Interview with William R. Potter

About the author:

"I was born in the late 60's in a suburb of Vancouver, Canada called Burnaby, and haven't moved far from home over the years.
My very active childhood imagination and knack for making up stories often got me into trouble. Perhaps this is where all writers get started? Shortly after watching the first remake of King Kong, around the age of ten or eleven, I decided to write a "book." I remember something about a monster crab attacking Vancouver.
Throughout my teens my mind was in a state of unrest and I used poetry to journal the ups and downs of those difficult times. Later, my work was published in a poetry anthology.
I returned to my love of storytelling in my twenties, writing numerous short stories; and now at forty, I am re-working two full-length novel manuscripts for publishing. Many more book ideas are at the researching and outline stage, keeping me busy at the PC.
When I'm not writing or working I am playing with my two children, aged three and five."
You can visit his website here.
I had the opportunity to ask the author some questions. Here's what he had to say:

Could you please tell us a little about your book?

Thank you for having me on Zensanity.
Lighting the Dark Side is an anthology of fiction featuring three novellas and three shorter works. They are about human nature and how our darker side can impede our ability to cope with hardships. The book opens with a novella called "Bent, Not Broken" where we meet Dwayne Johnson, a man beginning a new relationship even though he is plagued with severe Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). A police procedural called "Prominent Couple Slain" is also included. Detective Jack Staal is disillusioned about his career after he takes a nosedive from big city homicide investigator to small town detective. Desperate to prove himself, he ignores protocol to work a case that is not his to solve. The book closes with the largest piece, "Surviving the Fall," a tale about James Goodal, a man who spent his entire life avoiding uncomfortable situations. This safe and easy existence has left James lonely and facing divorce. Everything changes when he takes in a young street girl named Ashley. The pair finds comfort in their unorthodox friendship until her violent world returns, forcing James to fight for Ashley and for his very survival. In the three remaining stories you will find average people, however flawed, struggling to overcome their weaknesses in order to escape extraordinary situations.
What made you decide to publish this as 6 stories, instead of publishing the 3 novellas separately?

I considered publishing the novellas separately; however, when I decided to go the self-publishing route I realized that asking a reader to pay fifteen dollars for an eighty-five page novella was a bit much. Plus the cost to self-publish a single novella is the same as for a full book.
Do you have any rituals that you follow when you finish a piece of work?

When I’m writing I struggle to get the story out of my head for even a few minutes. This is extremely annoying for others to be around as I can be distant at those times. So when I finish a piece I need to step away completely for a few days, weeks, or sometimes even longer.

Who has influenced you throughout your career as a writer?

I’m influenced by authors, musicians, and artists who like me have full time jobs, families, and friends and yet can’t deny their imagination and passion for creating in their chosen medium.

Who or what is the inspiration behind this book?

Inspiration for the book came from everywhere. Sometimes it was from my own life experiences like the birth of my children or the end of my first marriage. Other times it was the stimulating imagery of books, television, movies, and the Internet. Whatever the source, if it stirred up emotions, whether sadness, anger, pity or joy, there was a good chance it would get some new ideas moving around in my brain and get into a story. The stories represent where I was as a writer during the last eight years.

Who is your biggest supporter?

That would be my wife, Erin. I get up most weekends at 5 AM to write and then stumble around the rest of the day sleep deprived. She worries about me, but somehow she understands or simply tolerates this practice. Erin is an editor, reads everything I do and lets me know what she thinks.

Your biggest critic?

This will sound lame, but I would say I’m my biggest critic. It’s common for me to throw my hands up and say, "Who am I kidding—I can’t do this!" at least once during every project and then abandon writing for a while.

What cause are you most passionate about and why?

I have always loved animals. In my late twenties I volunteered at a shelter that took in unwanted and neglected exotics like parrots, pythons and alligators. I miss working to help animals and hope to get involved again in some capacity when my kids are older.

In the last year have you learned or improved on any skills?

I’m learning that less is more. An editor at a small press told me he wouldn’t touch a manuscript if he could cut anything and not change the meaning. The rule of thumb is second draft equals first draft minus ten percent. I keep this in mind as I am currently reworking a novel. I’m cutting as much as I can and, so far, am happy with the results.

Is there anything else you would like to share with us?

I again thank Zensanity for having me.
Self published writers and their books often get a bad rap. There are many wonderful, well-written books out there by self-published and unknown authors and I invite readers of Zensanity to give one a chance.
About the book:
Lighting The Dark Side is an anthology of short fiction including three novellas and three shorter works.
The Stories
Bent, Not Broken.
An obsessive compulsive man falls in love; however, his disorder puts a severe strain on the relationship. Jealousy, low self-esteem, anxiety, and an increasing sense of violence engulf him until he pushes his new love away and falls into old habits of avoidance.
In the Gray.
A seemingly mundane phone call between a grown son and his mother uncovers the reality of one man's life. Tragedy interrupts the call seconds before the man can speak his truth and free his mind of decades of bitter animosity.
Prominent Couple Slain.
A former big city police detective is weary of the horrors of homicide investigation. A few weeks after transferring to a small town police service he faces the brutality of murder once again when a prominent couple is found dead.
May 18, 2010.
Growing pandemonium over the approach of an earth-grazing comet called Ivan is the backdrop for a man who is given numerous chances to make amends with his loved ones.
Blessing or Curse?
Who wouldn't enjoy winning the lottery? One man's million dollar windfall becomes a curse when his son is abducted and held for ransom. Along with three friends, he takes up arms in a frantic effort to rescue his kidnapped child.
Surviving the Fall.
A man with compassion for desperate souls meets a young street girl. Sickened by her life story, he impulsively offers her his couch for the night and then feels unable to send her away. The comfort the two find in their unorthodox relationship is short-lived; shattered by violence as the girl's past catches up to her.
THE LIGHTING THE DARK SIDE VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR '08 will officially begin on November 3 and end on November 26. You can visit William's blog stops at in November to find out more about his latest book!As a special promotion for all our authors, Pump Up Your Book Promotion is giving away a FREE virtual book tour to a published author or a $50 Amazon gift certificate to those not published who comments on our authors' blog stops. More prizes will be announced as they become available. The winner(s) will be announced on November 30!

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Cheryl said...

Nice interview. I love the cover art for this book!


WR Potter said...

Thanks again Cheryl. I'm very happy with the this interview.

Also, thank you to Tracee for having me here. Zensanity is one of the best looking book blogs I've seen.

William Potter

Tracee said...

Thanks William for stopping by and for the compliment on the blog - loved the book by the way!