ABOUT JEREMY THOMAS
Born in London, educated by Benedictines at Downside, reading Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man on Worthing beach at 16 inspired Jeremy Thomas to write. Yet he didn’t actually start until fourteen years later, when he was curiously unplaced in a Time Out competition: ‘How to commit the perfect Murder’ to promote the Coen Brothers’ Blood Simple.
Prior to this jobs included, cheese waitering and assembling heart bypass kits in the operating theatre of the National Heart Hospital. He then joined J Walter Thompson. When he realised the only copywriting he was going to do would be for Exchange and Mart he jumped ship to Decca Records where he plugged records for Al Green, Judas Priest, Caravan, Camel and Thin Lizzy to Radio’s John Peel, Tony Blackburn and TV’s seminal Old Grey Whistle Test.
His first novel, the darkly comic Taking Leave was published by Timewell Press in November 2006 and voted BBC Radio 5 Book of the Month in February 2007. This semi-autobiographical book deals with a man riding a rollercoaster of romance and finance, success and failure, eventually treading the thin line between sanity and madness.
Jeremy co-produced a BBC documentary about manic depression with Dr Tony Hughes and Stephen Fry, and co-wrote (with Hughes) You Don’t Have to Be Famous to Have Manic Depression: An A-Z Guide to Mental Health (Michael Joseph/Penguin, September 2007). The documentary won the Emmy for Best International Documentary in 2008. The book has proved to be very popular and is still selling well.
Jeremy also works giving talks to schools, universities and conferences on this issue and how to stay sane in an insane world.
Fascinated by human nature, true-life crime, music, psychology and cinema since his he was 10, these themes are found in commissioned and non-commissioned work during thelast ten years.
The World According to Ned- a graphic novel about a Russian cat who turns detective when he witnesses a murder in London.
Two Steps Forward a play about two men sharing a death row prison cell in Afghanistan, performed at the Soho Theatre in July 2010.
His latest novel to be published in early 2015 – The Santa Monica Suicide Club – is a dark crime novel about a failed British actor, turned private invesitgator living in Los Angeles who finds happiness hunting down a body parts gang.
Jeremy Thomas is a complete original. His writing, like his life, is a whirlwind of brilliance, wonder and blunder, by turns hilarious and terrifying. Highly recommended.
Jeremy is not the only literary star in his family; his grandfather H.H. Thomas was the author of thirty-two gardening bestsellers, including the unforgettable Making Love to Mother Earth.
He is happily married and lives in West London with his wife Jane and their cat Ted and also on Patmos in Greece with six other cats.
I’d make it compulsory for every person over the age of eighteen to spend one day a month working in a hospital – to gain some perspective. I’d also fast track an Act of Parliament saying anyone caught with any form of gun other than a licensed shotgun should be instantly deported to a holiday camp known as Putin’s in Eastern Siberia.
Who would be your most trusted adviser?
I would probably appoint my wife Jane to head a committee of my six closest friends – needed for their balance, wisdom, and cool heads. Plus the two top cats Ted and Norman.
Who would you banish?
I would banish all the producers and contestants of all ‘Reality’ Television – for their own good they’d have to go and work with Voluntary Service Overseas and see what real ‘reality’ is like for others in the world. Or they could choose to spend five months sharing a cell with members of Pussy Riot at Putin’s Prison in Siberia. Also all bullies and the people responsible for extorting money through parking fines working in town councils throughout the United Kingdom.
Would you be a dictator or a benevolent leader?
I’d be a benevolent dictator with my own secret kitchen cabinet. The buck has to stop somewhere and someone has to stand up and be counted in life.
Who would you single out for a knighthood and why?
John Curd, the legendary British concert promoter of the last thirty years. He started promoting concerts at the Roundhouse in the early 1970s and has kept going, promoting very interesting British and American acts like Run DMC, Talking Heads, Red Hot Chilli Peppers; and he promoted Eminem here, as well as resurrecting the Godfather of Soul (James Brown)’s career.
Who would you send to the Tower or put in the stocks?
I would send Bret Easton Ellis and Seth MacFarlane in their flippers to the highest ski run in Salzburg as a mild rebuke for their remarks about Michael Hanneke and his film ‘Amour’. But the ex editor of the News of the World would or will be going to the Tower.
Which law would you abolish?
Foxhunting. The new laws are ridiculous and have far more to do with certain people wanting to turn Great Britain into a bland nanny state.
Which law would you introduce?
I would ban cars from city centres and introduce free bicycles.
Which building would you demolish and why?
I’m afraid that buildings on the South Side of the Thames in London that are described as ‘new luxury apartments’ would all be airbrushed out from the horizon.
Which ruler or monarch do you most admire or have most in common with?
Robert Peel for putting principles before party. The current Queen for keeping her head and being consistent. And whoever is ruling the Amish community in America.
If you could change the national anthem for another piece of music what would it be and why?
Burt Bacharach and Hal David’s What the World Needs Now (is love sweet love).
LLondon 1979. Tim Lomax is only twenty five and already setting up a new label with Rick, manager of the Ox. He’s just won a major music award, and his Mother is finally getting out of hospital. He’s even met a girl called Loveday, the girl of his dreams. Everything’s working out, the chanting uncertainties shaped like worms or ravens in his mind have gone quiet, and Tim can’t help telling Ned, his cat and confidant, he thinks he might really have ‘cracked it…
“Taking Leave is funny, intelligent, moving and elegantly crafted. If you are interested in the record business, in lives out of control, or the plaintive and absurd realites of human nature then Thomas is your man.” – A.L. Kennedy
It’s time to throw out all those old hang-ups about mental illness. Every other family in the land is or has been affected by depression and it’s time to realise that good mental health is as important as physical. This entertaining and informative book will debunk the jargon, shake off the taboos and give fascinating insight into a complex subject. At its heart are the two authors, because Jeremy was diagnosed years ago with manic depression and Tony was his doctor.
Out soon as an ebook from Penguin.