Jeremy Tarr, debut author of (S)mythology, will be doing two book signings in the Sacramento area come Saturday, July 30th. But, before he sits for hours signing books he sat and answered a few questions about his book and about who he is.
Thank you Jeremy Tarr for taking the time in sharing a few minutes of your time in answering some questions about yourself and about your book, (S)Mythology. I know my readers will enjoy this interview immensely.
Question 1: Firstly, can you tell us a little about yourself and how it came about that you wrote (S)Mythology?
In the Autumn of 2004, I fell completely in love with a girl – head-over heels, violins-playing, clichéd “in love.” She was going through a rather tough period in her life, so I wrote a short story for her called “A Tale for Sophie” to cheer her up. That story consisted of much of the first Act of (S)mythology. I started writing it on a Friday night and I’d finished it by Monday morning. I spent the next several days drawing illustrations for it and gave it to her by the end of the week.
Question 2: What is (S)Mythology about and who do you believe will enjoy it?
At heart, it’s a fairy tale about love and the mythology that we interweave into the process of falling in and out of love. But because it’s a fairy tale, it’s also about witches and sorcerers and devils and heroes and villains and mermaids.
I think the book can be enjoyed by anyone from ages 10 to 110 with any sort of longing for whimsy and a liking of the fantastic.
Question 3: Where did the idea come from, to have such a tragic occurrence happen if someone looks at her?
I blatantly ripped it off from Medusa. No doubt, I’ll be expecting a lawsuit from her shortly.
Question 4: Did you know Katy Smail before the project or did the project bring you together?
I was shown Katy’s work by a friend of mine in 2007. If it’s possible to fall in love with illustrations, I did right then and there. She was living in Edinburgh at the time and I was in Los Angeles. We wrote back and forth. I’d send her short stories and she’d send me illustrations. We share a lot of the same loves and inspirations, so our work seemed to instantly connect. I brought (S)mythology to her in December of 2008, by that point she had moved to Brooklyn. We worked on it through all of 2009 and we didn’t actually meet each other face to face until last January in the dead of freezing winter in the East Village in Manhattan. We drank gin and talked for hours.
Question 5: Had you always wanted to have illustrations in your book or did that come later?
As I mentioned earlier, I’d originally created my own (somewhat crude) illustrations for the book – so I always knew it needed them. But it wasn’t until I saw Katy’s work that I knew it not only needed them, but they had to be hers!
Question 6: Was there any other consideration to location for this story or was London a serious part of the story?
I was living in London when I wrote the book, so it just came about naturally.
Question 7: Now that your book has been published and been out for a few months have you gotten used to being a published author? or is it still surreal?
Writing is such a private and lonely thing, that it’s a bit weird when others – strangers – read what I’ve written. Until now, all the characters in the book lived exclusively in my brain and they had their adventures and conversations up there – it’s a bit schizophrenic, really – but now they’ve popped out and people read about them, so it feels very odd for strangers to know who my imaginary friends are.
Question 8: Was writing one of those things you had always wanted to do? Had you always wanted to be published?
I’ve written for as long as I can remember. It’s one of those things that have always made me happy.
Question 9: And just to get to know you a little bit better, If you had a yard sale tomorrow for all but 3 of your belongings, what 3 items would you absolutely keep?
There are so many practical things that I’d have to keep, like my phone and laptop. And I wouldn’t sell my underwear as I wouldn’t want shoppers rummaging around through my unmentionables. My father gave me a fountain pen that I would have to keep. And I’d also keep my grandfather’s pocket-watch and my other grandfather’s wristwatch. That’s more than 3, isn’t it? Let’s sell the underwear then!
(Continue to Part 2 of Interview)