Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Believing he is a soldier of justice, a misguided young man has begun a callous campaign of terror. Damian Knight is convinced of his righteousness and continues his brutal crusade of revenge.
Anxious to work the biggest case of his career, Detective Jack Staal is forced to the outside when the Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s Integrated Homicide Teams are assigned to the case. Not one to sit on the sidelines, Staal convinces his colleagues to follow his lead and pursue a serial killer the media has dubbed Birthday Boy.
As his death count mounts, so does Knight’s courage and he soon turns his anger on a fatigued Staal. Staal and Knight play out a cat and mouse thrill ride that culminates with an epic, one-on-one meeting of cop versus killer.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Author William R. Potter takes the reader into the heart and soul of his protagonist and into the warped mind of a psychopath. Potter’s first full length novel, Dead of Knight is told from the point-of-view of Detective Jack Staal and from the perspective of a killer who murders women on their birthdays.
Through clever use of back story, we learn that Detective Staal is suffering from post-traumatic stress after a horrific shooting. Unable to shake the horror of that day, Staal has left his position with the Vancouver PD’s homicide squad and has resurrected his career with the police service in a fictional country town called Hanson, British Columbia.
Anxious to work the biggest case of his career, Staal is forced to the outside when the Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s Integrated Homicide Teams are assigned to the case. Not one to sit on the sidelines, Staal convinces his colleagues to follow his lead and pursue a serial killer the media has dubbed Birthday Boy.
Believing he is a soldier of justice, a misguided young man has begun a callous campaign of terror. Damian Knight (Birthday Boy) is convinced of his righteousness and continues his brutal crusade of revenge. As his death count mounts, so does Knight’s courage and he soon turns his anger on a fatigued Staal. Staal and Knight play out a cat and mouse thrill ride that culminates with an epic, one-on-one meeting of cop versus killer.
Potter has created an intriguing police procedural with a strong main character, a terrific supporting cast, and a plot with twists, turns, and plenty of red herrings. I have read many books in this genre featuring a main character that is a bullet-proof, womanizing Neanderthal. However, Potter’s Jack Staal takes a pounding, both physically and emotionally. This is one author who isn’t afraid to show his hero breaking down or making mistakes. Potter has penned a captivating tale filled with plenty of tension and conflict, crisp dialogue and an unrelenting pace. He puts us in the story with vivid descriptions and scene-painting narrative.
I highly recommend Dead of Knight-A Jack Staal Mystery. It is sure to delight fans of Patricia Cornwell’s Kay Scarpetta or Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch.
Real Time Publishing
By Erin Hynd for Reader’s Choice Literary Reviews
Coming in November!
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Bent, Not Broken. The opening novella is about an obsessive compulsive man who falls in love. Dee-Dee challenges Dwayne to experience life instead of hiding from it. Nevertheless, Dwayne’s 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. Will he overcome this dilemma for love? Or will his problems continue to impede his happiness?
In the Gray. A seemingly mundane phone call between a grown son and his mother uncovers the reality of one man’s life. Michael Conner has estranged himself from his entire family. He has no time for his corrupt politician brother, his racist, abusive father, and his mother who seems to be more concerned with his marital status than the ugliness in her own home. Tragedy interrupts the call seconds before Michael can speak his truth and free his mind of decades of bitter animosity.
Prominent Couple Slain. Detective Jack Staal spent twelve years working in the Major Crime Section of the Vancouver Police Department. There he saw the worst of humanity, violent murders, gang warfare, sex crimes, and the ravages of illicit drugs. Homicide investigation was once his mission in life; now with his confidence damaged, he struggles each day to face the brutality. The story finds Staal only weeks after transferring to the Police Service of a small country town called Hanson, where a detective is more likely to investigate a canoe thief than a killer. When a former mayoral candidate and his wife are found DOA in an apparent murder-suicide, Staal is thrown back onto the homicide beat.
May 18, 2010. Is May 18, 2010 the end of the world? Trevor Woodward isn’t sure; he just wants to go home to his girlfriend, Kelly-Anne, and ignore the growing pandemonium over the approach of an earth-grazing comet called Ivan. Will the rock strike earth and destroy all life? Or is the entire thing a hoax to cover up an atomic bombing in the Persian Gulf? Experiencing increasing episodes of déjà-vu, Trevor begins to suspect that the eventful day is repeating; and with each pass, he gets another chance to repair mistakes with Kelly-Anne and his dying father.
