Interview with Historical Fiction Author Neil Patterson #interview #blogtour

Neil Patterson was born 15 miles East of London near the River Thames. As a child he played on the tidal mudflats which, since Roman Times, had been a depository for man’s detritus . Neil was fascinated by the many items that he found whilst mudlarking, old coins, bottles and buttons. He found pieces of clay pipes that Londoners used to smoke Tobacco, which was introduced to Britain in the 16 century. The fragments of clay pipes fired Neil’s enthusiasm for History.

Late into his teens Neil began to keep a diary and has carried this practice throughout his adult life. He has also written many short stories and poetry but not until he stopped working, in his late fifties, has Neil found time to dedicate to his writing.

Neil ‘s Uncle lived in Australia and from early childhood he dreamt of living down under, he says he was born in England with an Australian heart. He followed his heart migrating to Australia 40 years ago. Neil now works full time as a writer and lives in Murrays Beach with his wife Jann and their border Collie, Harry the dog.





About the Book

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.


Amazon →

Can you tell us what your new book is about?

Born into poverty on a winter’s night in 1900, Alfie Norrington spent his early years fighting to survive on the streets of London’s East End. As a child he became competent pickpocket and an accomplished thief as he descends’ into stealing to survive. Fortunately, his older brother Jack notices his behaviours and begins guiding and supporting Alfie, encouraging him to grow as a person and thrive. Alfie develops his values which drives him to fight for King and country in the war to end all wars.

Through the death and desolation of the Western Front trenches, to horrific bloody bomb sites in East London, young Alfie discovers love, life and loss. This prepares Alfie for the many and varied experiences which lay ahead.

Becoming Alfie is the first novel in the Alfie Norrington series and follows Alfies life from childhood to manhood.

Can you tell us a little about your main and supporting characters?

The main Character, Alfie Norrington, is the youngest of five children. His early years were marred by the behaviours of his alcoholic and violent father. His family are close, the love of which Alfie thrives on (apart from his father). Alfie develops an robust set of values and a healthy moral compass through his experiences and family support

Your book is set in London.  Can you tell us why you chose this location in particular?

I was born and lived near the part of London that Alfie calls home. I know it well and know the local history therefore it was easy for me to recreate the streets and characters of the location

How long did it take you to write your book?

The first draft took 4 months. It was just over 100K words. The whole process including the manuscript assessment, the editing, various re-writes was an eight month exercise in total.

What has been the most pivotal point of your writing life?

Having the confidence in my writing ability to show my work to others. Once I had overcome that barrier, that insecurity the words and stories began to flow, as if I had removed a large boulder which was holding back my creativity.

What kind of advice would you give other Historical Fiction authors?

Don’t feel constrained by the genre. Your work identifies you, your stories, your style, the characters you create, identify you, not the genre. The Genre is purely a literary category to fit you into. Resist the constraints of that genre, burst out within it.