My First Time...with Martin Nathan


Martin Nathan, The Riff Raff

After time at medical college, Martin worked as a labourer, a showman (a year working on ‘Hello Dolly’), a pancake chef, a fire technician, a train engineer and a signalling engineer on the Underground. He studied philosophy and exploring the ‘pitiless atheism’ of Heidegger and his journey to the limits of language. Then he began to write…

We are thrilled that Martin will be joining us at The Riff Raff on Thursday 11 October where he will be reading from his debut novel, A Place Of Safety.

Get your tickets here >>

Describe the exact moment you decided to write your book.

I was clearing my parents’ house and I began to think about how traumatic events gets embedded in a location.

Also I was aware of how quickly elements of life were changing in the area around South London and I wanted to capture the feel of that particular time.

What’s the one thing you wish you’d known before starting to write it?

I would have been more rigorous in planning the timeline. I have four narrators with overlapping parts of the narrative and I ended up having to do a lot of rework.

What did you enjoy most about writing it?

Reworking after the first draft.

Read more My First Time interviews >> And the worst part?

Reading the proofs.

What’s your go-to procrastination method?

Coffee. Roast your coffee beans.

Go-to writing snacks?

Coffee.