Battenberg & Banter
Updated: Nov 4, 2018
Thank you to the lovely Elaine at Battenberg & Banter - a really cool book blog on Facebook - for featuring me as 'Author of Week'
You can read the interview below or by clicking here https://www.facebook.com/ElaineMB2017/posts/989108567941066?__tn__=K-R
Meet the Author’, Interview with Robert Powell
What Author name do you write under?
Tell me about yourself,….
I live with with my beautiful wife and two gorgeous children in Hertfordshire, England. I’m originally from Hartlepool, in the North East. I lived in London for 13 years before settling down in the countryside! I still work full-time (for a law firm), I’m a trustee of two charities, I’m hugely passionate about Inclusion (specifically the advancement of women, people with disabilities and social mobility), and like to raise funds for charities by running marathons, triathlons etc. I also used to be in a band called Cinemawave (check us out on Spotify!) and music has played a major part of my life. I sing and write songs on guitar and piano and also have a band with my law firm - we perform cover songs at charity gigs. I guess my love of writing is an extension of my passion for music - I love to create something from nothing. Whether it’s writing, an event, a piece of music, or video - I thrive on the process of creation and get a real buzz from it.
How and when did you become a writer?
Anyone can be a writer - if you write then in my book (pun intended) you are a writer! Whether you blog, write poetry, songs, jokes, short stories - anyone can be a writer. Writing a novel was never a grand plan of mine, although it’s something I’ve always had in the back of my mind. I simply had an idea a few years ago and started writing to develop it.
Who are your favourite Authors/book?
Within my world of children’s/family/adventure authors then it would remiss of me not to mention Mr Dahl - the man was a genius and I’m seeing his books through a whole different lens now I’m reading them out loud to my two children. Growing up, I was a massive Nancy Drew fan so I read pretty much all of Carolyn Keene’s wonderful books. Outside of children’s books, I also love CJ Sansom, Suzanne Collins, and Michael Crichton.
I absolutely adore anything by Roald Dahl (my favourite is the BFG). My favourite book of all time has got to be Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton. I read it when I was just 9/10 years old just after the film was released. It was probably the first grown-up book I read and it simply blew me away - the level of detail and imagination is just astonishing.
Tell me three interesting facts about yourself?
1) I carried the Paralympic Torch during London 2012 (the torch is on display in our downstairs loo!)
2) I once walked barefoot over burning hot coals and broken glass for charity
3) I have a fascination about isolated islands and if I'm in bed with man flu that’s what I like to read about!
Three things you can't live without?
1) My wife
2) My children
3) Time and space to think/create/explore/produce/run
What tips/advice would you give to any new writers
I imagine the biggest barrier to anyone wanting to write is a lack of time, and perhaps confidence, in that people are afraid that other people won't like what they've poured their heart and soul into. I’m obsessed about using pockets of time wisely. Assess a typical day in your life - when are the segments of time that you can utilise to write? Even if it’s just five minutes a day - use it! I wrote Odd Socks (38,000 words) on my smartphone during my morning commute over a period of eighteen months. Writing (or doing anything) every day for short bursts of time can fairly quickly develop into something substantial. What are the things you do in life that aren’t adding any value? When we have a spare few minutes, it's very easy to scroll through your phone and have a nose on social media (irony!) - you can allocate this time to your writing. With regards to confidence, if you create anything from scratch, you have to expect that some people will not like it. I’ve been rejected so many times in my life that it doesn’t bother me so much these days. What I’m trying to say is forget about what people may think about your writing (and you as a person), just write (be you), enjoy the creative process and then decide what you want to do with it.
What genre do you write under and what are you writing at the moment?
Odd Socks is children’s family adventure story and that’s the genre I will be staying in for the time being. I love books that children and adults can read - that offer multiple layers of narrative and jokes/references that can be enjoyed by both demographics. I’m currently around 12,000 words into Odd Socks 2. I also have another children’s book that I'm around 6,000 words in. In later life, I’d like to write a really dark dystopian novel (they’re all the rage right now so it probably won't be fashionable then!) and also have a stab (pun intended) at a murder/thriller/mystery novel.
Is there anything else you want readers to know about you or your writing?
If you're a fan of 'grown up' children’s books that help readers think about the world around them and broaden their vocabulary, then I hope you will enjoy Odd Socks. I like to think that my style of writing is a bit different, it's quite punchy and I'm really proud of the book.
Thank you to Robert Powell for taking part in Meet the Author this week.