Blog Tour · Books (general)

“The Blue Bench” blog tour: Guest Post by Paul Marriner (author)

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BLURB: Margate 1920 The Great War is over but Britain is still to find peace and its spirit is not yet mended. Edward and William have returned from the front as changed men. Together they have survived grotesque horrors and remain haunted by memories of comrades who did not come home. The summer season in Margate is a chance for them to rebuild their lives and reconcile the past. Evelyn and Catherine are young women ready to live to live life to the full. Their independence has been hard won and, with little knowledge of the cost of their freedom, they are ready to face new challenges side by side. Can they define their own future and open their hearts to the prospect of finding love? Will the summer of 1920 be a turning point for these new friends and the country?


10 Things About Me (Guest post from Paul Marriner – author)

Hi, I’m Paul, who are you?

When this was proposed as a topic for an article as part of the blog tour for The Blue Bench I thought, ‘Why not?’ Few people know much about me so finding ten things of at least ‘medium’ interest should be achievable.

Hmmmm… My next thought, very soon after, was even if of ‘medium’ interest, is that enough? What would be interesting enough to justify fifteen or twenty minutes of that most precious commodity – your time?

Naturally I’d like to think family and friends would take time but they probably already know the seven things (I‘ve already given up on ten).

So it’s probably the case that to capture your attention ‘medium’ interest ain’t gonna ‘cut it’.

I could mention that I’ve climbed Everest, spent two years in a far east jail after a wrongful conviction for smuggling and survived a brain haemorrhage (learning the hard way that

‘Carpe Diem’ is more than just a line from a Robin Williams film). And you may nod in appreciation and want to know more but actually only one of them is true. Or you may be impressed that I’ve sailed round Cape Horn, played Water Polo for the county or shared a bottle of Jack Daniels with George Clooney – but again, only one of those is true. And I’d hate for you to think I’m an inveterate and shameless story teller – though, as a writer, of course I am.

Then I thought that maybe I didn’t need to tell you much about myself at all. Perhaps it’s all out there, in my books? After all people that know me well enough to ask, which isn’t nearly always ‘that’ well, often assume there is a strong element of autobiography written into my books. I have wondered why they think this, often before they’ve read the book, and I think it’s partly because those that know me find it difficult to consider me a ‘real writer’ – whatever their conception of such a beast might be. I think this is likely because they’ve seen my faults and frailties, which is a paradox as those faults and frailities are probably a large part of the reason I write. And, finding it hard to believe I’m whatever they consider to be a real writer they find it easier to understand if my books are largely autobiographical – ‘cos that must be easier, right?

I always reply that none of my books are autobiographical and, in the case of The Blue Bench that’s easy to defend – it being set in 1920 with protagonists’ backgrounds and experiences nothing like mine.

But, of course, the truth is more complicated.

While none of my books contains an autobiographical character it is true to say that pretty much all my main characters experience some emotions which, to a lesser or greater extent, I may have also experienced. After all, I’ve been around the block a few times.

In these instances it would be fair to say I draw on my own experience hoping to bring authenticity. And even when one of my protagonists experiences something way beyond me I will try to put myself there as much as I can.

So, in that sense, I guess it could be said there is an autobiographical element.

And, thinking further, even if there are many elements which are completely free of autobiographical content, every word has my heart and soul behind it, so, from that perspective when I’m asked, ‘Is there much of you in it?’

I can honestly say, ‘Pretty much everything.’

So, rather than try to come up with interesting things about myself, perhaps I’ll simply let you make your own assumptions based on my books and, as an intuitive reader, you may be closer than you think to the truth.

However, having said that, I understand it’s also traditional to include some trivia – so here goes:

According to the list that often circulates Facebook my porn star name would be Patch Viva, from which you can infer both the name of my first pet and car.

My favourite quote from a literary figure is Tolstoy’s ‘There is no greatness where there is no simplicity, goodness and truth.’ – for reasons I’ll explain another time.

The most useful piece of advice my mother ever gave me was, ‘Keep it clean and don’t pick it.’ And if you apply that advice metaphorically (rather than just literally) you may find it helps in nearly all circumstances.

Well that must be at least fifteen minutes. I really hope it was of some interest and don’t feel shy in sharing your own Porn Star name,

Happy reading, Patch


“The Blue Bench” is published by Bluescale Publishing and more details are here.

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