Name Francis H Powell
Where are you from born Reading UK,
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
I come from a family of five. I am the youngest, perhaps the free spirit of the family. I was educated at various schools, before going on to Art Schools, to do a degree in painting and an MA in printmaking. I loved most of my time at Art school, having experienced a painful time at school, where I was an outsider. Moved to Austria in 1995, lived there for two years and began teaching English as a foreign language. Alongside this I have always followed a lot of other creative activities, including music. During the nineties, did many concerts/raves and some short tours, playing electronic music. While in Austria, began to write stories. Moved back to England, where upon pursued teaching career, including teaching English (literature/language) and Art. Decided to move to France at the end of 1999 have lived there ever since and have taught among other things British and American culture and Architecture.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I have just had my first book published by Savant Books and Publications.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I started when I lived in the middle of nowhere near Vienna, Austria. I just dived into writing, and I am sure what I wrote was very raw and unpolished. Then in France I started writing a lot of poetry, which got published on various websites. I wrote lyrics for my own music as well as for other musicians.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I had some stories published in a magazine called “Rat Mort” (dead rat). Having some stories published gave me a sense of purpose and new direction. I began writing short stories in a frenzied fashion. Ideas would pop into my head and stories would develop. At this stage in my life, I had the tools to write and developed a style. I was also very much encouraged by the editor of Rat Mort as well other people who encountered my work.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
As above, it was like I caught this writing virus and felt compelled to write these stories, which were swirling about in my head. Maybe a lot of my deep anxieties came to the fore. I liked the format of a short story and the idea of having stories which are set in different places and different periods of time.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I think my stories are visual and descriptive. I create strange unusual characters. I like my sentences to be sharp and cutting. The first lines of each story is paramount, as is the way they are concluded. I think my stories can be very “British” in character. There are lots of subtle
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
I tried to think about a title that would work with all my stories. They are often about a character’s destiny and the misfortune they meet along the way.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I would like readers to perceive things in a different way. I would like them to see the world through the eyes of the underdog or outsider. I would like to think about how cruel people can be to one another. In my stories the oppressed often rise up in the end and enact some kind of revenge. There are many messages woven into my stories. They often attack the establishment.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
Even though the stories are surreal and dreamlike, I am still conscious that they have to be plausible and realistic. Sometimes however they move well out of the bounds of reality.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
As I said before maybe some of my stories are my vast accumulation of angst over the years. Sometimes a newspaper article might stick in my mind and inspire me to write a story. I like reading for example about people who turn up in the middle of nowhere, not knowing who they are, with the authorities unable to place them. Unlikely stories in newspapers fascinate me.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
When I was a student at my first Art College, through a friend I met a writer who at the time was working on his first book, called “ Dreams of leaving”. His name was Rupert Thomson and I thought his style and stories were incredible. There is depth and detail in his work. I lost contact with him, because he has lived in different countries and I have also moved about. I have made a tenuous contact recently, but the power of his books has always remained with me. I can read all different kinds of books fiction or non-fiction. As for mentor as previously mentioned the published of Rat Mort, Alan Clark was a kind of great influence. I also was lucky enough to enter the strange world of a Serbian poet and writer Zivancevic.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
A frenzied promotion of my book.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
An American friend, who lived for a while in Paris, now back in the US…seemed to latch onto what I am about.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Ideally yes, but I enjoy many different creative activities, as well as teaching.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
As stated before an encounter with an up and coming writer.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
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.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
To keep each sentence sharp and poignant.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I am not sure about “favorite” but I like short stories by Roald Dahl. His stories always end with an unexpected twist.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Not at present
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I did as well as all the illustrations.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Making sure that continuity runs though it
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learned a lot from the editors, who worked alongside me on it.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Stick at it.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Don’t be beaten by your masters. Fight back…
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Sadly not. That’s going back a long way.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I don’t often cry, being a heart of stone British person, but man’s cruelty to man and in particular to women and children is sickening. What makes me laugh…my two year old son can be very funny.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
I would really like to meet Leonardo De Vinci, it is hard to compare him to anybody else throughout history, he was so before his time, with his inventions. If he is unavailable, Salvador Dali, would be entertaining but a risky encounter.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
I would prefer to be cremated…so the world will be spared my head stone …however I really like the lyrics, of “Bittersweet Symphony” by the Verve…so something similar…, because of their frankness and honesty and sentiment.
‘Cause it’s a bittersweet symphony, this life
Try to make ends meet
You’re a slave to money then you die
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
I paint/make sculpture, make videos, write music. I have a two year old son to keep me occupied, as well.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I really enjoyed the “Madmen” series. I love lots of favorite films, one of my favorites is “One flew over the cuckoo’s nest”
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Vegetarian/Thai/Indian/ blue/ music diverse anything from Phillip Glass to Kraftwerk
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I teach architects and I think this is a great occupation
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
Buying links The Flight of Destiny
This is the press release and details…