between writing features for Farmers Weekly to complete his first novel, Stag.
The book is published in paperback by Piatkus on 8 July and Relf has been signed up to write a second.
He said: “It’s taken me about 10 years to write, off and on. I started it when I was at university and I’ve picked it up every couple of years since – it’s probably been about three years’ work in total.”
After sending a synopsis to a number of publishers, Relf was finally picked up by Piatkus, which paid him a £3,000 advance.
He said: “Stag is a dark and hopefully funny novel following the fortunes of a young man with an alcohol problem on a stag weekend.
“I wanted to write about the topical issue of binge drinking and, in particular, the grey line between social drinking and problem drinking – exploring it from the perspective of someone who’s slipping across that line. It deals with a serious issue and is aimed at a more grown-up market than recent lad-lit books.”
By Dominic Ponsford