‘Old Man on the Beach’ now in paperback!

I’m pleased to announce that my bestselling collection of short stories is now available as a real, physical, hold-in-your-hands paperback book.

A few days after the kindle version shot to number one in the Amazon rankings for one category and to number four in the other two, the 244-page paperback was released and began selling immediately.

If you buy a copy –  thank you! – and please leave a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads. Even if you didn’t like it, your review will still help. Thanks 🙂

What they’re saying about ‘The Old Man on the Beach’

“Every story itself is a journey that ultimately takes us to look within and around us; right into the core of humanity…”

“Absolutely beautiful storytelling in a variety of genres and styles…”

“This collection of stories made me laugh, made me cry and made me think about aspects of my own past in different ways…”

“His descriptions of characters touch the heart and the nerve…”

 

Get your copy from Amazon.co.uk here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0995712123 

The book is also available at the US, French, German and other Amazon sites.

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‘Old Man’ goes ‘Bestseller’!

“This collection of stories made me laugh, made me cry and made me think about aspects of my own past in different ways.”

Yesterday ‘Old Man on the Beach and other stories’ went live on Amazon Kindle and, in the UK rankings at least, immediately shot into the Top 100 for its three categories thanks to the pre-orders. Within hours all three categories were in the Top 40 and then, soon after lunchtime in the UK they all entered (and have remained) in the Top 10 with Biographical literary fiction reaching the coveted Number One slot.

To say I’m pleased is an understatement!

Just as nice was to receive photos and messages from people all over the world who have bought the book and are reading it right now. Some finished the book within hours and immediately went on to Amazon and Goodreads to review it and I’m pleased to say that so far the verdicts have been a big thumbs up for my ‘Old Man’.

If you bought my book, may I say thank you so much for making it a very surprising success. I am very grateful to you all.

If you haven’t bought the book yet you might just be lucky and still get it at the introductory price before the system kicks in and it goes up – so don’t delay and go buy it now! Below are some of the major Amazon links but just google the title or author and you should see the cover of my book come up.

Next week ‘Old Man on the Beach’ will come out in paperback version too (only available from US and UK amazon sites I’m sorry to say) but if you’re intending to a get a ‘real copy’ why not buy the e-book version to read while you wait?!

Buy your copy here:

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06XCMW9VY

US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XCMW9VY

Australia: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B06XCMW9VY

Praise for ‘Old Man on the Beach’

Taken from Amazon and Goodreads reviews:

“Poignant and striking writing…”

“Absolutely beautiful storytelling…”

“…the author has written it is like a train journey, passing through cities, villages, countryside, seeing little cameos of life in all its glory and failures.”

“The use of language is vivid and the story lines gripping.”

“…you didn’t want to rush the story for fear of missing the sweetness of the telling…”

“From the very first quote by Beau Taplin on the very first page, I was hooked. I’d intended to read a story at a time but ended up reading the while lot almost in one go!”

“Some stories will make you gasp at the audacity, some will make you weep and laugh…”

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The inspirations behind ‘Old Man on the Beach’

With less than a week to go before my collection of literary short stories, Old Man on the Beach, is released to the general public, I thought I’d tell you a little more about it and the inspirations behind the book.

First, here’s the blurb on the back cover:

Twenty-two short fiction stories and semi-fictional essays which individually stand alone but together takes the reader on an imaginary journey from childhood in 1980s Britain to adulthood as a teacher, to life in Bangladesh and finally to old age (and beyond) in contemporary Britain.

Separate characters, narrators and scenarios present different fictional ideas yet hidden within each is a kernel of truth, deliberately masked, about the author behind them all. Here we meet schoolboys hiding from witches, terrified teachers, dangerous school Heads, magical instruments, mysterious prisons and (extra)ordinary women – yet everything has some basis in reality. The stories explore difficult themes such as childhood innocence, abuse, sex, love, religion and death.

Some stories and essays connect together to form a chronological thread while others contradict each other or imagine alternative lives. All of them are intended to amuse or challenge the reader’s understanding of life and, if they take the time to look closely, to reveal pencil marks hidden behind the paint.

Contains some strong language and adult content.

And here’s the content list:

Childhood

The Bombing Raid

Insignificant woman no. 1 – The Teacher

Ghost

Into the dark woods

Insignificant woman no. 2 – The Cleaner

The Game

Terry Harvey is dead

Adulthood

Insignificant woman no. 3 – The Singing Girl

Fish

Insignificant woman no. 4 – The Woman in the Wheelchair

Daniel in the Den

The Head

Insignificant woman no. 5 – The Student

Away

The Sitar

A Good Match

Babu

Insignificant woman no. 6 – The ayah

Return

Her Bare, Naked Flesh

The Pendulum

The Old Man on the Beach

The Man in the Attic

The Day I Died

So you can see from this that although all the stories are fiction, there’s an element of truth and history behind each of them – in some cases close to the surface and in others buried deeply within. I’m not going to give the game away about what’s true and what’s not but I’ll give you some clues (but shushhhh…don’t tell anyone 😉 ).

The stories mirror my own life. The Childhood stories are based around a Midlands coal mining town like the one I grew up in during the 80’s. The Adult ones mirror my experiences of growing up, leaving home and training as a teacher in Cambridge during the 90’s.

