Flight of Destiny

Flight of Destiny - Francis Powell

I was given the opportunity to read four short stories out of Flight of Destiny by Francis Powell. Each unique tale explores a dark recess of the mind where emotions are manipulated and reality isn't quite what it seems. 

I love the dark tone of the short stories and how the underlying theme of each is this sense of shock over what humans would be capable of if there were no reality based limits. While the stories do not tie together, the tone of the work connects them all and makes it easy to flow from one story to the next. 

I enjoyed these tales as they gave me a fantastic break from my daily routine and I enjoyed remembering them and day dreaming about them afterwards. They're a little Ray Bradbury, a little Stephen King, but with Powell's own unique twists. Very interesting read. 


Some Bio Information

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 traveling. 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.


Q&A

1. Can you tell us a bit about your writing process?

Ideas come into my head. I try to figure an outline for the story. I think of an opening line…For example this is the opening sentence of “Seed” a story about a woman desperate for a baby…

Captain 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 significance.

I try to imagine the main characters, what they look like, their social back ground, their personalities, how they speak. I think about settings.  I really live with my stories in my head and I am constantly trying to move them forward and develop them. The endings of my short stories are vital and I try to create an unexpected dramatic twist at the end of the story.  Each sentence is vital and I try to pack as much punch into each sentence. I try to use as much rich vocabulary as possible. I often look at a thesaurus, so I can find the perfect word to use. After I have completed the story, I often go back to it, re-read it and think of ways of improving it. 

2. Where do you get your inspiration for your work?

It can come from anywhere and at any time. It could be overhearing a conversation on the Metro…It could be watching a documentary on TV. It could be a small newspaper article. I love reading news articles about unusual people or strange events. Ideas suddenly pop into my head…I scribble them down on scraps of paper or my little black book. Sometimes it could be a character name…for example I came up with the name “Little Mite” and thought, what kind of character would be called this. So I came up with the idea of a younger sister, the younger sister bitch from Hell, who ruins her older sister’s ideal wedding opportunity, with an ill-judged prank. There is “Bugeyes” the name being an intricate part of the story, about somebody born with over-sized eyes…being the subject of ridicule and being rejected by his family, right from birth. 

3. Do you have a favorite author?

I love the work of Rupert Thomson, who wrote “Dreams of leaving” as well as other books. I met him when I was a new student at Art College and he and his writing has made a long lasting impression on me.

4. What’s your favorite line you’ve ever written?

"Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man," (it comes from my story “Opium” it is said by a gangster called Gecko to a preacher, called Preacher Moon)

5. How would you describe your writing style?

My work is very visual…lots of detail…and descriptions… It is dark fiction, but it also has strong elements of satire. I would say my work is British in character…mocking the establishment…

6. What’s your least favorite part of the writing process? 

There is nothing I particularly dislike. 

7. What’s your ultimate writing goal?

To write a book, that really lives on, long after I die…