20 January 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Guest Post by Peter Schimke, Author of Beyond Blue

Introduce yourself – Who are you?

I am Peter Schimke, the author of Beyond Blue. I am a young writer currently living in Madrid, Spain. I grew up in rural eastern Germany. I left when I was just 19 and have lived since in England, New Zealand, Japan, and the Netherlands before moving to Spain.

What is the deal with Beyond Blue?

Beyond Blue is my first published novel. It came this summer and it is a mountain of joy to see that happening. I had started to think about the book about two years ago. It all came from a short story that I had written. At that time, that was all I was writing: short stories and ideas over ideas for more. But somehow I never really thought of pursuing a bigger project like a full novel. However, I started extending the short story twice and slowly realized that there was more in it.

So then in May 2012 I started writing with the intention to create a full novel. At that point I hadn’t talked to any publisher or agent yet. I didn’t even think about publishing at all. In any case, I was writing all summer on the book and it was one of the most enjoyable and interesting projects I had undertaken. A few months later I actually finished the novel, and then it took another month to edit and correct everything.

I was already very satisfied that I had come that far. Everything else was bonus, I thought. As I talked with my friend Jonathan Gill, who got his own book published two years prior, he suggested that I should try as well to get it published.

After contacting publishers and agents for about three more months, I finally found Mirador Publishing. Although they are a small independent publishing company, they helped and advised me a lot. Finally, this past summer Beyond Blue came out.

Tell us a little about the book.

Beyond Blue is set in Tokyo, Japan, where it zooms in on the main character Quinn. The book starts just after Quinn arrived in Tokyo and immediately raises many questions for the reader concerning the very first scene. These questions will be answered bit by bit. Quinn dives into Shinjuku, the nightlife area of Tokyo, and soon his world starts spinning out of control. Soon names become only a vague reminiscence of the past, and memory itself is called into question. Without anything reliable left, one starts to wonder which parts of life exist and which are imagined. The only element that remains consistent is jazz. The world becomes untrustworthy, spontaneous, and unpredictable. But only until one goes beyond. With Quinn’s rejection of his own past, the work in the bar fulfills most of his needs at first, until he realises who he is working for. He becomes involved into his employer’s dirty business without knowing and is suddenly dependent on them. Trying to find out what had really happened to his work colleague Ko-mori, he gets two innocent people involved in his trouble. His success to regain his identity no longer is a matter for himself, but he suddenly has become responsible for two other lives that are in danger without knowing it. As he encounters guilt, murder, and identity loss, he is suddenly freed from all restrictions that Japan had set on him and suddenly has nothing to lose.

What role does Jazz play in the book?

Well, jazz is all around throughout the story. Firstly, there is Quinn’s love for jazz and of course the jazz bar he ends up working in. But the music plays an important role in the book. The jazz themes of unreliability, improvisation, and change are in a certain way stylistic themes guiding the story, the character, as well as the reader.

What other projects are you working on?

When I am not somehow involved in writing and get can my head around, I work on another project called 1030 Films. It is a small undertaking that developed from an idea I had more than two years ago. I imagined a platform that supports all kind of creative projects. Video, animation, photography, music, painting, writing, … the limit is one’s creativity.

I wanted to create such a platform for my friends, people around me, or anyone else who might be interested. Let’s say someone has an idea for a video, but doesn’t know how to execute this idea, or someone simply is looking for a platform to exhibit pictures or paintings online, we would like to help that person to get it done and provide this platform.

Our motto is simple: “We support creative, independent projects. Period.

We (two friends and I) are still at the beginning of creating this platform, but we already started working with a band from Hamburg, Germany (EAR) and a talented singer from Madrid.

About the Author:
Peter-SchimkePeter Schimke (1987) was born and grew up in Bautzen, Germany. He has lived and worked in England, New Zealand, and Japan since. He currently lives in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. “Beyond Blue” is his first novel.

About the Book: After burning all bridges, Quinn enters a new world that is incomprehensible but fascinating. Right after his arrival in Tokyo , he gets sucked into a parallel world that is far from the postcard pictures. It is a world of murder, guilt, and lies. Caught in the nightlife of Shinjuku, the only escape becomes the indifferent world of the convenience store. Soon names become only a vague reminiscence of the past, and memory itself is called into question. Without anything reliable left, one starts to wonder which parts of life exist and which are imagined. The only element that remains consistent is jazz. The world becomes untrustworthy, spontaneous, and unpredictable. But only until one goes beyond. With Quinn’s rejection of his own past, the work in the bar fulfils most of his needs at first, until he realises who he is working for. He becomes involved into his employer’s dirty business without knowing and is suddenly dependent on them. Trying to find out what had really happened to his work colleague Ko-mori, he gets two innocent people involved in his trouble. His success to regain his identity no longer is a matter for himself, but he suddenly has become responsible for two other lives that are in danger without knowing it. As he encounters guilt, murder, and identity loss, he is suddenly freed from all restrictions that Japan had set on him and suddenly has nothing to lose.

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