The second half is much more metaphorical and full of symbology but even so, the stories mirror life experiences. Away is based in Bangladesh where I lived or visited from 2006 to the present day. Return is set back in Britain and the characters are older, wiser, more cynical, hurt but also more accepting of life. Much of this describes my feelings since my family and I returned to live in the UK at the beginning of 2014.

Six of the stories, the “Insignificant Woman” series, I call ‘semi-fictional essays’. Part essay, part story, they deal with very real ‘ordinary’ women in my life who had extraordinary effects on who I was and am today. I have altered names, details, events and even the characters themselves are composite and altered which makes the pieces at least ‘semi-fictional’ but anyone who knew these people for real will be able to recognise them through the facade.

Another series is less obvious because I haven’t titled it. ‘The Bombing Raid’, ‘Into the Dark Woods’ and ‘Terry Harvey is dead’ are all based around the same couple of characters and need to be read in order to appreciate what I’ve tried to do. There is so much of me in these stories it actually hurts to read them.

Other stories are inspired by artistic ideas. ‘A Good Match’, for instance, is in homage to my favourite Bengali writer, Rabindranath Tagore, and is a re-imagining of one of his stories. Another, ‘Her Bare, Naked Flesh’, is as a result of my early days of learning the craft of being a writer. I took a superb writing course which taught me the tricks of the trade from which I’ve made my living ever since in a variety of different areas. Possibly the hardest exercise was to write an erotic story. I don’t read erotica as a rule (I still haven’t read 50 Shades of Grey and really need to even though I already know it is trash, simply to understand more about why so many women love that series of books/movies) so this story is my one attempt at going down that line. ‘The Pendulum’ obviously takes from Poe’s ‘The Pit and the Pendulum’ although in many ways my story is perhaps the most important and relevant to my life. One day, the inspiration behind that story will be revealed and it will be a whole book in itself.

A lot of the stories are written in the first person (lots of ‘I did this or that’ rather than ‘he did this or that’) but though some of them share my first name (Ken) not all of them do and none of them are truly me. I felt it only fair to fictionalise myself if I was going to do the same to others. Some stories even cover similar ground but ‘re-imagine’ the same scenarios such as the last three stories in the Adulthood section.

My personal favourite story has to be ‘The Day I died’ even though I suspect I’m going to get into lots of trouble about that one – there’s so much room for people to think they can see themselves in it!

The hardest to write? ‘Ghost’. You’ll have to read it to find out why but even now I struggle to read it. Some things are hard to remember.

You can buy ‘The Old Man on the Beach and other stories’ from Amazon. Pre-order the kindle book now and save 20% on the price!

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One week to go! This ‘Old Man’ is going live…Twice!

You have just one week to sign up to your favourite Amazon site and pre-order the kindle version of my new book ‘The Old Man on the Beach and other stories’ with 20% knocked off the price. Once it launches on the 17th March, the price goes up – so get it while it’s as cheap as chips (as we Brits say)!

I’m also pleased/excited/relieved to tell you that the collection of 22 literary short stories will also be coming out in paperback form after the 17th March (though I can’t tell you exactly when as yet). I put the finishing touches to all 244 pages this afternoon and sent it off for approval. If you have access to Amazon in the US, UK, Japan or one or two other countries you’ll be able to physically lay your hands on a copy. For the rest of the world I’m sorry but you’ll have to make do with the E-book version.

Over the weekend I’ll tell you a little more about the stories themselves and the inspirations behind them!

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The ‘Old Man’ is here!

kfp-bookcvr-tomotb-kindle-4-1It’s taken more than two years to complete but my collection of literary short stories and essays is finally ready and will be available to the public on the 17th March.

To make sure you get your Kindle copy you can pre-order yours right now – just click here to go to Amazon.com (if the site doesn’t offer to take you to your own local Amazon then just go to your own preferred Amazon page and google the book title or even ‘D K Powell’ and you’ll find it).

Here’s the blurb about the book:

Twenty-two short fiction stories and semi-fictional essays which individually stand alone but together takes the reader on an imaginary journey from childhood in 1980s Britain to adulthood as a teacher, to life in Bangladesh and finally to old age (and beyond) in contemporary Britain.

Separate characters, narrators and scenarios present different fictional ideas yet hidden within each is a kernel of truth, deliberately masked, about the author behind them all. Here we meet schoolboys hiding from witches, terrified teachers, dangerous school Heads, magical instruments, mysterious prisons and (extra)ordinary women – yet everything has some basis in reality. The stories explore difficult themes such as childhood innocence, abuse, sex, love, religion and death.

Some stories and essays connect together to form a chronological thread while others contradict each other or imagine alternative lives. All of them are intended to amuse or challenge the reader’s understanding of life and, if they take the time to look closely, to reveal pencil marks hidden behind the paint.

Contains some strong language and adult content.

Want to read something while you wait for ‘Old Man’ to come?


sonali-by-ken-powell-2016-bilingual-version-cover-3-true
Praise for ‘Sonali’

“At the very least if you are not familiar at all with life in Asia, this book should leave you more curious about the cultures and worlds out there…”

“Beautiful book with pictures that capture the beauty of Bangladesh, the culture and the people living there…”

“I love how this book invites you directly into the homes of the people and takes you on a tour of incredible moments…”

 

“I have read this book over and over and it never gets tired…”

“Brought back lots of fond memories for me…”

“A beautiful book that allows the reader an incredible window into everyday life in rural Bangladesh…”

Sonali is available both in Kindle and paperback formats here

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