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Wednesday, 21 May 2014

SMASHWORDS - An Interview with Patrick Brigham

                             

What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Just about everything is, or has been tried and tested. Firstly, I have a good publicist in Authors PR that seems to understand the geometry of the internet far better than me. But secondly, I still have the usual outlets including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn Goodreads Amazon and of course Google Blogger, which I try to keep up to date on a weekly basis. However, my blog is not exclusively about me or my writing, has published articles interviews and stories from the past, together with present day comments concerning the state of the world which surrounds my books and their genre, which is Murder Mystery.

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in the Home Counties in England on a farm in Berkshire UK. As a solitary child, it was there that I learned to amuse myself and consequently I used my imagination to invent a world which could captivate and entertain me. Most of my relatives were distant as people - both geographically and personally - and so as a little boy I roamed the gardens and orchards of my country home, together with my dog Polly and my cat Tommy, on an adventure which was finally interrupted by reality, when it was time to go to school.

When did you first start writing?
I have always written, from the time that my first essay was read in class at school, to this very moment. The problem as I saw it in the past, was the subject matter! One day in my late teens, I was busy trying to describe my allegedly full and exciting social life, when it occurred to me that the people I was describing were so two dimensional, that they were practically a waste of paper and ink. You see, nothing important had really happened in my life by then, only the symptoms, the growing pains and the realization, that there was more to life than watching people. I had to go out into the world and find my true path, in order to be me. Was this a successful journey? Well, you tell me.

What's the story behind your latest book?
I like to write about subject matters which are important and largely overlooked by people, who want to live an uncomplicated life. But the reality facing our society is often hard to disguise and so I surround the subject matter with murder, mystery and political intrigue.
My last book, Judas Goat - The Kennet Narrow Boat Mystery, is about international arms dealing, money laundering, mystery and murder. It is also about the character of our erstwhile detective, Chief Inspector Michael Lambert, who manages to unravel a particularly gruesome murder; one which carry's him into the remnants of the Cold War, and Communism.
My newest book - awaiting publication - is about child abduction, people trafficking, organ harvesting and illegal immigration, but is also once more about DCI Michael Lambert, now working for Europol the European FBI.
In search of a little English girl abducted in Italy, An Angel over Rimini, once more takes the reader into another world, one of people trafficking and the murky waters which Al Qaeda also inhabits in order to get into Europe. A story which exposes police incompetence and racial prejudice, it also describes the hidden horrors of illegal immigration. But there is also romance in the air for Michael Lambert.

What motivated you to become an indie author?
Speed and control of my work, and the knowledge that my words can be in front of a lot people, in just a moment.

How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I think it would be true to say that it is in the process of helping me to meet a greater audience - particularly in the US where eBooks are more popular than in Europe - which will I hope, become faithful followers of DCI Michael Lambert, as he continues to thoughtfully solve the many criminal cases which confront him in Europe.

What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
A good cook always knows when the meal is a great success, by the silence. The writer shares the same process. The silence I perceive when a reader is finally at one with the author - in some tranquil and private place known only to them - is my greatest joy. Don't get me wrong, I like selling books too, but a good book review by a reader, confirming that my stories are well received and entertaining, is the most heartening part of our private conspiracy!

What do your fans mean to you?
They mean everything and more.

What are you working on next?
I am working on this! To be a successful writer these days, involves a lot of hard work. Not only must we control our writing, editing, proof reading and cover design, but we have to promote and get heavily involved with the media. That is my reality.

Who are your favorite authors?
I am a very eclectic reader and favorite means, 'at the time.' I love John Le Carre because of his Cold War dialog, and Robert Ludlum for his action and intrigue. I love Laurie lee because he is the most descriptive writer I know, and understands the passage of time and its value. When I was younger I liked JD Salinger, Saul Beloff and Philip Roth. Nowadays, in common with many writers, I read recommendations from the web. I like Dan Brown, Alan Bennett, Ian McEwan and many of the mystery writers who have now migrated into film or TV, such as Colin Dexter and PD James.

What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Appetite.

When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I like classic cars, cooking, modern jazz and playing the piano.

How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Recommendation via the web.

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
No, thank God!

What is your writing process?
I have a daily routine which revolves round my computer and my environment. Each day is much the same for me in Greece - there are few distractions and I have a nice home and wife - and so an early start, punctuated by the usual interruptions, is followed by a siesta. That seems to work for me.

Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Mr Bun the Baker. Very little!

How do you approach cover design?
Very carefully. It is important that you like the cover as well as your publisher. The cover designers rarely read any books and so they generally rely on the story synopsis, if they get that far. So, it pays to keep and eye on the cover - you cant judge a book by its cover? - most people do.

What do you read for pleasure?
Murder Mystery!

Describe your desk
Tidy.
 
              
Published 2014-05-21.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.
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