Spooky title thing

My drawing for The Author

So Old Man and I went to my friend Belinda Gannaway‘s jolly birthday party on Saturday night in the very atmospheric conditions of Brighton Sailing Club on the rainy, stormy, high tide seafront. (Brighton Sailing Club sounds frightfully grand, but it’s really just a slightly damp promenade arch with a cheap bar).

Anyway, Belinda came up and said ‘you must meet my friend Ben Hatch. He’s a novelist too.’ So we did.… read more

Kom en zie

Marjolein, my editor in Holland has just sent me the cover art for the Dutch version of CUCKOO. According to my trusty dashboard translator Harts Vriendin means ‘heart girlfriend’. I like! (and I love the cover too).

According to Marjolein I might even get a trip to Amsterdam to do a couple of interviews. Lekke. This is all a little overwhelming, truth be told. But in a good way.… read more

Finally, at last, etc.

I have finally stopped myself procrastinating and started the read through of draft one, novel #2.

Before starting, I:

  • Made a nice wall-chart of juicy quotes from Macbeth
  • Studied Penelope Leach to make sure my addled parenting memory isn’t confusing what a three year old child can and can’t do
  • Printed out research photos and stuck them up on my wall
  • Caught up on emails
  • Have been very quick to respond to requests from Sam Eades, my powerhouse publicist at Headline (who is sending out proof copies of CUCKOO as I write this)
  • Made up some Ikea cardboard boxes I bought last week…
  • …Boxed up old drafts of CUCKOO, taking time to look at my annotated first draft to see how much I altered (almost all of it)
  • Cleared some space on my bookshelves
  • Bought yet more index cards, stickers and stars
  • Put Draft One in another lever arch file because the one it was in had got squashed.
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Thoughts about process

I have spent the last couple of days catching up on admin and reading, trying to flush my mind for the read through of novel #2 (which I hope, one day, will actually have a title). I have had to fill in a couple of interview forms for a couple of places, both of which asked about my process.

While it may sound a little precocious coming from a first-time novelist, I do believe that I have a process, or a way of working that suits me.… read more

That NaNoWriMo word emetic

National Novel Writing Month started three days ago. CUCKOO – out in March 2011 – was my second NaNovel. The first draft was written in November 2008 – even during the weekend I spent in Cornwall at my dear friend Max’s weekend long civil partnership celebrations. You know the sort of thing: come back to the dear little cottage after a whole day of drinking champagne in the ruddy outdoors with an eclectic crowd of gay aesthetes down from London and local farmers, write 1700 words, pass out at the kitchen table….… read more

It’s realer…

Oh my god. Leah sent over the cover art and, as you can see, it is fantastic. I am so excited and so relieved.

A little history. For the past fifteen years, I have been making a living as a website/graphic designer and illustrator. I have even designed some book covers for old man: The Author, my arm, an oak tree and ENGLAND. When people heard my novel was being published, an early question was ‘are you going to do the cover?’.… read more