Today I am interviewing J.J. Patrick, author of what he calls “a bit of a unique novel”, Forever Completely. It’s proving hard to categories, even for the author, but “witches, zombies, the end of the world, and a nice, old dear in a tracksuit” seems to be the consensus…
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DJ: Hey J.J.! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!
For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?
J.J. Patrick: My story’s pretty standard really…I was a police officer for ten years, eventually working at Scotland Yard as a specialist analyst where I uncovered the national manipulation of crime statistics and sparked a parliamentary inquiry which saw me hounded out of my job as a whistleblower hated by my bosses but praised in Parliament. After that things went wonky and I ended up bankrupt and malnourished, living in poverty, in a sink estate bedsit with a Scottish alcoholic urinating on the floor in the room above every night. You know, the usual mundane stuff…
DJ: What is Forever Completely about?
J.J.: It’s about falling apart. About being lost. Being found. It’s about love at its heart. The world around us is a strange place right now, people making odd decisions and a surreal layer of protectionism overseeing all of it in the most dangerous way, and FC captures the risks by destroying the world through selfish acts of war and extremism, and leaving something else to grow in it’s place. Magic. Of course, conflict Never quite finishes, because people are people, so after the desolate loneliness of the apocalypse come a whole other round of loss before positive choices set the world right for good. The book is about finding yourself, and having deities with a rather naughty sense of humour.
DJ: What were some of your influences for Forever Completely?
J.J.: I’m a lifelong reader of Stephen King, and so many of his journeys resonate with me, but FC was mainly influenced by a need for me to escape at the time I was writing it. There’s a lot of me in there, and a lot of my beliefs too. The world is a magical place if you’re prepared to look for it. I suppose the biggest influence on the story is people themselves – I’ve seen the best and worst of them, and the love/hate conflict of daily life was a huge driver. The human condition is the best material any writer has.
DJ: Could you briefly tell us a little about your main characters? Do they have any cool quirks or habits, or any reason why readers with sympathize with them?
J.J.: The main character is the narrator and apparently he’s quite likeable, in a frustrating way. He’s utterly broken and that seems to capture something in people. Gives them something to identify with. The centrepiece though is Jeanette, the old hedge witch with the awful, eye-popping wardrobe. She’s forthright, sassy, grumpy and utterly, utterly wonderful. People love her and so do I. So much so, she’s having her own book. The characters all introduced themselves as they are, and I genuinely think there’s someone in there for everyone. Continue reading