Kev’s Author Interviews, Presents…
Francis H Powell
A Short Bio
What better way to put all my angst into short stories. Born in a commuter belt city called Reading and like many a middle or upper class child of such times I was shunted off to an all-male boarding school aged eight, away from my parents for periods of up to twelve weeks at a time, until I was 17. While at my first Art college through a friend I met a writer called Rupert Thomson, who was at the time in the process of writing his first book “Dreams of leaving”. He was a bit older than myself, me being fresh out of school, but his personality and wit resonated, despite losing contact with him. . Much later I began writing short stories, some were published on the internet. A bit later my anthology Flight of Destiny slowly evolved, published April 2015, by Savant publishing.
Kev: What is your latest book about and what is its genre?
Flight of destiny Is a collection of short stories about misfortune, they are dark, but at the same time they are witty. They are characterized by unexpected final twists, that come at the end of each tale. They are dark and surreal tales, set around the world, at different time periods. They show a world in which anything can happen. It is hard to determine reality and what is going on a disturbed mind. People’s conceptions about morality are turned upside down. A good person can be transformed by an unexpected event into a bad person and then back again to their former state. The high and mighty often deliver flawed arguments, those considered wicked make good representations of themselves. Revenge is often a subject explored.
Kev: Who or what influenced you to write it?
I moved to a remote village in Austria. It was not far from Vienna, but a very oppressive and strange environment. I thought I should try writing a book. I launched into it…nothing came of it. I do many creative activities, painting as well as writing music. Writing lay dormant, put to one side. Then later, living in Paris at this point in time, via an advert, I made contact with a man called Alan Clark, who had a literary magazine called “Rat Mort” (dead rat). I submitted four short stories for this magazine, encouraged by Alan, I began to write more and more short stories, and developed a style…I guess if I compare these stories to earlier efforts at writing…there has been a huge development…I am sure my early attempts were imaginative but raw.
Kev: Did you do any specialised research for your story?
Sometimes I do some research. It is important for the continuity of the stories. I sometimes write about food in my stories…so I have to research exotic meals.
Kev: What challenges did you face while writing the story?
As mentioned before the continuity. The first line to my stories can be crucial…. my story Bugeyes begins with… Bug-eyes was due a life of toil. Seed begins with Captain Spender’s wife was ovulating. Cast from Hell begins with There it was: I was to be banished from hell. The ends have to have a dramatic twist, with events leading up to this.
Kev: Who is the protagonist?
With my short stories, I feel like there are two categories…maybe there are no real protagonists…the stories either have an oddball, outsider, freak type character or a despicable character, a tyrant, a bully, some kind of arrogant aristocrat.
Kev: What would you say is the protagonist’s greatest weakness or obstacle and why?
This I can’t really answer…
Kev: What would you say is the main antagonist’s greatest strength?
With my stories the antagonist often wins in the end…perhaps they do something that is totally unexpected from them…
Kev: Could you provide a short passage from your book to give us a taster?
Surely a parent’s worst nightmare is when their child goes missing, when it is the fault of the father, it can never be forgiven, but does the blame really lie with him?
Renton Graverson arrived home with a pram which should have had a baby in it. Instead it contained a gaping void, which he should have noticed long before his hysterical wife pointed it out. “Where’s baby?” Nancy, his wife, shrieked. Renton couldn’t answer her. He hadn’t the faintest idea. He had presumed the baby was in the pram, fast asleep, though upon further inspection, it clearly wasn’t. He raced out the house and retraced his steps, repeating in his head the same words over and over like a dark mantra: Baby’s been snatched. Baby’s been snatched. Baby’s been snatched.
Kev: Do you use some kind of formula when you write?
As I have said before, dramatic first sentences…characters established very quickly…each sentence has to be meaningful and pushing the story along…The endings have to surprise or shock…or be unexpected…
Kev: Preference for writing: Day or Night?
When I was younger night…
Kev: What is your editing process?
I am from the UK, my publisher is American…this meant lots of updates…changes tooing and throwing…it was a hard process…but at the same time I developed as a writer…
Kev: Who creates your book covers?
Me…I am an artist…also there are 22 illustrations, one for each story…it was hard work…but I am happy with the result…
Kev: How do you promote your work?
Trying to get Flight of Destiny on as many websites as possible…Tweeting…using pinterest…facebook…etc etc…it’s a lot of work…
Kev: What advice would you offer to new authors?
Stick at it, don’t fall by the wayside. Find a niche, find a formula that works for you. I met a woman who is an aspiring writer, who told me of the heartbreaks of her rejections. Maybe some people aim too high or have high expectations. If you post stories on the internet, there are sites I have come across like ReadWave and Scriggler, maybe you can get useful feedback, people actually get to read your stories, rather than languishing on a hard drive doing nothing. Even if 50 people read your story, it’s a start.
Kev: Which two social media platforms do you use the most and why?(Include links)
I guess facebook and twitter…I suppose because they are the biggest…
Kev: Do you have a website? (include link)
This is about my book…you can see some summaries of the stories…read the interviews I have done…
Kev: Is there anything else you would like to add?
I also have a youtube page…I am working with musicians, who write music based on my short stories…I am going to run a completion…
FRANCIS H POWELL, Everyone!