Surfer, journalist and debut author, Jonas Terning, is out with his first novel: “Lineup”. The book is Sweden’s first surf novel, and features Jonatan – a young man who has had enough of the broken promises and unreciprocated love in his current Swedish habitat. He packs his bags and travels to the other side of the world; Australia. More specifically Manly, Australia. The place has such a vibrant surf community, and he is quickly drawn in by its charm – surfing, partying, beachlife and new found love.
What more could he ever want? Has he found paradise? Will the good times last forever – or will he, like Adam, be forced to leave the Garden of Eden?
We were lucky enough to exchange some words with Jonas Terning, who is just as friendly and fun-loving as he looks. Here goes:
Howdy Jonas! Well done with your new book “Lineup”! It has received great reviews, and deservingly so. How did you first come up with the idea of writing a surf novel?
J: In Sweden, there is a saying in fiction writing that kind of (bad) translates to ”dig where you stand”. This means writing on topics you already know a lot about. So when I in January 2010 decided to complete a novel I started digging right where I was standing. I myself have lived in Manly, surfed for over ten years and as a journalist I have written countless surf and travel articles from around the world. I know a lot about backpackers and the surf environment a lot of them are attracted to.
The term “surf novel” shows that it takes place in surfing circles, which is unique in Swedish literature, but the story itself – friendship, love, young adults discovering the world – could just as well take place on a diving school in Thailand. I think everyone who has been out traveling, or who are curious to get out and travel, will enjoy the book. A bit like Alex Garland’s ‘The Beach’ or Gregory David Roberts ‘Shantaram’.
You lived in Manly, Australia for a while. What was it like, and is the main character in the book somewhat based on your own experiences?
J: Absolutely, I lived there for about seven months. That was ten years ago, but that time has probably influenced me a lot. 21, traveling alone, foreign country, foreign language … I learned much about myself and about others. The main character in the book is not based on me, but the parts of Sydney and Manly he is experiencing is the same parts that I experienced – the bars, the beaches, the waves, the shady apartment. I think many surfers will recognize themselves, whether they have been in Australia or not.
Where can Superstoked readers get a hold of your book? And when is it coming out in English?
J: You can buy it in all the major book stores in Sweden, and of course on the internet. I think these are the two cheapest options: Bokus (http://www.bokus.com/bok/9789137139968/lineup/) and Adlibris (http://www.adlibris.com/se/product.aspx?isbn=9137139967).
The publisher has not said anything about an English translation yet, but the book has only been out for two months. Hopefully it will happen later. Until then I am happy to provide tips on two amazing australian books for the English speaking surfer:
“Breath” by the incomparable Tim Winton is a growth story among waves and deserted beaches on the Australian countryside while “The Life” by Malcolm Knox is about a surf legends decline into drugs and psychosis, loosely based on Michael Peterson. Two must-reads for any surfer interested in books.
“Breath” by Tim Winton.
“The Life” by Malcolm Knox.
In the Lineup with Jonas Terning.
Good luck onwards, Jonas! Hope to see your book in the company of these two real soon.