Francis H. Powell, author of The Fish King and Two Wise Ghosts

Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?

I like the work of Roald Dahl. He wrote for both adults and children and I decided to do the same.

What are some day jobs you have held?

For the most part, I have been a teacher. I have taught History of Art, English literature, History, as well as a few less interesting subjects in universities and business schools. I have worked with children, doing after school activities.  I once worked in a theater as an usher, and I was the worlds worst barman for a time.

Do you have a special time to write, or how is your day structured to accommodate your writing?

I like to review what I written in the morning when I am feeling fresh, having had a long break from writing. You see things that perhaps you hadn’t seen before.

How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?

I went to art school and had designs to be an artist. I have done different things, including writing and performing music. I have tried my hand at many different things. I also write poetry, which I think is a great way to express ideas.

Do you work with an outline or plot sketch, or do you prefer to let a general idea guide your writing?

I like things to evolve. I am often thinking about how a story will end. I might be walking my dog or traveling. A story lives in my head. Sometimes I might write things down, not to forget ideas.

Did you make any marketing mistakes that you would avoid in the future?

I spent a lot of money to have a book I was promoting included in a book magazine/trade book. I was hoping it would mean my book might be ordered by libraries. I got one sale from this.

Can you share with readers a little bit about your latest book?

It is a children’s book for six years old and above.  It’s called The Fish King and the Two Wise Ghosts. It begins with a king who has two wise ghost friends and his tricky search for a queen. The first to try to win the king’s hand is the fishy Princess Chipolata, who is discovered by the two ghosts while trying to steal the crown jewels. At first, the king refuses to believe them. Finally, Princess Chipolata is sent to prison.

The king continues his search by placing an advertisement on social media, “Fish Hook.” He gets a lot of responses; however, all the hopeful queens are most unsuitable. When he sets his eyes on one of his sister’s friends, his search comes to a happy end. Only one problem remains: he has to introduce two ghosts, who like to play jokes on people, to his future bride.

In the second part of the book. The king and queen produce royal heirs. Prince Erik likes ghosts in the same way as his father. A party takes place, and the ghosts spook some of the guests. When Prince Erik grows up, he tells his parents he wants to go on a long adventure. He sees and does some incredible things. After he returns, the kingdom is once again a happy place.

What made you decide to sit down and actually start writing this book?

I based my latest book on an image my son drew, a few years ago. It looked like a king holding the hands of two ghosts. I started to write a poem inspired by this picture. It was a long poem. At a point, I decided to transform the poem into prose. However, I chose to keep some of the poetry.

If your book was made into a movie, who would you cast?

Brian Blessed as the Fish King. Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Chipolata. Some supermodel with millions of Instagram followers as Princess Lilly. Eddie Murphy’s voice for the two ghosts. Some up-and-coming teen actor for Prince Erik. Jim Carrey can do most of the other roles.

If there was one thing you could do to change the world, what would it be?

Try to end all conflicts. There has to be a better way to resolve disputes, rather than the loss of human life. Wars never improve the world; they only result in further misery and suffering.

Tell us something unique about you.

I once appeared wearing a kilt on Austrian national television, on a game show. I was holding a caber. I might add that I am not at all muscular. I answered an advert. I am only part Scottish. 

Want to learn more about Francis H. Powell?

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