Interview with Author Francis H. Powell

Photo on 2015-07-24 at 21.20 #2Introduce Francis H. Powell to the world by telling a little about yourself – where you were born, grew up, family, school, etc.

 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 Gaol” there. 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. Like most people I am a complicated mixture of idiosyncrasies.  I can be intense, but at the same time very laid back. I have a steely determination that comes from my mother. I feel maybe I am an outsider trying to fit in and yet I am very anti-establishment.  I want to be respected, my work to be liked or even admired, but I don’t receive praise well and feel uncomfortable with it. Some people might say I should see a psychiatrist, but at the same time, I can be very inwardly-calm and rational.

FODFrontCoverMed.jpg.opt221x331o0,0s221x331Your first book, Flight of Destiny is made up of 22 short stories.  What was your inspiration for these stories and how did you come up with the title?

My book grew from building up a body of short stories, similar to my contributions in Rat Mort. I also had short stories in a magazine called “Freakwave” as well having short stories published on the internet.  I was lucky enough to find a publisher who was prepared to put a whole lot of them together. To some extent my stories are indirectly autobiographical, as I explained my life has not been a smooth journey, with many setbacks along the way. I don’t think I consciously draw a line between real events and the fiction I write. I doubtlessly draw from my experiences, good or bad.  The title seemed express an important element in the stories. They are about fate and misfortune and are often like a journey.

How would you define your writing style and the genre of your work?

 I write dark fiction…I would not say horror…there are a few terrible events in my stories…in my first story “Arrival” a man slithers out of another man, like in the film “Alien” and then grows into a full sized mzn… It is a bit quirky… as well as being surreal…I would also like to think it is in the style of Edgar Alan Poe, but also contains wit and wisdom.  My short stories were influenced by Roald Dahl’s book “Kiss Kiss” in that I try to include a twist at the end of each tale.

 You designed the front cover of the book.  It is black and white with the exception of the red frame and a sprig of green ivy.  What does the ivy represent?

I am not exactly sure why I chose ivy, perhaps because it spreads everywhere and immerses things and has a connection with aging and decay.

Bugeyes 2014 700 resolutionWhat is the message readers should take away from the book?

I write about outsiders, freaks, oddballs, the oppressed of this world, the cruelty and injustices of this world, as well as those responsible for such situations, the oppressors. I am championing the under-dogs of this world.  I want readers maybe to reconsider the world they live in and how they view things. My stories I would say are very “British” in character and are anti-establishment. I dislike the arrogance of the upper-classes…the “hunting” “fishing” types. You should read my story “Bugeyes” to have an example of this.

It is good for every author to have a mentor or mentors.  Who do you consider to be your mentor(s) and why?

It has got to be a positive thing. I  got some great advice from Alan Clark, who put together Rat Mort. You can always choose to accept or disregard advice.

What advice would you give to writers who are struggling to get their first book published?

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.

Where can readers purchase a copy of Flight of Destiny?

If reader would like to follow you on Social Media, how would they find you?

 Twitter  @Dreamheadz

backcover cut

 Back cover of  Flight of Destiny

Thank You Francis H. Powell for taking the time to visit with me today!   (


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Books are Boats

Time is a river quote

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August 11, 2015 · 10:49 am

Book Marketing and Promotion Plan

You are hard at work marketing and promoting your book.  It really is exhausting and tiPlanme consuming and you are frustrated that sales aren’t coming in.

Every author feels that at one time or another.  It is hard work marketing and promoting your own work.  That is the reason you need a plan.  With a plan you can free yourself to work on your next book.

I know that is easy for me to say.  I too, work a 40 hour week job, have a husband I want to spend time with, have a home to care for, plus we live on a farm.  So, I do not have a lot of free times to spend on marketing and promoting my own work let alone have time to work on my next book.  Yet, a plan helps keep me on track.
Here is a sample plan to help you stay on track, yet not using a lot of time.

Monday – Look up your favorite books on Amazon and read a few reviews and if you like the review click “Yes” where it asks if this review was helpful to you.  Do this even if you have already reviewed the book or purchased it.  You can do this on other books that you have not read and do not intend to purchase.  By clicking “Yes” this helps the ranking of the book.  Spend no more than 15 minutes on this task.  If you know the author, let them know that you did this and ask them to do the same for you.

Tuesday – Write a Press Release and send to at least three newspapers, magazines, etc.

Wednesday – Work on your website.  Update the events, change photos, add content, etc.

Thursday – Post a blog on your blog site.  If you can write more than one blog post in 15 to 30 minutes, schedule one to post on another day.

Friday – If you go out to lunch with spouse or friends, leave your business card on the table.  Your business card should have your web site listed.  If you don’t go out to lunch, visit your social  media sites and respond to your followers or start a discussion.

Saturday – If you find you have free time, write blog posts and schedule them to post on future dates.

Sunday – Create a video and post it on YouTube and other video channels.

Schedule something to do each day of the week to get your book marketing and promoting plan to start rolling.

For more Marketing and Promoting Tips check out these books:

The Book Marketing Bible by Norm Schriever *

Smashwords Book Marketing Guide by Mark Coker *


*These are books that I like.  I do not get paid by these author and/or publishers to list these books in my blog post.

