Salon life inspires literary ambitions in East Ham barber

PUBLISHED: 12:10 22 March 2016

Patrick Phipps is a baber owner of twenty years in East Ham who has just written his first novel

Patrick Phipps is a baber owner of twenty years in East Ham who has just written his first novel


A barber has published his first novel inspired by the east London he has worked and lived in all his life.

Patrick Phipps cutting Duncan Orleans hair while he reads his bookPatrick Phipps cutting Duncan Orleans hair while he reads his book

Twisted Lanes by Patrick Phipps features four interwoven stories that span Newham life between 1965 and 2014.

The stories are influenced by the arrival of Rebecca from Dominica in the Caribbean and explores the ramifications of her actions after she runs away from home and gives birth to a son.

Patrick, 45, who owns A Cut Above The Rest barbershop in Barking Road, East Ham, said: “My inspiration comes from everyday life.

“I have cut hair for 25 years. I see a lot of things that push my mind and inspire me and I wanted to put it on paper.”

Twisted Lanes book coverTwisted Lanes book cover

He said of his self-published novel: “It’s just a lifestyle of a family, a generation that goes quite drastically wrong because they don’t really know each other.”

The author, born in Forest Gate, also revealed that he wrote the book on his mobile phone. “I wrote it on my BlackBerry and then I emailed it to myself,” he said.

“When I write on my phone it’s easier to go at 100 miles an hour. I can’t do that on my laptop.”

It also meant that he could write on the go with locations including when travelling by plane to Canada and in a cafe.

Patrick added ideas even came to him in his sleep.

“When I am in bed, if I have a dream I would wake up and put it on my phone,” he revealed.

“My mind thinks more clearly when I am asleep, I forget everything else, all the clutter from the day. When I get up, within half an hour it’s chaos.”

The married father-of-two says his customers have been some the first to read the book.

And as some of his biggest fans they have been happy for provide reviews.

“They are my critics,” Patrick joked. “As soon as they read it they sent a review, I have put them on social media.

“They love it,” he added. “They were not aware that I was writing a book, now they are getting it for their


“People can read the book in two days, some people have read it one day. Customers have said that once they got hooked on it they could not put it down.”

Twisted Lanes is available from £5.99 on Kindle and £9.99 in paperback on Amazon UK.

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