Introducing Dusti Bowling

I’m so excited to be joining the lovely and talented folks here at Smack Dab in the Middle. It was middle grade literature that truly awakened my love of reading as a child, and I couldn’t be more thrilled that I now get to write middle grade stories for children (and many grown-ups, too!).

I was in second grade when my parents divorced. The stories I read during that time and the years afterward were my friends, my escape, and my therapy. They were my windows into other worlds and times far, far away from my pain. They brought me great comfort, and I think I enjoy writing middle grade so much now because I can vividly recall those feelings and tap into them. 

I didn’t always know I wanted to write middle grade. I started out writing chapter and picture books that are currently hidden away. I then tried my hand at some young adult stories, which I self published with a bit of success. While I enjoyed writing young adult, I never felt the connection to it that I feel with middle grade. As soon as I wrote the first chapter of my first middle grade book, INSIGNIFICANT EVENTS IN THE LIFE OF A CACTUS, I knew I had found my truest writing voice. There’s something really special about middle grade literature, about that time in our lives when we’re learning so many new things about the world and who we are as people. When so many changes are happening within us, and even though we’re on the brink of young adulthood, it’s still okay to be silly. It is a time of great hope, when anything is possible.

I currently live in Arizona with my husband and three daughters. I do my best to find snippets of writing time in between homeschooling, cooking, swimming, and enjoying the outdoors when it’s not over a hundred degrees outside. Despite the heat, I have a passionate love for the Arizona desert, which has inspired the settings in both INSIGNIFICANT EVENTS IN THE LIFE OF A CACTUS and my next middle grade novel (releasing in 2018), TWENTY-FOUR HOURS IN NOWHERE.

I am so grateful for this journey I’m on, for the amazing people I’ve met, and for the incredible people I get to work with. I’m excited to share my love of middle grade literature on Smack Dab in the Middle, and I hope to create many more stories to share with the world.


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