Born in England; wife's name Jane. Hobbies and other interests: Keeps chickens.
Home—Kent, England. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Lyon's Press, 246 Goose Ln., P.O. Box 480, Guilford, CT 06437. E-mail—[email protected]
Motoring journalist and freelance writer. London Evening Standard, freelance commissioning editor for motoring supplement; worked variously as a messenger, telemarketer, in pubs, as a copywriter for a public relations firm, and on various trade magazines.
Hen and the Art of Chicken Maintenance, Lyon's Press (Guilford, CT), 2003.
Travels with My Chicken: A Man and His Companion Take to the Road, Lyon's Press (Guilford, CT), 2005.
Fowl! From Clucking Useless to a Success to Crow About!, New Holland Publishers (London, England), 2006.
Contributor to periodicals, including Car, Options, Autocar, Surveyor, Big Issue, Guardian, and the Telegraph.
Martin Gurdon worked a variety of low-level jobs prior to finding his niche as a writer. He began writing on a freelance basis, focusing on his love for cars and developing a specialty as a motoring journalist, although he has also written for such diverse markets as a journal for the meat trade, for surveyors, and for personnel officers. His hobby of raising chickens has led to a sideline writing chickenhumor books, the first title being Hen and the Art of Chicken Maintenance. A comic novella, the book focuses on life, death, and chickens, taking from Gurdon's experiences upon first deciding to keep chickens in his yard. Gurdon's follow up, Travels with My Chicken: A Man and His Companion Take to the Road, addresses his experiences traveling around England, accompanied by a chicken, to promote the first book. The addition of the chicken as part of the publicity tour seemed a logical gimmick to encourage readers to purchase the initial volume, but also provided Gurdon with endless entertainment as people lined up to feed the chicken, a prison guard frisked the bird prior to allowing it to accompany Gurdon inside, and animal rights activists appeared to protest the chicken's presence. Nancy Bent, in a review for Booklist, remarked that "this droll book is perfect for reading in ten-minute snatches." A contributor for Publishers Weekly found the book "worth at least a passing glance by most appreciators of the mildly offbeat." Gurdon continues his chicken-themed offerings with Fowl! From Clucking Useless to a Success to Crow About!, a parody of American business motivational guides.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, November 15, 2005, Nancy Bent, review of Travels with My Chicken: A Man and His Companion Take to the Road, p. 15.
Financial Times, July 30, 2005, Martin Gurdon, "Falling Fowl of Motivation: Much to His Surprise, Martin Gurdon Finds That His Spoof Business Book Has a Big Market in Asia," p. 3.
Library Journal, November 1, 2005, Melissa Stearns, review of Travels with My Chicken, p. 103.
Publishers Weekly, September 12, 2005, review of Travels with My Chicken, p. 60.
Martin Gurdon Home Page, http://www.martingurdon.co.uk (April 17, 2006).
Ralph,http://www.ralphmag.org/ (April 17, 2006), Vicky Lane, review of Travels with My Chicken.