Wednesday 7 September 2011


What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?

Pat Whitaker.  I was born in Whitney, England but moved with my parents to New Zealand at the tender age of four. Apart from five years travelling the world in my twenties I’ve lived here ever since - mostly on the Kapiti Coast north of Wellington.

What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarise it in less than 20 words what would you say?

Nmemesis (and yes, that is the correct spelling), and to summarise:

Humanity is attacked by an enemy within; unseen and untouchable. All must learn to fight a battle with no rules.

Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?

I’m currently writing two, quite different, books. One, Conjunction, is pure science fiction and the other, Hugo, a classic murder mystery. None of my books constitute a series but four, Bad Blood, Time Out, Raw Spirit and Nmemesis do share a common backdrop and some supporting characters.

How long have you been writing?, and who or what inspired you to write?

I started writing at sixty, with Bad Blood, and prior to that had never had any interest in writing at all. Why did I start? Partly because I wake early and it was a way of filling the time, but mostly, to see if I could.

Do you gift books to readers to do reviews?

Yes, but only if their blog/site is of a good standard and their reviews informative. I also only normally will provide electronic review copies.

How do you come up with the Title and Cover Designs for your book/books?Who designed the Cover of your books?

Title and cover design come from the story itself, as you would expect, but with a clear understanding that both are primarily required to catch the eye and persuade the reader to pick it up - then it’s over to the blurb. I design all my covers myself - that is to say, I come up with the concept. I then hand a mock-up over to my son for the finished article, as he is much more proficient with computer graphics.

Have you ever based characters on people you know or based events on things that have happened to you?

In a word, no. That said, some aspects of both individuals and events can become part of the mix. I also use a lot of factual information in my stories - I work to the mantra that everything that can be true, should be true (and accurate).

Is there a certain Author that influenced you in writing?

Not specifically. Obviously I have been influenced by everything I’ve read (good or bad) to some extent, but I’ve developed my writing more to tell my own stories in my own way. This may sound rather arrogant, but the truth is I know if I tried to write in the idiom of someone I admire, I would be very disappointed with my efforts.

Which format of book do you prefer, ebook, hardback, or paperback?

I release all my books in both paperback and ebook form - or rather my publisher, Cooper’s Press does, but for reading I still read mostly paperbacks. However, that is more circumstance than preference and although I think paperbacks (and definitely hardbacks) will be around for a long time to come, ebooks are quickly dominating the market. Why am I so sure printed books will survive? In a previous life I owned a bookshop and the truth is that the vast majority of books sold in most stores, are bought as gifts. A download is not a very satisfying thing to give - and damn hard to wrap.

What is your favourite book and Why?  Have you read it more than once?

Not sure I can answer that, but the book I’ve read the most number of times (5 or 6) is Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast (the first two books, anyway). Odd, in a way, as it’s the very antithesis of what I write.

Do you think books transfer to movies well? Which is you favourite/worst  book to movie transfer?

I think stories can be successfully told in both book and film, but it is important to understand that they are different media. Most of those that fail are those where this is ignored. That said, many people will criticise a film for not sticking closely enough to the book; this is unfair, it must be judged on its own merits.

An example of this was Arthur C. Clarke’s 2001. He (with Kubrick) wrote both the screenplay and the novel in parallel, and they are quite different.

What are you currently reading? Are you enjoying it? What format is it?(ebook, hardback or paperback)

To be honest, when not writing, most of my reading time is taken up critiquing and editing fellow writers work.

Is there a book you know you will never read? Or one you tried to read but just couldn't finish?

Well, when reading ‘recreationally’ I pretty much stick to classic murder mysteries and hard science fiction - so anything else, I guess. Boring, I’m afraid.

Are there any New Authors you are interested in for us to watch out for? and Why should we watch out for them?

Thomas C. Stone, for easy-to-read space adventure. A new but prolific writer who appeals to a wide audience.

Is there anything in your book/books you would change now if you could and what would it be?

No, I don’t think so. Once I get to the end of a book, I’m really not that interested in endlessly tweaking it. I guess this is because I’m focussed on telling a story not impressing the reader with my literary (dubious) skills.

What do you think about book trailers?

I keep telling myself I should produce one, I think they are a useful marketing tool, but I never have. But then, I’ve never watched one either.

What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?

Don’t write to become famous, don’t write to become rich and don’t write to impress. Write because you want to write, because you have a story you want to share. Only write what brings you satisfaction, it’s the only way you will write your best.

Do you or would you ever use a pen name?

No. I have no illusions about what I write, it’s entertainment not literature, but I’m proud of it. I believe if you have something to say you should have the courage to own it. Okay, there are occasionally reasons why a writer may wish to do this, particularly if they wish to venture into a different genre, but these are rare.

To be honest, this is a pet peeve of mine. The Internet is swimming in people offering opinions on everything under the sun, yet they haven’t the b**ls to admit to their beliefs.

Where can readers follow you?

Your blog details?                               No blog.
Your web site ?                          
Your facebook page?                
Your Goodreads author page? 
Your Twitter details?                           No Twitter.

And any other information you wish to supply?

My publisher can be found at and if anyone wishes to contact me personally they can do this through my personal website (or Goodreads).

Thank you for taking the time from youe writing schedule to do this interview.

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