Meet the Author: The Fabulous Life of Patrina Fletcher by Grahame Peace

Today we travel to Huddersfield in West Yorkshire in the UK to chat with Grahame Peace. We’ll talk about how the fashion industry, mental health services, a garden room, a 17th century Manor house, the Balenciaga Museum in Spain, and the Thunderbirds are chapters in the story of Grahame Peace.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I was born in Huddersfield in West Yorkshire in the UK in 1958. Historically it was famous as a textile town, but it’s now a University Town, it’s also the birth place of the late Hollywood film star James Mason and the late UK Prime Minster Harold Wilson.

I worked for many years in Mental Health Services, my background is nursing. I retired six years ago, and that’s when I started to write on a full time basis, up to that point most of my writing had been for work reports and academic assignments.

I’ve always had a huge interest in the high end fashion industry, I wanted to make fashion my career, but young working class men from the North of England sadly did not do fashion in the early 1970s when I left school. So I drifted into nursing, but fashion has always been important in my life and it has a way of creeping into my books, in fact, I’ve written two books in a genre I call ‘Fashion Fiction’ and I’m currently working on my third.

In which genre do you write?

My main genre is humour, but as I’ve already said I write what I call ‘Fashion Fiction’, along with paranormal-historical-mysteries, and fantasy, I’ve written a series of books (5 to date) called The Ghost from the Molly-House, the latest book in the series has recently come out on Amazon, The Mystery at Winterburn Manor. In these books I mix historical fact with fantasy.

How many published books do you have?

I have eight books out at the moment on Amazon:

The Beauty Room

The Ghost from the Molly House

The Jasper Claxton Mysteries

The Pluckley Psychic Historical Society

The Psychic Agency

A Journey into Fashion (The Dressing Room)

The Mystery at Winterburn Manor

The Fabulous Life of Patrina Fletcher

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer and what ignited your author’s flame?

I’ve always enjoyed writing and telling stories, but as I’ve already said, most of my writing have been for work reports and academic assignments, I enjoyed doing them, and thought I had a story to tell, based on my home town of Huddersfield and some of my life experiences, so it all started from there. It’s been a huge learning curve and I’m still learning, I’m sure I’ll never stop learning the craft of writing.

What does your ideal writing space look like?

We do have an office at home, but I have my writing chair in our garden room, you’ll find me there most days working away on a new book or idea. Somedays I might only write a paragraph, while other days I might do six pages. I also do a lot of historical research for my books, which is often very time consuming, it’s amazing how quickly the hours pass once I get engrossed in a new book and project.

What are you currently reading?

I’ve just finished The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, the original 1890 version, which I enjoyed. I’m currently reading The Stylist by Rosie Nixon, it has a strong fashion theme and is amusing, I like to be entertained, as a writer I read many different genres of books, but I don’t like anything too dark or violent.

List 3 interesting facts about yourself.

I’m stubborn

I’m a perfectionist

As I get older I cry easily

Where did the idea for your two most recent book come from?

The idea for my new book ‘The Fabulous Life of Patrina Fletcher‘, came as I was writing my book ‘The Psychic Agency‘, which is book four in my ‘Ghost from the Molly-House‘ series. She appears in the tale and I liked her character so much I decided I needed to tell her amusing story, so that’s what I’ve done, it’s in the genre of satire and a Romantic Comedy.

The Mystery at Winterburn Manor is the fifth book in The Ghost from the Molly-House series, the stories are about a time-travelling ghost called Jasper Claxton, he’s great fun and has all sorts of spiritual powers and a wicked sense of humour. Because the books cover different time periods, I’ve developed a different cast of characters, and in this story, I wanted to bring them all together. It’s set in the present day and all starts with a grave covered in strange symbols found in a graveyard in the grounds of a 17th century Manor house in Wiltshire in England, and the story unfolds with quite a few twists and turns.

What do you do when not writing or marketing your books?

I like reading, good food and wine, the theatre, art, the cinema, and travelling. Because I like fashion, I’ve visited many couture exhibitions and fashion museums around the world.

If you could have a fantasy tea or coffee date with an author or famous person from the past or present, who would it be and what would you ask them?

That’s easy it would be with the late Spanish couturier Christobal Balenciaga, he was described as the couturier’s couturier, he was admired by Hubert de Givenchy and Chanel, Dior called him the master of us all. I would want to know all about his life, his inspiration and creative process. I’ve visited the Balenciaga Museum in Spain, I was allowed to have the whole place to myself after it had closed, it was eerie, but amazing. It was a 60 birthday present from my family and I loved it.

What is the most surprising thing you’ve learned about yourself through writing?

I’m not sure I learned anything surprising, other than I love writing and wish I had started doing it much sooner.

What is the most enjoyable thing you’ve found through writing?

Because I do so much historical research, it’s been an education, but I’ve always liked history. But I’ve also learned a lot about the devil, demons, and the occult! I dread to think what someone might imagine if they looked at my internet search history.

What is the most crazy thing that has ever happened to you?

Well, I worked in Mental Health for 36 years, I don’t wish to sound disrespectful, but there were many, far too many to mention here. I’m grateful for the experience, it taught me a great deal about ‘life’, admittedly it was often a darker side of life, but it made me appreciate many things in my own life, and count my many blessings.

