by IainPattison


In my monthly newsletter I’ve been featuring some fun tongue-in-cheek interviews with fellow authors under the MIXED GRILLING banner. Several people have said it’s pity only my subscribers get to see them. So I thought I’d post a few of the best ones on my blog from time to time. To kick off, here’s the interview I did with TV reporter turned writer Maureen Carter.

maureen-carterMaureen is the creator of two detective series set in Birmingham so it could be said she kills people for a living.

Catch her blog at:www.maureencarter.co.uk

Hi Maureen, what’s the quirkiest thing that’s ever happened to you?

Filming a ghost in a reputedly haunted Lancaster bomber at RAF Cosford comes close. On reflection, it might have been exactly that: a reflection of the sound recordist’s head in the lens. I was covering the item for TV news at the time: facts spoil story – not.

What word or phrase do you overuse?

Darling . . . darling.

What’s the most surprising thing that anyone has ever said about your work?

Bridget Jones meets Cracker came as a shock. Total b*****ks. Love it though.

What first inspired you to write?

To write fiction- the opening sentence of Ruth Rendell’s A Judgement in Stone. Thirteen words that convey volumes: Eunice Parchman killed the Coverdale family because she could not read or write.

Favourite treat?

A cheeky little Prosecco to wash down a chip butty on white bread and butter. I am one classy broad.

What time of day do you write?

Office hours – with authorised overtime when the deadline’s looming.

Twitter – brill or shrill?

Both so it has to be, brish?

Your guilty pleasure?

Watching Four in a Bed, back-to-back.

Writer’s block – real deal, or just an excuse to skive?

No such thing. I’m with Terry Pratchett who reckoned it was invented by people in California who couldn’t write. My mantra? JDI –  just do it.

Who’s your favourite author? Why?

What day is it? Seriously, my favourite changes like the wind. Having said that, I love reading Mark Billingham’s DI Thorne books. Mark has the enviable ability to change emotional gear in just a few sentences of lean pared-down prose. I also love his characters. And some of his dialogue makes me laugh out loud. Plus, he comes from Birmingham!

Worst meal you ever ate?

A dish I made at school. Soused herrings. Well, I say ‘ate’. My digestive system took temporary position. Even the cat did a runner.

Celebrity you most fancy?

Aidan Turner (with or without towel) has just taken over from Johnny Depp.

How do you cope with rejection?

Writers have to accept not everyone will love their work. I find a voodoo doll pinned to a dartboard softens the blow.

Do you believe in ghosts? Do they believe in you?

I refer you to my earlier answer, m’lud.

What makes you fume?

Everything that curbs freedom of speech. Too many people are scared to speak out nowadays, cowed by the thought of being ridiculed and excoriated by the thought police on social media and the like.

If I gave you four sentences to shamelessly plug your latest project, what would you say?

Working Girls is Maureen Carter’s first novel. In it she introduces the inimitable DS Bev Morriss to the fictional detective scene. Maureen’s now working on the tenth in the series. Next of Kin the fifth title in her DI Quinn series is just out.

Next of Kin coverTo check out Next of Kin click here


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by IainPattison


You know, it only just occurred to me the other day that for a bloke who’s written a series of off-beat comedy books my author profiles were a little bit too serious. Not strait-laced, not exactly Queen Victoria in full grieving mode, but a tad formal, and dare I say it – pompous.


Me before the transformation

All bore rather stiff, forced-smile photos of me trying to look like a respectable author (if that’s not an oxymoron!) and featured details of my past achievements laid out like a desperate job seeker’s CV. I didn’t mention my cycling proficiency badge, but nearly everything else.

Published widely on both side of the Atlantic (yeah, okay), author of a best-selling guide to short story writing (impressive but not quite Carling), millions of published words (but so has Jeffrey Archer!) competition judge (do you get to wear a wig?) and public speaker (well, it’s not really that exciting if you do it in private…)

But where was that vital ingredient – the fun? Inside my head the voices that get me into so much trouble urging me to binge on cake and lust after my neighbour’s petrol mower, suddenly instructed me to turn my attention to being amusing.


and the new me – minus the black frock

So for the last few days I’ve been on a mission to introduce some mirth and mayhem into my biogs. Gone is the sombre, chiseled profile “head and shoulders” picture, now replaced by me looking gormless but happy.

And the thumbnail descriptions of me are now silly, surreal and irreverent. I may, if I find the time, even do a description of my thumbnail.

So why I am telling you all this? Apart from having a blog to write and being trapped in one tiny corner of my study while my wife has the carpet-fitters in (and no, it’s not a euphemism!). Truth is, I want to pick your brains. Or, more accurately, I want to tickle your funny bones.

I’m currently test driving three different versions of a silly summary that will become my “Hi – here’s who am I” write-ups. And I’d love you to tell me which one you prefer. Which, if any, is the funniest and hopefully most engaging.

No, there isn’t any payment coming your way – just my undying gratitude. (If I die the gratitude becomes null and void, see clause three, paragraph 6B.)


Dear old Jeffrey – I’ve probably had as many published words as him – but that’s definitely where all similarities end!

So let me know in the comments – what’s your favourite? A, B, or C?

A:Iain Pattison used to be miserable at the thought that he was universally shunned. But since he’s discovered that it isn’t everyone in the universe avoiding him – only those on planet Earth – he’s cheered up considerably.

He’s the author of the Quintessentially Quirky Tales humour series. Sign up for his monthly newsletter at www.iainpattison.com for gags, gossip and great giveaways.

B: After a blissful 20-year relationship with newspapers, Iain Pattison returned home to find that journalism had changed the locks, nicked his CD collection and dumped the rest of his belongings on the doorstep. Scorned but plucky, he’s been working as an author and humorist ever since. His hobbies include devouring unhealthy amounts of chocolate, crying inexplicably on public transport and re-homing neglected jokes that others have cruelly abandoned. He can be found lurking around the entrance to www.iainpattison.com

C:Having discovered that he was not The Chosen One of which the ancient prophesises spoke, Iain Pattison ditched his kaftan, sold his sandals and vowed to eke out a living as an author and humorist. Between penning funny tales, he battles to give obscure words like eke a place in polite society. He resides in Birmingham, but often feels a mysterious urge to return to his cave in Tibet for Bank Holiday weekends.

His monthly newsletter is packed with gags, author interviews, sneak previews, gossip and great giveaways. Find out more at www.iainpattison.com
Okay, members of the jury that concludes the gory evidence of my terrible humour. Please retire to your chamber and consider your verdict…
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