Today, please welcome Chris R. Pownall to my blog.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
During my long career in technical sales, I had to produce a lot of reports, and over the years, I worked at improving my writing skills. Throughout my last couple of years, I was tasked with producing strategic marketing plans for countries including China, India, South Africa, plus several European countries. This served to further improve my written presentational skills.
How much of yourself, your personality or your experiences is in your books?
I would hope that my biographical books capture my true personality, and my experiences in life, is what they are all about.
Do you write full-time? If so, what is your work day like?
For me, writing is a pass-time and a hobby. Retirement from full-time work as an Industry Marketing Director didn’t come easy, as I missed the challenges of a very busy lifestyle. Writing provides new challenges as English grammar was never my best subject.
I write a little most days but it doesn’t dominate my life.
Following my retirement, my home office became my study where I do my writing. My wife Pat calls it my den!!
We both enjoy walking in the countryside, and we are seeing lots of places around the world by taking as many cruise holidays as we can comfortably afford.
Mornings are when I do my writing and this can begin as early as 05-00am, depending upon how well I have slept.
What fuels you as an author to continue to write?
Writing provides a sense of purpose, in addition to family life and travel. It brings a certain discipline to how I spend just a few hours each day. I’m not a good reader, therefore, I need something to occupy my mind and provide a reason for research and a quest for further knowledge.
Once I start a project, I see it as a challenge until it is completed.
Do you outline your books or just start writing.
Before my retirement, I started writing my memoirs, with no specific structure to what I was doing. Basically, I ran out of steam, and decided to delete the lot.
Following my retirement, I reflected upon my earlier failure and considered a framework around which I could build. I decided upon five chapters and had several underway, at any one time.
Now, no matter what I am doing, be it a book project, or a magazine article, I set out a plan before putting flesh on the bones.
Please tell us about your current release.
My current release entitled Majestic Norway, is a short book about our recreational travels in Norway. It is not intended to be a travel guide, rather, an account of our observations, experiences, and lasting impressions of this magnificent country.
I hope it will bring some pleasure to those less fortunate in their scope of travel, and maybe of some assistance to anyone planning a trip to Norway.
If I find there is a significant demand for this type of book, I shall no doubt contemplate writing more.
What inspired you to write this book?
I make notes everywhere I go, and it’s almost become a habit. During our recent trip to Norway, I thought I would like to share some of the places and points of interest along the way. It’s a little like my working days when reporting about a business trip. I get great pleasure recording details of our travels, and it’s much easier than writing fiction, when I’m wearing the hat of Rusty Nock!! (Rusty Nock is a pseudonym under which I have written three erotic novels.)
My first book entitled ‘Funny How Things Work Out’ is my memoirs, containing a few revelations that might make some individuals cringe. True to say, I have had a colourful life and my employment has provided much opportunity to travel to faraway places, and experience many interesting things. With the exception of the first three chapters, the book is not structured in chronological sequence; instead it covers specific subject matters in separate chapters, which overlap in time. The book focuses upon the humorous aspects of my life, which have occurred in many forms.
Other books by Chris Pownall include Onwards and Upwards, A Long Journey Back, Dane Mills Bosley, This is the Life, Spanning a Lifetime and Majestic Norway.
Chris failed his 11+ examination and received a secondary modern school education, leaving full time education at 15 years of age, with no academic qualifications to his name. He managed to secure an engineering apprenticeship at a nearby mill and attended Macclesfield College of further education, studying mechanical engineering until the age of 22 years.
Upon completion of his education and apprenticeship, Chris was promoted to the drawing office, but after 18 months in this responsible job, he decided it was time to move on.
In 1967, he joined the Merchant Navy, serving with the famous Blue Funnel Line, as an Assistant Engineering Officer. Whilst this was exciting and adventurous, Chris decided a life at sea was not for him, so following his initial training and one voyage to the Far East, he called it a day.
To further his engineering knowledge, he obtained employment as a design draughtsman, working for an engineering manufacturing company, and eighteen months later, he was employed by James Walker & Co Ltd, which marked the beginning of a forty year career in technical sales.
Chris progressed within the James Walker organisation, in a succession of sales management roles, finishing as an Industry Marketing Director, specialising in high performance sealing technology, within the global Metallurgical Industries. This role was to take him on many overseas travels, and in the last two years of his employment, he focused upon writing strategic market plans for some existing, plus new sales territories.
Although Chris has a loving wife Pat, retirement didn’t come easy, and after a few months, he was missing the demands of his occupation, with the days seeming endless.
He decided to take up writing and to date he has published seven books, with a possibility of more on the way. Writing has provided Chris with a retirement interest, as well as a major challenge, giving him great satisfaction, when a difficult project is finally completed.
Chris has a long standing reputation for being there when things go wrong and there are many examples of this in his three autobiographical books. He has encountered freak weather in faraway places and some of his working colleagues were reluctant to travel with him, knowing that something unpleasant was more likely to occur if he was around. Earthquakes and tornedoes in China to ice storms in the USA are among Chris’ encounters with Mother Nature.
Humour has always played an important part in Chris’ life, which manifests itself in his written work. He has witnessed many amusing situations throughout seven decades of life and he has appreciated the humorous side of everyday living.
As in most people’s lives, Chris and Pat have had their share of sadness, when at the age of eighteen, their son Robert, suffered a near fatal head injury. This was a life changing situation, which required great courage and determination on the part of their son Robert as well as unrelenting support from their Daughter Tracey, for Robert to regain his life after this tragic event.