What is your name, where were you born and where to you live now?
My name is Larry Pontius. I was born in Van Wert, Ohio and raised in Jackson, Michigan. I now live in Orlando, Florida. In the interim I lived in East Lansing, Michigan where I went to Michigan State University, Chicago where I was an advertising copywriter, Detroit where I was a copy supervisor, Sydney, Australia where I was creative director for two offices of a New York based advertising agency, East Lansing where I was an associate professor of advertising at Michigan State, Orlando, Florida where I was director of marketing for Walt Disney World, Los Angeles, California where I was vice president of marketing for Disneyland and Walt Disney World, and Orlando where I retired.
Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
For a time, I wanted to be an an entertainer and I was a ventriloquist who performed at local events including high school shows. While in college I was a disc jockey and a station in Jackson. However, I started writing in high school with poetry appearing in my high school newspaper and have been doing it ever since, writing song lyrics, short stories, and thousands of pieces of advertising.
Did it take a long time to get your first book published?
Yes, largely because of the subject matter. Waking Walt is a speculative thriller about Walt Disney. It is based on the legend that Walt Disney never died from his lung cancer, but was put in cryonic suspension to be brought back when a cure is found. In this novel Disney does come back to life and helps fight off an attack on his company by a financial raider. He also gets a chance to see his last dream, Walt Disney World, and is not very happy with what his people produced.
Many of the agents I sent this manuscript to thought it was very good. However, to a man/woman they refused to touch it for fear of the legal battle the Disney Company would mount to stop it. After two years of trying to sell it, I finally self-published it with iUniverse in 2002. Interestingly, it is still available on Amazon in hardcover, paperback and Kindle versions and to this day I have not heard a single peep from Disney.
What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarize it in less than 20 words, what would you say?
Future King brings to life one of the world's most romantic and enduring legends: when England needs him most King Arthur will return from Avalon.
Who is your publisher? Or do you self publish?
Future King faces a similar problem as Waking Walt did because it features several members of the British Royal Family (Prince Charles, Camilla, and Prince Harry) so I self-published with CreateSpace, a division of Amazon.
How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
I'm a slow writer, mainly because I edit as I go. That means sometimes I'll write all day and delete the whole thing the next morning. Waking Walt took eight years to write. I had the idea for Future King before I wrote Waking Walt, but let's just say it took my another eight years.
What can we expect from you in the future?
I have the germ of an idea for another speculative thriller about Amelia Earhart I'm tentatively calling Lost and Found. However, I may change up altogether and write a book about my experience as a double lung transplant recipient. That happened in May of 2008 -- and again in November of 2009.
Do you have a favorite character from your books? Why are they your favourite?
Yes, my favorite character so far is Harry Poole from Waking Walt. He's my favorite for a simple reason: Harry is based upon me. My second favorite would be Merlyn from Future King. Of course, he's a wizard. That makes it a little unfair.
Do you have anybody read your books and give you reviews before you officially release them?
Oh, yes. My wife reads every page many times, suggests corrections, and then reads it again. I also have a few friends that help me in that same fashion. In addition, with Future King I hired a professional editor named Michael Garrett, the man who edited Steven King's first novel. He was excellent.
Do you gift books to readers to do reviews?
Yes. That's how I contacted you. :)
How do you come up with the Title, and Cover Designs for your book/books? Who designed the cover for your books?
A long time advertising and marketing man, I come up with the title and cover ideas for my books. Artist friends of my son Mark (who, by the way, is the drummer in the indie band, Foster The People) actually did the designs.
How do you market/promote your books?
Through reviews, social media, and interviews.
What do you think makes a book a really good/bestseller ?
A well written good idea. And a ton of luck.
What do you do to unwind and relax?
Take a walk with my four-legged companion, Bernie. Put my feet up and think about how lucky I am with a glass of scotch.
Are there any hidden messages or morals contained in your books? (Morals as in like Aesops Fables type of "The moral of this story is..")
There are messages in my books, but I try not to hide them.
Is there a certain Author that influenced you in writing?
Mark Twain -- The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug.
John D. MacDonald -- He invented Travis McGee.
Robert B. Parker -- He invented Spenser
Which format of book do you prefer, ebook,hardback, or paperback?
Paperback. But I have a Kindle now and use it at night.
What is your favourite book and Why?
The next one.
Do you think ebooks will ever totally replace printed books?
No. But you may have to go to the museum to see the printed.
Do you think children at schools these days are encouraged enough to read? and/or do Imaginative writing?
I believe are schools are in terrible shape. Ask any kid what they're reading today and they'll look up from their cell phone and frown. "What?"
What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?
Keep at it. Don't give up.
Where can readers follow you?