I would like to welcome today my dad, Ronnie Powell. I have asked him a few questions that I have pondered about his artsy side and thought you might like to see his answers too.
Me: You have many creative outlets. Do you have a favorite?
Ronnie: I have no actual favorite. An idea and or a plan may awaken me or catch my eye and go from there. The Tiddleson book was inspired by a lizard running from an old rusty coffee can and several years passed before it materialized. The idea for the book A Stranger in London Smoke came from an account told to me by an old man who as a boy had watched a stranger ride into London Smoke one day, around the turn of the century. Several of my paintings and woodcarvings were inspired by my interest in history and or a particular person. With the exception of writing (editing mandatory), my interpretations are as I see them.
What inspires you to write, paint, or carve?
As a boy writing, for a time, was a way to communicate without humiliation and interruptions. Later, I wrote stories by the dozens and hid them in the woods or gave them to one of my teachers. Woodcarving was a necessity for making toys. Painting came much later when an aunt gave me several tubes of oil paints and I discovered a beautiful way to create.
As a child, who was your favorite author ?
Jack London. He made it possible for me to lose myself in the wilderness, far away from people. He helped me learn to tolerate my fellow human beings.
At what age did you decide to write stories?
I would say about the age of nine.
How do you begin your writing process? Do you outline or start writing?
I usually begin with notes tucking them away in a pocket to later place them in a safe place. When I feel as if the story is secure I start writing, and often discard many of the notes.
Where do you get your ideas?
Ideas have originated from particular people, an old Indian man I once knew, for instance.
My book The Imitators (unpublished as yet) was inspired by the sighting of a mysterious flying vessel over Bennett Springs State Park. It was an event that excited my curiosity considerably.
When Butcher Redoak fell in the last gunfight at Prairie Days (This was a yearly family festival at a museum site. Butcher Redoak was a character in one of the reenactments. ) he came alive in story.
What do you think is the most difficult part of self-publishing? What is the best part of self publishing?
I did not want a generic cover, but opted for designing my own creation and that was the most difficult aspect of self publishing for me. However, the designs have become the perfect container for the books.
The best part of self publishing is to open the first copy and see your work in print and not to be concerned about fame or fortune, but rather to share your work with others. The newest book Life Along the Dousinberry, I discovered, was for me to revisit and recall times past untainted by reality. I also discovered many readers who opened the book and found their own recollections.