Monday, June 20, 2011
W is for WINDSOR CONSPIRACY
I understand Ponder now resides in Queensland, Australia, but he was born, raised, and lived most of his life in New Zealand. THE WINDSOR CONSPIRACY is his first novel, but he’d previously produced three books of his art, and a non-fiction book about olive oil (he has been recognised as a pioneer of the New Zealand olive oil industry). According to his bio, Ponder has also “developed an international reputation for his art and his wine” prior to becoming a writer. He owned a vineyard in Marlborough (where he also grew olives) from 1987 to 2002, when he sold Ponder Estates to Fosters for a hefty sum. He was also a part-owner of Australian coat company Driza-Bone, making him quite the successful businessman.
Why then the interest of the Secret Service? Why do they demand she relinquish the finger and note to them? Why, only hours later, is she brutally murdered? And why does the Royal Air Force dispatch a Harrier jet fighter to intercept the trawler in which the kidnap victim is being held captive?
Security expert Simon Dwyer is hired to uncover the truth in this “fast-paced thriller full of intrigue and suspense”. From the vastness and hostility of the Australian outback, to a medieval castle protected by 1000 feet of sheet rock and the crack troops of the 12th Scottish Regiment, “every page brings another twist”.
It certainly sounds intriguing. I’ve bought myself a copy from a second-hand store, and I’ve also seen it elsewhere in second-hand stores, physical and online.
In an interview with David King of The Press in March 2007, Ponder said he centred THE WINDSOR CONSPIRACY on the Royal Family because his aim was to write a novel with international appeal that would not be limited to New Zealand sales. He said he did not see the point in writing something that not many people would read. His 33 years as a full-time artist had taught him that “At the end of the day, if you are going to be successful as an artist, you have to be successful as a businessman.”
Interesting comments there from Ponder.
Do you think crime writers from smaller countries need to write about larger global things (eg the Royal Family) to attract international sales and attention? Or has this pressure eased with the success of Scottish and Scandinavian crime writer who’ve set their books in their own localities, and trusted the readers to adapt to them? Should writers consider what might sell when they determine what to write? How does commerce/business and art/creativity intertwine? Comments welcome.