color four of his drawings for me for a cover and some examples of how it might look. Then I said in a moment of genius, ‘It will be a coloring book.’ Rick said, 'What a great idea!’ So I just shut up while I was ahead. Rick created 28 incredible images. It inspired me to change my story from prose to poetry. I was so excited to learn that the Kindle has an app that allows you to color pages.
What is it about cats that makes them so hot in pop culture? Well, I love that quote about people on the Internet being just like the ancient Egyptians: They write on walls and worship cats.
The Malachi House sounds like a worthy charity. It obviously motivated you. Yes. I can set my jaw and sail through most things but when you see folks who come in after scrounging on the streets and regain their composure, even in the face of death, it’s moving. They reach out to family members who didn’t know where they were, who thought they were dead. They do everything they can there to make a person’s last six months mean something. It simply reaffirms their lives.
So you will be coming to NH to promote your books. Ever been here before? Well, no. I’ve been to Montreal, which I think is close.
(Visit the online version of this story for dates and times of local readings and to see some of Rick Hunt’s images from “Cat-Astrophe.”)