Blessing or curse? Who wouldn’t enjoy winning the big one? Brad Stewart isn’t certain that becoming an instant millionaire is all he dreamed it to be. With the constant hounding by charities and long lost relatives, and the distance forming between him and his best friends, Brad is beginning to believe the windfall may be a curse. Without warning, a backyard barbeque becomes his worst nightmare when his son is abducted and held for ransom. Brad must reunite with his buddies in a frantic effort to rescue his kidnapped child.
Surviving the fall. Since childhood, James Goodal has had a soft spot for stray creatures. One gloomy afternoon, a lonely and depressed James meets Ashley, a young street girl. Impulsively, he offers her a spot on his couch for the night. Tempted by Ashley’s beauty and her willingness to please him, James struggles to live by his morals while questioning his motivations. Sickened by her life story, he can’t bring himself to send her away. But the comfort the two find in their unorthodox relationship is short-lived; shattered by violence as Ashley’s past catches up to her at Goodal’s home.
Amazon Kindle http://www.amazon.com/Lighting-Dark-Side-Modern-Tales/dp/B001VLXM6Q/
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
I don't normally like short stories, but as soon as I started reading this book, Lighting The Dark Side, I instantly fell in love with the stories.
Each story is completely different - although they have a thread going through them of - the darker side of life.
I think my favorite is Blessing or Curse - which actually reflects one of the things that i often think - one good thing happens and then something bad happens to equal it out!
Some might think this is a series of pessimistic outlooks on life - in fact, I have been, myself, on occasion accused of being in this state of mind - however, I choose to call it reality and I like that author Potter has the guts to put down on paper what alot of people think, deep inside their minds. It can be scary to actually admit just how dark the mind can truly get. I, for one, applaud this author for channeling his "inner dark side" and writing these stories.
Granted, this book will not exactly make you feel all warm and loved after you have finished reading it, but the stories are so well written, that the tales, in themselves will be engrossing enough.
The author, William R. Potter, is a very good writer, he knows how to get to the darker side of human nature and the darker side of life....I loved this book, even if after reading it, I wasn't exactly in the mood to sing a hearthy song.
by Tina Avon
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Tina_Avon
Monday, March 2, 2009
Like most aspiring authors, I dream of selling a book to a mainstream publisher, and then writing fulltime. For now, I write whenever I can.
Saturday, 4:30 AM. I’m up and ready to take on the day. Yeah right! After quickly flipping off the alarm so not to wake my wife, I’m at the computer nursing a fishbowl sized mug of coffee. As the PC comes to life, I glance at the stack of books next to me on the floor. Somehow the latest hardcover offering from Michael Connelly has made its way to the top of my TBR (To Be Read) pile, so I spend a half hour with Connelly’s meal ticket, Harry Bosch.
I begin work on my own novel, a police procedural called Dead of Knight. The story is complete; it’s now down to re-writes and polishing. I hear tiny feet on carpet. My five year old son is wandering around the house in the dark half asleep—it’s 5:30. I guide Alex back to bed and snuggle with him until he returns to sleep.
I pause for another cup of coffee and a few minutes of staring at a blank screen. A writer friend has asked me to read his 300-page manuscript. How can I tell him the second and third chapters are just a rehash of the first? I e-mail him a note reminding him to hook the reader early and suggest that perhaps his first 35 pages could be condensed into a strong ten to twelve.
A second after opening my book file, the phone rings—it’s my mom. She launches into a story of how my dad put his back out working in the yard yesterday. I ignore Mom’s subtle invitation to feel guilty about not spending more time with my parents.
The family is awake now and Erin, my wife, is quick to comment about how early I was up to write. She’s worried about how tired I am. Her concern is valid, as constant fatigue is the price I pay for working at such a ridiculous hour. Erin is telling me something about shopping with her mom. She’s irritated that I’m living in my head, as she calls it. She’s right—I’m stuck in my book and can’t get a scene out of my mind.
I pause from the book to open some snail mail. An agent from Toronto regrets to inform me that she is presently unable to take on new clients. Next, I learn a book proposal does not meet the current publishing needs of a small press in Connecticut.
