20 August 2011

Book Savvy Spotlight on Chris R. Pownall

Bringing you exclusive interviews with authors featured in the Book Savvy Newsletter.

Our Guest is Chris R. Pownall*

Enjoy the interview.

Q1. Can you tell us a little about yourself and your book 'Onwards and Upwards'?
I am a 67-year-old retired industry-marketing director, residing in Worksop, Nottinghamshire. I have been married to my wife Pat for 42 years. We have two children and four grandchildren. I grew up in the Cheshire village of Bosley and following an engineering apprenticeship and a brief spell in the Merchant Navy, I joined the James Walker Group as a technical sales representative, this was the beginning of a forty-year career.

My second book 'Onwards and Upwards' is a sequel to my memoirs 'Funny How Things Work Out', containing more humour from various facets of my life, it also includes other subjects and my opinions about modern day life compared with 60 years ago.

Travel is very important to me, therefore I've included details of my most memorable trips. I have written about some very interesting people, who for various reasons have enriched my life and I have highlighted my experiences of becoming a retiree.

Q2. When you write what emotion do you seek to invoke in your readers?
I enjoy making people laugh by relating true-life stories therefore happiness is number one, closely followed by excitement, enjoyment and surprise.

Q3. Why did you decide to begin writing? What sparked the desire to pen your first book?
Having had a reputation for being there when things go wrong and getting involved in hilarious situations, I was encouraged by a couple of work colleagues to record the details in my memoirs.

11 August 2011

The real rip-off culture? Part One

An article covering the story of campaigner Steve Perry, author of  'When Payday Loans Go Wrong'.

By: Chris Skinner
Source: Financial Services Club Blog
Date: August 05, 2011

"Further to my write-up about Wonga the other day, I have been contacted by author and campaigner Steve Perry, who has been on the wrong side of the payday loans industry.
Now don’t get me wrong.
I am NOT against payday loans firms or their operations (I actually admire Wonga's technology ops).
I AM against the uncapped interest these firms charge on their vulnerable customers.
However, this also needs to be qualified in terms of who are 'vulnerable customers' and who actually charges 'rip-off' rates and how.
For example, Wonga have also contacted me to put their side of the story and made clear that they do not target 'vulnerable' people with 'rip-off' rates.
Read Monday's blog to see what their take on the world is, particularly as my original piece was kicked off by the Wired magazine coverage of Wonga.
In that coverage were two issues.
First, the line in the article that stated: “within a year, Wonga had issued 100,000 loans, worth £20 million, earning about £15 million by charging interest at an eyewatering headline rate.”
I had a fundamental issue with a firm making those sort of rates of profits on loans, but Wonga tell me their margins are nowhere near these levels and, having met with them, I will take that as fact.
Second, the star letter that followed in Wired the following month saying: “When I could no longer repay a Wonga loan, it took 50 days of ringing and emailing to get through – an £800 loan became a £1,700 repayment.” Steve Perry
As mentioned, Steve contacted me following the blog entry and I discovered that he is a person who got into serious trouble using payday loans. Wonga tell me they are not a payday firm, which again I will explain on Monday.
But let's look at Steve's story..."

Read the full article

5 August 2011

A Long Journey Back - a battle for Rob's life

The true-life story of Rob Pownall’s near fatal head injury and the battle to regain his life
Author: Chris R. Pownall

This is the real life account of a remarkable young man who suffered a near fatal head injury and describes his astounding battle to regain his life.

Rob Pownall was just eighteen when he had an unfortunate accident, which was to dramatically change his life. Following life saving surgery he lay in a coma for several days before waking up only to find himself completely paralysed and unable to speak.

The story is told by Rob’s father Chris R. Pownall, author of ‘Funny How Things Work Out’ and ‘Onwards and Upwards’.

This book is intended to be an inspiration to others who might find themselves in a similar situation, and need something to give them hope.

“True-life account of a journey back from the brink of death”


4 August 2011

When Payday Loans Go Wrong - The full story!

The tragic story of how one payday loan spiralled into a shocking sixty payday loans and financial ruin
Author: Steve Perry

‘How did it ever come to this? On a cold November night I gaze out through my bedroom window to the descending mist, there is evil in the air, I can feel it tearing at my heart. My body trembles, a cold and sickening sweat drips down my forehead; my breathing is heavy and my mind erratic. My world is crumbling around me, my future, once bright and full of hope has descended into ruin. It was just one payday loan, just one … how did it ever come to this?’

Never before had the word suicide entered the mind of Steve Perry, yet after over 60 payday loans within 18 months it consumed him and led him to the very brink...

An inspiring story of hope to those who are in payday hell!

“Heart-rending story of the cost of irresponsible lending and borrowing”


3 August 2011

Threads of Deceit

Enthralling crime thriller – set in the textile industry
Author: Neal James

James Poynter is a young man out for revenge. Set up for a crime which he did not commit, and by someone whom he felt he could trust implicitly, his sole focus becomes one of retribution against his former employers.

His future at Brodsworth Textiles disintegrated one Friday evening prior to his wedding, when conscientiousness overtook him and he returned to the factory after work to rectify an error in his paperwork. What he discovered that night changed his life forever and set off a chain of events which sent him spiralling downwards, and out of a job which had promised so much.

A plot so intricately woven, that the forces of law and order in several countries are thwarted at every turn.

“A deftly woven detective thriller” …publishedbestsellers.com


2 August 2011

Jack the Ripper - Through the Mists of Time

A well researched, entertaining and chilling exposé of the ‘real’ Jack the Ripper
Author: Peter Hodgson

Over a century ago a series of shocking mutilation murders took place in a squalid, overcrowded district of Victorian London. Five women fell victim to a man driven by rage and violent fantasy. The newspapers of the day gave him a chilling nickname, a name that evokes images of gas-lit foggy streets and a top-hatted sinister figure carrying a Gladstone bag. From the outset, the murderer attained almost mythical status merely by virtue of his name and his uncanny ability to avoid detection.

This book compares the fiction with the reality of those ghastly events, and clearly shows how the real killer has been transformed into a creature of the mind–the ‘other’ Jack the Ripper…

Author Peter Hodgson says: “…the reader is presented with an insight into the 'career' of this iconic criminal, and I offer a plausible solution to his identity.”

“Bone chilling revelation” …publishedbestsellers.com

1 August 2011

A stirring story of forbidden passions, dark secrets and family honour

Set in Regency England
A summer evening’s chance encounter throws together two people of opposite social class who, despite a natural mutual attraction, should never have met.
Kathryn Fitzpatrick is a lady, the daughter of a much-respected gentleman. The Fitzpatricks are loved and revered throughout English society, yet Kathryn has never conformed. She is impulsive, ruled by her heart.
When she meets Duncan Brown, a lowly gardener on her father’s estate, a special love is ignited and her life begins to spiral out of control. Unspeakable secrets, hidden scandals, blackmail and dark passions convolute and Kathryn’s life is manipulated for selfish gain…

Author Victoria Hinton says: “It was a difficult road to travel and paved with a myriad of obstacles; but as all true romanticists know, true love will always prevail...”

Historical romance story brought to life by skilfully crafted characters.

“A sweeping heart-tugging page-turner” …publishedbestsellers.com