You are about to speak publicly to a group and read from your latest book. What song do you listen to before speaking? 

I like the song Sanvean by Sarah Brightman, it’s very spiritual and reminds me of my wonderful late mother Jean who is always with me.

What do you miss about being a kid?

Nothing, I had an unhappy childhood, it’s a time in my life I would never want to revisit, but again it taught me some valuable ‘life’ lessons.

At this stage in your life, what advice would your young self give to your more mature self?

Believe in your self and follow your instincts, my biggest regret in life is that I didn’t fight harder to follow a career in fashion.

If you were trapped in a cartoon world from your childhood, which one would you choose and why?

I used to like the puppet series Thunderbirds, the super heroes winning the day with all their amazing machines, and I liked the aristocratic Lady Penelope character.

If you could turn into one of your characters for a day, which one would it be and why, what would you do? 

It would have to be Jasper Claxton, my time travelling ghost, I could travel back in time to any historic place and event and meet the great historic figures.

What’s the last movie you watched and why did you choose to watch it?

It was the documentary ‘Strike a Pose’ about Madonna’s Blond Ambition Tour. I’d often wondered what happened to the key dancers from that show. In some ways, I’m sorry to say their lives turned out as I’d expected, they had their ’15 minutes of fame’ and struggled to repeat that moment of success.

What I found really interesting were their fears and insecurities, they were all putting on an act, none of them daring to admit that to each other, it was all fake as one of them says. However, at the end, one of them sums it all up, they were given a great opportunity, what happened after that was down to them, but it was always going to be much harder for them as dancers, than the superstar Madonna who just moved onto the next big thing and greater success. Sadly youth doesn’t last very long, and there’s always some younger or trendy person eagerly waiting in the wings.

What’s your favorite place to visit in your country and why?

I like the up-market historic Town of York, it’s so well preserved going back to the ancient Roman times, it has some original quirky shops, restaurants, and bars, it’s a lovely part of the country with a great atmosphere, and they have wonderful outdoor markets, particularly at Christmas time, it’s like stepping back in time.

What are you currently working on?

I’m now working on my sixth book in my ‘Ghost from the Molly-House‘ series, it’s called ‘The Siren’s Call‘ and is set in 1936 in Cornwall, England, and is about the legend of a mermaid.

I am truly inspired by Grahame, that he is now writing and incorporating his heart’s passion into his books. Beautiful story and interview. Thanks for joining us Grahame! – Camilla

The Fabulous Life of Patrina Fletcher:

Any publicity is better than no publicity – isn’t it? – Welcome to the world of Patrina Fletcher.

Patrina Fletcher loves her job at the Gary Day Celebrity Hair and Beauty Salon in Mayfair London, a place frequented by the rich and famous, well-heeled, and uber stylish, where there’s never a dull moment or fashion faux pas.

When she literally bumps into Simon Fletcher, a young, handsome multi-millionaire playboy, it quickly leads to an invitation to the BAFTA film awards in London, and Patrina suddenly finds herself in all the gossip columns, with invitations to a string of high-profile social events.

She needs help, and she needs it fast, step forward the owner of a cosmetics empire and a high society magazine editor, and before she knows it, everyone wants to know about her fabulous five-star life.

Patrina starts a blog, quickly developing a massive following on social media, which catches the attention of a high-profile TV producer who offers Patrina her own reality TV show. And before you can say ‘haute couture’ her fabulous life captures everyone’s interest. Can Patrina keep her head and feet on the ground? But more importantly, what will she wear?

The Mystery at Winterburn Manor:

A grave covered in strange symbols, in the grounds of a 17th century Manor, what could it mean?

Winterburn Manor is a 17th-century house and one of the oldest Manor houses in England. It has stood empty for over 25 years and is now owned by the famous water-colour artist Elspeth Potter. She has been painstakingly renovating the house for the past four years but has only recently moved into the property, living there alone.

All Elspeth knows about the house’s history is that it was built for the wealthy Evesham family, most of whom are buried in the church graveyard in the grounds of the Manor. The last owner of the house was the famous author Edmund Williams, a specialist in world religions who wrote gruesome horror stories; he’s also buried in the graveyard.

Elspeth doesn’t believe in ghosts but finds it hard to explain what she hears and sees at the Manor. Strange symbols have been etched onto some of the wood panelled walls, and objects and furniture move on their own during the night. The symbols have also been found on Edmund Williams headstone, what could it all mean?

Elspeth is convinced that something evil is lurking at the Manor, and it’s hiding a dark secret. She calls in The Psychic Agency, a group of psychic investigators, and the clock starts ticking as they try to unravel a decades-old mystery before they all become Winterburn Manor’s next victims.

Meet Jasper a time-travelling super-ghost with a sense of humour, in these eerie, historic, amusing, paranormal stories. The Ghost from the Molly-House is a collection of amusing, paranormal-historical-mysteries, which will appeal to fans of antiquity, period detective novels, tales of haunted houses, and all things that go bump in the night. Although this is the fifth book in the series, the novel can be enjoyed as a stand-alone story in its own right.

Grahame Peace’s books can be found worldwide on Amazon.

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