Bruno brings back the adventure book

WHEN Bruno Hare returned to Islington after two years working with disabled artists in Norway, he had no job and no real plan.

After working odd jobs in TV and film – and coming up against too many monstrous egos along the way – he still had not found his calling.

So he seized the chance to do what he had always wanted and started to write a novel.

He said: “I wanted to be involved in the world of storytelling and I thought writing a book would be a more direct way of doing that.

“If I had been willing to put in a decade of dogsbodying, I might have got there – but I had itchy feet.”


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Bruno, who had been writing since childhood, thrust himself into the work.

“I had always toyed with writing,” he said. “I wrote lots of stories at school and wrote scripts while studying film at university.”

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“I decided to eke out what savings I had and put mind to it full time. I set myself a target to finish it by Christmas. This was in April.”

The 33-year-old, who grew up in Islington and lives in Laycock Street, Islington, with his partner and twin two-year-old boys, did not quite hit the target – but he got it done. It was finished by March the following year.

Now, five years after he returned from Norway and two-and-a-half after the book was finished – after months spent searching for an agent and then a publisher – The Lost Kings has finally reached the shelves.

He said: “It’s unbelievably exciting – and a little nerve-racking. I don’t know how my life is going to change. An awful lot could happen if it’s a successful book. The basic fabric of my life could alter. It’s exhilarating!”

The book – which Bruno describes as “Kipling meets Conan Doyle meets Roald Dahl” – is an old-fashioned adventure story set in the 19th century in what is now Pakistan and is about a mild-mannered watchmaker who secretly wants to be an explorer. Bruno, who sat his A-levels at Camden School for Girls, in Sandall Road, Camden Town, was inspired by his gap year teaching in Pakistan, where much of the book is set, and his long-held love of adventure stories – from the books of Robert Louis Stevenson to the Indiana Jones films.

Bruno, who feels there are not enough traditional adventure novels being published any more, said: “I went to the very furthest reaches of Pakistan right up in the mountains.

“I hope The Lost Kings is a suitable tribute to a people and a place that looked after me so well. I went to Pakistan for adventure, and I got it, so that’s where my adventure novel is set.”

– TOM MARSHALL

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