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Filed under Authors, Book Reviews, Books, Marketing, Self-Help, Social Networking, Videos, Writing

The Adventures of Stupid the Cat

The Adventures of Stupid the Cat 51RSEUyV8lL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_ by Bruce A. Borders and Brenda Borders

As a cat lover and owner of several cats, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. While I was not so crazy with the name “Stupid” for the cat – I like “Chips” much better. If you pay attention to cats you can learn their personalities such as which one likes to play with feet, which one is afraid of storms or strange noises. Cats like to please and if left outdoors they will bring their human caretakers gifts and not always alive gifts-moles, mice, birds, etc., however, I have never had one bring me a weasel and for that I am thankful. I don’t have a piano, however, I had a cat who liked laying on the laptop keypad – not sure if it was the noise from the laptop or the warmth which the cat liked most. This book is a great book for parents to read to the little ones and for those who can read by themselves to enjoy. It doesn’t take long to read–a nice bedtime story or a story for a rainy afternoon. Looking forward to reading more adventures of Stupid cat.

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Finding Relief

In her book, Allergic To Life, Kathryn Chastain Treat brings awareness to how the environment plays a role in lAllergic To Life by Kathryn C. Treatife in an unhealthy way: multiple chemical sensitivities. Many people suffer from allergies. Some take allergy pills and others take shots while another group must fight to stay alive. Treat fell into the latter category. A healthy stay-at-home mom feel ill shortly after she returned to work outside the home. Visiting one doctor then another, Treat was determined to find out what was causing her health issues. Perfumes she loved to smell became something she couldn’t tolerate. Foods she loved to eat began to attack her system. Her once beautiful home became a sterile prison so that she could survive because she became allergic to the carpets, etc.

Treat kept a daily journal of her battle for survival. Because she was going through medical issues, the journal is about doctors, medical test, treatment, and how those close to her reacted. When Treat had to explain to her friends that she could not got out to lunch with them or that their perfume and clothing made her ill, they soon abandoned her. Thank goodness for her family and those who stood by her through such an ordeal and that she found a treatment center and doctors that did not give up on her.

I met Kathryn Chastain Treat online before she finished putting her book together. We often corresponded via email and a couple of time through snail mail. When it came to deciding the cover of her book, she asked my opinion. I was drawn to the photograph of her stuck inside a sterile home looking out and longing to be outside enjoying the sunshine and the flowers.

There were times that Kathryn could venture outside and she did so enjoy being out in the fresh air. She lost her battle with life shortly before Christmas 2014, but not before the book was released.

Anyone suffering with allergies or who has a family member or friend(s) suffering with allergies should read this book in order to help them understand what that person is going through whether is be on a small scale or a large scale of suffering. Doctors and nurses should read this book so that when patients tell them what is happening with their bodies, they will be believed instead of being treated as a hypochondriac and left to suffer on their own. Medical students should read this book so they can learn to look beyond the obvious when treating and/or observing patients. Environmental safety officers should read this book, to learn what things they may think are harmless in a workers environment, could indeed be a culprit in making people ill: the culprit in a chronic illness.

Kathryn would want everyone who has any kind of health issue to never give up: never give up in finding a cure, finding what works to help relieve suffering.

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Filed under Authors, Book Reviews, Books, e-books, Non-Fiction

7 Beautiful Words, 7 Ugly Words

Have you ever used these words in your writing?

Beautiful Words

  • Effervescent: bubbly
  • Enchanted: charmed
  • Incandescent: glowing, radiant
  • Murmur: soothing sound
  • Quiescent: peaceful
  • Serene: peaceful
  • Tranquility: peacefulness

Ugly Words

  • Chafe: irritate
  • Disgust: distaste
  • Grotesque: distorted
  • Rancid: offensive
  • Shun: avoid
  • Slaughter: butcher
  • Visceral: crude

Write your own list of Beautiful and Ugly Words.  One of those words just may become a prompt for a new  paragraph, a new story, or a different angle to the story you are currently working on.

Happy Writing!

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Author, Joel Homer on Tour

fEVERSInto the lush tropics comes a troubled American, rebellious journalist, embittered Vietnam vet, desperate soldier of fortune. William Straw, who soon forms an uneasy alliance with a beautiful anthropologist, continues his tortured upriver journey-from jungle shantytown to opulent plantation, from explosive passion to brutal murder. Whether he is pursuing a story, an adventure, or a chance to finally exorcise his own inner demons, nothing will prepare William Straw for the sudden violence and bizarre cruelty of the one who is waiting ahead — Michael Fevers.

Praise for ‘Fevers’ by Joel Homer:

“Very engrossing novel. It felt a bit like reading a modern version of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. The plot moves quickly and smoothly. The excitement never ends.”- Gerald Loev, Amazon Reviewer

About Joel Homer:Joel Homer

Joel Homer was raised in Greenwich Village, attended New York University and was a medal-winning veteran from the Vietnam war. Upon returning to the states, he began his writing career as a senior editor at Saturday Review.

His books include “Marathons” and “Jargon.” His produced plays include “Scenes Dedicated to My Brother,” “What People Do When They’re All Alone,” and “The Lieutenant Snuffs the Light.” In 1984 he was the first recipient of the prestigious Glickman Award for playwriting. His last play ‘Private Scenes” was a huge hit in San Francisco. While working in Los Angeles, he co-wrote the original script for “Beauty and the Beast” for EuroDisney….to date the most popular stage play in Disney’s history.

Joel Homer passed away in 2003 at the age of 58.

Buy ‘Fevers’ by Joel Homer:

Barnes and Noble

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