As if on queue, my three year old daughter, Meghan, dances in to relieve the stinging pain of rejection with noisy versions of Do Re Mi and My Boy Lollipop!
I’m re-energized and writing at a nice pace. Erin is increasingly annoyed with my inability to pull myself from my book for even a few seconds. She announces that she is taking the kids to have lunch with her mom.
I decide to write for an hour and then surprise the family by meeting them at the mall. The house is quiet, too quiet. My eyes are closing, and each minute becomes a greater struggle to stay awake. I move to the bed for a short nap and wake three hours later to the sound of loud voices and laughter.
Alex and Meghan find me in bed and I excite them with news about a special day at the park tomorrow. However, the promise does little to diminish the guilt I feel for spending so much time away from my kids for writing.
Friday, February 13, 2009
Welcome to The Writer's Life, William Potter! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?
I would first like to thank The Writers life for having me. I guess you could say I was bitten by the writing bug at an early age. Shortly after watching the first remake of King Kong, around the age of ten or eleven, I scribbled a few lines about a mutant crab and said I was writing a book.
I discovered poetry in my teens and continued to write verse into my twenties and early thirties. However that kid’s dream of writing a book never went away. In 2001 I decided to get serious about fiction and dabbled in short stories with some success. With my confidence surging I attempted larger and larger word counts. Before long I had a collection of shorts and two novellas approaching novel length. It was time…after waiting twenty-five years since that monstrous crustacean of my childhood I attempted another novel in 2003 and finished the first draft just before Christmas 2004.
Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it?
Lighting the Dark Side is an anthology of short fiction including three novellas and three shorter works spanning the gamut of fiction genres. After I finished the first draft of my first novel I decided to let the manuscript sit and cool for a while. I then returned to the assortment of stories I penned from 2001 to 2003.
The first thing I noticed about the group of fiction was the darker subject matter. I blamed or credited this gloominess to pain and sadness still lingering from my divorce of a few years previous. My writing was getting some favourable feedback and I wondered if grouped together the short stories might be enough for a book. I began to polish the stronger selections and wrote two more novellas in 2006 and 2007. I pared the total down to six and then began to seek out a publisher.
I believe everyone has an ugly side to their personality down deep that troubles those who witness it. For some it is pure evil and for others its anger management or perhaps jealousy. The key to triumphing over this darkness is to recognise it, and to turn a light against it. This became the theme and title of the book.
The characters in the book all follow unique paths in order to escape their own personal short comings; from Dwayne Johnson, a man who struggles to find love despite a severe Obsessive Compulsive Disorder; to Brad Stewart, whose lottery win becomes a nightmare when his son is kidnapped for ransom; to James Goodal, a gentle man with a rescue complex who resorts to murder when he takes in a young street prostitute.
What kind of research was involved in writing “Lighting the Dark Side”?
Each of the six stories required different amounts of research. As soon as I realised that Dwayne in the novella “Bent, Not Broken” suffered from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder I stopped writing and began to researching online OCD sites. The internet makes research so much easier and I quickly had a feel for this much misunderstood anxiety disorder. It took me a while to feel confident that I wouldn’t offend people who suffer from OCD and almost cut the story from the book. I’m glad I kept it in as the piece is always mentioned first by readers and reviewers.
For the police procedural, “Prominent Couple Slain” I studied as much information about police detective work as I could find. If you don’t have access to a real life detective, the World Wide Web is a good alternative to learn about weapons and tactics of law enforcement.
Researching the novella “Surviving the Fall” was a very sad experience for me. Ashley Metcalf is a fourteen year-old prostitute who was put on the street at age eleven to finance her Mother’s drug addiction. I found numerous stories from around the world of girls as young as nine forced into this nightmare world of fear and violence.
How much input did you have into the design of your book cover?
From early on I had a vision of how I wanted the cover to look. I made my own “working cover” and hoped the professionals at the publisher could improve it. The publisher’s designer went in a different direction with the title font. I disliked his first draft as it made the cover look like a self help book and it took me many weeks to persuade him that my idea was better. However, he continued to send galleys with lower case font and I became discouraged. I’m still not happy with it and it bothers me that the main title is not centred properly. Nevertheless readers and reviewers have called it eye catching, striking, and unique.
