Cultural Favourites: TENACITY author J.S. Law
July 24, 2015, Article by Tom in Books
J.S. Law’s debut novel, Tenacity, is unlike any crime thriller book we’ve read before – and we mean that in a very good way. Set primarily on a submarine, it follows Lieutenant Danielle Lewis as she investigates a suspicious suicide. Trapped in this claustrophobic environment and with a crew of hostile men to deal with, she has to stand alone under extreme pressure – especially with a potential murderer on board.
With the book out this week, we asked J.S. Law to tell us a few of his cultural highlights…
Book – Favourite book? What a question to ask an author. I could barely narrow this down to my favourite fifty books! But as I’m on the ropes and I have to give an answer, I’m going to go with The Road by Cormac McCarthy. That book really taught me how you accomplish amazing atmosphere with the simplest of language, and I can re-read it over and again.
Writer – Man, how to choose this… Tolkien would be too easy. McCarthy would obviously be up there, as would Easton Ellis. But I’m going to look to crime and put McDermid, James and Billingam in play too. Thinking about writing style, atmosphere, sense of place… I’m going to choose the Godfather of Tartan Noir, William McIlvanney. If you haven’t read the Laidlaw books then do (the audiobook, read by Mr MacIlvanney himself, is also absolutely fantastic).
Artist – My daughter’s pretty good!
Film – I’m a closet geek so the Lord of the Rings trilogy would be top of this pile. If I wasn’t allowed that, due to unfair anti-geek laws, then I’d go with the series of Sons of Anarchy (though we definitely need to see more V-Rods roaring around the set).
Motorcycle (note from MWSAB: we don’t think we included this category originally…) – My Harley Davidson Night Rod Special ;-)
Food – I’m not sure there’s any food I like that’s good for you. My favourite food is a fry up: Scottish Square sliced sausage, black pudding, potato scones, fried bread, bacon, eggs, beans and toast (and sliced fried tomato if you need one of your five a day). All of that in a fresh morning roll is how I roll. If I was being cultural then it’d need to be something from overseas, you know, like a burrito.
Drink – I think this would need to be Dom Perignon White Gold Jeroboam. Actually, in all honesty, I just Googled that and, at $40k a bottle, it’s never likely to touch my lips! In truth, I’m a sailor through and through. I like lager and I’m not even that picky. German beers tend to be a little kinder on my hangover and so Beck’s remains a firm favourite. And if there are no good lagers about, I’ll take a Caledonian, which is my tipple of choice when I watch Scotland play at Murrayfield.
Half Empty/Half full – Definitely half empty! Half full kind of implies it’s not time to get the next round in yet.
Place/Holiday destination – Anyone who’s been on a good night out knows that location is secondary to company. So for me, as long as the kids and wife (or some of my buddies if it’s that kinda trip) are there, then I’m all good. I did fall in love with the Garda Region of Italy though. I’d live there in a heartbeat. Green and lush countryside, beautiful weather and wine, great cycling and water sports. That’d be somewhere I could call home.
Band/Album – Queensryche, Operation: Mindcrime.
Sport/team – Rugby Union all the way. I attend Murrayfield for almost every Scotland home game and have done, whenever possible, since I played in the Queen Victoria School’s Pipes and Drums at the national stadium in the late eighties. I still remember the first time we sang ‘Flower of Scotland’ at Murrayfield in 1990 and the triumph that followed it, and it’s worth bearing in mind that being a Scotland fan, you have to remember back to stuff like that, because victories have been few and far between since then, although all the sweeter for it. (also, check out The Grudge by Tom English – superb telling of the build up to that match).
Hobbies – It’s got to be writing. I’m often asked how I make time to write the novels, but, in truth, writing them is my escape from daily life. I get to sit in my comfy office chair and make stuff up. I loved writing Tenacity, building new characters like Dan Lewis up from nothing but ideas and concepts and then presenting her to the world. Once you’ve met her, I think you might agree my hobby is very worthwhile.