Martin Hatchuel: the 60-second biography. Writer and horticulturist with a special interest in tourism in South Africa, and responsible tourism around the world. Blogger at www.thistourismweek.co.za. Novelist - Amazon Author page = http://www.amazon.com/Martin-Hatchuel/e/B00MCHU2JS
Environmentalist currently working on the rehabilitation of the fynbos and forests at Featherbed Nature Reserve, on the Western Head, Knysna.
Martin Hatchuel: The 60-second biography August 2017
Executive (ahem!) summary
Freelance communicator. Copy writer (not mad about that moniker,
though, because I don’t copy: I create). Tourism consultant. Qualified
horticulturist - which background gives me a powerful ability to translate
scientific jargon into English. Years and years (and years!) in PR and
advertising as a writer and a communications projects manager on
books, brochures, print ads, and web sites - where my strengths lie in
planning site architecture and creating content. But first and foremost:
Writer of stories.
The Full Marty
I studied horticulture with Eskom and at the technical college in Durban, and then put my hard-
won knowledge of plants and gardening to good use... as a boat boy in Knysna.
Went on to work in one of those old-fashioned caravan park-cum-holiday resort places,
and in restaurants and a timeshare resort. I then used my knowledge of the earth and its wild
things to become a tour guide (the first, mind you, at Featherbed Nature Reserve - now Knysna’s
biggest tourism attraction), a ferryboat skipper and, eventually, the owner of my own business in
the Wilderness National Park: a bird-watching concession called the Kingfisher Ferry. Then the
floods of ’96 hit us and silted the Touw River, and my boat and I found ourselves 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
closed after only 21 months. But I liked writing, so I called myself a freelancer, and also became
one of the country’s first bloggers - writing about issues affecting tourism to South Africa and
about responsible travel on thistourismweek.co.za (first published in 2002). These days, I also
write feature articles, media releases, advertising copy, commentary, business strategies, and
non-fiction (e.g. Ferry Boats & Fossil Fish for Featherbed Nature Reserve; Guide to the West
Coast Fossil Park; and The environment of South Africa’s Garden Route - which began life as a
manual for guide training in Knysna and Plettenberg Bay). And I write for web sites, too, of
course: see my latest project at www.tourismcontent.co.za.
I have extensive experience in public relations, and in media management, and as a
communications project manager (advertising, printed brochures, web sites, etc.). I’m also a
public speaker. Pet subjects: (a) Responsible Tourism, and (b) The Social Web for Grannies (see
slideshare.net/MartinHatchuel1). And I was admitted to the Public Relations Institute of Southern
Africa (PRISA) as a Chartered Public Relations Practitioner in November, 2015.
So now I’m Martin Hatchuel CPRP.
As I’ve said, I write fiction, too. My first novel, Belthar’s Garden, is available on Amazon,
but (sigh...) my second, Timor - about a labourer on an oyster farm in Knysna - and my third,
Mamlambo - a novel-length fairy tale about a kid who releases a mermaid from imprisonment as
a San rock painting in the Klein Karoo - remain unpublished.
Onward and upward, though, because I was the only writer with two titles shortlisted for
the 2011 Pen-Studzinski Literary Award (African Pens 2011: New writing from Southern Africa).
The personal stuff? I was born on 21 October 1958, I relax by walking with my dog, and I’m the
single foster father of two boys (young men, now), and thus the grandfather of the world’s most
beautiful and talented child. But I’m not biased when it comes to him. (We have a pirate ship.)
email@example.com Mobile: 0027(0)84 951 0574
Knysna, South Africa