Has it been a bumpy ride to becoming a published author or has it been pretty well smooth sailing?
From the beginning I didn’t expect a traditional publisher to pick up a short story collection from and unknown and unpublished author and after several rejections I decided to go the self publishing route. The self publishing industry was my first adventure in publishing so I’m not sure how the ride compares to those who work with mainstream publishers.
For this particular book, how long did it take from the time you signed the contract to its release?
From the time I submitted my finished manuscript to the release date was about six months.
Do you have an agent and, if so, would you mind sharing who he/is is? If not, have you ever had an agent or do you even feel it’s necessary to have one?
I don’t have an agent and I know that if I’m going to be taken serious by traditional publishers I will need a good one. Finding an agent is my number one goal for 2009 as I attempt to leave my POD past behind me and sign that elusive contract.
Do you plan subsequent books?
Definitely. I’m currently in the rewrite stage of a sequel to the short story “Prominent Couple Slain” from “Lighting The Dark Side” called “DEAD of KNIGHT-A Jack Staal Mystery”. It should be available by Christmas 2009—fingers crossed. I think the Detective Jack Staal character is strong enough for a series and already have two sequels outlined.
Another completed novel manuscript is about an average family man and how he and his wife deal with his depression and addiction following the sudden tragic loss of his eyesight in a freak kitchen accident. “Falling Down The Hole” is my 2010 project and I daydream about it becoming my first book published by a traditional publisher.
Are you a morning writer or a night writer?
Any chance I get at the computer works for me. However, I have a fulltime job and my wife works evenings—throw in two kids under six and you can see how my writing time is very limited. I get up at 4:30 or five in the morning most weekends and fuel myself with a few gallons of coffee and then type away on my laptop until the kids wake up three or four hours later.
If money was no object, what would be the first thing you would invest in to promote your book?
Unfortunately you can’t see the smile on my face as I answer this one! I would write a two or three minute video trailer and then hire the best in the film business to produce it. M. Night Shyamalan or perhaps Marty Scorsese would direct. U2 would record the sound track—hey you said money was no object—and an all A list cast would be hired to play the characters form each story. Then I would unveil it during the next super bowl.
Seriously if I had a larger budget I would try a shot gun approach running ads in newspapers and magazines around
How important do you think self-promotion is and in what ways have you been promoting your book offline and online?
For self published authors self-promotion is the only promotion. I’m always on the lookout for new opportunities to market my book. I am a member of Authors Den and several other sites that connect writers with readers. I try to spend at least an hour a day posting in forums, writing articles for blogs, and for maintaining my websites. Despite the negative reactions of bookstore mangers toward POD books I continue to investigate the possibility of a signing in the near future.
Any final words of wisdom for those of us who would like to be published?
Write something, anything every day and read as much as you can. Set realistic goals for your self such as how many pages you write every day or each week. Pick a date for when you will be published and then be prepared to work your tail off to reach your objectives. If you have a burning desire to be an author then keep at it and never give up until you get to where you want to be. Most of all—have fun with it!
Thank you for coming, Mr. Potter! Would you like to tell my readers where they can find you on the web and how everyone can buy your book?
My book is available at Amazon.com, Barnes&Noble.com, Borders.com with the current best prices found at Tower.com.
This post was originally published in the Writers Life http://www.thewriterslife.blogspot.com/
Saturday, January 31, 2009
Interviewing Dwayne Johnson and Dee-Dee Roland from Bent, Not Broken a novella in the short story collection Lighting The Dark Side.
Q. You two met in the story. How long have you been a couple?
Dee-Dee: Four months now—four and a half actually. (She glances at Dwayne with a hint of worry in her eyes.)
Q. Dwayne. How does it feel to be in a book? (Dwayne continues to rub his hands and shuffle his feet. He stands, reaches for an empty chair, lifts it and then removes it from the room to leave three chairs in total. He sits. His squirming has ceased, and he has a slight smile.)
(Dee-Dee leans toward me and whispers, “Dwayne won’t touch the even numbered questions.”)
Q. Okay. Dee-Dee. What is it like to be in a book?
Dee-Dee: It was weird at first. Being on display like that. But, now I think it’s kind of cool. Definitely a conversation starter at parties.”
