Somewhere to review books I'm reading without giving away any spoilers!
I am very happy to welcome Neil Patterson to my blog today and thank him for kindly allowing me to share his answers to my question with you. Read on to discover his responses as well as more about him and his novel, Becoming Alfie…
Where did you get the inspiration for the book/series?
A variety of inputs into my thought processes created the outline for Becoming Alfie. From my own background on the fringes of East London down on the mighty river Thames to watching the movie “Oliver” as a child and being impressed by the urchin boys depicted in that film. The rich history of the London and how some of it flowed down river waiting to be discovered by my young self as I played in the tidal mudflats, discovering all kinds of treasure. My Grandfather, Father and eight Uncles worked on the docks. These and many other aspects bubbled away in my consciousness until one day the face of Alfie Norrington literally appeared in my head. It was then that I began writing the first of what was to become a four book Alfie Norrington Series.
What is your writing process?
First thing in the morning I review what I wrote the previous evening accompanied by a cup of tea and, until recently, Harry the dog. This is followed by a walk either along a nearby beach or bush track. I am exceptionally lucky to live where I do as there are many inspirational walks. I construct the next chapter or so in my mind while walking and record the thoughts immediately I return home. I close the office door, not to return until that evening. Note. Harry the dog, also known in some circles as Harry H, lost his battle with Jaundice two weeks ago and at the age of 12 ½, was gently put to sleep. I miss him terribly as he was always with me when I wrote or walked, laying under my feet at my desk or walking alongside me each morning.
Do you write using pen and paper or on a computer?
Both. I write on my computer as correcting mistakes, re-arranging sentences/paragraphs or whole chapters is so much easier than using pen and paper. Just imagine how Shakespeare got on, or the four chaps that wrote the new testament? It would have been a nightmare. I do always carry a pen and paper with me, persistently jotting down thoughts, ideas, of a characters I observe along with ideas for the next book. It drives my long-suffering wife to distraction at times particularly at weddings, in a gallery, at the theatre or lunch with friends. I am a little distracted most of the time and I can understand my wife’s viewpoint.
is your favourite character out of your stories and why?
Jack Norrington, Alfie’s older brother is my favourite. He is an upstanding citizen has great values, a good attitude towards life and fights for the underdog. He is confident without being cocky and cares deeply about certain aspects of life. Jack is a person I would most like to emulate.
If you were a character in your story, which would you like to be?
As above. Jack is the man I would most like to be. He is a good, decent, caring man who is confident, liked and respected.
How and why did you choose the names for your main characters?
My Paternal Grandmother was a Norrington and in memory of her I choose that surname. Alfie’s Dad was named after my father with the remaining names all picked from which names were popular in the decade in which they were born. Please note my Dad was nothing like his namesake in the book and if he were alive today the backstory of his namesake would amuse him greatly.
Thank you for your questions, I enjoyed responding to them. If any of your bloggers want to ask me questions please contact me via my website www.alfienorrington.com and I will respond.
The second, as yet unnamed book in the series, will be published in April 2021.
Alfie Norrington was born into poverty in London’s East End in the first minute of the twentieth century. His life was a battle. From the Brick Lane markets where young Alfie pilfered and pickpocketed, to the trenches of Flanders, Alfie fought every step of the way.
Almost killed by a trench bomb he battled to recover and while in a military hospital Alfie made a promise that dramatically change’s his life. A true East End hero, Alfie begins his journey away from poverty armed with a robust moral compass and an open heart.
Becoming Alfie is the first in the Alfie Norrington series. It follows the life of a man who positively influenced thousands of people. The world needs more individuals like Alfie Norrington, that give much more than they take.
Author Bio –
Born in South Essex close to the River Thames and directly East of London, my childhood was peppered with memories of the mighty river itself.
We would swim, fish and discover hidden treasure in the tidal mudflats with the fragments of clay pipes we found taking us back to another era. It was here that my inspiration for writing was born. I began to keep a diary of my observations from life and documented my feelings and thoughts.
My wife was twenty two and I was twenty four when we migrated to Australia with a glorious expectation. The sun was shining, the people were friendly and Sydney Harbour simply magnificent. Together we were committed to making the most of this opportunity beginning the next step in our lives. Everything was new which gave me endless writing opportunities that I recorded in my diary which had spilled over into a number of books. We travelled around this incredible country meeting people from all walks of life and from many nationalities. We lived and worked in a variety of capital cities enjoying each and every experience. All this was tremendous fodder for my writing.
I began to write short stories and poetry, none of which I sought to publish. By my fifty second birthday I was able to finish working and focus full time on my writing, the results so far are The Alfie Norrington Series with Becoming Alfie the first in the series of four. I hope that you enjoy reading Becoming Alfie as much as I did writing it.
Social Media Links
Follow the tour:
Many thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for providing materials for this post and organising the tour it is part of.