Interview with noir author Francis H. Powell

spotlight shines on the noir short story collection called Flight of Destiny by Francis H. Powell today.
What better way to put all my angst into
short stories. Born in a commuter belt city called Reading and like many a
middle or upper class child of such times I was shunted off to an all-male
boarding school aged eight, away from my parents for periods of up to twelve
weeks at a time, until I was 17. While at my first Art college through a friend
I met a writer called Rupert Thomson, who was at the time in the process of
writing his first book “Dreams of leaving”. He was a bit older than myself, me
being fresh out of school, but his personality and wit resonated, despite
losing contact with him.  I had a stint
living in Austria,  where I began
writing.  It wasn’t until I moved to
Paris, that my writing began to truly evolve. 
I discovered a  magazine
called  Rat Mort (dead rat) I sent off a
short story, in the hope it would match the seemingly dark world the magazine
seemed to embroiled in. I got no answer. Not put off I sent two more stories.
Finally I got an answer. It seemed the magazine editor was a busy man, a man
prone to travelling. It seemed my first story really hit the right note with
him. His name was Alan Clark.  I began
writing more and more short stories, some published on the internet. A bit
later my anthology Flight of Destiny slowly evolved,  published April 2015, by Savant publishing.
Please tell us about your current
My book, Flight of Destiny, is a book of 22
quirky short stories. I would say in the current climate It is an unusual book,
that bucks the trend. The stories are very dark, but are mixed with an element
of satire. My stories are influenced by Roald Dahl’s short stories, I read Kiss
Kiss when I was a boy and the format of Dahl’s stories, with a twist at the
end, stayed with me over the years. I am also an artist and there are 22
illustrations that go with the stories.
What inspired you to write this book?
I saw an
advert for short stories, submitted some work, when the literary magazine Rat
Mort finally published my stories, I got hooked on writing short stories and
developed a style.
Excerpt from “Snatched”, a story about a man who goes out for
a walk with his newborn baby and returns with an empty pram. It is a story
about a parent’s worst nightmare, that get worse…
Graverson arrived home with a pram which should have had a baby in it. Instead
it contained a gaping void, which he should have noticed long before his
hysterical wife pointed it out.
“Where’s Baby?”
Nancy, his wife, shrieked.
couldn’t answer her. He hadn’t the faintest idea. He had presumed the baby was
in the pram, fast asleep, though upon further inspection, it clearly wasn’t. He
raced out the house and retraced his steps, repeating in his head the same
words over and over like a dark mantra: Baby’s been snatched. Baby’s been
Baby’s been snatched.
What exciting story are you working on
I am mostly
working on promotion, but hopefully there will be a follow up to Flight of Destiny
When did you first consider yourself a
It is quite
hard to say…I am a jack of all trades…I write music…make videos…I paint…make
sculptures….I write poetry…I blog…
Do you write full-time? If so, what’s
your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find
time to write?
As I
explained with the above…I do many things…as well as being a teacher…My day
begins early…with my toddler son waking me up…I try to fit in a lot into the
day…When I am not teaching my focus is on promoting my book…writing articles
for blogs…After my son is asleep I am able to focus on my writing…
What would you say is your interesting
writing quirk?
My stories
have been described as quirky…I would say one feature of my stories is that
they start with a powerful first line…
excerpt from “Bugeyes”
Bug-eyes was
destined to a life of toil. As his mother, Lady 
Lombard, remarked gruffly when holding her swaddled firstborn, 
“He has
disproportionate eyes,” adding tersely, “the child’s 
Opening excerpt from Seed
Spender’s wife was ovulating, and her husband was, as 
always, off
somewhere on another “top secret military mission,” to 
which, as
ever, she was neither privy to his location or the mission’s 
As a child, what did you want to be
when you grew up
Some awful
things I am glad never came to fruition…I wanted to be in the army at one
point…(now I am a pacifist…)
Anything additional you want to share
with the readers?
I have a
friend who seems to have adopted a “personage”…He goes under the name Lord
Lupine…He very kindly agreed to do a reading from one of my short stories…Lord
Lupine seems to like his sherry…and seems rather debauched…The video is very
Monty Pythonesque… 
My stories
are very British in character…So this works very well…
Here is the

Thanks, Francis!

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