Hey y'all! I'm back with another author interview. Today, we have Derek Power. When I first met Derek, I was so intrigued by his Filthy Henry series. In fact, I've read the majority of the series now. It was a good escape for the summer. Not only are the books funny but they're unique. It's so hard these days to come up with something that stands out but Derek has succeeded in that. I don't know how he did but I'm glad he did. Seriously, if you love unique concepts, comedy, and mythology, Derek's work is very much for you! Be sure to check his books out!
How did your writing journey begin?
Back in university I dabbled in writing short stories from time to time. There was a contest ran in the university paper. They provided an opening line and you could write whatever you wanted as long as it started with that line. I wrote a crime story and submitted it and lo and behold it won. I was delighted – I even still have the newspaper clipping saved in a folder.
Then I did nothing for a few years until in 2012 the idea for Filthy Henry, the fairy detective, popped into my head. I plotted it out fully and started working on it and after shopping it around a bit and getting nowhere I self-published in 2014 and have been writing about Filthy Henry ever since.
Do you plan on making more Celtic mythology books?
I do indeed. I have three more Filthy Henry novel ideas roughly plotted out, all of which would involve more Celtic mythology. I generally like to keep it at three because as I work on one story it leaves room in my head to come up with the next one two books down the line. Since the stories are all self-contained I don’t need to worry too much about plotting a multi-arc story.
When you’re not writing or working on your book, how do you spend your time?
Sadly there is a day job that takes up roughly forty to fifty hours of my week. When I am not doing that I have a young family which takes up time (but in a fun way, they are at the age now of exploring and deciding what they enjoy). I’m an avid reader (as anyone who writes must be I reckon) and I also enjoy gaming (Diablo 4 is taking a bit of my time these days).
What are some of your favorite things to read?
I read a lot of sci-fi and fantasy stuff, I always have. I just find the worlds that are made up or potentially will exist so entertaining. It is fascinating to see what other people imagine. Also it allows for a bigger suspension of disbelief over, say, a crime novel based in real world.
Does anything you read help influence your writing?
I try not to let what I am reading influence what I am writing too much for fear of accidentally plagiarizing somebody else. When I am writing I will read a genre different to the one I am writing in. So if I am working on Filthy Henry I usually read sci-fi. If I have a sci-fi story on the go I will read fantasy. Once I am in the editing phase of a book I don’t mind what I am reading, but that first draft is always the worry.
How much fun has it been to get into the mind of Filthy Henry?
At this stage (2023) I am five novels and six short stories into writing about Filthy Henry. I can slip into his mind like putting on a sarcastic coat. A lot of my own humour and views on the world are filtered through him in the stories. One of my good friends often remarks that if I was able to cast magic in real life I’d basically be Filthy Henry.
What are some interesting Celtic mythology facts that you want to incorporate in future books?
The is a story about warrior women/witches that I would love to tweak and bring into the Filthy Henry universe. They trained up Cú Chulainn to be one of our greatest warriors and I think it would be important to show that Celtic legends, back in the BC times, were more forward thinking than people would have you believe. I also have a story about giants that I want to work on as one of the legends involves a Scottish and Irish giant having a fight, but the Irish giant needing trickery to win. That’s something right up Filthy Henry’s alley.
What have been some the more challenging parts of your writing journey?
Writing itself I find very easy. I have a good flow when I get going, I generally write every single day without exception and I am disciplined so I won’t game or watch Netflix if I haven’t done ‘the words’ for the day.
For me the hardest part is the promotional stuff. It just seems to be so difficult for me to crack the formula. I have followed a number of other indie authors and done what they did but either I am doing something wrong or my books just aren’t what people want to read.
What is something you hope that a reader gets from reading one of your books?
Each of the books contains a nugget of the original legend they are based on. Part of the lore of Filthy Henry is that the legends were invented by the fairy folk to stop humans asking too many questions. I’d like people, after they read one of the Filthy Henry novels, to maybe read the legend it was based off and see how it originally went.
What is the best advice you were given as author?
Drafts are you friend. Nobody ever gets the words right in the very first go and if you try to focus on that perfect sentence before moving onto the next one you won’t ever write line number two. So just write the words, get them out on paper, then let draft two up until draft ‘it is as good as it can be’ be for reworking and getting things perfect.
If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
I’d like the ability to freeze time around me. Then I’d write in my little time bubble for four hours a day and when I unfreeze everything nobody (myself included) has aged. Think how much writing you’d get done!
Do you have any tips to aspiring authors?
Set yourself a daily word target, one that you won’t kill yourself to reach, and then hit that target every day. 100, 1000, 10000 – whatever you think you can easily do each day set it and then stick to it. Nobody writes a 100k novel in a weekend, it is all little acorns that eventually grow into mighty oaks. If you set a daily target, stick to it, you will get the book written.
Trust me, I do 500 a day and I’ve six novels out there and a handful of short stories in anthologies.
The Bio Bit
Derek Power is the mind behind Filthy Henry, the fairy detective. Born and bred in Dublin, he current lives in Skerries with his family. He predominately focuses on comedy-fantasy works, but has dabbled in sci-fi noir with his novel 'Duplex Tempus'.
When not writing he spends his days refreshing the inbox wondering when Hollywood is going to come knocking for the film rights to his books.
My Website is: http://www.powerwrites.com
Most people do not know that fairies are real, let alone need a detective. But when The King of the Leprechauns has his crock of gold stolen by some humans he requires the services of a detective.
Lucky for him Filthy Henry is just the man he needs. The only problem is nobody in the world can stand him. Which does not really bother Filthy Henry as he is not too fond of the world either...