Monday, November 16, 2020


Back Story: BECOMING ALFIE by Neil Patterson #backstories



By Larry Alex Taunton

Hi to all that read this via blogging authors. Three weeks ago I published my first book and I must say it is a tremendous feeling. Before I ramble on about my wonderful book, let me share with you some of personal background. I was born in London, England and spent the initial 24 years of my life in the UK, migrating to Australia where I have lived since 1981. Fortunately, I was able to retire in my late fifties, when I began to ardently follow my passion which is writing. I have always written, as young teenager I kept a diary, this has been expanded by short stories and poetry none of which I ever sought to publish. Like many others I believed my work was not good enough and I was not prepared to take criticism, so I hid my light under a bushel and kept the wonderful words all to myself.

Whilst walking my lovely old dog Harry H around the lake and beaches nearby, which we have done every morning for years, I began to build a story in my mind. It was about the life of a Cockney boy from East London, born into abject poverty in the first minute of the first day of the 20th Century. Upon arriving home I would jot down ideas that came to me then very soon, in my mind, I met up with the main character whom I named Alfie Norrington. This was just over two years ago. As many other writers have noted, I fell into to a process, a pattern of behaviour and writing. Each morning at 6.30 I would re-read and edit the work that I had produced the previous evening. Directly after Harry H and I would take off for our walk. I am exceptionally lucky as I live on the coast of NSW, between a lake and the Ocean where there are a profusion of beautiful and inspiring walks. During the walk I would create story lines for the writing that I would be undertaking later that day and use a variety of recording methods. Mobile phone, Dictaphone (at times) and even pen and paper.

Writing would start again in earnest at 4.00 O’clock, my office door was closed until that time, often write up to midnight, which was my cut-off time.

Over that timeframe I have completed over 400,000 words, one book, two completed manuscripts and one half finished manuscript which are all part of the Alfie Norrington Series. The latter I am working on and plan to complete it before Christmas.

The first in the series Becoming Alfie, the book I have just published, follows the life of Alfie Norrington from birth until he boards a ship to Australia in 1918. The story is fictional but is set in London in the early1900’s which I had researched thoroughly, it think beings a richness to this tale. Alfie has a range of experiences that leave the readers excited, inspired and wanting more, well so they tell me. If you do read Becoming Alfie I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

On a sad note, Harry H sadly passed away one week ago today, two weeks after Becoming Alfie was released. I could not have written this, my first book, without his support. He lay by my side throughout the period, listening patiently when I recited parts I was unsure of, wagging casually at times, often laughing in his own way, but mainly sleeping through the process, his gentle snores keeping me company. I miss my old mate.

Feel free to contact me via my website

Neil Patterson was born 15 miles East of London near the River Thames. As a child he played on the tidal mudflats which, since Roman Times, had been a depository for man’s detritus . Neil was fascinated by the many items that he found whilst mudlarking, old coins, bottles and buttons. He found pieces of clay pipes that Londoners used to smoke Tobacco, which was introduced to Britain in the 16 century. The fragments of clay pipes fired Neil’s enthusiasm for History.

Late into his teens Neil began to keep a diary and has carried this practice throughout his adult life. He has also written many short stories and poetry but not until he stopped working, in his late fifties, has Neil found time to dedicate to his writing.

Neil ‘s Uncle lived in Australia and from early childhood he dreamt of living down under, he says he was born in England with an Australian heart. He followed his heart migrating to Australia 40 years ago. Neil now works full time as a writer and lives in Murrays Beach with his wife Jann and their border Collie, Harry the dog.





Alfie Norrington was born into poverty in London’s East End in the first minute of the twentieth century. His life was a battle. From the Brick Lane markets where young Alfie pilfered and pickpocketed, to the trenches of Flanders, Alfie fought every step of the way.

Almost killed by a trench bomb he battled to recover and while in a military hospital Alfie made a promise that dramatically change’s his life. A true East End hero, Alfie begins his journey away from poverty armed with a robust moral compass and an open heart.

Becoming Alfie is the first in the Alfie Norrington series. It follows the life of a man who positively influenced thousands of people. The world needs more individuals like Alfie Norrington, that give much more than they take.


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