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Move over Kerouac

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Geoff Hill

is a critically acclaimed author and award-winning feature and travel writer based in Belfast. In a previous life, he was Ireland’s most capped volleyball player, the captain of the Northern Ireland team at the Commonwealths and a much younger man.

As a motorbike columnist for The Sunday Times, the Metro series of newspapers, the Irish Times and most recently the Daily Mirror at mirror.co.uk/authors/geoff-hill/, he recently found himself one of the most widely read motorcycle columnists in the UK and Ireland; which is surprising considering that in spite of riding motorbikes halfway around the world, he still knows bugger all about them.

Remarkably, none of the readers has managed to spot this yet, and Geoff remains not only grateful, but astonished that he can find so
many different ways of saying the same thing every week. He remains even more astonished that readers come up to him in the
street and tell him how much they enjoy the column. Even if they are mostly his mother.

He’s also the editor of Microlight Flying magazine, the monthly colour glossy for pilots, in spite of the fact that he knows even less about aeroplanes than he does about bikes.

His first published novel was Smith, of which The Independent on Sunday said: “Lyrical and lunatic…few first novels achieve as much”, and which The Times described as “hilarious”. This worried him, since he thought it was a serious work, but not half as much as the fact that it only sold half as many copies as his previous work, The Ulster Joke Book, which is available at all good airports and quite a few bad ones.

However, he recovered from his bafflement to go on and write two other novels, Angel Street and The Butler’s Son, as well as a string of critically acclaimed travel books, mostly about epic motorbike adventures, which you can read about in the Books section of this website.

He’s either won or been shortlisted for a UK travel writer of the year award nine times. He’s also a former Irish travel writer of the year and a former Mexican Government European travel writer of the year, although he’s still trying to work out exactly what that means, and in 2005 was given a Golden Pen award by the Croatian Tourist Board for the best worldwide feature or broadcast on Zagreb.

He has written about travel for the Daily Telegraph, the Sunday Telegraph, the Independent, the Independent on Sunday, the Irish Times and Wales on Sunday. He was a long-standing editor for Fodor’s, the best-selling American guide book series and had a long-running weekly travel show on U105, the Irish independent radio station.
He was named NITB Northern Ireland journalist of the year in 2007, and has also won one UK and three Northern Ireland feature writer of the year awards, and two UK newspaper design awards.

His wife Cate has now banned him from entering any more awards because they’ve had to get the mantelpiece reinforced twice.

He lives in Belfast with her, a cat, a hammock and the ghost of a flatulent Great Dane. His hobbies are volleyball, flying, motorbikes, skiing and worrying about the price of fish.