The Bee Talks With… Francis H Powell


Francis H Powell
photo thanks to Francis H Powell

Today I am honoured to introduce you to painter, writer and musician Francis H Powell. Born in the Uk he moved to Austria to teach English as a foreign language while pursuing his creative projects.

He later moved to Paris where he met Alan Clark editor of the “Rat Mort” (Dead Rat) magazine through an advert. Clark was looking for short stories for his magazine and Powell send his in. Alan Clark published them.

This year his writing career has come to new heights with the publication of his short story anthology “Flight of Destiny”. But enough of the introduction. Here is the man in his own words:

“How would you describe yourself in one paragraph?

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 Goal”. 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.

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.

 

What made you write in the first place?

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.

 

Which Author has influenced you and why?

I love the work of Rupert Thomson, who wrote “Dreams of leaving” as well as other books. I met him when I was a new student at Art College and he and his writing has made a long-lasting impression on me. I also read a book by Roald Dahl, many years ago called “Kiss Kiss” and I think this book has stayed long in my mind, and had a direct influence on Flight of Destiny, in terms of the fact that I always aim to put a twist at the end of each story, in the same way, Roald Dahl does, with his short stories.

 

Your writing ritual (if you have one)?

No, not really I don’t write while there is a roaring fire, with the sound of Carmina Burana, blaring away from a decrepit ancient gramophone. I do have a black book, at the ready, to scribble ideas, should they pop in my head while I am travelling on public transport. But normally I am sitting in front of my computer screen, busily tapping away.

 

Do you suffer from writers block and if, what do you do against it?

I am not sure I suffer from fully blown writer’s block, I may spend a long time wrestling with ideas, trying to work out the direction my story is going…

 

Your advice for apprentice writers?

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.”

 

Thank you very much, Francis, for sharing your writing experience with us!

 

Flight of Destiny
Photo thanks to Francis H Powell

 Blurb via Goodreads: Flight of destiny Is a collection of short stories about misfortune. 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.

You can purchase “Flight of Destiny” here:

Amazon
Booktrailer

You are intrigued by Francis H Powell? Find out more about the author here:

Francis’ Author Page
Francis on Facebook

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