Interview with novelist Jon Reeves

Today’s
special guest is author Jon Reeves.
We’re chatting about his musical comedic coming-of-age novel, My Name Is Tom.
Bio:
Jon Reeves has an unconditional love for music. His
desire to discover new sounds and learn about how musical history has allowed
that music to grow has been with him for as long as he can remember. He has met
some amazing people and musicians along the way, who have inspired him to use
his experiences to write stories to share with others. He believes in growing,
emotionally, every day, and attempting to take positives from every situation,
while keeping a realistic perspective.
Welcome, Jon. Please tell us about your
current release.
Some describe Tom’s obsession with music as
“unhealthy.” Growing up in the 1970s and early ‘80s middle England, developing
his love for music and building a record collection to rival that of people
twice his age, Tom becomes fascinated by the musical cultures of the day.
In 1989, he turns 18 and becomes part of his own
culture, the Rave scene, selling all his beloved record collection along the
way to fund his new lifestyle. After a while, he decides it is time to regain
his lost collection. He makes a list, and at the top is a small list of
rarities he regrets selling the most. As he follows the trails of the records
he sold, each one reveals alarming information involving a close friend and a
group of people he thought he had left behind. But to what extent is Tom
involved?
What inspired you to write this book?
My book is very
autobiographical, so my own life and the lives of those who have always
surrounded me inspired me more than anything. Music is a constant theme through
my life and more often than not I will talk about it for several hours before I
realise that no one is listening. I listen to albums more than singles, as I
see them as a story of where that band were when they wrote it.
Excerpt from My Name Is Tom:
This is from
quite early in the book – no spoiler alerts required.
The
following Saturday, just as I was about to enter the record shop to spend my
wages, I noticed Trevor heading up the street in my direction. I quickly ran
into the relative safety of the shop and hid in the funk section. I watched as
Trevor walked in. He didn’t look particularly unhappy. He was clearly looking
for someone and that someone was likely to be me. I continued to hide amongst
the funk but as he moved, I was forced to do the same in order to maintain my
cover. By the time he headed for the counter I was deep in the Prog Rock
section.
“What you doing down
there?” Said the shop keeper “You like Prog yeah?”
“Yeah… I mean, no” I
didn’t really know what Prog Rock was but had heard it talked about quite
negatively once on a programme about Punk, and I liked that, so I didn’t like
Prog.
“I’m hiding from that
bloke, I think he wants to punch me”
“What that bloke
there?” He said. I confirmed the identity of Trevor.
“That’s Trevor” he said
“I know, I think he
wants to punch me. He’s going out with my sister Tracey and I think he might be
a bit upset with me”
“Seriously, Trevor and
Tracey?” He laughed as he said it, as did I, still crouched down. Trevor heard
us and made his way over.
“Trev, this lad thinks
you’re gonna punch him. You aint gonna punch him are you?” The shop keep seemed
incredibly amused at the idea of me being punched by an oaf twice my size.
“Course I’m not” Trevor
said. “We had a minor disagreement outside his sisters bedroom the other day,
didn’t we Tim?”
“My names Tom” I said.
“I know” he said
laughing uncontrollably to himself. This forced me to stand up and lose my
cover, which was pretty much gone anyway. The hostilities seemed to be over.
Trevor put his arm
around me and led me to the New Wave section. His attitude towards me was
completely different to our first meeting. I felt immediately suspicious of
this given his association with my sister but I decided to play along and see
what would happen.
He began to talk in
depth about his love of music. I was fascinated. He told me how he had seen The
Jam play live twice and The Sex Pistols once but that the set was cut short due
to a fight in the audience that he was not involved in. But I could tell that
he was involved. It was obvious.
It seemed unlikely
considering our brief and turbulent history but I was really beginning to like
Trevor. However, there was still something in the back of my mind telling me
that he was likely to punch me at any minute, but as the minutes passed, it
seemed less likely until the point arrived where I didn’t think it at all. It
was a relief as he was quite a sizable chap and at the end of the day, also had
access to my house.
We conversed about
music all the way to the counter. Turned out that he also wasn’t aware of the
demise of the Jam and subsequent formation of The Style Council which was
strange given the stories he had just told me, you would have thought he would
know that. Anyway, we were now friends. I was pleased. He was pretty cool. Well,
cooler than me anyway.
At the counter the two
of us perused the chart listing for this week. It was time to decide what
single to buy. The shop keeper who I had now found out is called Bob, was only
too keen to help me select my purchase. He played me several songs based on
what he knew about me from our musical discussions so far. I liked most of them
but it was ‘The Lovecats’ by The Cure that I was most taken by.
It had entered the
charts that week and I knew nothing of them. The record box didn’t contain any
songs by them despite Bob informing me that they had been around for a little
while now. This made me think for the first time that maybe my cousin wasn’t as
up on things as I thought he was. And also made me think that maybe I was.
The front cover was
colourful and had the name of the song and the band emblazoned upon it, along
with a picture of two cats dancing, brilliant. It was a far cry from the plain
blackness of the Speak Like A Child cover which didn’t even feature the name of
the song on it. The song itself also had a very different sound to it. The
vocal was amazing and scared me a little bit. The overall melody of the song
was unmistakably my sort of thing. I bought it, bided farewell to Trevor and
Bob who seemed to quite like me, as did I them, and then made my way home to
listen.
What exciting story are you working on
next?
Currently in
the process of publishing the sequel to my novel ‘My Name Is Tom’. Its set
around 5 years after Tom finishes and is mostly set in Australia. Also, about three
quarters of the way through writing the third book in the trilogy.
When did you first consider yourself a
writer?
Right after I
first realised that I wasn’t going to be a musician. So, a few days ago. But
tomorrow, I may well write a song that makes me reconsider. And then the next
day, I’ll be a writer again. I basically just like being creative.
Do you write full-time? If so, what's
your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find
time to write?
During the day
I am a Business Analyst for a large construction company here in sunny England,
which pays the bills and keeps me off the streets. But - and don’t tell my boss
this, although I suspect he already knows - I spend more time writing whilst at
work than I spend doing my job. But I’m in charge of my own diary, so as long
as the job is done, it doesn’t really matter. But still don’t tell him. The
rest of my life is spent with my amazing Zimbabwean wife and looking after my
somewhat annoying, octogenarian, quite unwell, parents. I love them really,
though.
What would you say is your interesting
writing quirk?
My writing
style is indicative of the way me and my friends have always talked to each
other. We all like to think we are extremely funny, but often people are
laughing at us and not with us. But either way, as long as they’re laughing,
it’s all good. Also, as is the case in general life for me, I relate everything
to music.
As a child, what did you want to be when
you grew up?
Musician –
still do. Or a dentist.
Anything additional you want to share
with the readers?
Yes - listen to
the Beatles more. But if you already are doing that, listen to Joy Division
more and if you’re already doing that, listen to New Order more – I won’t go
on, but you get the general idea. And take comfort in your own thoughts.

Links:
Website | Facebook 


Thanks for joining me today, Jon.

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