Why Terra Lightfoot loves this book about the music industry and goblin roadtrips

The musician speaks about her love for Jamie Tennant's novel The Captain of Kinnoull Hill.
Terra Lightfoot is a singer-songwriter from Hamilton, Ont. (Dustin Rabin)

Terra Lightfoot is a singer-songwriter from Hamilton, Ont. The soulful bluesy rock singer and guitarist has performed on stages all over Canada, the U.S. and the U.K. — she has toured with Blue Rodeo, Bruce Cockburn, and a very famous Canadian musician with whom she shares a last name. Her latest album New Mistakes is a soulful, swagger-filled display of her wide range of talents. 

Lightfoot recently read The Captain of Kinnoull Hill by Jamie Tennant.   

This interview originally aired on Nov. 6, 2017.

An unlikable protagonist

"The Captain of Kinnoull Hill is written by James Tennant, who is a Hamilton author. The book is about a music industry executive who is quite a jerk. His name is Dennis Duckworth and he's done all the wrong and mean things in life. He's a sarcastic man, he lashes out at people, but knows he can catch more flies with honey than vinegar, so he uses his powers of deception to get people to do what he wants. Then there is a fellow called Eddie the Red Cap, who is a thousand-year-old goblin, which brings in an element of magic to this book. Eddie has survived for a thousand years by killing and murdering people and dipping his cap in their blood, which is quite graphic. At some point he's done a complete 180 in terms of his morals over the past hundred years and decides he doesn't want to do that anymore, he wants to become more human." 

Road trip with a goblin

"Dennis and Eddie meet when Dennis takes a magical turn on a flight that's supposed to take him to Chicago, but instead he ends up in rural Scotland. Eddie asks Dennis to teach him a little more about being human, but Dennis doesn't really know how to do that. So they go on this journey together, it's quite a ride, and the whole time they're becoming more human together. I like this story, I think, because it rides the line between different things. As a music industry person, it was fun for me to read because I think everyone knows a person like Dennis, who is kind of a jerk. But at the same time I think his character is quite endearing because he ends up wanting to change, which is my favourite part, the new direction that he heads in of wanting to be a better person."

Terra Lightfoot's comments have been edited and condensed.