Sunday, December 6, 2020

Becoming Alfie by Neil Patterson - Book Tour


Becoming Alfie

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.

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Author Q&A
1.       What is the first book that made you cry?

All creatures great and small by James Herriot. It is a compilation of his first three books. He paints wonderful images of North Yorkshire Countryside as he travels around as a country Vet with his pet Beagle. When he puts a dog to sleep, I cried buckets. I was around 15 years of age.

2.       How long, on average, does it take you to write a book?
I can write around 1500 words a day quite comfortably. With re-reading, re-writes, a change of mind with a character or a situation and the potential to scrap a complete chapter, which I have done, results in around six months for a 90,000 word manuscript.

3.       How do you select the names of your characters?
I have great difficulty in creating names for every character, it really is up there alongside thinking of a title for my book, which I sweat over for weeks. The surnames I pluck from the people I have met in my life. Those I went to school with, worked with, socialised with, met in the supermarket once, that sort of thing. For the Christian names I use google to search for  those names that were popular in that year or decade. I ensure that I search the year in which the character was born, not when he/she first appeared in the story.

4.       What creature do you consider your "spirit animal" to be?
Most definitely a dog. I love dogs. The are fun loving, furry, wagging, tongue  lolling balls of love. We, my wife and I, have had the enormous pleasure of owning five dogs thus far since we were married. I had a wonderful mongrel as a pet from eleven years of age. With every dog there was an occasion when arrived home in the wee hours, smelling of stale smoke and alcohol and what ever dog it was at the time, never looked up and said, in doggy language “What time do you call this then?”. Completely the opposite. They would be waiting sleepily inside the front door, tail wagging, smiling as dogs do, offering a marvelous welcome home. I aspire to offer unconditional love, as each of my dogs has demonstrated to me almost on a daily basis.

5.       What are your top 5 favorite movies?
The Sound of Music. Four weddings and a Funeral. Snow white and the Seven dwarves. Dead Poets Society. The Long Good Friday.

 6.       If you were the last person on Earth, what would you do?
What a great question. I would certainly go mad quite quickly as I am somewhat of an extrovert. Having no one to talk with, ask questions of, hug and play with, discuss deeper social and esoteric matters with, would send me right around the twist. It wouldn’t take long either. I think I would end up killing myself within a month unless there were dogs that I could befriend then I might hang around for much longer.

7.       What fictional character would you want to be friends with in real life?
Superman. Apart from the fact that he has strong morals and values which he lives every day, it would be a hoot to go flying with him. Just imagine your new best friend, Superman no less, tucking you under his arm, flying you around the world in a matter of minutes.. Woo Hoo!

8.       Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Giving advice is easy, accepting it is significantly more difficult. Trust in yourself, in your writing and the stories that you write. Welcome all feedback but please avoid negative people and their comments

9. What book do you wish you had written?
Shantaram by  Gregory David Roberts

10.       Tell us 10 fun facts about yourself!
I possess a salt and pepper beard which I don’t like but it covers up my wrinkly old face.

 I am now retired from work, which gives me the freedom to write. I start each day with a long walk either along the beach, around the lake or through the bush. It clears my head and helps me plan the days writing.

I have lived in Australia the same amount of time that I have been married, forty years.

I am a tragic West Ham football fan which is a lifelong commitment. I watch every match live and Just this morning I rose at 4.15am to watch the Hammers. We lost………

I have been very fortunate to have traveled the globe over the years both on business and on holiday. I have no desire to hop on a plane, even it that were possible, and fly to Europe or the US. Flying is grossly overrated.

I love wine but only drink Sav Blanc from New Zealand. I am such a fuddy-duddy.

One of my passions is cooking, particularly slow-cooking, with some dishes taking 6 hours or so to cook. Yum!

I dislike watching commercial TV and Donald-bloody-Trump.

My religious upbringing was in the Catholic Church, which I rejected at 15 and began a spiritual search at that age which continues today.

I am rapidly losing the hair on my head but growing massive amounts of hair from my ears, my nose and my eyebrows. It is quite bewildering.

 11.   If you could live in any time period, what would it be and why?
No doubt in the time of Jesus Christ’s tenure in the Holy land. I would love to have met him, talked with him and understood what his messages were really about. The purpose of our lives, the growth of self, the real meaning behind his words. To have been next to him during that time would be unbelievable for me

 12.   What is your favorite genre to read?
I read most genres but I do enjoy an auto-biography.

Thanks for the great questions. If you have any specific one hit my website where you can contact me. I will respond. Cheers,Neil

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.

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