Friday, 1 March 2013

H E Joyce's Blog


                 1st March 2013

A Very British Blog

Fellow British writer Geoffrey West has tagged me to take part in "A Very British Blog" and to answer some questions on being Very British.

Q. Where were you born and where do you live at the moment?

     I was born in Haddenham, Buckinghamshire. In a very old pub called The Cider House, where my parents lived with my grandparents until 1954. My Mother was born in the same room in 1922. It dated back some 400 years and there were tales of it being haunted. Although having moved around, I now live just 14 miles away from my birthplace, quite near Tring.

Q. Have you always lived and worked in Britain or are you based elsewhere at the moment?

     Yes, I've always lived in Britain and always in Buckinghamshire.  

Q. Which is your favourite part of Britain?

     That's a tricky one. There are so many beautiful parts of Britain (for now), I only hope the countryside isn't completely spoilt for future generations by these unproven eyesores called wind farms and the like. There are many parts in my home county that are wonderful, but I do love the wildness of North Wales, the South Welsh coast and Shropshire. I also love the diversity of 

Q. Have you 'Highlighted' or 'Showcased' any particular part of Britain in your books? For example, a town or city; a county, a monument or some well-known place or event?

     In Miranda's Fortune, Miranda's boarding school is located on the Welsh border and roughly based on an actual school, though I did change the name of the school and the nearby town. The Cuckoo Club actually exists in London.

 Q. There is an illusion – or myth if you wish – about British people that I would like you to discuss. Many see the ‘Brits’ as ‘stiff upper lip’. Is that correct?

      I think that's certainly been the case in the past and to some extent still is. I'm proud to be a stiff upper lip type Brit, but unfortunately I think that we are rapidly losing that. You only have to look at the T.V talent shows, of which there are too many, cookery shows, singing etc, to see people blubbing because they have been voted off, and frankly, it makes me sick. Many countries see the British as a bit stuffy, but I couldn't agree less, we have always had a great sense of humour, we just show it differently. I think our humour is is a little more subtle.

Q. Do any of the characters in your books carry the ‘stiff upper lip’? Or are they all ‘British Bulldog’ and unique in their own way?

     Yes, I think it shows in most of my characters.

Q. Tell us about one of your recent books

     In one of my short stories: The Cuckoo Club, Tony Lovett's promising career comes to an end due to his unscrupulous boss's wrongdoings. However, he displays the kind of stiff upper lip attitude previously discussed, and takes unusual steps to find work. It leads him into a tangled web of intrigue where he is offered everything a person could desire - but at a cost! Tony is a man with principles and a conscience, but also down on his luck. The question is, will he do the right thing?   

Miranda's Fortune - A Psychological Thriller. This was my first novel and I must admit, I have a fondness for it. I'm also very pleased that it is being regarded well by readers.

Orphaned, struggling with her grief, and a burden on her aunt, Miranda Fisher is sent to a boarding school on the Welsh border, miles from her native London, and when a new house-mistress arrives at the school, her life becomes a living nightmare. She starts to believe that her life is in danger. But why? And who from? Is the danger real, or the invention of a traumatised mind?

Q. What are you currently working on?

     I am currently working on a series of paranormal novels called, 'BAD BOOKS.' They will all be linked, but could also be read as standalone books. I hope to complete the first book in the next couple of months. I will also be publishing some more short stories soon.

Q. How do you spend your leisure time?

     I like to travel whenever possible, although my laptop always goes with me. I think a change of scenery is good for a writer as it gives you a different perspective on life and can sometimes inspire you. I also like popping into a friendly country local for the odd pint when I get a moment, and like to paint whenever I can.

Luxor, Egypt
Bled, Slovenia
A local in Luxor

Q. Do you write for a local audience or a global audience?

     Definitely global, although being very British, one has to be realistic. I wonder how many of our American cousins go to watch a Bond movie? Not too many I suspect, don't get me wrong, I love the states, and the people, we just have a different view on certain things. We can all be somewhat nationalistic when it comes to hero figures I suppose. I strongly suspect though, that when your hero is a Brit, the audience is most likely to be a British one.

Q. Can you provide links to your work? There are links to all my books here.

                                                   See other authors taking part:

"Evenin All"

'Ah, those were the days.'


  1. Great interview H.E. Thanks so much for sharing yourself with us! I've always wanted to go back to England just never had the chance. I love the fact you were born above a Pub, that's awesome...:D

    1. Thank you Margaret, and thanks for dropping by.
      I hope you get the chance to come back some day, I know I would like to visit the US again. To hire a car and drive across the country would be fantastic. Yes, the pub was around 400 years old and was an Inn even then apparently, It was also used for holding bodies of the deceased before being buried.
      Every success with your writing, H E

    2. So a Pub/Inn/Mortuary? Wow, if those walls could talk, I can just imagine the things they would say...*gasp, oh, wait...that spurs a...gasp...what if?!?! Runs off to plot and ponder...*

      Thanks again for being here and sharing with us. Might bug you for some British, Stiff-Upper-Lip details in the near future though.

      Every success to you as well.

  2. Yes, plenty to inspire. Feel free to bug me anytime, Twitter, or through my website contact.

  3. Nice one, HE - and I love the Snowdonia pic!

    1. Thanks for dropping by, Terry. Yes, I love the atmosphere of Snowdonia.