TWMs own Jade-Louise sat down with LGBTQIA+ Author Patrick Scattergood, to discuss their work, get to know them a little better and delve deep into their story.
Patrick Scattergood writes Dark Urban Fantasy/Time Travelling, LGBTQIA+ inclusive fiction, and is always expanding into different genres.
Not to make this too much like a Tinder date, tell me a little about yourself and your story?
Now this is an interesting question. I’ve always been of the belief that a person can be many things to many people, but I’ll try my best.
I reside in Leicester, England and am a non-binary, pansexual multi-genre writer. I’ve got two books out at the moment that are part of a dark urban fantasy series and a time travelling science fiction novel. I’m also the father to a wonderfully creative non-binary spud, our nickname, and a beautiful little daughter too. I have a very unique cat named Betty too.
I’ve always been interested in writing, starting first with comic books that I exhibited at various UK conventions, and have now stepped into novels. I’m someone who writes because it helps with my mental health but it also helps me to see people that identify as something other than straight, white, male. I want to see more variety and, I hope, people see that with my work.
Why should someone new read your content?
One of the things that I like to tell people about my books is that I hope they find something that they may not have read about before. For example, I have a lot of LGBTQ+ characters in my stories but, unlike a lot of books I’ve read, they’re not the comic relief or someone to take the main character shopping. They’re heroes, they’re villains, they’re flawed, they make mistakes. Also, their sexual orientation isn’t their character.
Yes, it’s part of who they are, but it isn’t their whole personality. For example, Satara in ‘Mother, Dearest’, is a loud, camp and fun-loving non-binary siren. However, the further you go in the story, you see that a lot of it is a bit of a front. They are in pain, they are haunted by things they’ve seen in their life. Things like that. It’s the same with Naz. He is the complete mirror image. He’s awkward, shy, unsure of himself. He has panic attacks and mental health issues, that are similar to mine, have been praised for how they are written. Much the same as Satara, once you get further in the story, that begins to change.
So, to someone that is new to my work, I would use the same description that someone used on Twitter. They described it as ‘gay shit with magic’, as a way of insulting me, but I thought that to be quite on the mark. I do write about gay characters, non-binary characters, and everyone else in between. There’s magic in the stories, in the characters, and I hope that someone new to my work will see that and enjoy it.
What inspired you to get into Writing?
In part, my late brother-in-law Dean did. He bought me a comic book written by James O’Barr called The Crow and it changed how I read and enjoyed things. The atmosphere to the story, the fact that none of the characters were perfect and were all flawed in some way. I bloody loved that and it really opened my eyes to how different stories could be. The way they handled the pain and grief of the main character was heartbreaking and I hope that, in some way, I can make a reader feel that in even a tiny amount.
I’m also inspired by the fact that my eldest, Cyrus aka Spud, loves to read and loves stories. They have various special needs and reading is one of the many ways that help them. In fact, they were telling me this morning that I need to hurry up and write something that they are old enough to read. They’re like my mini cheerleader.
Another thing that inspired me, and this may sound a little arrogant I suppose, is the fact that I didn’t get to read a lot of books with people that identified in the ways that I did. Nobody seemed to be writing books with characters that had the same issues I did. That loved in the same way that I did. When I did find a book with characters that had mental health issues, or were LGBTQ+ characters, they were little more than cannon fodder, comedic relief or someone to be mocked. I just wanted to write things that the younger me would have liked to read.
Has the Pandemic affected the way you Write in any way?
Honestly, it has. The pandemic has affected my mental health in many various ways. I’ve lost people to COVID, and to other illnesses during it, and being away from them and not having gotten the chance to say goodbye was soul crushing. Some days it has been a battle to get out of bed. Then I look at my partner, Golda, and Cyrus and I get up and try to at least get a few words on to the screen or the page. If I can’t , then I try to not beat myself up too much, as I know that just getting out of bed is the one victory that day.
Another way that it has affected my writing is that, and in the grand scheme of things it’s not the most important thing in the world, but I love to write surrounded by people in a coffee shop. I like to hear the conversations, the inflections in their voices, that kind of thing. Obviously, I haven’t been able to do that.
One of the positives, that has come from all of this, is some of the online writers that I have chatted to or the groups I’ve joined. It’s helped me grow as a writer and, hopefully, as a person.
What’s your favourite food?
With how my brain works, this could be a question that would have a million different answers depending on the day. Currently, as I’m a vegetarian, I’ve really gotten a little bit obsessed with soups and pasta dishes of all kinds. I like to experiment with the various things that I can put in them. Sometimes successfully, other times, well, not so much.
Favourite Book Genre? And why?
