Nicholas Royle (one of our writers)
January 2013
Jonathan Cape

About the publication

Either First Novel is a darkly funny examination of the relative attractions of creative writing courses and suburban dogging sites, or it's a twisted campus novel and possible murder mystery that's not afraid to blend fact with fiction in its exploration of the nature of identity.

Paul Kinder, a novelist with one forgotten book to his name, teaches creative writing in a university in the north-west of England. Either he's researching his second, breakthrough novel, or he's killing time having sex in cars.

Either eternal life exists, or it doesn't. Either you'll laugh, or you'll cry. Either you'll get it, or you won't.


Ingeniously twisted. expertly draws us into the unpredictable labyrinth of the protagonist's mind, and is seldom less than grimly compelling. Exerts a pleasingly icy grip.

Sunday Times

This is a finely honed work of sophisticated gaming that flirts with truth; yet it never forgets that it's also a plot-driven fiction.


If writing about creative writing is to risk a novel eating itself, we can be thankful that a writer of Royle's skills put himself in charge of the banquet.

The Guardian