Welcome to my weekly Author Spotlight. I’ve asked a bunch of my author friends to answer a set of interview questions, and to share their latest work.
Today, Francis H Powell – Born in 1961, in Reading, England Francis H Powell attended Art Schools, receiving a degree in painting and an MA in printmaking. In 1995, Powell moved to Austria, teaching English as a foreign language while pursuing his varied artistic interests adding music and writing. He currently lives in Brittany, teaching English and history while writing both prose and poetry.
Thanks so much, Francis, for joining me!
J. Scott Coatsworth: How would you describe your writing style/genre?
Francis H Powell: I write dark stories, with quirky characters, bizarre plots, with unexpected endings. Some might class them as horror stories, but I try to put elements of wit in them. My latest book, has some parts which deal with the future and are in a the genre of Science Fiction, which is a new departure for me.
JSC: What was your first published work? Tell me a little about it.
FHP: It is called Flight of Destiny, it is a book of short stories with a range of different characters, there is a story about a man with unfortunately big eyes, called Bugeyes, a vile character called Maggot, who sells his own daughter.
JSC: What do you do when you get writer’s block?
FHP: Try and work things out in my head, how I push the story on further. Do some research, that might release a new idea. Work on another project, or different part to the story.
JSC: How long do you write each day?
FHP: That is hard to calculate, but it is hard to find a day, which is totally free just to write, without interruption.
JSC: What do you do if you get a brilliant idea at a bad time?
FHP: Find the nearest scrap of paper and write it down, to try to remember it, if not try to reinvigorate it in my mind.
JSC: Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre? If you write more than one, how do you balance them?
FHP: I started writing short stories, while living in Paris, I loved this format and carried on building a large body of work.
JSC: Are there underrepresented groups or ideas featured if your book? If so, discuss them.
FHP: Yes I think in my book Flight of Destiny, there are lots of outsiders, people rejected by society, for whatever reason, be it appearance for example. Some are rejected by their own families.
JSC: Do your books spring to life from a character first or an idea?
FHP: It could be either, sometimes even just a name of a character, like Bugeyes.
JSC: How do you approach covers for your indie stories?
FHP: I like if possible to do them myself, because I went to Art School and know how to use Photo Shop. With my latest book Adventures of Death, Reincarnation and Annihilation, I took a photo at night in a market square, near where I live in Brittany and this was the image chosen by the publishers.
JSC: Name the book you like most among all you’ve written, and tell us why.
FHP: I like both Flight of Destiny and Adventures of Death, Reincarnation and Annihilation, for different reasons, they bare similarities, but at the same time marked differences.
And now for Francis’s new book: Adventures of Death, Reincarnation, and Annihilation:
Death is always a wild adventure, that can’t be ignored. With The Doomsday clock slowly but surely clicking away, our world getting ever more polluted, our weapons of destruction ever more deadlier.
Read my book if you want to meet some quirky characters and unusual story lines, with a mix of horror, science fiction, but with elements of wit.
Set in different time in a variety of settings and time periods, the past, the present and the future, the book explores the inevitable unknown that lies before us all “death”. Death can be arrive in a multitude of forms. Each part of the book explores different themes. There are characters who following their demises have to face up to their lurid pasts. There some who face annihilation and others who are in a crazy pursuit of world destruction. The book aims to contain some ironic twists. Even as young children we build up nightmare visions of what death involves. The reader is often left to distinguish between what is real and what is not, as stories reside within stories and the story tellers can never be fully trusted. Not all the book is doom and gloom, there are Elsa Grun’s bizarre encounters with men and Shellys’ hapless husband Arnie.
The strange goings on in the life of Amos Toft.
We had found her face down on the sand, as the tide closed in. The moon shed silvery light and there was a soft gentle offshore breeze that glanced our faces. We’d run out of our house, having seen torch light. They had left as quickly as they had arrived. There were sounds of horses, leaving at speed, shadowy figures, hooded, dressed like soldiers, soon fading into the horizon. We presumed she was dead and were relieved when she spluttered and coughed and fought for breath.
“Let’s get her inside” my wife said urgently. She was totally naked and had no possessions. “Are you all right?” I demanded. She did not respond. I repeated myself again, there was just the sound of her heavy labored breathing.
“She appears in terrible shock” my wife said, as we helped her up. We draped one of her arms over my wife’s shoulders while I propped the other. We struggled along the sand and then headed towards our small house, which looked over the large bay.
“What’s your name?” I asked, expecting by now she was in some kind of condition to speak.
Again no response, her eyes were fixed on the ground, she made no attempt to speak.
We got her back to the house and sat her down on a couch.
What had happened? Why had she been left naked on the sand, as the tide came in? What was going through her mind? My wife got a towel and offered it to her to clean her and cover her naked body.
“She will have to stay the night, it is late, at least she will be safe here,” my wife said before searching for some clothes. I hardly dared not look at her. She was evidently young, very beautiful, with long flaxen hair that cascaded down her back.
Born in 1961, in Reading, England Francis H Powell attended Art Schools, receiving a degree in painting and an MA in printmaking. In 1995, Powell moved to Austria, teaching English as a foreign language while pursuing his varied artistic interests adding music and writing.
He currently lives in Brittany, teaching English and history while writing both prose and poetry. Powell has published short stories in the magazine, “Rat Mort” and other works on the internet site “Multi-dimensions.” His first was called “Flight of Destiny” while his most recent is called “Adventures of Death, Reincarnation and Annihilation.”