Please welcome Francis H Powell to my blog. Hello Frank. Shall we have sit and have a chat?
Please introduce yourself to those reading this blog post.
Hello, I am Francis, I was born in the UK, but I’ve lived in France for quite a long time. I am a writer, but also a painter and musician. I love to create things. I live with my wife, son, and rescue dog, called Bertie.
Has writing always been part of your life and when did you “know” that it was time to start writing your first book?
Writing for me took off when I was living in Paris and saw an advert for short stories, in a magazine. It was a little homemade magazine called Rat Mort (dead rat, for anyone who doesn’t speak much French). Having some stories actually published, was a real lift. I went on from there.
How difficult was it writing your first book?
Writing is a pleasure, promoting and selling books is another matter.
Have you ever wanted to give up and what stopped you?
Maybe sometimes you think, why do I make so much effort? What are the returns? Is this just a labour of love? I love writing stories, creating characters, imagining stories in my head. Developing stories.
Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
I would like to bring a smile to their faces. We live in a harsh world.
What is your target audience and what aspect of your writing do you feel targets that audience?
With my latest book “The Fish King and the Two Wise Ghosts, my target is children six years old and over. I have created a picture book; I did all the illustrations as well as writing the story.
Did the cover evolve the same way, or did you work with someone to make it come together for you?
The cover and indeed the title of the book came about because my ten-year-old boy, did a drawing a few years back, that looked like a king holding the hand of two ghosts. I began to write a poem based on this drawing. Following this I decided to change the poem into prose, but I kept quite a lot of the poetry.
What are you working on now? Can we get a peek, an excerpt?
Mostly promoting the book as well as some short stories; I also write a lot of poetry. Here is a little sneaky excerpt of the Fish King…
There once was a Fish King who lived in an old, ruined castle deep in a magical ocean. As well as many servants, there lived two wise ghosts. One day Ghosts John and Henry looked at the king and said, “Sire, your clothes are so out of date, and your palace is now in a terrible state. We ghosts have haunted it, over hundreds of years, but the splendour it had, has long disappeared.”
The Fish King pulled a face and looked at the crumbling walls, as some bricks tumbled to the floor. “You may have a point,” the king mumbled, it could do with some sprucing up. He also summoned the royal tailor to conjure up some dazzling designs. The two ghosts were always friendly and gave good advice. They would only scare people who were not very nice. They spoke to the king almost every day and when he was a boy, they loved to play with him. They would tell him jokes and whizzed round the palace and would play terrible tricks on his young sister Alice. They appeared from nowhere at the foot of her bed, she would shriek and scream, till her face went bright red.
One day the Fish King woke with a most terrible fright. There was something on his mind, something not quite right. A thought came to him, like a flash in his mind. I need to find a queen who is both beautiful and kind. A search through the kingdom was soon underway. A list was drawn up of suitable candidates. Weeks later Princess Chipolata arrived at the palace. Her wicked smile soon had the king under her spell. It seemed that the Fish King had met his chips. He even kissed this fishy princess on the lips. Ghosts Henry and John wondered about the king’s catch. Was this fishy princess such a good match? Though King Fish and Chips seemed to go together. The two wise ghosts thought that they knew better.
When some of the king’s crown jewels suddenly went missing, the two ghost friends immediately knew who was behind this outrage. The princess seemed to 5 be always sneaking about, she was soon their prime suspect, without a doubt. “Sire, sorry to say it’s that Princess Chipolata, who stole those jewels.” “Utter nonsense!” roared the king in a rage. Being a wise king, he knew of course it’s impossible to keep a ghost in a cage. Later, the two ghosts saw the princess taking some gold and thought that the king should be immediately told. The king growled, “why won’t you stop with these terrible lies!” The ghosts said, “we saw it ourselves, with our very own eyes!” The king shouted, “now the castle’s ghosts have turned into spies!” Raising his voice he added, “if you weren’t ghosts, you’d be running for your lives.”
The king was now in a terrible mood. He wouldn’t smile nor eat his food. However, it seemed the fishy princess was nowhere to be seen. It was exactly as the two ghosts had feared. Eventually, she was caught with the crown jewels. The king realized he’d been taken for a fool. “I need to be careful when choosing a queen, not every princess is all that they seem.” The two friendly ghosts were back in his good books. The princess went to prison for her terrible crime. The palace changed back into its normal state and calm was restored.
Any last words before we wrap things up?
Tell your children to keep drawing and let their imaginations go wild. My son draws a lot, even at school, his teacher dumps his drawings in the bin. Everybody should express themselves by drawing.
The Fish King and the Two Wise Ghosts – Blossom Spring Publishing
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