Local Author’s Newest Novel is Like ‘Moby Dick on a Bicycle’
“Bicycle Hobo,” written by award winning local author Bob Downes, is best described as “Moby Dick on a bicycle,” Downes says.
It’s about a bicyclist on a rampage, seeking a homicidal motorist—and inspired by a real-life incident Downes experienced.
“I was riding my bike from Seattle to Traverse City, and I was riding across North Dakota, and nearly got hit by a big RV, he kind of veered into my lane and just missed running me over,” Downes says. “You know, you get really mad when something like that happens, so I conceived this sort of novel.”
Downes has published five books so far, including “Windigo Moon: A Novel of Native America,” which won three literary awards and is about the Ojibiwe Indians of the upper Great Lakes.
“Just for fun 25 years ago, I wrote a short story about an Indian hunter who is trying to feed his family,” Downes says. “He is chased by a mortal enemy in the winter and I put that story away, started Northern Express and I got to thinking, what about that hunter? Who did he love? Who were his people? So I wrote another story and then my daughter told me about this art prize writing contest in Grand Rapids and sure enough I won first prize for that story so I decided to write the book. And now it has won three literary awards and it has done real well.”