We got chatting with Nick Ponter last month and he had quite a few tips about writing to share with us. You can check out his book on the store here: Connor Jackson and the Memory Thieves | Pothi.com
Nick B. Ponter was born and brought up in Windsor, England. As soon as he finished school, he decided it was time to see the world and do different things. He first did an apprenticeship as a carpenter, did military service, spent six years as a diplomat in Bangladesh and Pakistan, became a business English trainer and is now an author.
Pothi.com: Tell us about your character Connor Jackson. You mentioned he was a civil servant- you have worked in the foreign service- how far has your experience helped you craft your character?
Nick Ponter: Connor Jackson is a quiet, unspectacular man who has a boring civil servant job. In reality, he is an analyst for a secret government department but nevertheless remains quite unexciting. My experience in foreign service gave me some ideas for the character but Connor is really quite fictional. There are elements of my character which come out in the story and Connor’s behavior.
Pothi.com: Describe your writing journey- from the time you won a prize till you started publishing your own books.
Nick Ponter: I never had the intention of writing a book and the feeling came to me about eight years ago. I won a school prize in English at school and always enjoyed writing articles and handwritten letters. However, I didn’t know there was an author lurking below the surface, something my teachers in school obviously recognized.
Pothi.com: Tell us about your writing routine.
Nick Ponter: I have a very busy, full-time job so I do not have a dedicated writing routine. I spend a lot of time daydreaming and note taking which at some stage moved to more detailed planning. The writing itself is normally completed in short bursts when I go away to places where I can relax and feel inspired. I actually write by hand which means I can put pen to paper wherever I am.
Pothi.com: Share a picture of your writing space for this book.
At sunrise from the author’s tent in Polle at the River Weser in 2016
Pothi.com: What essential advice should fantasy writers follow?
Nick Ponter: Allow yourself plenty of time and space to come up with your imaginative ideas. For me, the most important phase is just thinking and note-taking rather than the writing itself. The main element of a good book must be the story itself with the writing style remaining quite individual to the author.
Pothi.com: Your favorite books?
Nick Ponter: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Danny, the Champion of the World
Pothi.com: What do you do when you are not writing?
Nick Ponter: I am a business English trainer and spend most of my time teaching English in the corporate environment. Outside of work, I listen to heavy metal, go hiking, canoeing and riding my motorcycle.
Pothi.com: Tell us about your experience with publishing. What should aspiring authors remember when they want to share their book out there and market it?
I advise aspiring authors to be as active as possible on social media as it allows an international audience to become engaged. Do not be scared of approaching book reviewers.
Pothi.com: What book are you working on next?
Connor Jackson and the Quest for Azoth is the follow on story to Connor Jackson and the Memory Thieves. It is finished and currently being privately edited. I have also started note-taking for my third book and already have a good outline of the story.
Thank you for talking with us about your writing journey, Nick! We wish you all the best. If you want to see more of Nick, catch our Instagram Live session on Nov 3, 2021 at 4 PM IST/10.30 AM GMT.