The Couch Potato caught up with author and fellow Leicester boy Dan Tunstall to talk about his latest book Out of Towners:
1. In a nutshell, what is OOT all about?
The book was inspired in part by all the news reports you see each summer of post-GCSE and A level students on the lash in places like Newquay, staggering about and puking in gutters. I also drew on my own experiences of similar holidays with my mates when we were all 17/18/19 – two weeks in a shagged-out caravan in Lowestoft, existing on a diet of Scampi flavoured fries, Pot Noodles and cheap lager. Happy days…Something I was really trying to capture in the writing of Out of Towners is the feeling you have when you’re at that age, just starting out on adult life, and it seems like absolutely anything might happen. Anything is possible, and the opportunities just seem endless. That sense of anticipation is the closest thing you get to perfection in this life.
are Eastbourne, Hastings, Brighton, Weston-Super-Mare, Great Yarmouth, Silloth and Blackpool. Although I’ve made Whitbourne seem like a fairly seedy place, I actually have a big amount of affection for seaside towns. No matter how run-down they are, I love them all. I think I must have a thing about faded grandeur!
never been to Skeggy. Don’t know why, really. It’s just never happened. I’ll have to put that right one of these days.
In the same way that Whitbourne is an amalgamation of lots of different resorts, George is a composite of quite a few people I’ve known over the years. George is pretty typical of the sort of lad you find in most gangs – the more gentle, sensible soul, who almost takes on a maternal role.
the wake of the recent riots and looting across the country. The reputation of teenagers is at a pretty low ebb at the moment, but there are a lot of good kids out there. The characters in Out of Towners are no angels, they certainly make quite a few dodgy decisions, but they’re fundamentally a decent bunch.
I’ve recently had a story, Last Man In, included in the Walker Books anthology How To Be a Boy, and a short book, Seconds Out, is scheduled for publication by A&C Black later this year. The provisional date is late-September, but these things have been known to change.
The state of the game of football in this country is a big source of worry to me. I can’t help but visualise it as a giant game of Jenga – everyone taking it in turns to take another risk, stick another block on the top of the tower, whilst at the same time, weakening the foundations. And we
all know what happens at the end of a game of Jenga…
An interesting way of looking at it – I wonder if the Match of the Day golfing chums agree..thanks Dan
Out of Towners can be purchased at any good bookstore, and also on the usual websites. Check the Amazon link to read some reviews and find out more right now. His previous novel, Big and Clever, is also still available.