(Photograph) - Swansea University lecturer Jim Hawes, pictured right, is watching the advances for his first novel A White Merc with Fins rise steadily towards six figures as it is sold around the world.
Jonathan Cape will publish in Britain next January, with Random House doing the job in the United States and deals settled for Spain and the Netherlands and others in the pipeline. But Dr Hawes, 34, has no intention of leaving his lecturership in the German department: "There is no conflict between writing and academic work and I want to carry on," he says. This week he was considering international bids for the novel, while looking over the proofs of an article in Modern Language Review.
The story of a group of anomic arts graduates who decide to rob a bank, it is described by Jonathan Cape's Dan Franklin as "Generation X meets Reservoir Dogs".
While it is his first novel, it is not his first book. Nietzsche and the End of Freedom (Frankfurt 1993) was not quite as lucrative, the cheque for SFr350 (Pounds 194) royalties last year was welcome.