Meet Pat Good, short story judge Hysteria 2016

Which writers or poets inspire you and why?

I have fond memories of reading Dickens through my school years until present day. He is a master storyteller and hones in on the minutiae of life and character so exactly that I feel compelled to keep reading just one more paragraph, one more page then one more chapter.

pat goodI also enjoy the short stories of Bernard MacLaverty and often read my favourites over and over again. His words stay with me and often make me question how I feel about issues raised.

Who would you invite to a literary dinner party?

My guests would be Agatha Christie because not only have I enjoyed reading her detective novels but her autobiography was such a fantastic social history that I’m sure she’d have lots of stories to share.
I’d invite Muriel Spark because of her dry wit and because she created Miss Jean Brodie, a character I’ve had a love-hate relationship with since I was a teenager.

Next would be William Shakespeare in the hope that he could fill in some of the biographical blanks in his life that puzzle us. (Also because he’s written a few plays and a bit of poetry).

Lastly I hope Sarah Waters would accept my invitation because I’ve loved all her books to date and so I could fawn over her a little. I think she would appreciate the invite and perhaps it might provide her with material for a book in the future

Where and when do you do most of your reading?

I always carry a book with me and as long as it’s not too noisy I read on the bus on my way to work. If I’m not working then I try to read for an hour or so without interruptions, usually cosied up on the couch –bliss! I also read before I fall asleep at night and it’s mostly light fiction or a magazine.

What are you reading currently?

I have two books on the go at the moment. I’m just about to finish reading, Afternoon Tea at the Sunflower Cafe by Milly Johnson – it’s good fun with lots of warm, feisty women characters and I’ve started 1606 William Shakespeare and the Year of Lear by James Shapiro – an imaginative delve into a specific time slot in Shakespeare’s life.

Are you a library lover, a bookshop bird or an online owl?

I worked in Public and College Libraries up until a few years ago and so I have a loyalty towards them. I am a member of my local authority library and think we are lucky to be able to borrow such a large range of books free of charge. However, I also think it’s important to support writers financially speaking and so I buy books when I can afford to and always ask for them as gifts. I like nothing more than finding a new independent bookshop to explore but I also appreciate the convenience and accessibility of stores like Waterstones.

Do you have a favourite writing or reading resource to recommend?

I often return to Kitchen Privileges: A Memoir by Mary Higgins Clark as to me it is an inspiring story of a writer’s resilience and perseverance. I also recommend On Writing by Stephen King, part autobiography and part how to, this book is full of great tips and advice for writers.

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