Interview With Author Pat Jourdan (The Fog Index, Literary Fiction)

the fog index

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In your own words, please describe your book.

It’s twenty-six stories that dart into the lives of different people and even when the themes are dark, they are still speckled with humour. ‘A Scott Fitzgerald Summer’ features a story which becomes centre-stage in an Old Bailey trial.

Set in a drinking club, ‘Until Tomorrow’ follows Sonia in her journey back to unwilling domesticity, seen through the eyes of Rosie, her naïve friend.

A forged painting is the last card dealt in the deconstruction of ‘The Rich,’ while even their au pair is stolen away.

In ‘The Watch List,’ an uncommitted academic finds himself upset by the repercussions of a G20 protest and starts reading the protesters’ poignant on-line messages.

 
What genre/genres does your book fall under?

Literary contemporary fiction – short stories.

 
Is this book part of a series?

No -except there will be other story collections coming out.

 
What was the inspiration behind your book?

Instances I’ve noticed, then wondered about and had to make up explanations for; like doing a crossword puzzle.

 
What led you into writing? Was it a lifelong ambition, or the result of some type of turning point in your life?

At four I discovered this magic of making signs on paper that could carry messages to other people – but actually decided to be an artist!

 
So far, what has been the greatest moment in your writing career?

Sitting on the bus in Waterford, Ireland, when the midday news came on the bus radio, and I was the first item on the news ‘The Molly Keane Short Story Award has been won by Pat Jourdan.’ No one knew it was me of course, but it was a thrill.

 
Are you self-published or published through a small-press? Can you tell our readers what led up to that and your publishing experience?

Mostly self-published from here on. Both the small presses -Poetry Monthly and Diggory Press have closed down. Sending Mss out to agents and publishers eats up years (yes, that’s literally); self-publishing means it’s out there in public without delay. Small presses don’t do very good publicity either, ( who goes to their websites to find just you?), so you might as well market yourself, it’s more exciting, like being here now.

The only snag is the prejudice against self-publishers and the fact that you can’t enter for any of the important prizes. Gradually, though, that barrier is falling. We do need specific reviewers to enter this area and give it status. Then the media, like newspapers, esp the weekend supplements will be doing columns about us. This is beginning, but needs to gather more steam.

 
What are you working on now?

Two projects – a memoir about Liverpool, ‘Maryland Street,’ while the next short story collection, ‘Hotel Curtains’ seems to be assembling itself, story by story.

 
In your own words, please tell us about yourself.

From the centre of Liverpool, England, I was an only child in a close family of Liverpool-Irish, Roman Catholics, all adults very worth observing! At Liverpool College of Art I qualified as a painter and have held several successful exhibitions in England and Ireland. Divorced, with two sons, I have managed somehow to paint or write in the evenings throughout the years.

 
What are some of your likes and dislikes?

Favourite paint colour -French Ultramarine, I have to be careful not to over-use it. I do like perfumes -NOA and Obsession. I like being alone, while other times enjoying friends too. Favourite author since teenager is Nathaniel West, his complete works would be my Desert Island book. Dislikes – well, loud noise of any sort, whether lawnmowers or music. Can’t stand dishonesty or anger, especially towards children.

 
How can readers connect with you?

I think you can leave comments at my blog, patjourdan.wordpress.com

 
Tell us one thing about yourself that we wouldn’t know?

I ran away to London in the 1960s and in one day managed to get a night’s B&B, a job as a shop assistant and a bedsit – all out of a five-pound note!

 
If there was one thing you could tell your readers, what would it be?

Write it down NOW, or it might escape; and after that, it’s yours forever.

 
Amazon

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