Jared A Carnie was awarded a New North Poets Award at the Northern Writers Awards in 2015. His debut novel, Waves, is available now.
Welcome, Jared. Tell us a little bit about you …
A brief history of Jared A. Carnie
1990 – born
1991 – moves to Essex. Not my decision.
1994 – starts school
1994 – realises school is not fun
1995 – discovers football
1997 – starts playing football on Sundays. Much to dismay of severely religious relatives.
2000 – survives Y2K
2004 – remains very certain in opinion of school
2008 – leaves school at last. Delighted
2008 – realises world outside of school is terrifying
2009 – begins a Creative Writing degree in Bath
2009 – leaves Creative Writing degree citing personality differences (i.e I had a bad personality)
2011 – stops drinking alcohol. Develops new, less unpleasant personality.
2012 – moves to Isle of Lewis
2013 – gets a dog, Teddy. Immediately becomes dog person.
2014 – moves to Sheffield
2016 – releases debut novel, Waves
2016 – answers questions for site of Christina Philippou
Your inspiration for Waves?
Waves was inspired by a few things:
- The strange beauty of the Isle of Lewis
- The spoonie community
- Being surrounded by people who were constantly putting pressure on themselves for not knowing exactly what they should be doing next in their life
What’s the most exciting aspect of being a debut author?
Getting to hold the book for the first time was pretty surreal. You’ve seen the words a million times, you’ve seen the cover digitally a bunch, but it’s still nothing like having the actual final version in your hands.
I think the thing I’m most looking forward to is desperately trying to come up with personalised, witty inscriptions for people who say they want a signed copy.
Where and when do you write?
This really depends on what’s going on in my life at the time. I’m not someone who gets up at 5am every day specifically to write, nor someone who puts pressure on myself to write a certain amount of words each sitting. I do have a desk in our attic (underneath a giant picture of Rimbaud and a signed Craig Finn record) where I tend to go when I need to do some serious writing, but in general it just tends to be wherever I happen to be. I always have notebooks around for writing poems and little things in. The desk tends to be more for when I need to get some serious, concentrated work done.
Are you a planner or a pantser?
I think I always know the emotional ground I want to cover right away. I’m not really a plot guy, so it’s the feel of the book that is more important to me. I’ll then know a few beats I’m going to hit on the way, but aside from that it’s more trying to write what I need to get down to get across what I want the book to say. I certainly don’t plan in any structured or formal way.
Do you do any research? If so, any sites or sources you care to share?
I don’t think my style of writing really requires much research, which now I’m writing it feels like an awfully arrogant/ignorant thing to say. The thing is, I’m never really writing historical fiction or anything like that. Especially with Waves, I’ve spent a lot of time in all the locations in the book. I do a lot of fact checking in terms of cultural references and things, but I don’t really have to do much research (I think – do contact me with all the factual errors you find in Waves).
Do you read inside your genre or out when writing?
I don’t really know what genre Waves would fall under. I don’t really know what genre most of my favourite novels would fall under. Like I said before, I’m not much of a plot guy. Books either resonate with me or they don’t. Having said that, I’m currently writing a new book and I’m making sure not to read a couple of books that have minor, similar elements so that I don’t end up stealing from them or comparing what I’m doing to them. Aside from that, I just read what I feel like reading. I think if I’m hitting a bit of a wall I find it useful to read writers I’m inspired by, or even writer biographies and things like that.
Your author heroes?
I feel like I’m probably going to spend my life trying to write a John Fante novel. He’s the king.
There are so many other writers that I have fallen in love with at one time or another. None of the novelists would be particularly unexpected: Knut Hamsun. Louis-Ferdinand Celine. Richard Brautigan. Kurt Vonnegut. Zadie Smith. John Steinbeck. Joan Didion. Oscar Wilde. Charles Bukowski. Jack Kerouac. Jack London. Albert Camus. Franz Kafka. J.D Salinger. Harper Lee. Sylvia Plath. Hubert Selby Jr. Dan Fante. Haruki Murakami. George Orwell. J.G Ballard.
Currently, I really admire the work of Jenni Fagan, Ben Myers, and Dean Lilleyman.
Thank you, Jared, for joining us today.