Tyler Keevil on The Worm Hole podcast
Charlie Place asks Tyler Keevil about his latest novel, Your Still Beating Heart.
They discuss using the violence of Snow White in an adult thriller to shocking and literary effect, writing in the second person to tell a story within a story where either – or both, or none – may be ‘true’, and the many hearts at the heart of his novel.
Bookshop.org Book of the Month by Penrallt Gallery Bookshop
Penrallt Gallery bookshop in Wales chose Your Still Beating Heart by Tyler Keevil as their book recommendation for December on Bookshop.org.
Isabel Costello also picked Tyler’s literary thriller as one of the best books of 2020 saying, ‘Your Still Beating Heart has the emotional heft of a character-driven literary novel despite being a palpitation-inducing page-turner, a rare combination. I found it moving, gripping and evocative of place – if you enjoyed Judith Heneghan’s Snegurochka (set in Kiev) or Garth Greenwell’s What Belongs To You (set in Sofia), there are shades of overlap, but this book’s heart beats to its own tune.’
Penrallt is a lovely independent bookshop based in Wales. If you haven’t visited them before, have a look at their website and plan a trip! penralltgallerybookshop.co.uk
Buy your copy now.
"But it didn’t matter. Nobody was there to judge my struggles." Tyler on his trip to Prague, written for The Literary Sofa
“I had no contacts there, no friends or relatives to look up. I’d booked a bedsit on the internet, unbelievably cheap for the location, in Vinohrady, within walking distance of Prague 1, the Old Town and tourist district. I paid the equivalent in koruny of about $200 Canadian per month. Eira’s room in the novel is based on it. Too small to be called a studio flat – maybe ten by twenty feet. A shower in one corner. The toilet in the hall outside. A battered cupboard with a single hotplate. A bed that resembled an army cot. Musty carpet and stale smoke. Peeling wallpaper. Cracked paint. It was exactly what I’d wanted.
After deducting rent, I had a budget of about five dollars a day to get me through the autumn and winter. On the hot plate I boiled potatoes and pasta, fried vegetables and eggs. I bought the cheapest beer and cigarettes and spent evenings sitting at my window, smoking and imitating the pictures I’d seen of Camus. It was an act, of course. I was playing at being a writer. But part of my act was writing. And in the mornings I stayed sober and focused: I would boil coffee on my hotplate and write longhand in my notebook. I had the will, but no direction, no craft, no skill. My stories grew too long and got away from me, slippery and unmanageable as eels. But it didn’t matter. Nobody was there to judge my struggles.”
Tyler Keevil looks back at his trip to Prague and the aspects of that journey which made it into his latest novel, literary thriller Your Still Beating Heart.
Your Still Beating Heart on BBC Radio Wales with Gary Raymond
‘This really grabbed me right from the start. I just couldn’t put it down. It’s unashamedly a pacy thriller. It’s hard-hitting with a really strong political undercurrent… in places I wanted to look away but I couldn’t. It’s very, very strong.’ Emma Schofield
‘I really enjoyed it… it really drew me in and it drew me in quickly too. It does ‘menace’ well. It has some strong parallels with the film Don’t Look Now… What I really liked was the personal questions it poses about the moral importance of opting for bravery over cowardice and the very pertinent political overtones… It’s a book that stayed with me and a book that made me ask serious questions of myself. ’ Craig Austin, ‘The Review Show’, BBC Radio Wales
‘Very immediate snappy prose…it reminded me of writers like Gillian Flynn who get straight to the heart of the matter.’ Gary Raymond, ‘The Review Show’, BBC Radio Wales
14 Brilliant New Books... by The Glossary
‘In this high-stakes thriller about organ trafficking, a young woman’s life is changed in the blink of an eye after a stabbing on a London bus leaves her widowed. Isolated and robbed of her future, she books an impulsive trip to Prague, where she and her late husband got engaged.
Wandering the city’s cobbled streets, she is approached with a proposition – pick something up, transport it back to the UK and save a life. Just once. But that once will change her life beyond recognition. Keevil is the director of Cardiff University’s Creative Writing MA, so expect a brilliant read as he shows he can practise what he preaches.’
Tyler Keevil’s new literary thriller, Your Still Beating Heart, is listed alongside new releases from Nick Hornby, Rose Tremain and Elena Ferrante as Must-Reads this month by The Glossary.
See the full list.
Interview with Tyler Keevil by Lucy J Loves
‘Now that I have a so-called proper job, and a couple of books out, it’s easier to get complacent and put the writing off. Mañana, right? But everybody’s busy, writers or otherwise, so there’s nothing special about my predicament. It’s a matter of will and self-discipline. I think of the writers I admire, and try to take my cue from them.’
Insightful interview with Tyler by Lucy J Loves on her blog, as part of her ‘A Day in the Life of…‘ series.
Boxing on Tyler's Website
Evidence that writing isn’t such a solitary existence but actually quite dangerous! Tyler fought D.D. Johnston at Cheltenham Literature Festival with literary critic Dr Martin Randall (who had interviewed them first) acting as referee. It was the first (and possibly last) boxing match the Cheltenham Literature Festival had ever seen! Head to Tyler’s website to read why the authors were boxing…