IndieView with William Potter, author of Crownless Kings

This isn’t a fast-paced action thriller, more along the lines of cerebral literary fiction. So the hope is to take the reader on that thought-provoking journey as they move further and further into the world of this book. 

William Potter – 5 January 2017

The Back Flap

Nick’s world is just like our own, except for one key difference. In Nick’s world, the poor are considered rich, the rich are considered poor, and the goal of every good citizen is homelessness.
Now it’s Nick’s turn to embark on this adventure. He’s just graduated university and wants to be the youngest homeless man his town has ever seen.

But Nick didn’t count on what he might have to give up. And the cost of success might just be too high. Not to mention that Nick’s own protagonist, Dean, in Nick’s yet-to-be-finished novel, still has to find his dad.

Join Nick as he navigates the complexities of life in this upside-down world.

About the book

What is the book about?

The book follows the story of Nick, a recent graduate, as he works his way down the corporate ladder towards homelessness. Everything in Nick’s society is just like ours, except that, in Nick’s world, the rich are considered poor and the poor are considered rich. So instead of working to gain wealth, you work to get rid of it.

As Nick enjoys writing himself, the book also follows the story of Dean, Nick’s protagonist, as Dean searches for his lost father. It’s a lighthearted, simple adventure story that runs parallel to Nick’s actual life.

When did you start writing the book?

I started writing in February of 2015, during my second year of university.

How long did it take you to write it?

It took about eight months to write, then another few to edit. I ended up waiting until after I graduated to release it though so I could spend more time editing and polishing it off.

Where did you get the idea from?

My parents were development workers and so we’ve lived in some pretty poor places, so you see a lot when it comes to the spectrum of wealth and poverty. The idea that society could be flipped and what that would mean has been something that’s always intrigued me. This book was a way for me to explore just what that would mean and how it would work.

Were there any parts of the book where you struggled?

The actual structure of how a society would work if the only difference is that money is seen as a bad thing was pretty difficult to create. Because everything needs to be the same, except how we view money and all the nuisances that go with that.

What came easily?

Writing Dean’s story was pretty simple. Because it wasn’t meant to be complex (because Nick just writes the story for fun) it was a fun and relatively easy story to do. If you look too closely there are a few plot holes but that’s the point. As Nick is writing it, it isn’t meant to be a polished, complex story.

Are your characters entirely fictitious or have you borrowed from real world people you know?

Oh I definitely borrow from real world people. Not a huge amount but I think the best way to create a human character is to take elements of various people that you see or know. It gives the character depth.

We all know how important it is for writers to read. Are there any particular authors that have influenced how you write and, if so, how have they influenced you?

F. Scott Fitzgerald. Hands down. His writing style is incredible and some of the sentences he writes are stand alone. I would love to be able to write as captivatingly as he did. I love the older writing too, like Catcher in the Rye, Martin Eden, The Consolation of Philosophy (really old), stuff like that.

Do you have a target reader?

The goal is to target people who are intellectually curious. This isn’t a fast-paced action thriller, more along the lines of cerebral literary fiction. So the hope is to take the reader on that thought-provoking journey as they move further and further into the world of this book.

About Writing

Do you have a writing process? If so can you please describe it?

Not really, though I’m developing one. I can’t just sit at a blank screen though. When I’m supposed to write, I have to write something; even if it’s crap and I delete it later. I can’t just get writer’s block for days.

Do you outline? If so, do you do so extensively or just chapter headings and a couple of sentences?

For this book I did, though for others I didn’t. It was pretty detailed but only a skeletal structure. The characters are developed before the book is even written, as is the town, but the chapters themselves are only just outlines really.

Do you edit as you go or wait until you’ve finished?

I edit as I go, for the most part. If I read a few previous chapters before I write the next it helps to keep the same flow. When reading those chapters, I often make small edits.

Did you hire a professional editor?

No but that’s because I know someone who was willing to help. I didn’t edit it entirely by myself.

Do you listen to music while you write? If yes, what gets the fingers tapping?

Nope. I need silence. Music distracts me.

About Publishing

Did you submit your work to Agents?

Yeah, but no luck.

What made you decide to go Indie, whether self-publishing or with an indie publisher? Was it a particular event or a gradual process?

Several reasons. I could have kept trying publishers until one eventually conceded but I didn’t want to do that. Plus self-publishing teaches you so much. It was stressful but I kind of liked the process. It’s so much more personal.

Did you get your book cover professionally done or did you do it yourself?

I did it myself. Because the book is about valuing poverty over wealth I wanted a simple book cover that reflected the book. Plus I’m not a huge fan of those book covers that seem to cram everything into the picture. This was simple. It made sense.

Do you have a marketing plan for the book or are you just winging it?

This is the first book and, in many ways, is seen as a first step because I plan on writing more. So there hasn’t been a huge marketing plan, but it’s not quite winging it either, if that makes sense.

Any advice that you would like to give to other newbies considering becoming Indie authors?

There isn’t really anything I can think of that you won’t hear somewhere else. Maybe just to remember to account for the small stuff. Remember that you might need to register your book with your country’s library (like the British Library or the Library of Congress). There are small things like that which can seem overwhelming if you don’t account for them.

About You

Where did you grow up?

Travelling, England, India, America, and Uganda.

Where do you live now?

Somewhere in the English countryside.

What would you like readers to know about you?

Not sure. I like exploring ideas and concepts and I hope my books do the same.

What are you working on now?

Two projects at the moment. One is a shorter book which will hopefully be released chapter by chapter on CultureHoney.com; the other is a longer, biography-style novel about a great man I know (it’s based on a true story) and focusing on the dementia which develops in his later years. Whether or not both of these will come to fruition is unknown at the moment, but we’ll see.

End of Interview:

For more from William, visit his website.

Get your copy of Crownless Kings from Amazon US or Amazon UK.

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