Q. What do you think of William Potter, the author?
Dee-Dee: He’s a hack! (She smiles)
Dwayne: Dee this one is mine! Mr. Potter—I think he did a good job. I mean he didn’t make me look like a total freak.
Q. How is Dwayne coping with his OCD? Just say pass if this is too uncomfortable.
Dee-Dee: Dwayne is doing wonderfully. I don’t have to remind him to take his meds as much anymore and he is working really hard in therapy…I’m proud of him.
Q. Dwayne, how has your anxiety made having a relationship with Dee-Dee difficult?
Dwayne: Everything is always tough for me—so it’s normal. I have to work at the relationship a lot—just like I have to work at not wanting to run to the bathroom to wash after shaking your hand.
(Dee-Dee touches Dwayne’s knee and he takes her hand in his.)
Q. Dee-Dee, how has Dwayne’s anxiety made dating difficult from your point of view?
Dee-Dee: It hasn’t! (She blurts quickly and then sighs.) Being with Dwayne has been the best relationship of my life. (She pauses for a few seconds) I was with this one guy who drank too much and sometimes he’d slap me around. Dwayne doesn’t like it when there’s six cans of beer in the fridge…so I drink one first. (She smiles at Dwayne.) He’s impossible—you know?
Q. Dwayne, you’ve struggled with alcohol in the past. Does that continue to cause you problems?
Dwayne: No, I haven’t had a drink since Dee had that scare with the baby. Sometimes, when things get hard I would like to drink…but so far I’m good.
Q. Dee, what do your parents think of Dwayne?
Dee-Dee: It’s just my Mom. She worries about me because I have made some bad choices regarding men. But Dwayne impressed her when he rushed to the hospital and wouldn’t leave my side until we knew everything was okay.
Q. Dwayne, do you still work at that awful office with those three…colleagues tormenting you like that?
Dwayne: No way! Dee got me on where she works. I stock shelves and work in the warehouse. It’s hard work and its dusty and I get my hands dirty…which is really good for me.
Q. Now an easy one and then a couple tougher questions. Where are you both from?
Dee-Dee: Dwayne is from here in Vancouver, and I’m from Montreal.
Q. Who is the most important person in your life and why?
Dwayne: For me it’s Dee. My parents…they don’t understand me…they are…they’re ashamed, embarrassed of me. (Dee squeezes his hand.) She teases me a tonne but she has always been good to me—very good. I love her.
Dee-Dee: Enough with the sappy stuff, Johnson. I mean, who is the chick here?
Q. Can you tell us about a really bad experience and how it changed you?
Dee-Dee: Of course this one falls to me. (Her face is strained with emotion.)
Dwayne: (He looks at Dee-Dee then to me) When (he clears his throat) when Dee was fifteen or so her brother’s friends got her drunk…then they—they took advantage of her.”
Dee-Dee: So I um—have trouble trusting men, now.
Q. What do you guys see in your future and is it a future together?
Dee-Dee: Well, I am expecting, so I hope that somebody does the right thing soon and puts a ring on my finger before I’m out to here.
Dwayne: Dee! You know I’m saving up for a nice ring. I already asked her—but she said no.
Dee-Dee: I didn’t say no. I said don’t even ask me if you don’t have the hardware—I mean come on—a lady has standards!
Dwayne: What lady? (He pretends to look around for someone else.)
Dee-Dee: Okay, Johnson. That’s it. When this guy is done… (She gives Dwayne a soft punch in the shoulder.)
Q. Okay we’ve had some pretty serious questions. So I’ll lighten up for this last one. Do you think William Potter will write you into another story?
Dee-Dee: Potter is working on a detective novel I hear. It would be cool if he made me a CSI or a cop. But he is a guy so I’m sure he would write me in as a hooker or the next bimbo to get sliced and diced.
(Dwayne is getting fidgety again. I decide to end things early) Okay thank you very—
Dee-Dee: (Whispers to me) I think that’s fourteen. Would you have one more by any chance?
Q. Yes I have one more. If someone makes a movie of your story, who would you like to play you both?
Dwayne: I think Dee looks at lot like Ann Hathaway. I think she would do a good job.
Dee-Dee: For him, hmmm. (She smiles) I think someone like Woody Allen could pull it off.
