OBITUARIES : Tristan Hawkins

Tristan Hawkins wrote by day and went home to write by night.

By day, as creative director of Rapport Learning, the specialist promotion and publishing company of which he was a founder, he was a constant source of ideas for educationally led projects, from initial presentations through to the final product's vast volumes of copy. By night, he wrote novels. His first, Pepper, was published by HarperCollins as a Flamingo Original paperback, in November 1993. Hawkins was then 30.

It attracted many favourable reviews. The story of a hard- living, hard-drinking advertising executive who spends a great deal of time around favourite Soho haunts, it had woven into it deft street knowledge with an incisive and compassionate understanding of contemporary relationships. It also announced Hawkins, in the words of an Independent on Sunday reviewer, as "a young writer with talent to burn".

After leaving Newcastle University with a degree in Philosophy, Hawkins had joined the circulation department of Centaur Publishing in a temporary capacity. One day he plucked up the courage to criticise his publisher's copy for a new subscription letter. Given half an hour to produce something better, he did. As his obvious talent for copywriting became recognised, he moved into full-time marketing, establishing himself in a variety of key roles across a wide range of published titles.

His experience within the publishing field was to inform much of his second novel, The Anarchist, which was published as a Flamingo hardback last August (the paperback version is due out later this year). The story concerns a senior, middle-aged publishing executive who tires of the pretensions and rituals of suburbia and seeks solace from New Age travellers, only to find that they are just as contrived and that the middle classes do indeed experience a full range of emotions, including grief - just that they do it with a tie on.

Writing novels was Hawkins's first love. To achieve their publication, he used his marketing skills. Rather than sending the script of Pepper out to dozens of publishers only to be rejected, or trying to find an agent to sell his work for him, he wrote a direct mail-shot. He sent it to just four major publishers. HarperCollins responded and, subsequently, nurtured his writing talent.

A driven, committed and compulsive man, Hawkins was as fascinated with the style of the Sun as with, say, Kant's Critique. He had, the week before he died, completed the draft of the script of the third novel he was working on. His death at the age of 33, of an acute asthma attack, was totally unexpected.

He wrote: "People say that as someone dies their life flashes before them. Of course they cannot know this. Perhaps what they are trying to say is that when someone dies, one particular angle of their life flashes before each of those who are left."

Tristan Harry Hawkins, copywriter and novelist: born Bromley, Kent 1 May 1963; died London 13 January 1997.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Arts and Entertainment
The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister
TVSPOILER ALERT: It's all coming together as series returns to form
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvName confirmed for third series
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine