Welcome to BRB, everyone! It's been a while since I've posted an interview, so I hope you enjoy meeting author Francis H. Powell. What genre do your currently write? And, is there a genre you'd like to write, but haven't tried yet?
I write dark fiction, however there is a strong element of wit. I would like to write a historical novel based on fact.
Many authors use a nom de plume, and they may use one opposite to their own sex. Do you think an author's sex or sexual orientation should dictate what genre they write?
Theoretically not…I know in the past it was much harder for women authors to be published, so they took on male names to help this ambition. Maybe these days men who write romantic novels, take on board a female name, to enhance sales.
Some authors have issues with character development, writer's block, plot summary etc. What is the biggest challenge you face when writing? How do you overcome the problem?
I write short stories, when I am writing one, the story goes round and round in my mind…I really live with it in my head. For me my stories have to open with a strong sentence, that is going to have a defining effect on where the story is going… 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. I have to have a strong sense of continuity running through my stories. With a short story each sentence has to meaningful, helping to push the story along. Characters have to be established quickly. Dialogue has to be powerful. As I said before problems with stories have to be figured out in my mind.
What has been the single most successful marketing tool you've used to date?
This is hard to say…I tweet a lot…of course I post everything I feature in, on facebook…I do Pinterest and Linkedin and Google +. I also have a book trailer in youtube. I am a disciple of Goodreads and few similar type sites.
If you had to live as one of your characters, which one would it be, and why?
This is an interesting question, as my characters fall into different categories, they can be despicable, odious characters, or outsiders, oddballs and freaks. In one way or another they all have their flaws. Maybe an interesting character to live with would be a character called Gecko, who is this wise charming gangster in my story Opium. He is hunted down by a preacher called Preacher Moon, because a town is falling into the abyss due to opium abuse. However he is a far more humane and witty person than the pious priest, who is all threats and menace. If I lived with Gecko, and his beautiful daughter, I would have this hedonistic life.
While writing, have you ever drawn from personal experience, and why?
I was born in a “dormitory town” called Reading, not famous for much, apart from a huge Rock festival, and for the fact that Oscar Wilde was sent to prison there and wrote “The Ballad of Reading Gaol”. My family then moved to a farm in the country, in Sussex, not too far from London. I was sent aged eight, to a boarding school, so I would spend long periods away from my family. Imagine having regular prison sentences, imposed upon you, as a child. At some of the schools I attended, there were psychotic teachers and cruel nasty children. I used to count the days when I could be reunited with my family. I became a recluse in the art room and painting was my salvation. I had a teacher who encouraged me to paint and introduced me to various artists, including Kandinsky. I went from austere harsh boarding schools to Art College, a very different environment.
Late on in my life 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.
Just for fun–
What is your favourite colour? It is a bit of a cliché but it is blue
Which do you prefer: a little left to the imagination or explicit? A perfect mix of both…
When you first met your partner/spouse/lover what drew you to him or her first?
I met my wife at a “house warming party” in Paris it was fate that drew us together, a pattern of ironic circumstances. I am a fairly shy person, so she had to make all the initial running…
If you could indulge free of any consequences, what would be your ultimate sexual fantasy?
Being placed in an “Exsexive Machine” as in “Barbarella”.
Website Link: http://theflightofdestiny.yolasite.com/
Flight of Destiny
A collection of 22 short stories about misfortune characterized by unexpected twists at the end of each tale.
The task of placing a name, can be niggling, but what if this task becomes an obsession and the person behind the name a dark specter?
"Mr. Weisler is coming! Mr. Weisler is coming! Mr. Weisler is coming!" The words swirled around in his head like a rampant tornado, scooping up all his thoughts, amplifying them until the mixture seemed ready to devour him. Yet, what was vexing him was that he could neither connect to nor put a face to the name.
Purchase Link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/0988664097
Publisher Link: http://www.savantbooksandpublications.com