10.11.09

Article about BabyBarista by Tim Kevan for The Bar Society of King's College London

To read the original article, click here or see below.
Writing for Harry Potter’s Publisher
Tim Kevan tells us how he came to write a novel for Bloomsbury Publishing

Back in early 2007 I had been practising as a barrister at 1 Temple Gardens for some nine years and was enjoying the life of a common law practitioner based in London. One of the wonderful advantages of being a barrister is the independence that being self-employed brings with it and the ability to be able to do other things as well as practising if so desired. So it was with me that I started doing some writing about a fictional young barrister doing pupillage who I called BabyBarista, a play on words based on his first impression being that his coffee-making skills were probably as important to that year as any forensic legal abilities he may have. It’s a strange thing to say but I discovered that this bold, irreverent and mischievous voice along with a collection of colourful characters had simply jumped into my head and the words started pouring onto the page. I wrote it as a blog and was hopeful it might raise a few smiles but in my wildest dreams I hadn’t imagined quite the extraordinary set of circumstances which then unfolded. First The Lawyer Magazine commented “If this is a fictional account it is genius”. I then emailed a few publishers and started getting interest as well as taking on a literary agent who had approached me direct. In the meantime, I was contacted by Alex Spence of The Times and he very kindly offered to host the blog and finally, I was offfered a book deal with Bloomsbury Publishing of Harry Potter fame - all within the space of less than three months.
Since that hectic start, it’s been a long haul. I took a break from practising as a barrister and moved to North Devon where not only have I been able to go surfing a little more frequently but I also finished the first book in the BabyBarista series as well as continuing to write the blog. The book finally came out in August and does seem to have been well-received with broadcaster Jeremy Vine describing it as “a wonderful, racing read - well-drawn, smartly plotted and laugh out loud” and The Timescalling it “a cross between The Talented Mr Ripley, Rumpole and Bridget Jones's Diary...a gallop of a read”. Perhaps most flattering of all, given that I am a fan of John Mortimer was Counsel Magazine which said that “BabyBarista has certainly earned the right to stand there alongside Rumpole in the pantheon of legal fiction”.
The book is called BabyBarista and the Art of War and centres around BabyB’s first year in chambers where he is fighting his fellow pupils for the coveted prize of a permanent tenancy. It’s a fictional caricature of life at the Bar and includes characters that probably exist in most workplaces such as UpTights, OldRuin, BusyBody, Worrier and even JudgeJewellery and her penchant for stealing cheap jewellery. Alongside the pupillage race is an altogether different battle with BabyB’s corrupt pupilmaster TheBoss whose dishonest fiddling of chambers’ records to avoid a negligence action all starts to unravel and threatens to embroil BabyB’s entire career.
With the first book finished, I’m continuing to write the blog as well as working on book two in the series. Ultimately I intend to return to the Bar part-time and based in Devon but hopefully through my chambers in London. In the meantime, I continue to enjoy life down here by the sea.
Tim Kevan is a member of the Middle Temple and the author of ‘BabyBarista and The Art of War’ published by Bloomsbury and available on amazon for £8.39 (incl p&p). For more information visit www.timkevan.com.

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