Dwayne: That guy is like—sixty!
Dee-Dee: I don’t think Danny DeVito is doing anything.
Dwayne: Dee! He’s like three feet tall and…. oh, you’re just evil!
Okay, thank you, Dwayne and Dee-Dee. Good luck with the baby and I hope you get that ring soon, Dwayne.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
This is my guest post and how it appeared on ScribeVibe in November 2008
Why did you chose to write 6 stories that focused on the same concept - the weaknesses of the characters in them?
It was never a conscious decision to have the six stories in Lighting the Dark Side focus on a similar concept. It just turned out that way, and to best explain how and why, I will give a brief history of the book and of my writing.
I was making up stories before I could read. I switched between fiction and poetry from my early teens through to adulthood. Then in 2001, I found myself in a new relationship and happy for the first time in years. From this stability, I decided to get serious about fiction. I started with a few short stories and with my confidence growing, I tried increasingly complex plots. By fall 2004, I had a number of shorts and two novellas.
The birth of my daughter delayed writing for over a year. In spring 2006, I returned to the unpublished short stories. The first thing I noticed was the darker subject matter, and the characters all struggling against their weaknesses. I credited this gloominess to sadness still lingering from my divorce. The stories were getting some favorable feedback and I wondered if grouped together they might be enough for a book. After polishing the stronger selections, I wrote another novella; pared the total down to six; and then began to research publishers.
I believe everyone has a darker side to their personality that troubles those who witness it. This could be anything from bigotry to anger management or perhaps jealousy. The key to triumphing over this darkness is to recognize it, and to turn a light against it. This theme is present in all the stories and became the title of the book.
The characters in the collection all follow unique paths in order to overcome their shortcomings and escape extraordinary situations; from Dwayne Johnson, a man who struggles to find love despite a severe Obsessive Compulsive Disorder; to Brad Stewart, whose lottery win becomes a nightmare when his son is kidnapped for ransom; to James Goodal, a gentle man with a rescue complex who resorts to murder when he takes in a young street prostitute.
Together, the stories are a good representation of who I was as a writer over the first eight years of this decade. They run the gamut of fiction genres and, I hope, will challenge readers to think in new directions.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Thank you for this interview, Mr. Potter. Can you tell us a little about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?
Thank you. I’m thrilled to be here.
My active imagination had me making up stories before I could read. The first remake of King Kong, and the original Star Wars a year later, really got my young mind fired up, and at the age of ten I decided to write a “book.” I remember a few lines about a mutant crab attacking a city. I discovered poetry in my teens and continued to write verse into my twenties and early thirties. However, that kid’s dream of writing a book never went away. In 2001, I decided to get serious about fiction and had some success writing a few short stories. With my confidence peaking, I attempted larger projects until I had a collection of shorts and two novellas approaching novel length. It was time. After more than twenty years since that rampant crustacean of my youth, I attempted another novel in the summer of 2003 and finished the first draft just before the end of 2004.
Do you write full-time?
No, not yet, but one can dream.
At what point in your life did you make up your mind you were going to become a published author?
In 1994, with my second attempt at writing a novel I discovered three things about myself: I didn’t have a clue about plotting a novel length story; I was hooked on story telling; and I was obsessed with learning as much as I could about the craft until one day I could be published.
What was your favorite book to read as a child?
Books that fired my imagination were always favoured. I read anything from Little House on the Prairie to Lord of the Flies.
What is your favourite book at the present?
I can’t think of a favorite at the moment. I just finished, and enjoyed, Peacemaker by Dan Ronco, a thriller about a computer virus which almost destroys the world.
Can you tell us a little about your latest book?
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. In “Blessing or Curse?” Brad Stewart’s bloated ego strains lifelong friendships after an enormous lottery win. His millionaire lifestyle suddenly becomes a nightmare when his son is kidnapped for ransom. 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. The two remaining stories find average, but flawed, people struggling to overcome their weaknesses in order to escape extraordinary situations.
What was the inspiration behind your book? Why did you feel a need to write it?
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 topic, if it stirred up my emotions, there was a good chance an idea would end up in a story. The collection represents where I was as a writer during the last eight years, and I felt compelled to put them together in a book.
What kind of research did you have to conduct to write your book?
