J. Kent Messum was born in downtown Toronto in 1979, the product of a merger between a Cockney Lad and a Geordie Lass that resulted in a typical Aries who came out of the delivery room with a chip on his shoulder and an overactive imagination. During his early years his mother read fantastical stories to him every night, and his father frequently invented tales of witches and ghosts that both intrigued and terrified him. He was a frightened child growing up, convinced of a boogeyman in every closet and a monster under most beds. His stories are rooted in that same childhood fear, now evolved and molded by a mix of life experiences and a good deal of thinking outside the box.
Jamie graduated from York University’s Fine Arts Program and has worked as a session musician, freelance writer, producer, internet radio station disc jockey, bartender, office gopher, music teacher, movie grip, laborer, contractor, and a few other things he’d rather not admit. A glutton for punishment, Jamie has been involved heavily in both the music business and film business for well over a decade. He writes incessantly, putting on paper as many stories and ideas as his time will allow. The literary business is a welcome change, since he writes as if his life depended on it anyway.
Jamie’s debut novel, Bait, a dark psychological thriller about a group of strangers who find themselves stranded on a deserted island, was published by Plume (Penguin US) and Penguin Canada in August 2013, and was published in the UK by Michael Joseph (Penguin Random House) in September 2013. In June 2014, Bait was awarded the Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Novel.
Jamie’s second novel, Husk, will be published by Penguin in 2015.
ANNABEL MERULLO & LAURA WILLIAMS
Telephone number: 020 7344 1029
“No one is coming to your aid. We have ensured this.”
Six strangers wake up on a remote island in the Florida Keys with no memory of their arrival. They soon discover their common bond: all of them are heroin addicts. As the first excruciating pangs of withdrawal make themselves felt, the six notice a yacht anchored across open water. On it lurk four shadowy figures, protected by the hungry sharks that patrol the waves. So begins a dangerous game. The six must undertake the impossible—swim to the next island where a cache of heroin awaits, or die trying. When alliances form, betrayal is inevitable. As the fight to survive intensifies, the stakes reach terrifying heights—and their captors’ motives finally begin to emerge.
PUBLISHER: Plume/Penguin (US), Penguin Canada (Canada), Michael Joseph/Penguin UK (UK), Record (Brazilian), Bard (Bulgarian), Alpress (Czech)
NORTH AMERICAN PUBLICATION DATE: 27th August 2013
UK PUBLICATION DATE: 26th September 2013