Oliver Kennett, after hugging his somewhat noxious guide dog, Kahn, sets off on a trip that will take him into the depths of South America to fall down many steps, be pummelled by hostile seas, headbutt pretty girls, be eaten alive by malicious insects and gaze wistfully at a moon he can’t see…He only hopes his friends are waiting for him at the other end.
This is the hilarious and heartfelt true story of a journey through the defunct eyes of an average guy as he makes his unsteady way through South America. From blazing Peruvian shores to fruit decorated Ecuadorian pastures, through arid Chilean deserts and steamy Argentinian rainforests, to finish in the colourful city of Buenos Aires.
So…come on a journey through an eternal night that spans surging oceans, searing deserts and snow-swathed mountains. Come on a journey to hear alien noises in the darkness, the crash of waves on the beach, secret voices in the night. Come on a journey and smell the brine of the ocean, the air of high places, the depths of the forest…come on a journey to invisible shores.
Tell us about yourself
I’m Ollie, I’m 35, I’m blind and I’m a writer. I have written several short stories in the genres of horror and paranormal erotica. Invisible Shores South America is my first full length novel and my first attempt at non-fiction writing. I’m currently working on a series of thrillers which I’m very excited about. I was bitten by a radioactive mole.
What was the hardest part of writing this book?
As this is my first attempt at writing a full length book, the hardest part was swallowing that mingled fear and self doubt which mountain climbers must feel before scaling Everest. Short stories are far easier and can be done in a morning, but keeping focus for a couple of months… That is hard. I struggle with a short attention span, I can become almost obsessive with projects and I have worked out the window is three weeks. As this book took several months, all told, over several years, I’m pretty chuffed that I reached the summit and was able to plan that most wonderful of flags on the final page, ‘The End’.
What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
I enjoyed writing all of the book as it gave me the opportunity to return to South America and relive our adventures. More specifically, I enjoyed writing about my travel companions. They have complained that I wasn’t entirely kind in their portrayals, but neither was I kind to myself. What I can say is this, I love those guys and spending any time with them, in reality or deep within the pages of this book, is always a pleasure.
Did you learn anything from writing this book and what was it?
I learned that truth isn’t always a story and being a non-fiction novel often requires some taming to be palatable. It is difficult to extrapolate a narrative from real life events because there are so many narratives going on. The vibrant tapestry of life is so interwoven with stories that, to pick one out would be impossible. Instead, what I have learned is learn how to present truthful events in a varying light to add emphasis in some places or to run out the tale a little in others and, in this way, create an approximation to the shape of a narrative.
What were you like in school?
I’d like to say I was a quiet and imaginative child who kept him self to himself and wasn’t in any way disruptive… But I can’t. I was a little monster, constantly getting other children into trouble with my own repeat visits to the head mistresses office. I’d also like to explain this by saying I had an abundance of energy, character, intelligence… Choose as you will, but I can’t. I was simply a pain in the ass.
What writers influenced you the most?
I love Stephen King, not necessarily because he is some sort of literary genius, but because of his obvious joy in his craft. He writes because he loves to and though he is humble and self-effacing, he writes with the certainty of a mountain goat clattering up a perilously steep incline.
Do you have a set writing schedule that you adhere to? / Tell us how you write
I find early morning writing produces my best work. Vestiges of dreams haunt my mind whilst self doubt is still slumbering. I find that afternoons are the best time to plot or edit; the more mentally dexterous activities.
Was this book inspired by something in particular?
This book was inspired by the question “What is it like to travel blind.” I was asked this many times as I travelled across South America and, to my chagrin, I wasn’t able to give a satisfactory, cocktail party answer. Instead I described it over 60 k words and 220 pages… I’m still working on the cocktail party answer.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Aside from reading and writing I enjoy playing my guitar and singing at people until they pay me to leave them alone. I love cooking for friends. I enjoy trolling C list celebrities on twitter. I also work for a charity who recycle prosthetic legs and send them to developing Africa… True story.
What actors/actresses would you cast in your book’s movie?
Well, I see myself being played by some heart throb, maybe Tom Hardy, Brad Pit, De Caprio, one of those… Whilst I see my two companions being played by Danny De Vito for Liam and John Candy for Jack…. Yeah, that would work nicely.
Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Oliver-Kennett/e/B00IE9FPU4
Buy book (UK): https://www.amazon.co.uk/Invisible-Shores-America-Oliver-Kennett/dp/1519286465/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1476076592&sr=1-1
Buy book (USA): https://www.amazon.com/Invisible-Shores-America-Oliver-Kennett/dp/1519286465