Hattie Holden Edmonds
Born in Sarratt, a sedate little village in Hertfordshire, I had an eighteenth century childhood what with the croquet lawn, the ponies and the Laura Ashley leg o'mutton sleeved dresses. A good strict boarding school with little white gloves worn in church on Sundays, was followed by Exeter University and studious amounts of cider. But it was only when I escaped to Berlin aged twenty to teach English for a year that life took a left turn. Shacking up in an old sewing machine factory in Kreuzberg, hanging round Nick Cave's bar in Neukölln, and spending any free cash at Kino Eiszeit (where I saw my first Wim Wenders and Jim Jarmusch films), I finally found my tribe.
Four years later, after multiple bar jobs and a heck of a lot of beer, I landed a job as the London correspondent for the German pop magazine Bravo, interviewing pop stars from Mariah Carey, Lenny Kravitz and Oasis to Meatloaf, Iron Maiden and Take That. But however lucky I knew I was, somehow I still wasn't fulfilled. Like lots of people, I wanted to do something I was passionate about and which would hopefully make a smidgeon of a difference.
Eventually a friend sent me to a psychic to see if they'd be able to point me towards my passion (whatever that might be). According to Teresa Leong at the London College of Psychic Studies, I was going to write ‘funny’ books, which would have a spiritual theme and which would encourage more 'cynical souls' like me to open their minds. Yeah, right, I thought as I left. That was a waste of forty quid.
A weird set of events followed, which ended up with me being given the job of in-house copywriter at Comic Relief - with zero experience of writing comedy. For two and a half years I got to work on projects with some of my heroes including Armando Iannucci, Sacha Baron-Cohen, Steve Coogan and Sally Phillips. I also wrote serious stuff - interviewing Rwandan widows, child carers and people with Alzheimer's. Then, three years after the psychic’s prediction, I finally started my first novel, inspired by an account of a woman who was shown a film of her life during a near-death experience.
That was ten years ago, and now I write full time, show films in a 'shack cinema' in Whitstable and volunteer for the refugee charity, Care4Calais.
Funny old path, but I finally found my passion.
If you've still got any pressing questions or need to know how many times I failed my driving test (5), you can contact me here.