Featured Interview With Christine Potter
Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
I was born in England towards the end of World War II, bombs were being dropped on the capital, but that was the least of my mother’s worries: I was a preemie weighing less than four lbs, and wasn’t expected to last the night. Tell that to the WW groups I’ve belonged to over the years!
I emigrated to Canada in 1965, the same year as my marriage – and that, contrary to most people’s predictions, is still going strong 57 years later! We live in Fort Langley, a delightful heritage spot in British Columbia, Canada, and have lived here since 1980. The little complex we live on has quite a few ‘shared’ pets – dogs who enjoy walkies at any possible time, and cats who enjoy strokes and tummy rubs. They believe we’re here to serve them.
At what age did you realize your fascination with books? When did you start writing?
I’ve always loved books and was lucky enough to have parents who encouraged me. My favourite, as a child, was the Pookie Rabbit series by Ivy Wallace. Pookie feels out of place in his home because he’s not a normal brown bunny like his brothers and sisters — he has a set of wings. I identified with his feelings of ‘not belonging’!
I had a scrappy education, partly because of a mobility problem, and was, for several years, home educated. I had a huge complex about my lack of formal schooling, so I was delighted when, after arriving in Canada, I got a job as secretary to an editor with a magazine publisher. He would send me out on small assignments, and I accumulated enough experience to take up freelance journalism when we started a family, That in turn led to a career in travel writing. I travelled the world for a travel trade publication, on the proverbial ‘beer budget and champagne lifestyle.’ In 1990 I launched a consumer travel publication of my own, HolidayMaker, and kept it going for 20 years. It was a magical lifestyle. I was so blessed.
Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read. Who Inspires you in your writings?
I always enjoy Jojo Moyes’ books and her amazing variety of topics. Alice Hoffman is another favourite. Ann Patchett, Ken Follett, Ruth Hogan … my goodness there are just so many really great authors, and so little time! Cynthia Harrod Eagles is inspirational with her sheer volume of series – all so different – and yet the quality of her writing never wanes.
Tell us a little about your latest book?
The Choirboy and the Bellydancer is a book about love, really, and how it can endure. It’s the story of how Christopher (later to become my husband) came to my rescue when I was alone at 16, and had nowhere to live. He was also 16, and took me home. “My mum’ll put you up,” he told me. And she did, and we became romantically involved. Until I had to join my own parents in the Middle East, where I – fickle teenager that I was – became starstruck by an Arab pop star and danced in his shows. When I got back to England, Chris and I hooked up again, in hilarious circumstances.
One section of my book explores our disparate childhoods, when Christopher was a choirboy, and I had adventures in West Africa, and lived in Spain during the 1950s.
I’m thrilled with the reviews my book is getting on Amazon and from other authors. I worked on the manuscript for four years, picking away at bits and pieces, and originally intended it just for my granddaughters. As I read passages to other people, I was persuaded it would have a much larger audience than just family. Then Covid hit, and I decided to take advantage of being locked down. I wasn’t going anywhere, so I metaphorically tied myself to the keyboard and wrote. And rewrote. And rewrote. I got myself a good editor, Kathrin Lake of Buddha Press, and we gave birth to the book in February of this year!