I read a wide variety of things really. As someone, with a brain that’s wired up like mine, I can’t stick to any one particular writer or genre, as I find that I get bored. I also normally have a fiction book AND a non-fiction book on the go. Just recently, I finished ‘It Takes Blood and Guts’ by Skin, the leader singer of Skunk Anansie, so you can definitely say I’m partial to an interesting life story.
I’m a dorky, awkward, self professed nerd so I do love a good fantasy or science fiction story, especially people like Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett and Arthur C. Clarke. I just love the way that they can take the most ordinary things seem like the most magical and out of this world.
Favourite Music Genre?
I have the same issue with my music that I do with my books. I listen to a wide range of things really. One minute I might be listening to Bif Naked, Skunk Anansie but then the next minute, it might be some Broadway songs or some classical music. I really find that music can soothe my mind when I am struggling or when I am trying to concentrate. You can also find inspiration from the most random of songs too. For example, the opening scene in ‘Mother, Dearest’ was inspired, in part, by the songs ‘Bad Moon Rising’ by Creedance Clearwater Revival and ‘Lucky’ by Bif Naked. Other scenes were inspired by songs by bands such as Coasts and Skunk Anansie. I also have a huge fondness for the Eurovision Song Contest too.
I have a couple of bands that I listen to a lot, especially when my mental health is taking a bit of a dip. Bif Naked, Skunk Anansie, Coasts, Placebo and more. I also like listening to Broadway and West End singers such as Kerry Ellis, Idina Menzel and others too. It just tends to rest on my mood as to what I’m going to be listening to.
What do you want to see from your industry in the next 5 years?
I would like to see more representation of all kinds. More strong women characters, but written well. Not every woman character has to have been abused or assaulted in some way for them to be strong. Come on folks, you can do better than that.
I want more LGBTQ+ representation in books too and not just for the sake of it. I want it to be seen as completely normal because it is. I want the characters to be heroes, villains, brave, cowardly, confident, awkward. I’m selfish. I want it all and I want it done well.
I also want the industry to be better at accepting when it does things wrong. I want authors to be accountable for when they do something offensive and not double down on it. I want it to be more open to publishing books by minorities and not make a big song and dance of it, instead just treating the books as being written by talented writers and not as a patting their own back exercise.
Do you like Video Games?
I love them. I’m currently playing ‘Troll & I’ in between bouts of playing ‘Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla’.
I’ll play literally anything that takes my eye. I recently played an absolutely beautiful game called ‘Beyond Eyes’, that moved me to tears. Such a beautiful story and a game that really used the senses of the main character, a young blind girl searching for a cat, it felt truly different. It was a rather short game but I loved it, as did little Cyrus.
Favourite Twitch Streamer/Content Creator?
I’ve not actually watched anything on Twitch. Cyrus does, and believe me, tells me all about it and only stops to catch a breath.
What’s your favourite thing about your work?
My favourite thing about my work is the confidence that it has given me in myself. I used to hide how I identified but since I started writing, I’ve found more writers like me and it’s helped me come out of my shell and be proud of who and how I am.
Another favourite thing that I have about my work is that I met the wonderful authors Barbara Avon and Kathleen Stone through. They’ve fast turned in to two of my closest friends and even have helped me improve as a writer too.
What are your goals for this year?
I would love to be able to get another book released into the wild. I would also like to continue trying to help promote other writers work that I believe in. When I was just starting out, people like Barbara and Kathleen were always there to help, so I want to pay that forward.
On a personal front, I would like to continue coming to terms with handling my mental health as well as staying proud of how I identify and being proud enough to be myself. I want to be a good father to my two children and a good partner to Golda.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
In five years, I would like to be able to say that I have carried on writing stories that I believe in. Stories that I am proud of. I want to be able to say to people “hey look, if I can do it, then so can you” and to also show Cyrus that they can do it too, as they want to be a writer too.
Do you have any other interests?
I’m also a part-time wrestling referee, which I enjoy massively. I’m also a trainee wrestler as well.
Another interest I have is raising money for the charities that are closest to my heart. A couple of years ago, I ran a wrestling show that raised money for MIND, a mental health charity. This year, I’m running an event called Tower Run, which will raise money for LOROS, in July. I’m currently training for that and hoping I can finish with a good time.
Where can people find you?
Normally on my sofa watching a cheesy movie, playing a video game, reading a book or listening to music. That or I’ll be found writing another, hopefully, coherent story that people will read.
When all else fails, I’ll be found hiding and trying to have a bath without my cat trying to get in.
Plug Your Socials
My Author Page: www.facebook.com/PatrickScattergoodAuthor
You can purchase all of the Patrick Scattergood books on Amazon.