Peter Tennant is an award-winning reviewer and columnist for Black Static and a prolific writer of speculative fiction. His fiction has appeared in venues as diverse as Jennings Magazine, Dreams from the Stranger’s Café, Axiom, Visions, Sackcloth & Ashes, and Whispers of Wickedness, to name but a few. His Case Notes can be found here, which are informative, fearless and really rather amusing. As are his ideas about danish employment as fashion accessories.
1. The five essential things/characteristics any writer needs are …
Need for what exactly…?
Anyway, to succeed in these media savvy, social networking times:-
a) a facebook page with a hardcore cadre of ‘friends’ who will validate your genius by clicking ‘like’ at least a dozen times a day and dumping on anyone who disses your work
b) a website, complete with inbuilt blog and twitter feed
c) enough spare cash to network at conventions and scratch all the backs that need scratching
d) an agent who, even if he or she can’t turn that sow’s ear into a silk purse, will be able to convince publishers that this year sows’ ears are the thing all the smart people accessorise with
e) a portfolio of compromising photographs of editors, reviewers, publishers, big name authors etc
Writing talent is an optional extra. If your heart is set on critical as well as commercial success I believe there’s an app or something similar you can download.
2. What are your writing fetishes, i.e. what can’t you write without?
I don’t think I have any writing fetishes as such, except that when I’m working on erotica I always have to… But I can’t possibly talk about that in public.
3. I first knew I was a writer when …
I can’t recall any moment of epiphany. At school I was the fat kid who read books while others played games. Just like all the boys on the football team dreamed of growing up to be Bobbie Charlton, I read Treasure Island and dreamed about becoming Robert Louis Stevenson or a reasonable facsimile thereof, and somewhere along the way to adulthood I convinced myself that the transformation might actually take place, even if it wasn’t quite so obvious to the rest of the world.
4. Name your top ten books of all time (well, as of now).
I can’t get away with a snarky, superficial answer to this one, can I? Okay then, off the top of my head…
Our Lady of the Flowers by Jean Genet
The Cider House Rules by John Irving
The Big Nowhere by James Ellroy
Twilight of the Idols and The Anti-Christ by Friedrich Nietzsche
Tropic of Capricorn by Henry Miller
The Public Burning by Robert Coover
Satan’s Saint by Guy Endore
Beloved by Toni Morrison
House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski
The Motion of Light in Water by Samuel R. Delany
I wish I had time to reread all of those, and a few hundred others as well, but if I did I’d probably find they were nowhere near as good as I remember, alas.
5. Donuts or danishes?
I’m cool with either, but if pressed will choose danishes, especially the cinnamon flavour. Not only do they taste heavenly, but you can stick them on the side of your head as hair ornaments if you ever go to a fancy dress party as Princess Leia.
Go here for more trumpeting.