OBITUARIES : Tristan Hawkins
Thursday 06 February 1997
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.
Royal Marine Sgt Alexander Blackman jailed for life for the murder of Afghan insurgent
Ja Rule forced to deny leaving wife for prison cell mate
Nelson Mandela: 11 inspirational quotes to live your life by
More than 200 flights delayed and cancelled at Heathrow as air traffic control problem affects airports across Britain
Crash pilot who threatened Ukip leader Nigel Farage found dead
- 1 Cameron's freebie to apartheid South Africa
- 2 Is this the scariest advert ever? Japanese tyre commercial comes with its own disclaimer and health warning
- 3 Sherlock series 3: Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman provide teasers for the biggest comeback in British television
- 4 A forgotten episode in Russian history leaves links with the Philippines
- 5 People will try to reduce Mandela to a lilting reggae tune about ‘love’. They will fail
- < Previous
- Next >
£34999 - £43001 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: A Top 10 firm in ...
£40000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C++ Software E...
£45000 - £65000 per annum + Bonus + 28 days holiday: Harrington Starr: Java In...
£40000 - £65000 per annum + Bonus + 28 days holiday: Harrington Starr: Senior ...