THE AUTHOR: Tim Jollymore grew up next to the swamps, forests, and Indian reservations of northern Minnesota, the setting of his first novel. He spent his working life as a tree planter, pulp peeler, local historian, traveling salesman, and corporate manager. After migrating to California, he pursued residential design, contracting, and the teaching of English. Jollymore earned his master’s degree in literature at the University of Minnesota. He has also studied architecture and education.
Since leaving teaching in 2011, he has devoted his time to fiction and drama, writing a five-act play, completing two novels and numerous short stories. He posts to his review blog frequently and has written a travel blog. His first novel, Listener in the Snow, will appear in June of 2014.
During summer, he camps across the western states to visit extended family in northern Minnesota. Otherwise, he writes in Oakland, California and shares free time with his sleepyhead, artist companion, Carol. He lives in northern California nearby his three grown children, one of whom writes. When he can, Jollymore yells and screams along with his Viking grandson.
LISTENER IN THE SNOW
Jollymore’s fiction explores struggles of identity in multicultural and multi-racial society from the viewpoint of the under and working classes. The contests play out in spare, natural settings and every day, domestic life.
In Listener in the Snow those settings become anything but natural, and the domestic life anything but tranquil or domesticated. The story-teller and main character, Tatty Langille, breaks from his busy storm-shutter business in Florida to follow his estranged Ojibwa wife to her northern Minnesota birthplace along a trail strewn with haunting memories, uprooting visions, and characters as odd and mystical as those from his Mi’kmaq grandmother’s stories.
Tatty pits his practical Scandinavian senses culled from his life with his Finnish mother against dark fears embodied in the Ojibwa windigo and in flesh and blood survivors of harsh Minnesota winters that he meets on his journey north. If he is to stay with or leave his wife of fifteen years or not is hardly the question he has to answer. First he must answer, “Who is she?” and, ultimately, “Who am I?” Both questions are tied tightly to the surprising story and mythical fate of a local “bear-man,” Roscoe.
The philosophical underpinnings from Santayana’s and Stevens’s metaphysical naturalism magnify the images Tatty Langille sees in Listener. Whether they are “real” or projected on the scene by Tatty’s imaginative side, they shape his response to his dilemma. In the same way the stories and lore of Mi’kmaq and Ojibwa culture fill his mind, Tatty demonstrates Stevens’s idea that the natural world would be bare were it not for the world within.
Police Detective Paul Tuomi has his hands full: He has just been assigned the highest profile murder case of his career, is in the middle of investigating the strange death of a family member, and is about to cross the line on a long ago failed marriage.
Paul’s love of his working-class beginnings—embodied his involvement with his high school sweetheart and her son—and bond with his private detective father who lives under the cloud of a 40 year-old bootlegging murder fray the ties he’s made with the city’s old patrician elite. Paul can set to right his own life only if he can solve the puzzles of the deaths of three others. Complicating the already complicated is Tuomi’s nemesis, Ingstrom, a teenage crime-magnet from the toney side of town.
Out east, with pressure from the powerful and the press to arrest the black sheep of the murdered heiress's family, Paul is pushed to disregard eye-witness fact and bring to heel his west end sensibilities or face demotion on his job, the end of his marriage, and the loss of his long-time lover. He learns that the key to everything lies in catching the illusive Ingstrom.