I've had the pleasure of meeting many great people during my time at Cable 14, and Jamie Tennant is one of them. He wears a million different hats and almost always has a smile on his face (or at least when I've seen him). Now, Jamie is releasing a novel titled The Captain of Kinnoull Hill. I don't know about you, but the title is enough to sell me.
Check out my Q&A with him:
This book asks the question of what happens when we can no longer abide by our own nature - can you tease the answer to this question?
I don't know if the book answers the question entirely. It certainly suggests that, when you reach a certain point, you either realize you have to try or you don't. Either way facing that reality is never easy, and it never comes easy. You need to have a certain amount of self-awareness, and not everyone has that...and it's difficult if you suddenly arrive there and learn, jeez, I'm really not the person I thought I was, and the way I see myself is a result of lying to myself for decades. It's not exactly a Matrix like red pill/blue pill thing, but there's a metaphorical similarity there. You either continue on and deal with the problems you cause, or you say that's it, enough is enough.
How do you decide how to communicate the different vibes you want your book to give readers? Does this take up a huge chunk of the writing process?
It was easy in my case, because I wrote in what I think is called a "close third person" voice - meaning while it's not written in first person, the perspective is always that of the main character. So while it wasn't a story told by Dennis, the narrative voice was really just an extension of his voice and his worldview. So, with that voice, it was easy to maintain a vibe - pop culture-centred, slightly sarcastic, conversational. It's no big surprise that the story takes a hard left out of reality at one point (it's in the book jacket description, after all). I chose to have these strange events occur without changing the vibe of the story, or at least as little as possible. Kind and generous people have likened the tone to Nick Hornby or Roddy Doyle. I'd never say I'm at that level, not even close, but I liked the idea of maintaining that tone while leaving 'realism' in the dust.
What's next for you after this - or is it too soon to think that far ahead?
Two things. First, this book - doing appearances, readings, anything I'm asked to do, basically. A book tour would be nice but it's difficult to even think about that when no one know who you are (or, more hopefully, who you are "yet"). In terms of writing, though, there's lots happening. I have another novel finished. I wrote it a long time ago, so it probably needs a lot of updating, but it's done. There's also two other ideas I have that I'm working on simultaneously, though I think I've decided which one to pursue at this time. They're all kind of in my wheelhouse - they're either music-related, guy-coming-to-terms-with-life related, or have some vaguely supernatural element in them (but you won't find all three in any of them). At this point it's all about carving out the time to do the work.
You can grab a copy of Jamie's novel October 15th!