Author Interview Number Three – Tim Powell

Hi and welcome to the Library of Erana, a place of words and of their magic. Words are power, they are knowledge and they are freedom.

Welcome to Tim Powell (aka A C Bentley)

Please tell us a little about yourself. I’m a 47- year-old Care Co-ordinator for an agency providing domiciliary care to the elderly. Previously (between 1989 and 2009), I worked as a modern language teacher. The material for my writing comes from my experiences as a teacher.

In the early 90s, I won 3 British Past Masters Gymnastics championships. I’m also an Italian car fanatic.  

Please tell us a little about your writing – for example genre, title, etc. My writing to date comes under the genre ‘true life’, but can also be read purely as fiction. I used the pen name A C Bentley with my one book, ‘An Apple for the Teacher’, partly because it seemed a fun thing to do at the time, but also because I was still working as a teacher at the point of publication and wanted to preserve a degree of anonymity. The key themes raised in my book include: romance, morality, honesty and guilt.

Where can readers find your book? ‘An Apple for the Teacher’ can be found on Amazon as a paperback or an e-book. With the Kindle version, the first chapter can be viewed for free.

How long have you been writing and what, if anything, made you choose the genre in which you write? I started writing ‘An Apple for the Teacher’ at the beginning of 2002. This was the first time I’d written anything longer than a school report or a university reference since I was studying myself back in the 80s. As you can imagine, I was a little apprehensive at first.

Who or what are your inspirations/influences? I think my writing style was influenced to a certain extent by Nick Hornby. As is apparent in the book, the music of the Beatles has been a great source of inspiration for me since I first discovered them in 1980 when John Lennon was assassinated.

 Can you name a positive experience from your writing and a negative one? It was exasperation with the events of the previous 10 years of my private and professional life that motivated me to write – as a form of therapy, I suppose. I’ve always kept a diary and I find that therapeutic too. As a linguist, I also love the creative challenge of finding the right words. This can be a negative aspect too as I’m a bit of a perfectionist and can agonise for hours over the phrasing of a simple paragraph.

With the rise of e-books do you still publish in print as well? Is this medium important and why? I’ve no intention of dropping the paperback version of my book. I can see that there are cost and practical advantages of e-books, but I’m a fan of the physical book. I like to hold it and appreciate the cover. I also like to see my book collection lined up on the bookshelves.

Do you listen to music or watch TV whilst you write? I prefer to write without distraction. However, some of my most inspired ideas have come to me sitting at a bar. I’ve frequently had to grab a pen and scrap of paper from bar staff.

Books are important, why is this the case? What can a book provide that say a video game cannot?

I don’t play video games, but I’m sure they can be as much fun as reading. What they can’t do, however, is educate and broaden an individual’s knowledge of life in the way books can.

Can you give us a silly fact about yourself?

Er, I make up silly rhymes about people I know. My work colleagues think I’m nuts.

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