Meet Garrett Dennis, author of a new cozy mystery series set on the Outer Banks. With two books already out, Port Starbird and Port of Refuge, Dennis is hard at work on a third. Before you come by our Scarborough Faire store in Duck on Wednesday June 24th (Dennis will be there signing books from 1-5PM), find out more about this Outer Banks vacationer-turned-writer!
Q: What’s the title of your new book?
A: I have two books:
1. PORT STARBIRD, the first entry in my STORM KETCHUM ADVENTURES series of cozy mysteries set in the Outer Banks, was published in 2014. I’ll be signing this one in June.
2. PORT OF REFUGE, the second entry in the series, is being published now. I’ll be signing this one as well in June.
Q: Describe the book in one sentence.
A: 1. PORT STARBIRD: Storm Ketchum, a damaged émigré to the Outer Banks village of Avon who’s on the verge of losing his modest soundfront home to an unscrupulous developer, stumbles onto a crime that might expose a murderer and enable him to save the homes of both him and his bohemian boatyard friends.
2. PORT OF REFUGE: Ketch finds himself entangled with a cult-like coven of modern-day Roanoke Island witches, when a relative meets an untimely end at their hands and he once again calls on his amateur sleuthing skills to solve the mystery of her death while risking the physical and spiritual well-being of both himself and the one he loves.
Q: What books are on your bedside table?
A: Too many! I’m always behind on my reading. Some recent fiction that I either liked a lot or haven’t finished yet: Cuba Straits (Randy Wayne White), Four Days With Hemingway’s Ghost (Tom Winton), The Dead Key (D.M. Pulley), Pago Pago Tango (John Enright), Spanish Moss (E.A. Cook), Flight Behavior (Barbara Kingsolver), Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead (Sara Gran). Nonfiction that’s either unfinished or being re-read: Hatteras Island, Keeper of the Outer Banks (Ray McAllister), An Outer Banks Reader (David Stick), North Carolina’s Hurricane History (Jay Barnes), Torpedo Junction (Homer Hickam), The Hatterasman (Ben Dixon MacNeill). (Well, sort of nonfiction on that last one, as Stick liked to point out.)
Q: How long have you been writing?
A: Seriously, for about three years, and more so since I retired from my corporate career in 2013; frivolously, for decades. I’ve also played guitar and occasionally written folk and rock songs since my high school days – and though they’re all untainted by success, a handful of them have recently found their way into my books, so they’re gaining new life.
Q: Book you wish you could read again for the first time?
A: The Old Man and the Sea (Hemingway).
Q: Favorite book and why:
A: The Old Man and the Sea (Hemingway). I think it’s the pinnacle of his career, it speaks to my soul, and I wish I were capable of writing something as good as that.
Q: What brings you to the Outer Banks?
A: Technically, just periodic beach vacations (since I don’t live in the OBX). But when I visit, the beaches, though picturesque and soul-stirring, aren’t my first priority; and though they’re enjoyable and I do take advantage of some of them, neither are the water-based activities. I like to instead immerse myself as much as possible in the culture, history, geography, and biology of the islands – Hatteras Island being my favorite. Oh, and eat as much local crab and shrimp as possible!