Everyone help me welcome our guest tonight, Francis H. Powell, the author of Flights of Destiny.
Flights of Destiny is a collection of 22 short stories about misfortune characterized by unexpected final twists at the end of each tale. A very clever and entertaining book.
What gave you the idea for your book Flight of Destiny?
My book grew from building up a body of short stories. I was lucky enough to find a publisher who was prepared to put a whole lot of them together. In most of my story there are characters who, for one reason or other are destined to have a life of misfortune.
Tell us about your writing background. Any other published works? Contests?
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 got you into writing horror?
I would not consider myself a horror writer as such…although there are some terrible things that take place in my stories. I am not out to shock or terrify any readers. I would like to think there are elements of wit and humor in my stories. As I have explained I got into short story writing due to Rat Mort and discovered a formula, that works for me and things have developed from here.
Did you self-publish or go through a traditional publisher? Which do you think is better and why?
I went to a traditional publisher, I am not sure I can comment with much authority which is better.
What are you doing next?
At the present time my life revolves around publicity for my book. I hope that a second edition of short stories will appear.
What advice would you give aspiring authors?
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.