Proudly Barefoot, Fully South African.
This is where you’ll find some examples of my work, some tantalising extracts from my novels – and my 60-second BarefootBiography
The Vampire of Steynsburg Pass
A delightfully chilling bit of Karoo Gothica; a piece from my collection of short stories “Travels In My Head.” Best read at midnight… Read it here
Surfing on Mid-winter’s Day
A short story about my battle with bi-polar disorder. And how I won. Read it here
Want to read a gentle, poignant novel about how an old man gets in touch with his emotions? Download it here: Belthar’s Garden (and please feel free to tell your friends to download, too. Or pass it on to your friends. Just remember – you can send it, swap it, read it, copy it and so forth, but you can’t change it in any way, and you have to attribute it to me. That’s what the Creative Commons license means).
Belthar’s Garden by Martin Hatchuel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 South Africa License.
Want to read the first ten pages of this unusual and beautiful story about a labourer on an oyster farm? Download here
Desperate To Be My Agent? Please mail me firstname.lastname@example.org – or call +27(0)84 951 0574
Barefoot Writer Martin Hatchuel: The 60 Second BarefootBiography.
I qualified in horticulture in Durban before going out into the real world to put my hard-won knowledge to good use … as a boat boy in Knysna. Went on to work in restaurants, a timeshare resort and, in the very early days, one of those old-fashioned caravan park-style holiday camps. When it dawned on me that tourists love the environment, I put my grounding in the natural sciences to work by becoming a tour guide (the first, mind you, at Featherbed Nature Reserve – now Knysna’s biggest tourism attraction), a ferryboat skipper and, ultimately, the owner of my own business in the Wilderness National Park: a bird-watching concession called the Kingfisher Ferry. And then – ouch! – we had the floods of ’96. And when the waters subsided, we found that the Touw River had been silted up and that my boat and I had been left up the creek without a … creek. So I started to write.
I entered the fray as the editor of a newspaper called Cape Tourism Update – which survived for a whole 21 months. And when that fell on its face, I went and did the stupidest thing anyone ever could do: I became a (shudder) freelancer.
But I love making my tenuous living by writing things like newsletters (like This Tourism Week), feature articles, advertising copy, commentary and tourism business strategies. And I write books, too – like Ferry Boats & Fossil Fish (a 20,000 word souvenir of Featherbed Nature Reserve); The West Coast Fossil Park (a 27,000 word souvenir which is still in production); and Now If You’ll Look To Your Left (a 100,000 word guide training manual for Knysna & Plettenberg Bay). Oh yes, and I once wrote a terribly high-brow and po-faced paper called Managing Perceptions: The Care And Feeding Of The Media, which I delivered at a Tourism Law And Management seminar.
And fiction, of course. I write fiction, too. But that’s another story…
The personal stuff, you say? I’m single, born in ’58, fit and healthy, a surfer and the foster father of a surf rat who, people tell me, needs a damned good haircut (but who, in turn, is the brilliant and unendingly patient father of that king among princes, my grandson [although I'm not biased]). I love my dog, my country, cricket, rugby, sailing, Latin American music, (and rap, classical, baroque, jazz, opera and sakkie-sakkie) and the movies – but, depending on how each one of them behaves, not always in that order. And from my ID number you can deduce that (a) I’m Proudly Barefoot & Fully South African and (b) I was born on the 21st of October. But you don’t need to send gifts.