All this month, my second novel – THE TRUTH ABOUT THIS CHARMING MAN – is just 99p, as part of Amazon’s Summer Promo. Grab your copy here…
…but not before I use the opportunity to shine a bright light into the eyes of an unsuspecting reader, and uncover the truth!
Today we’re grilling humorist, and writer of all things quirky… Iain Pattison
Let’s get straight into it!
Iain – tell us one fact – one truth – that most people don’t know about you.
I’m terrified of clowns – I find masks of any kind creepy. However, I have absolutely no fear of heights. So if a clown came after me, I’d probably scramble up the nearest tree. Even if he didn’t suffer from acrophobia, I’d be counting on him finding it tough to climb in those oversized shoes…
All Will’s ever wanted in life is to be an actor. What is, or was, your greatest ambition?
I’m a frustrated stand-up comedian. Sometimes when I’ve appeared at writers conferences kind souls have told me they thought I was very amusing and that I should give full time comedy a go. It’s an enticing thought but I know there’s a world of difference between injecting humour into a short story workshop and standing on a lonely Comedy Store stage at midnight facing a crowd of inebriated hecklers. For one thing drunks tend not to want to hear whether Noah’s flood ordeal counts as having a narrative arc …
Reading this in an email? If there’s a gap below that’s where a video would normally appear. Jump over to youtube to watch it.
Will makes a living pretending to be people he isn’t – have you ever pretended to be someone or something you’re not? Why?
Years ago when I was a cub reporter on my local newspaper there was a rumour going round that a national bakery chain was going to open a shop in our town, complete with cafe. Trouble was, they wouldn’t speak to any journalists to confirm the story. I rang up pretending to be from the local planning department and was put straight through to the Managing Director. Some people would call it lying – we hacks call it initiative.
Will finds himself in a situation where he has to be two of his characters … at the same meeting! But most people have been in the situation where they’ve been expected to be in two different places at the same time, or to carry out two tasks simultaneously. Have you ever been in a similar situation? What?
Also in my cub reporter days, I used to accompany the newspaper’s photographer around on a Saturday visiting various weddings in the neighbourhood. He’d take a snap, I’d get names and a few details so I could write a long caption.
One week Ken asked if I could do him a favour. He was double booked (he was a bit vague on details) and suggested that I go to one wedding on my own. He’d lend me a camera.
Reluctantly, I agreed. It was only when I turned up the church that I discovered to my horror that I wasn’t just taking a quick snap for the paper – I was actually booked as the couple’s OFFICIAL wedding photographer. Ken had been doing sneaky freelance jobs on the side and had got too greedy!
It was a fiasco of crash, bang, wallop proportions. I took pictures with people’s heads sliced off, missed the newly-weds kissing at the end of the service and mistook the best man for the groom. I don’t know who cried more – me or the bride. They demanded and got a full refund. I was so awful that I didn’t even get a bit of the cake that I failed to capture being ceremoniously cut.
Without giving too much away… did you have a favourite scene (in TTATCM)? Which one?
I love the hilarious scenes where Will is desperately trying to teach his hopeless students to be actors – and failing at every turn. It reminds me of some of my more challenging night school classes teaching creative writing. “No, inner conflict isn’t your protagonist punching his own internal organs!”
Is it true that you once dated Helen Mirren?
No, but I’ll give a fiver to anyone willing to spread this scurrilous falsehood.
Who would you like to see in a movie of THE TRUTH ABOUT THIS CHARMING MAN?
Apart from the fact that he’s American and now too old for the role, I’d love to see John Cusack cast as the lead.. He has that warmth, Kooky lost little boy charisma and sense of barely suppressed panic that makes Will such a likeable and scatty hero.
As for Zlata – his sexy/barmy/histrionic East European theatrical agent? A younger Helen Mirren springs to mind – but I’m afraid she often springs to mind. Hence the restraining order…
Find out more about Iain and his quirky goings on at IainPattison.com – and take a butchers at his latest short story collections at DoubleQBooks.com
Have you read The Truth About This Charming Man? Fancy being interrogated? Drop me a line!
The Truth About This Charming Man is part of Amazon’s Summer Promo – for the entire month of June you can download the book for your smart phone, tablet, or kindle, for a mere 99p.
Visit BUYTHEBOOK.TODAY to buy the book… today!