Ben Hatch is a British Author that wrote “Are we nearly there yet?”
Are We Nearly There Yet? - Is an Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk paperback read (also available in all good bookshops) that reflects on a family’s 8,000 mile trip around
in a Vauxhall Astra. It’s John Cleese’s
favourite travel read, was a BBC Radio 2 Pick of the Year and was voted Amazon
Customers’ Favourite Kindle Read of 2011. If you’re in for a fun yet moving
read this is for you. Britain
We are extremely thankful to Ben for giving us some input.
1. Briefly tell us about Ben the author?
OK. I will do my best. Well, I write books of course. I do this quite often in a dressing gown, sometimes in a kaftan, whilst slumped back in my office chair at an angle of 45 degrees that allows me to swivel to reach a stash of the cheese I prepare each day to consume. Once my cheese cache is gone it is not allowed to be replenished. It is my fuel. I type with two forefingers, fairly inaccurately and can’t spell very well. This all happens whilst sat beside my wife who also works in the study as a travel journalist. She isn’t allowed any of my cheese. It is not within her reach. She cannot swivel to grab it. It is my cheese. I think this is probably too much about cheese!
2. What inspired you to write this novel?
As part of researching a guidebook about family-friendly attraction in
I travelled with my wife and kids 8000 miles around the country. The book is
based on this experience. Basically it came about as it was frustrating
compiling the guidebook because there were so many experiences I was having to
leave out. “Why can’t I mention my daughter was almost blown up in a field of
live ordnance in Ottherburn,” I would ask my editor. “Because it’s a
guidebook,” he would say. “But something really funny happened when we were
attacked by bats,” I would say. “No room,” he would say. It was an inspirational
five months and I wanted to tell everyone about it and encourage others to do
the same kind of trip. We moved on every day, spent 140 nights in different beds
and visited up to 5 attractions every day. We visited, for instance, so many
zoos, that my previously shy and timid daughter eventually became so blasé
about the presence of wild animals in her life, on the Isle of Wight Zoo, standing
in front of a Bengal tiger she ordered me in a bored voice to “make him roar,
daddy.” Being in such a tiny space (a Vauxhall Astra) for so long with my wife
and kids was amazingly hard work as you can imagine and of course we fell out a
lot. I remember snapping off the rear-view mirror and flinging it into a field
at one point, but it was also incredibly bonding. During the course of the trip
my father was diagnosed with inoperable cancer as well. I had to return from
various parts of Britain
to be by his bedside so the book is infused with this too. It is part memoir
about our relationship, partly about our travels round Britain and what we
found and it also is laced with nostalgia for what parts of the country looked
like when I lived in them as a child. Britain
3. Is it available anywhere else other than Amazon?
Apart form being available on kindle (£1.99) and in paperback on Amazon (£6.30) in the
it’s available at Waterstone’s
and larger WH Smiths. It’s due for UK release in July when it’ll also
be in kindle form. US
4. Did you know what kind of novel you were going to be writing from the word go or was it only established afterwards?
Initially I wasn’t going to include anything about my father. But it was my dad’s influence that made me first want to be a writer and as a father he was naturally a role model of sorts so writing about being a father as I was, especially during a period of intense emotion when my own father was sick, without including any reference to him, felt wrong. So I surrendered to the theme. Saying that it is a listed on Amazon as a humorous essay, so it’s meant to be funny as well.
5. What is your ultimate goal in writing?
I only really set out to write books that I would want to read myself. I’m not doing it for anyone else when I write although it’s naturally a bonus that so many others have enjoyed the book. I also think it’s important to write books that explore a full range of full emotions – so there’s hopefully laughter in there along with sadness and other emotions. I can’t abide books that contain not a shred of humour. That’s as unrealistic as making everybody a three-headed zombie
6. In your opinion - Where should a writer begin their journey?
That’s a good question and one I’m not sure I know how to answer. I suppose most journeys begin before you even set off. In the planning. And for a writer that means I suppose reading widely. That’s your planning.
7. Anything you would like to say to new and aspiring writers.
I would say good luck everyone. Don’t give up. Keep at it, read a lot, write a lot, and get yourselves understanding partners. And a cheese stash. Have a cheese stash.
8. Best book you have ever read.
That’s hard. The most complete book –
Road by Richard Yates. The most influential book I’ve
read that was most inspiring to me personally - Catcher in the . It blew me away when I was 17. Before
this I never realized that literature could be funny and moving at the same
time. It’s what made me want to become a writer, the idea of creating something
as marvellous as this. Rye
10. Best movie you have ever watched.
Withnail and I is my favourite funny film. Every single scene is a belter. I’d have to say Schindlers List was the most gut-wrenchingly moving. I can still remember how, when it finished in the cinema and the credits rolled, not one single person in the multiplex got up until they’d spooled through entirely. The Godfather part II (if that doesn’t sound too nerdy) I also love and Roman epics too because I’d like to have been a Roman. And war film. Old war films where they have picnics in grassy places in the sunshine and fantasies about what they’ll do when the bally war is over until a
bomber flies overhead and they all
get serious. Recently I watched Everybody’s Fine starring Robert de Niro and
directed by Kirk Jones. I advise everyone to watch it. Brilliant. Lancaster
12. Favorite band/ singer currently?
I love Bruce Springsteen. My wife is always teasing me about the Boss, but he’s fantastic. Another favourite would have to be The Eels. And also Midlake. I am constantly looping Midlake for hours at a time.
13. Would you ever go into Fantasy/ Fiction?
I have written two fictional novels. The Lawnmower Celebrity and the International Gooseberry. They’re out of print now but I am bringing them back soon through the magic of kindle. I doubt I’d write fantasy though I do enjoy it when it’s well done.
15. What are you currently working on?
I am writing a sequel to Are We Nearly There Yet? On the Road to
: the confessions of a guidebook writer.
That’s its provisional title. Or at least I will be when it gets the go ahead.
If he gets the go ahead I should say. It’s still in the proposal stage at the
Here is a link to the book. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Are-We-Nearly-There-Yet/dp/1849531552/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1334925503&sr=1-1
You can follow Ben on twitter @BenHatch