Thursday, October 14, 2010
Guest Post with Peter Geye, author of Safe from the Sea
You may not be familiar with author Peter Geye yet, but if his debut novel Safe from the Sea is any indication of what we can expect from him I'm sure you'll be hearing quite a bit about him. Peter Geye was born and raised in Minneapolis, and Safe from the Sea is "set against the powerful lakeshore landscape of northern Minnesota". I'd like to welcome Peter to Chick with Books today, where he'll share with us a little bit about himself, and what he hopes to impart to the reader with his writing. Join me in a warm welcome to Peter!
As a junior in high school, I had a reputation among my teachers as something of a wise guy, someone quicker to joke my way out of trouble than think it. And it didn’t matter the subject, or even necessarily the teacher; any occasion warranted a sarcastic response.
Then one day I had a teacher tell me it was easier to be a smart ass if you actually did the reading. The book in question was Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms. I followed the teacher’s advice. His name was David Beenken, and I have him to thank for where I am today.
What I discovered in Hemingway’s classic was the transformative power of stories. I discovered the pain of doomed love, the horror of war, the importance of deep and abiding friendship. I discovered a new landscape and the seismic force of fate. And I knew, surely as I had done the reading, that there were a thousand more books to read.
Of course, there are way more than a thousand books to read, and still others to write, but I turn back to this memory as a way of reminding myself of the wonder and awe of a first favorite book. Never mind the sermons about how important reading is, what about how enjoyable and edifying it is?
When I began writing Safe from the Sea I reminded myself often to aspire to this, to try and imbue the story with as many moments of mystery as possible. Those moments, to my way of thinking, are what allow stories to engage many different types of readers. Whether it’s the suddenness with which the wind can change direction, ushering in an unexpected storm, or the way in which a simple, unabashed moment between characters not accustomed to each other’s company can transform their relationship by calling up a whole litany of memories, the moments in a story that rely on the reader’s imagination—as much as the author’s intention—are so often the best.
I hope there are plenty of those moments in my book, and I hope that its readers will find plenty of moments to pause and reflect on their own lives as they read about the lives of my characters. I’ve done my job if they do.
Peter Geye is currently touring virtually and on the road promoting his debut novel, Safe from the Sea, "a heartfelt novel in which a son returns home to reconnect with his estranged and dying father thirty-five years after the tragic wreck of a Great Lakes ore boat that the father only partially survived and that has divided them emotionally ever since. When his father for the first time finally tells the story of the horrific disaster he has carried with him so long, it leads the two men to reconsider each other."
Thank you Peter for guest posting today on Chick with Books! And sharing a bit of yourself and your inspiration for Safe from the Sea!
You can learn more about Safe from the Sea and the author himself, at Peter Geye's website. And to all my Chick with Books readers, I'll be reviewing Safe from the Sea by Peter Geye tomorrow!