Pot Luck: Flash Interview with Nick Fisher

Depravity, desperation – and crab fishing. Pot Luck is a Rime of the Modern Mariner, and Nick Fisher holds nothing back in his crime novel about the underbelly of Weymouth’s fishing scene. Preceding his highly-popular event, I caught him for the delectation of you readers.

Opening up about his writing process, Nick answers five questions…

I: I know that your writing accolades so far have been earned through scriptwriting. How has writing this novel differed from writing for television?

NF: It’s really a sort of antidote to scriptwriting; there’s a huge machine of people employed around you, and so many real factors that have to be addressed in the script. Writing feels like only 20% of the actual task. Writing a book is different – no one sitting over you, no deadline, no budget, no policies – you can enjoy yourself. The most joyful thing for me was no planning. I would think “what do I write now? I wonder what’s going to happen now.”

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I: Many of your characters are “untrustworthy”. What attracts you to turbulence? Do you believe that it is necessary in a story?

NF: You look for the colour in a character, and colour is often deviousness. Contradictions and surprises are really what dramatic literature is about. Even [Pot Luck’s character] Helen, she was golden in my eyes. She was honey – I couldn’t work with it. It’s about being flawed. Bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people, just look at where Donald Trump is right now! I think turbulence has to drive things.

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I: This brother dynamic between the main characters, Adrian and Matty, is entirely fraught. Do you know it personally?Where did you draw from to portray this?

NF: Oh, I always wanted a brother. I’m surrounded by bad realities of it, however. My neighbour hasn’t spoken to his brother for decades. The differences I see in my three sons, magnified, could be an Adrian and Matty relationship. Older and younger sibling relationships I can really see. The younger one is fun and negligent, and the older one is responsible and less amused. Closeness of two people with a shared history, I think, is a very good purchase point for a story.

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I: Do you subscribe to the idea that you must love all of your own characters?

NF: That’s an interesting question… No, I think, not at all. You just have to manage them. You must be interested in them; some get under your skin and others just don’t connect. I’ve written for characters I can’t remember, or have even hated.

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I: I have seen Pot Luck reviewed as “the Fargo of Dorset”, and I was wondering if this was intentional. Who has inspired you creatively and is this what you set out to do?

NF: George V. Higgins and Carl Hiaasen for a start. Those sort of fleet-of-foot American books did it for me. I had an idea, an event that would be the start of the story. I thought about doing it as a screenplay, but I had never tried to write a book before, why not take that path? So it was an experiment, very much so. If you transferred it to New England this plot would seem so normal, but as it’s something new to me, it grew itself, and this seemed natural. I didn’t anticipate it growing into what it is.

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Thank you Nick Fisher, there’s food for thought. Seafood, perhaps.

 

BridLit Kids: Events for young Bookworms!

Do you know a flourishing illustrator? A storyteller-in-training? Somebody creative who is entranced by wild tales?

BridLit Kids is back after last year’s success, and it is aiming for bigger and better. On Saturday the 12th of November, we’re taking over The Lyric Theatre for the day and hope to provide something special for everyone, with three fantastic events for children.

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At Event 22a (10am – 11am) Prepare for the astonishing duo of Storyteller Martin Maudsley and Musician Declan Duffy to delight our youngest audience with tales of mysterious creatures to ignite the imagination. Guaranteed to entertain all who enter, and suitable for ages 3 and up.
Tickets: Children £3/ Adults Free!

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At Event 22b (12pm – 1pm) Charles Fuge will take over and help to bring some of those stories to life with an illustration workshop for slightly older children. Courtesy of Bridport Arts and Crafts, children will get a notepad and pencil to take away, and guided by Charlie’s skilled hand, will produce some amazing illustrations of their own. A great opportunity to learn from a successful and working local illustrator, suited to ages 8 and up.
Tickets: Children £5 (sketchbook and pencil included)

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At Event 22c (2pm – 3pm) We will welcome Angie Sage, hugely popular author of the Septimus Heap series, who will talk about her latest addition to the series, Todhunter Moon, and answer and questions from the floor. We’re so lucky to have such a wonderful writer come to Bridport and introduce her work. Get reading and come prepared to find out how Angie’s ‘magykal’ ideas make their way on to the page! Best suited to ages 8 and up.
Tickets: Children £3/ Adults Free!

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Be sure not to miss out, it will be a day to let your imaginations loose! Tickets are selling fast.

Saturday 12th November / Event 22
Location: The Lyric Theatre

To book tickets, contact the Box Office over the phone or in person.
Box Office: Bridport Tourist Information Centre, The Town Hall, Bridport, DT6 3LF
Tel: 01308 424 901

The BridLit Explorer • Chapter 1: Beerwolf Books

Welcome to a new bi-weekly article! As the blog director and freshly termed Bridlit Explorer, I will be featuring a selection of the country’s finest, most peculiar book shops. Without further ado, enjoy the first instalment…

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A steep street winds back from between two high street shops in the heart of Falmouth, Cornwall. At the end of this tiny, hidden hill, is Beerwolf Books, appearing much like J.K. Rowling’s Room of Requirement; unexpectedly large and quite astounding to imagine that you could have missed it before. ‘Beerwolf‘ is what the locals and students nickname it, and it does (as the name suggests) combine a desire for a softly-lit, bring-your-own-food bar, and the insatiable hunger for a good book to disappear with into the folds of an armchair.

The bar itself is rustic and bizarre. In keeping with the rest of the eclectically-unified interior design, one may see fairy lights, modified dolls hanging from exposed beams and vintage posters of cult-favourite books peppered across the walls. There is an arrangement of well-worn cushions, squeaky barstools and a ping pong table for the entertainment of patrons. All of this, however, is eclipsed by the crown’s main jewel.

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Poised cooly atop the imposing staircase that seems plucked from the architecture of a Jane Austen novel, the bookshop sits. Book-alcove, possibly. As I stroll between the shelves, I can’t help but be surprised at the brazen lack of bestsellers upon the stacks. No featured novel from a popular author, no highly anticipated sequel to a successful franchise, no corporation-sponsored display. Beerwolf steers clear.

When I ask, the barkeep tells me that the owner is a woman with discerning taste who “actively tries to avoid bestsellers”, and that this year marks Beerwolf’s fourth. Situated close to two universities, it is a clear favourite among bookish students and professors alike, and more discover it each year. The attitude of the management must be something that resonates with these people. Perhaps the appeal lies in an appreciation of things that take effort to know and to understand, or perhaps it’s simply the uncomplicated fun of anachronism; the ‘no cards accepted’, creakily floorboarded, an are-we-in-a-tavern atmosphere. Regardless, it remains a well loved destination for those that know the route.

Beerwolf Books is a hidden treasure. Go find it, wayfarers.