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Cover of The Twitch

Ted Banger will do whatever it takes to win the annual bird race

PLEASE NOTE: The Twitch is now in production so your name can no longer be listed in the back of the book. However, you are guaranteed a copy of the special Unbound edition that will not be available in the shops.

Edward J Banger is a man obsessed. The drudgery of a nine to five job and the pressures of maintaining a healthy marriage and raising teenage girls are unwelcome inconveniences. The real challenge is ticking boxes.

He is determined to win the annual bird race, a competition steeped in history and glory. All he has to do is see more species of birds in the British Isles than anyone else, all within a single calendar year – and he is willing to do anything to win.

Anything.

The Twitch has evolved as a concept over the last four or five years – ever since a young white-tailed eagle left its nest in Finland, took a wrong turn, and ended up just outside Andover. I was passing one day and stopped to see if I could spot it. I failed, but did meet some fascinating people: twitchers.

These people possessed the kind of commitment and passion that would make for an excellent book, and my first thought was to sign up to the lifestyle and live among them – chasing rare birds and writing about the lives and stories of the people I encountered.

I went on another twitch – this time to Cornwall to see a snowy owl – and everyone I met seemed to have a story, some bordering on the fanatical. That initial idea developed as I delved deeper into the psyche of the twitcher. What if someone became so obsessed that they lost their sense of reason? What if they became completely, single-mindedly immersed – how far would they go? Murder? Wouldn’t that make a brilliant basis for a book?

The Twitch is very much a black comedy, and probably not an ideal bedtime story for your children (unless you want them to lie awake all night, or impress their teachers with their new but crude vocabulary skills). I have focused on the central character, Edward Banger, and his steady descent into darkness. He can be an obnoxious sod, but his drive and commitment to the cause are undeniable.

I am delighted to have this opportunity to publish with Unbound, especially as a first time author.

Please support me.

I’ll beg if I must.

I am thirty-seven, and took a leap of faith last summer when I quit my nine to five job and the financial security that went with it. Though I have written for many years – as Angling Correspondent to The Idler and having my work featured in Anglers Mail and on the Caught by the River website – I have always wanted to have the time to write a book, and this was my opportunity. The book is almost finished, and I have loved every second of writing it, so much so that I have only fished twice since September – despite having a carp lake just yards from my door.

'If Kev doesn’t write a book before I die, I shall never speak to him again.'
So says Chris Yates, author and master angler.

January 1st – 59 species.

I’m not certain whose head I can see the top of, bobbing rhythmically into view above the low brick wall by the potting shed. A little plume of steam billowing up into the cold air.

Up and down – up and down.

The hair colour is hard to discern in the moonlight, as both Mick and our landlady share differing shades of grey-flecked mousy mess.

Read more...

Sidestreams

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

005

Hi all

I just wanted to say thank you again to those who have supported me and this project. The Twitch may not have set the world alight, but it is still smouldering and has opened doors that may well have once stayed closed. 

Much as I loved (and still love) writing fiction, it is my non-fiction work that has been earning pennies of late. Regular writing for the likes of CountryFile magazine…

Waxwing irruption

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

 

This autumn’s Bohemian Waxwing irruption is shaping up to be one of the most dramatic in living memory. To anyone left cold by that sentence, please allow me to elaborate.

Each winter, small numbers of starling sized Waxwings (Bombycilla garrulous) make their way from their breeding grounds in northern Russia and Finland and find themselves on our Eastern coastline. Occasionally, when the Siberian…

Second Chapter

Friday, 1 June 2012

 

February

February 4th 2007 -147 species

The pager has been relatively quiet over the last week or so – plenty of good stuff knocking about, but mostly long-stayers which I can tie in with my weekend routing.

High-pressure has dominated the weather, meaning little wind and little likelihood of anything unexpected showing up and frazzling the pager network.

With this in mind, my weekend route…

Chapter One (again...)

Monday, 30 April 2012

To anyone who missed the email, or those who have pledged since, here is chapter one in all of its unedited glory....

 

Introduction

How to be a Champion Twitcher – Unabridged by Edward J Banger

Many of you will be aware of my previous published work, How to be a Champion Twitcher (Abridged) – the now valuable, leather-bound first edition of which was published in small volume (100 copies…

Swallows!

Friday, 13 April 2012

Yes! Finally, two swallows have returned to West Compton....

I was starting to get concerned, as I so often do at this time of year - and this is the first year in many that I have had to wait until April (let alone the second week of April) to hear that familiar chatter and allow myself to breathe safe in the knowledge that Spring really has arrived.

I think my attachment to swallows goes back…

April Fools Day

Sunday, 1 April 2012

As we near 25%, we ought to do something to mark the milestone - so, all being well, I will send the first draft of chapter one to all those lovely people who have pledged.

In the meantime, do have a look at an interview I did many moons ago for the Idler magazine, with the legend that is Chris Yates. (you have to scroll down a little bit...)

Chris' new book, 'Nightwalk', is due out at the end of…

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