Interview with Neil Patterson, by Neil Patterson

Neil 1 (the interviewer)

Good morning Neil, thanks for your time.

Neil 2 (the interviewee)

The pleasure is all mine Neil, I can assure you. You’re looking good today.

Neil 1

As are you. Has writing always been a prominent feature of your life?

Neil 2

It most certainly has. Since my early twenties I have been an avid diarist, writing about my life, the events that occurred and importantly, how I felt at the time of those events .When I read back through my musings it brings clarity to moments I have, oftentimes forgotten, along with the realisation that “nostalgia just ain’t what is used to be”.

Neil 1

Did you write other material apart from your diary?

Neil 2

Yeah. I wrote and write poetry and short stories. I wasn’t comfortable in sharing this material widely as some of it was deeply personal. I shared it with some close friends and family, the feedback I received gave me the confidence to continue writing.

Neil 1

So you have been writing since your early twenties, decided against publishing the poetry and short stories that you wrote. When did you decide to write and publish series of books?

Neil 2

I was lucky to retire in my 50’s with that event giving me time write. Time to slow down, time to think and time to reflect. My wife and I moved away from the big City, we now live in coastal NSW, a perfect place from which to write. After a few false starts I started to write a book. I planned, created the plot, began to write and the story just blossomed. I am now completing The Alfie Norrington Series with manuscript four almost finished. The previous three are complete and the first in series Becoming Alfie now available. The book has received some excellent reviews which pleases me enormously. I intend publishing the following three in the series, one every six months or so which hopefully, will keep my readers happy.

Neil 1

Do you have a process or pattern that you follow when writing that gives you some sort of routine?

Neil 2

An insightful question Neil. Yes I do and I find that routine works for me. First thing every morning I review and edit what I have written the previous day. Myself and Harry the Dog, then go out for a walk either around the lake or along the beach, come rain or shine. During the walk I begin to think about and construct in my head, aspects of the next stage in the manuscript. I find this hour or two is my strongest period of creativity for the day, often recording some thoughts or sentences on my iPhone. I then recreate the ideas, in bullet form, at my desk when we arrive home. Then I close my office door and do not return until late afternoon when I begin writing again. Whenever I am writing Harry the Dog is under my desk snoring or chasing rabbits in his sleep.

Neil 1

As a first time author do you think it was unusual to publish in three formats being paperback, e-book and an audio-book.

Neil 2

Not as unusual as interviewing myself! I read across all three mediums as I am sure others do. Some people love listening while driving long distances, other like the feel and the smell of a book while other still, enjoy reading on their devices that carry many books at any one time. I hope to appeal to all readers and share the exciting stories about Alfie, as they are very exciting. Alfie led a tremendous life, with many up and downs which traversed the entire 20th century. I enjoyed recreating historical scenes and by placing this fictional character within them, bringing these scenes alive, making them real. I hope the readers get this sense and enjoy the tales of Alfie and his life.

Neil 1

Is the character of Alfie based on anyone you know or have known or is he based on you?”

Neil 2

Alfie is purely fictional. He is a blend of the characteristics of a dozen or so people that I have been acquainted with over time. There is a little part me in Alfie, but I am not telling which part. Writers draw upon their life experiences when creating characters or scenes in their work. I am not dissimilar in that respect, but I am very different to my good friend Alfie Norrington. I say good friend as he has been with me, every day for a good few years now. When I complete the fourth episode in the series, it will be a little bit sad, in fact very sad. I will miss Alfie.

Neil 1  

Final question coming up Neil. What do you have planned post Alfie?

Neil 2

Another good question Neil, I like the way you think. I have about a dozen literary projects planned and have begun some work on a fictional piece, set in Melbourne early in this century that has a real twist towards the end. Alfie has all of my attention for the remainder of this year. I will dig out that manuscript quite soon, probably rewrite what I done far, then continue. Even I am looking forward to the end of that story.

Neil 1

Thank you Neil and good luck with your writing.

Neil 2

The pleasure is all mine Neil.