Author Interview - Chris Pownall

Posted on Friday, February 21, 2014 9:21 AM

Hello Everyone!
Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Chris R. Pownall author of Funny How Things Work Out.
Hi Chris, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
Hello Loren - I am a spritely 70 year old retiree, who needed a new challenge and interest following a long career in mechanical engineering and technical sales. I began writing in 2009 and to date; I have published a total of eight books. 
What were you like at school?
I consider myself to be reasonably bright, but I left school before my fifteenth birthday with no academic qualifications whatsoever. My father died when I was nine years of age and I needed a source of income to supplement the family budget. My real schooling began at the age of fifteen when my employer sponsored me through seven years of further education, whilst I was serving an apprenticeship in mechanical engineering.
Were you good at English?
English has never been my best subject, which is something I’ve had to endure. Mathematics was always easier for me as numbers make more sense than letters & words!!
I remember my English teacher at secondary school quoting from Shakespeare’s ‘Twelfth Night’ after he had read out my end of term examination results. He said, “Some people are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.” He then scowled at me and continued, “My dear boy, you were unfortunate.”
What are your hopes for your writing career?
Having attempted a number of genres, my ambition now is to further develop my creative writing skills, and to see my work adapted for the big screen would be the true icing on my cake!!
So, what are the books that you have you written?
I began by writing my memoirs, entitled ‘Funny How Things Work Out’.
Apart from a happy family life, humour and my work has given me much personal pleasure. I have been extremely fortunate in my long career to have had the opportunity to travel to remote places and witness many remarkable things. I have the reputation of being there when things go wrong and this has led to much amusement.

My second book entitled ‘Onwards and Upwards’ is the sequel to my memoirs covering aspects of my life away from work.

Book number three entitled ‘A Long Journey Back’ is a true life story about our 41 year old son Robert, who at the age of 18 years, suffered a near fatal head injury. The book describes what happened following the accident, including life- saving neurosurgery, time in a coma, and a long haul through rehabilitation to regain his life. This proved to be my most difficult work to date, as it triggered past emotions which were painful to bear.

‘Dane Mills Bosley’ is my fourth literary work and it proved to be my most enjoyable writing experience to date. It is an industrial and social history about the two mills in rural England where I served my engineering apprenticeship between 1958 & 1966. The mills date back to 1766 when they were constructed by the famous industrialist Charles Row. I give a brief history of the mills, but my real objective was to capture the culture of the place during the period of my employment. To achieve this I detail many anecdotal stories about fellow employees, with the emphasis on humour surrounding working life.

Book number five entitled ‘This is the Life’ is yet another autobiographical work, covering life’s experiences omitted from my earlier works.

My latest work entitled ‘Spanning a Lifetime’ is a book about bridges with associated stories.
I have always had an appreciation of fine bridges, not only their architectural type and style, but their engineering and constructional design.
Bridges from many corners of the world are featured within the book. They are all bridges that I have visited during my life and each provides a link to an associated story.

All my books are available from the Amazon global outlets, both as paperback and Kindle versions. They are also available from most major high street book shops and they are marketed around the world.      
What was the inspiration behind your first book?
Fellow workers persuaded me to write my memoirs.
What was the most difficult part about writing your book?
Getting started, but once I got going with the structure; the content details flowed from my memory with relative ease.

Do you have a specific writing style?
I like to think that I have a writing style, which is easy to read, humorous, and stimulating to the attentive mind.
How did you come up with the title?
To me, the title is extremely important as it provides a vital and subtle key to the literary content.
Regarding my first book, work and humour have been very prominent in my life, hence the title – Funny How Things Work Out.
What are you working on at the minute?
Now it’s confession time, as I have recently published two novels and I’m contemplating a third. I use my author pseudonym ‘Rusty Nock’ for this work, with the intention of protecting the innocent!!
What genre are your books?
These are erotic fictional novels entitled ‘Salacious Seductions’ & ‘Debaucherous Desires’. Both are available from the global Amazon organisation
What draws you to this genre?
I guess its male fantasy gone wild, plus my sense of humour, which I can exploit within these explicit novels.

How much research do you do for your books?
I did a fair amount of research for Salacious Seductions as the story is set in Victorian and Edwardian times and I wished to depict the environment and transportation facilities, accurately to that period. Regarding the saucy stuff, I have a vivid imagination and I simply allowed my creative juices to run wild!! When asked about research for Rusty’s books, I simply say that I found it quite exhausting!!
When did you decide to become a writer?
As I stated earlier, I was persuaded to write my first book by a number of working colleagues, but having said that, retirement didn’t come easy for me and I needed a new challenge in life. I have a loving wife who now tolerates me being around the house; however she needs me to be occupied for some part of the day, in order to maintain a harmonious relationship.
Do you write full-time or part-time?
I generally write something each and every day. I have no fixed rules, and I simply do what my mood tells me. I try to have more than one project underway, at any one time. I have written a couple of magazine articles, which I have slotted in between more comprehensive works.
Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
I tend to be a morning person and that’s when my brain is most active and alert.
Do you write every day, 5 days a week or as and when?
I was always very disciplined in my work, and this trait has carried forward into my retirement, therefore, I’m generally doing some form of written work, each and every day, except when my wife and I are away on holiday.
Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?
Some days I can rattle off 2,000 words without any difficulty, whereas on other occasions, I find it very hard going, and I give up a go to the park.
Do you write on a computer, dictate or longhand?
Although I am a one finger typist, I use a computer for all my written work. I just think it’s the easiest way. It was fairly late on in my career when I had to begin using a computer, but I managed ok and in my final two years as a engineering marketing director, I was challenged with writing numerous strategic marketing plans.
Where do your ideas come from?
I am a people watcher and general observer, and that’s how much of my fictional stuff is triggered.  Although I say it myself, I have a very good memory and I have a wealth of information and experiences that I can draw upon to trigger inspirational ideas.
Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
I create an overall structure and work on the beginning and ending before filling in the gaps. None of my books either fact or fiction have been written in numerical page order. I prefer to work on a particular section of the project for a period of time, and then switch to another part, not necessarily in follow on order.
How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
I would like to think that my creative skills have improved, but I guess others can be a better judge of that.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
I reckon about four months to write the initial manuscript, and at least a further two months, proof reading, editing and polishing.
Do you ever get writer’s block?
Far too often.

Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?
I take a break and focus upon something else, until an inspirational thought allows me to overcome the blockage.

Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?
I have to admit that I am not a good reader as I have a very low interest threshold. Throughout my working life, I have had to read many technical journals and that has been about the limit of reading activities.
Do you proofread/edit all your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?
I do proof read/edit my own books as I believe I have improved these skills with experience over a period of time.
How do you relax?
Generally with a glass of red wine before dinner, and a night cap of fine whiskey before bed.
How can readers discover more about you and you work?
My website:-                  
Rusty Nocks website:-   

Book Purchase Links:-
Books by Chris R. Pownall
Books by Rusty Nock

Loren Mathis

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