Patrick’s writing life started at age six, with comics. Then he started writing adventure stories. After college, he worked in advertising, for various companies, covering accounts such as Aer Lingus, An Post, and Guinness.
“I worked at Adept for five years, for the Euro Changeover Board, then I left to have more time for writing. Since then, I’ve freelanced.”
Patrick published two collections of poetry in the 1990s, and has also written short fiction, an award-winning short film, starring Gina McKee, episodes of children’s TV series, and audio adventures for Doctor Who and Dan Dare.
“I also produce for BBC Radio 4, and co-edit an online poetry magazine, The Pickled Body.”
Patrick started the novel in 2001, after a childhood friend had committed suicide. He wrote 80,000 words, then had to learn the tools of novel-writing. He has rewritten the debut over the years, extracting a sub-plot which was published four years ago, as a novella.
Who is Patrick Chapman? Date/place of birth: 1968/County Roscommon.
Education: St Mary’s College in Boyle; College of Commerce DIT in Rathmines, advertising. Home: Stoneybatter, Dublin.
Family: Girlfriend, Sarah Mullen.
The Day Job: Freelance Advertising copywriter, and radio producer for BBC Radio 4.
In Another Life: “I’d like to be an astronaut. They were romantic figures when I was growing up with the Apollo programme. I can’t imagine how beautiful it would be to see the earth from space.”
Favourite Writers: JG Ballard; Ray Bradbury; Lorrie Moore; Julian Barnes; Peter Carey, and poet, Robert Lowell.
Second Novel: “I have a few stories for a novel, but there will be another collection of poetry first.”
Top Tip: “Don’t be afraid to walk away from something that isn’t working. When you step away, your subconscious will work, and when you get back to it, the problem will be solved.”
So Long, Napoleon Solo; Blaze Vox Books, €14.76
Jerome Williams has trouble sustaining relationships. It’s Dublin, 1999, and his childhood friend, Tom, has killed himself. Reeling in the wake of the tragedy, he hooks up with Ro, Tom’s troubled, and pregnant girlfriend, whilst also trying to rescue his friend, Clea, whose partner is proving dangerous.
The Verdict: A novel with heart. Sexy, salacious, and knowing.