Each of the six stories required different amounts of research. Dwayne in “Bent, Not Broken” suffers from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I researched the disorder until I felt confident that I wouldn’t offend sufferers, and then finished the story.
For the police procedural, “Prominent Couple Slain,” I studied as much information about police detective work as I could find. If you don’t have access to a real life detective, the Internet is a good alternative to learn about weapons and law enforcement tactics.
Researching for the novella “Surviving the Fall” was a sad experience for me. Ashley Metcalf is a fourteen year-old prostitute who was put on the street at age eleven to finance her mother’s drug addiction. I found numerous stories from around the world of girls as young as nine forced into this nightmare world of fear and violence.
Why did you choose your particular genre?
The stories of Lighting the Dark Side cover a wide range of genres from action adventure to romance. I wish I could say that the variety of fiction was the result of some grand scheme, but it wasn’t. The stories were written between 2001 and 2007. Some of the ideas were years, even decades, old while others were brand new. Despite the differences in genre, each story has the underlying theme that everyone has a darker side, and each of us must recognise these weaknesses to overcome life’s worst circumstances.
How do you deal with rejection?
I tell myself that rejection is a normal part of the publishing process and I try to remember the stories I’ve heard from best selling authors who often talk about their many rejection slips. Still, each time it feels like a kick in the stomach.
Do you write mainly by day or by night?
I do the majority of my writing on Saturday and Sunday between 5 and 9 A.M. I get up at 4:30 in the morning most weekends and fuel myself with gallons of coffee and then type away on my laptop until the kids wake up three or four hours later. I have a fulltime job and my wife works evenings—throw in two kids under six and you can see how my writing time is very limited.
Do you ever get writer’s block and what do you do when that happens?
So far I’ve never had writer’s block. Actually, you could say I have the opposite. I have too many ideas and not enough time to work on them all.
How long did it take your book to be published from the time you submitted and was accepted to the time it was finally released?
From the time the manuscript was submitted to publication was about six months.
Can you tell us a little about the publisher who published your book? How have they been to work with?
From the beginning I didn’t expect a traditional publisher to take on a short story collection from an unknown and unpublished author. After several rejections I decided to go the self-publishing route. Working with the Xlibris Corporation was my first publishing experience, and I found the consultants to be very understanding of my lack of industry knowledge. The journey went, for the most part, smoothly despite the fact that the staff copy editor missed over 120 simple spelling and grammar mistakes in my manuscript. This added an extra month of frustrating work in the galley stage.
Do you blog? If so, what can you tell my readers about the advantages of blogging as a useful tool in book promotion?
Yes, I have two blogs and post as much as time allows. Every post shows up in Google searches so it really helps to get noticed. It’s very easy. Write a 200 word blurb about a book signing, for example, and post to your blog in two minutes. Many readers prefer the blog format over websites and will visit your blog daily to see what you’re up to, so it’s a promotional tool that should not be overlooked.
Do you have a website?
I have two do-it-yourself websites that I run myself and one my publisher manages for me.
What’s next for you?
I’m currently in the rewrite stage of a sequel to the short story “Prominent Couple Slain” from Lighting the Dark Side called DEAD of KNIGHT—A Jack Staal Mystery. It will be available by Christmas 2009. I enjoy Detective Jack Staal and his world and already have two sequels outlined.
Another completed novel manuscript is about an average family man and how he and his wife deal with his depression and addiction following the sudden tragic loss of his eyesight. Falling Down The Hole is my 2010 project, and I daydream about it becoming my first book published by a traditional publisher.
Thank you for this interview, William! Do you have any final words you’d like to share with my readers?Thanks again for having me here. I appreciate the opportunity. I would also like to thank the readers for their interest in Lighting the Dark Side and I invite all to stop by www.lightingthedarkside.com for more information about me and my work.
The BlogCritics post on Nov. 24/2008
Friday, January 16, 2009
Highly recommended by reviewer: Jan Evan Whitford, Allbooks Reviews. "I am highly recommending Lighting the Dark Side. The stories are captivating but more than that, I urge you to take note of the writer’s skill at character development and I’m sure you’ll be impressed. In fact, I shouldn’t think it’d be long before a major publishing house snaps Mr. Potter up because he belongs on the bookshelves with the likes of Jeffery Deaver and Peter Abrahams