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, France 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 two published books are Flight of Destiny and Adventures of Death, Reincarnation and Annihilation.
1.Why storytelling? What made you yearn to tell a good story, and how long was this story within you before it came out?
I started writing short stories, I love to have twists and turns, to lead readers in different directions, until they reach the conclusion. I like to create interesting characters. My latest work, was over a number of years. I had some short stories about “death” and decided to expand them.
2.What is it about your genre that speaks to you?
I like exploring dark subjects. I like to write about terrible happenings. With my latest book, there are elements of science fiction. I don’t want to write a book which is all doom and gloom and try to include elements of wit.
3.Without giving any spoilers, what is your favorite thing about this book?
Some of the settings, for example a motel in the middle of nowhere, a vision of what heaven is like. I also like the diversity of characters and different themes explored.
4.If I were stuck in a room with your main character, what would we be doing?
One of the main characters is called The Master. I guess you would be some kind of psychiatrist and you would be trying to figure him out.
5.When you are writing, tell me about the emotions that are running through you and what it takes to work alongside them.
I am surprised by some of the ideas that enter my head.
If a story is crafted in the way I feel it should, I am happy and satisfied.
6.Everyone has at least one specific challenge that holds them back. What is that challenge in your work and how do you overcome it?
I don’t want to recycle ideas I have used in previous stories. I absorb ideas, (for example by watching a TV documentary). A newspaper headline could offer me the idea for a new story.
7.You’re going to go back and visit yourself when you first started writing, at whatever age it was, and you can give yourself one piece of advice. What would it be?
Keep going. Start with short stories. Don’t be afraid to send your work to publishers. Don’t get put off by rejection. Bide your time.
8.Describe your workplace.
I am facing a wall. This wall has a picture of Vita Sackville-West and another picture that has a picture of Napoleon (sat next to a young boy). I have papers everywhere. To my right is a large imposing cupboard, which is an antique.
9.Describe your muse.
She is a combination of Picasso’s muses, with the wit of Oscar Wilde, and is a circus contortionist. She loves animals and reads dark fiction. She reads my stories and gives me occasional tips and inspiration. She appears in my dreams. We never meet face to face, but we have this profound connection.
10.You have a chance to hang out with any literary character for one day. Who would it be and what would you do?
I would go to the Sterling Correctional Facility, I would like to join Randle Patrick McMurphy, and the other inmates try to out psyche Nurse Ratchet.
I would try to convince McMurphy his life would be better served elsewhere, and that he needs to leave the institution before it is too late.
11.If you could choose any other writer, living or dead, to be your mentor, whom would you choose and why?
I am inclined towards Charles Dickens. Memorable characters, incredible storylines. The creator of Scrooge. A fighter for social justice. Mind you as a man/human being not so morally upright.
12.Now that you have published your first book, do you have any dreams you have not reached? Goals for new books, series beyond this publication, or anything else that can tantalize the fantasy public?
I have a project I am working on at moment, it is quite extreme. Sometimes I am quite shocked at the things that come out of my head. It is called I am the priest killer. It goes into some really places.
13.If we reach beyond the written word into visual media, and you could choose how your story is consumed, would you want a television show, a movie series, or anime to tell the story of the book and the world it takes place in?
I think the ultimate would be a film, it would be a dream, and I would love to write some of the music. A little cameo in the film would be fun.
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One thought on “The Friday 13 with Francis H. Powell”
Thanks a lot for giving me the chance to do an interview. Much appreciated.