Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?
Patrick Brigham ,Over 60 or you can guess the rest!
Fiona: Where are you from?
Born in Berkshire, England to an old Reading family, having attended an English Public School and a stint at college, author Patrick Brigham moved to London, and went into real estate. After the economic crash of 1989, he licked his wounds, wrote two books, and in 1993 he decided to abandon London, the UK casino economy, and moved to Sofia, Bulgaria. As the editor in chief of the Sofia Western News, the first English news magazine in Bulgaria – between 1995 and 2000 – and as a journalist, he witnessed the political changes in this once hard-core communist country. There, he personally knew most of the political players, even the old Communist Dictator, President Todor Zhivkov.
Fiona: A little about yourself (IE, your education, family life, etc.).
I live in northern Greece, close to Turkey and Bulgaria. I have a son in London, a daughter in Brussels, and a sister in Oxfordshire. See above
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
My latest news is that my recently published novel – Goddess of The Rainbow – is doing quite well, and I have just started a semi biographical novel called Golfish Can’t Fly. Which will be my sixth novel.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I was very young, but I stopped when I realized that I had little to write about, and being age 20, that I was rather boring.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
There was a property crash in the late 1980s, and so I sat down with my Amstrad analog computer, and got on with it. But, I also joined a writers club, which made me take what I did more seriously, and convinced me that I had talent.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I still am. I started it 30 years ago, and I am finishing it now, because I was still far too close to some of the content. My first published book was Herodotus: The Gnome of Sofia, which I published through Mereo. It was a humorous account of my time in Bulgaria, and the paranoia within the UK diplomatic service. Herodotus is a garden gnome, who is in fact a sophisticated spying device.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
He had to be called something, and because the FCO is made up of over educated and rather self important people, he had to have a very pompous name.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I have written stand alone, humour, murder mystery, and literary fiction, but in truth, I just write. I am a descriptive writer, but I have also written plays, so dialogue comes naturally, together with regional accents.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
A lot is true, but fictionalised, but the rest is up to the story. I have just written a novel about a small town in Greece, which I know well, with people who I do not. I just assume that since they are human beings, they might react in a certain way.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I am a traveller who has lived in South East Europe for thirty years, but I know most of Europe.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Various people, but my last book-cover was designed by my daughter Louisa, who is studying graphic design in Antwerp
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I blow with the breeze, Fiona. Murder Mystery is about a clever detective, Literary Fiction about the human condition, Humour is about what makes me laugh –
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favourite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
I have always loved Laurie Lee as a descriptive writer, I like Louis De Bernier because we share the same interest, I like Edna O’Brien for her style, I like John Le Carre because I understand his world, I like John Mortimer – remember Rumpole of the Old Baily – and Saul Belof.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
Jilly Henderson-Long – writer
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book
We all do
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Yes, my early life was not sad, but funny
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Murder Mystery – Clive Owens, Humer – someone quite short, Literary Fiction – Hugh Grant.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
There is too much advice floating around the book world, and I am sick of ‘How To Write’ books, where many of the author’s can’t write. There is too much written about SEO, and presentation, but why am I saying this? Because the most important thing is to write a good book, that you believe in, so keep going, and don’t get distracted by so called experts.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Harold Pinter – Various Voices
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Mr Bun The Baker
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Jewish Humour like Mel Brookes, some John Cleese, and the concept of love
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Rasputin, because I always thought he was nice
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
I play jazz piano, like cooking, and vintage cars
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
TV in Greece is in Greek
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
Planning my summer holiday
Fiona: What do you want written on your headstone?
The doctor said it was just a cough
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?