#Interview with Pat Jourdan, author of One Hundred Views of NW3
Many thanks to Pat Jourdan, author of One Hundred Views of NW3, for answering my questions and agreeing I can share her replies with you here. Read on to discover her replies as well as more about her and her book.
1 Where did you get the inspiration for the book?
I wanted to follow up various situations that had been ignored. The Swinging Sixties London had a darker side, especially for women, that has been swept under the carpet – the predatory men and the unintended pregnancies.
2 What is your writing process?
It begins with feeling uncomfortable, very like early (unconfirmed) pregnancy. Ideas start to cluster around, I have to make notes, then it assembles into a procession of ideas and events. Then it gets sculpted into shape, with bits discarded. That 80,000 word summit has to be reached, like Mount Everest. However, this novel is only 76,000 words.
3 Do you write using pen & paper or on a computer?
I buy two or three A4 refill writing pads, preferably with narrower lines. They have 160 pages and I use one side only, writing with black biro. Then I use a red biro for corrections.
Only after that is it all typed out (and I hate typing.) Using a computer from the start makes a manuscript seem more authoritative, it looks as though it is already printed. It leaves out a really useful private stage.
Then, I put the kettle on, make a pot of tea and print the entire 250-ish pages out. This is both a good and a bad stage! And out comes the red biro again and the process repeats, several times if necessary.
4 Who is your favourite character out of your stories and why?
My real favourite is Simon, in an earlier novel, “A Small Inheritance” because he manages to exist outside any social ties. He is involved in running an illicit still in the Irish countryside and then comes into money.
5 If you were a character in your story, which would you like to be?
It’s probably Dot in this book because she seems to be unscathed and just glides through merrily. Plus, it is Dot who sets the chain of events in motion by getting Stella to work at the party and so meet Dave.
6 How and why did you choose the names for your main characters?
I made a list of everyone in the book. Used no surnames and went all across the alphabet. Very difficult to not use names of people I know at present.
7 How do you, as an artist, combine painting and writing?
One feeds off the other though I can’t do both on the same day/week. I was always writing as a child but decided at the age of 4 to become an artist. I can remember the exact instant -doing a drawing for my mother who was away in a sanitorium with TB. Writing/drawing were the same thing.
I walked past the Liverpool College of Art for years looking at that door and eventually got there for four years, in the same class as John Lennon.
Thank you, once again, for answering my questions. You are one of the few authors who have said they handwrite the initial book and I really enjoyed learning about your process and your book. How amazing to be in the same class as John Lennon, too – I suspect you have more stories about that time that maybe you’ll share another time?
Read on to find out more about Pat’s book and about Pat Jourdan…..
One Hundred Views of NW3
Arriving in London with £5, Stella rapidly begins hopping from one disastrous job, bedsit and boyfriend to another. All the time she is trying to paint pictures and write poetry. At last she gets a place in Hampstead but various men distract her from reaching the goal of holding an exhibition. An ever-changing group of friends moves her along from place to place. After each drawback Stela moves on, disaster after disaster, while the tally of of pictures shrinks to 36. Set in the heady days of 1960s Swinging London, this vividly charts one girl’s track through the untidy years at its height.
Pat Jourdan trained as a painter at Liverpool College of Art -some of her paintings can be seen on Saatchi.com. Always balancing writing with painting, she has won the Molly Keane Short Story Award, second in the Michael McLaverty Short Story Award, and various other prizes. One Hundred Views of NW3 is her fourth novel.
“ I am used to producing a painting from start to finish and self-publishing gives the same creative possibility. It has the same excitement, the change from private to public.”