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Justin Fox on the Traits He Shares with His Whoever Fears the Sea Protagonist

Whoever Fears the SeaJustin Fox says his new novel, Whoever Fears the Sea, can be read as autobiographical, but only to a point.

Commenting on the similarities between his protagonist, Paul Waterson, and himself, Fox tells Bruce Dennill of The Citizen: “Paul and I are very similar. We both love the sea and travelling in general, and we’re both writers. But I went into fantasy in order to make the story exciting by adding guns and sex.”

However, Fox says he does differ from his character in some ways: “Paul is more adventurous than I am. I’m quite a nervous traveller. I’m always watching my back. He’s laid-back, where I want everything to run on time.”

Fox and Dennill speak about the way in which Paul tries to be open minded and consider both sides of an issue, which Fox says can be seen as a challenge to readers:

Paul Waterson, the protagonist in travel writer and author Justin Fox’s first novel, Whoever Fears The Sea, is, like Fox, an excellent researcher, a big fan of Africa’s East Coast, and a South African.

How autobiographical is the character, given that Waterson’s undesirable traits – he can be shallow and selfish, for a start – can be explained away as fiction?

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