WELCOME JACK GINESI
Jack Ginesi is a collection of atoms roughly configured into human form. In accordance with Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle, it is not possible to know, with any degree of accuracy, where he is and what he is doing at any given time (which is a constant source of irritation to his friends and family).
From a more conventional perspective, he lives near Tunbridge Wells in Kent – in fact, he has lived in the South-East of England all his life. He has not travelled extensively, he doesn’t participate in extreme sports (or even moderate ones) and he has never held a high powered job in the corporate world or the foreign office. He has never been a spy, an international gunrunner or a member of a boy band. He does, however, like to write, create artwork (usually depicting wolves or crystal skulls – occasionally both), play the guitar badly and think about things (pictured left) – interestingly he often turns monochrome when thinking hard.
At just 18-years-old Jack started writing about a fictional village in Southern Europe, building up a whole cast of gloriously oddball characters. At the same time he started to record his own experiences and observations on life. Finally, after many years, he drew the two together, transforming what started off as endless anecdotes into his debut novel, the Curious History of Joshua Ramdinkka.
He claims, somewhat predictably, that the Curious History of Joshua Ramdinkka is merely the first in a planned trilogy of books; although, given the amount of time he has spent arsing around on the first one, I wouldn’t hold your breath waiting for the second.
Jack is a proponent of the ‘Infinite Monkey’* school of writing.
Connect with Jack at these sites:
Q&A with Jack Ginesi
Do you draw from personal experiences and/or current events?
For the most part, I draw on my own experiences and observations. The book is set in a small European village, which is entirely fictitious. As the story is primarily allegorical in nature, I wanted to create an insular little world, cut off from external influences – a kind of laboratory where I could explore the psychology and motivations of the inhabitants. This tends to give the story a somewhat surreal edge; although it was nice to hear my father, who grew up in a provincial Italian town, remarking on how reading the book brought back memories of his childhood.
Do you start with the conclusion and plot in reverse or start from the beginning and see where the story line brings you?
As a general rule, I start at the beginning because I tend to see the story unfolding like a movie in my head – I just follow it wherever it takes me. In the case of The Curious History of Joshua Ramdinkka, the book actually started out as several short stories that, over time, merged together. These became the history of the Ramdinkka family and helped to shape the character of the young Joshua.
Your routine when writing? Any idiosyncrasies?
Generally, I prefer to write in the evening or at night. The basic routine would be; start at around 7:30pm and then aim to write for about 3 or 4 hours. For me, there is definitely something about the night that seems conducive to writing, things just seem more intense and focused – I’m pretty sure that all the deepest philosophical conversations I’ve ever had, have taken place either late at night or in the wee small hours of the morning (and that had nothing to do with alcohol).
I have many idiosyncrasies, but I’m not sure that any of them relate specifically to my writing. I do have a ‘lucky’ green gnome that I got out of a cracker when I was a kid, it sits on the edge of my desk and watches me while I work – but I don’t know if that helps or hinders me.
Is writing your full time job? If not, may I ask what you do by day?
By day I am a mild mannered reporter for the Daily Plan… no, hang on a second, that’s somebody else, isn’t it? I do have something of a dual life though, I split my time between consultancy work in the corporate world and running a publishing company that creates spiritual and personal development products. I’m very fortunate in that my work is quite flexible, so I can always create more time to write if I want. The problem is, like many authors, I have a love/hate relationship with my books – so the amount of time I actually spend writing tends to depend of whether the book and I are on speaking terms at that particular moment or not.
Who are some of your favorite authors?
My favourite author would have to be the late, great Douglas Adams. The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy books just fascinated me when I was younger. I loved the wonderfully wry observations – they were often deceptively simple, but incredibly insightful. And the passion for technology was also something that resonated with me. I am also a fan of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld books – I am in awe of anyone who can conjure up such a vast and vibrant, living universe, in such exquisite detail.
What are you reading now?
At the moment, I am actually re-reading Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz. In general, I tend to read more non-fiction than fiction. I have a fascination with anything spiritual, psychological and philosophical and these topics are always at the core of anything I write.
Are you working on your next novel? Can you tell us a little about it?
The next novel is in the planning stage. I like to think of it as a “parra-equel” to The Curious History of Joshua Ramdinkka. That is to say, it runs in parallel with the events of the first book (there probably is a proper word for that). The story follows Meloko’s life as told through his journal… but with a twist! And for the first time we’ll discover the unseen forces that played a part in Joshua’s downfall. I also have an idea for a third book that will bring things full circle and will reinstate Joshua to his rightful place in the family history.
Your novel will be a movie. Who would you cast?
That is an interesting question. As I said before, I always visualise the story when I’m writing and the characters are now so clearly defined in my mind that they feel like real people, so it’s strange to think of substituting them with actors. I think the role of Joshua would be particularly tricky to cast (as you will appreciate if you’ve read the book) but I think someone like Edward Norton might be a good choice. In terms of the villagers, I can think of plenty of great actors and actresses who could easily grace the streets of Potokini: Jim Broadbent, Alan Rickman, Derek Jacobi, Judi Dench, Brian Blessed… Wow, can we just go ahead and make this thing?
Manuscript/Notes: hand written or keyboard?
The manuscript is always typed. I really couldn’t work without a word processor; I’m constantly changing, tweaking and generally tampering with things. I often make handwritten notes, there is always a pad and pen next to the bed and I have a little 3 inch by 3 inch spiral bound notepad that I usually carry with me. It’s proved invaluable as I often find inspiration strikes when I’m out walking.
Favorite leisure activity/hobby?
I spend around an hour a day meditating…although technically, I guess, that would be classed as an inactivity. Apart from that I love anything where I can be creative: writing, photography, artwork, music, web design – I can easily lose myself for days in a project.
Tuna Bolognese with Penne Rigate topped with melted mozzarella made to my own recipe… bellissimo!
ABOUT THE BOOK
“For though we share one planet, we inhabit many worlds.” – Barisko Volloti
Joshua Ramdinkka is having a bad day…that makes 14,768 and counting. It’s not like he asked to take over the running of the celebrated Ramdinkka vineyard but, as the last of his distinguished line, what choice did he have?
The suspicion that great grandfather’s ghost is trying to muscle his way back into the family business isn’t helping matters. Nor is the fact that his alter ego has accidentally killed the village mime. Now it seems the council is just itching to bulldoze his beloved family home. But is Joshua a victim or the architect of his own misfortune? The answer is staring him in the face but, with the Grim Reaper dogging his every step, can he really cheat death and reclaim his life or is he destined to fall foul of a classic cinematic cliché? Set in a bygone world of vineyards and village life, this is a novel about the choices we make and how they make us. It’s about living in the shadow of greatness, the perils of discovering you are God and the realisation that no one else will ever see the world quite the way you do.
The Curious History of Joshua Ramdinkka explores how we create our own reality. It is an intriguing and provocative tale of one man’s history, played out against the backdrop of a small, southern European village – filled with gloriously eccentric characters – and told with a wry, offbeat sense of humour. The book examines the relationship between life and death and raises numerous metaphysical questions, whilst touching on a number of spiritual themes. Whilst fiction, this thought-provoking book invites the reader to examine patterns in their own life. The idea that human experience is a matter of perception, and that all truth is subjective, is a powerful theme.
Number of Pages: 346
Publisher: New Generation Publishing
Publication Date: January 29, 2014
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