Interview with Bob Francis

Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I remember I had several comic "albums" like the Beano Annual, and although I don't remember the name of the comic which produced this one, I had one which was about a car race and the participants in the story were a father and son. The father had invented a special engine which, whatever happened, kept going. The details are hazy now as I was probably only five years old, but that's the one that sticks in my memory. Oh, they won the race...
One that remains very clear to me was a book I borrowed from the children's library which was situated behind the village hall opposite our house. It was called "Willy Nilly Wool" and was about a sweater that had been made from the wool of a particularly happy and energetic lamb. I remember it because at the time I'd read most of the books there, despite being just 4 1/2 years old, and not supposed to have a library card until I was 5, but the staff "looked the other way", and this was what I called "A babies book" because it was too silly.
Some of the books that I remember very well, having read them dozens of times were "The Adventures of Professor Branestawm" and "Stig of the dump", and of course, Paddington. My usual bedtime reading from the age of 6 was usually The Guinness Book of Records.
How do you approach cover design?
I edit a classic car magazine for a British Classic Car Club and do all my own design work. Until 2002 I had no idea at all how to even start a computer up, let alone what it did, but for business purposes, as my partner and I ran a bar, and "internet points" were springing up everywhere, we had a computer installed. As a logical step in the process, I decided to take a computer course and learned how to use it as I saw little point in having a computer and not knowing how to operate the thing.
It was a long learning curve, and I'm still learning, but upon discovering Publisher, I immediately began designing our bar menus and price lists, and things escalated from there.
What do you read for pleasure?
Detective novels and the odd science fiction.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I don't actually own an e-reading device. I do however listen to a lot of audiobooks, especially if I am driving as I find them less distracting than music and can listen and take it in, and still concentrate on my driving.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I'm just a beginner at this so I don't feel I can effectively answer this question.
Describe your desk
It's part of the dining table with the computer perched on the corner, and me opposite.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Eastbourne, East Sussex in England. I've always had a vivid imagination and when I wrote my first book, I just sat down and spontaneously started to write. It sat in a drawer for the next 25 years.
My 2nd wife used to write short stories, like... two or three pages long. Some of them were rubbish but one or two showed great imagination. This inspired me to go one better, but this didn't occur until after we'd split and I had left England for warmer climes, and moved to Italy where I still live.
My autobiography is of course about my life and times in my home town.
What made you decide to write your autobiography?
I've read lots of autobiographies, of famous people, so as I'm not famous, an actor, writer, musician etc. but do have an exceptional recall, I just wrote down the odd anecdote when the fancy took me, and then eventually collated it all into one volume. Mind you, it's only part 1, from my earliest years until I left the UK. Part 2 may follow when I get the time.
When did you first start writing?
Christmas 1992. I was at my "in-law's" home in Bagsvaerd, which is about 20 mins by car north of Copenhagen. There wasn't much on the TV, notwithstanding the fact that it was in Danish as many Scandinavian TV programmes are in the original languages, with Danish subtitles-a great way to learn a foreign language by the way.
I was sitting in the kitchen where it was cooler and quiet, and as I'd had a few ideas flying around in my head I sat down with a notepad and pen and started writing a story. At 02:00 my good lady came and asked if I was eventually coming to bed, so I put the pen down and picked it up again the following morning. I suppose it took me two days to write. When an idea comes into my head I tend to keep on going before I lose the thread.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest book is my life story from 1957-1991. It's just the story of an ordinary boy growing up in the 60's and 70's. My first book is an adventure fantasy.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I had always wanted to publish my book/s but lacked the finances to do so. A Facebook "friend" whom I've never actually met in person, posted on Facebook that he had recently published a short novel in e-book form and so I asked him how he went about it, and how much it cost.
He pointed me towards Smashwords, and so I gave it a try.
I hope and pray someone will read my work and enjoy it.
Published 2019-03-17.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author 04:00
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 62,010. Language: English. Published: February 27, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Action
Tom's father disappeared and whilst attempting to unravel the mystery, he is led into an ever-deepening maze of strange events by his young girlfriend Pat, who is, if at first unwittingly, part of an ancient order, formed to protect the world against evil. She too disappears and Tom joins the sect. Together they battle evil in a strange new world, saving those being held from a terrible fate.