Butterflies & Moths. Murdered, Mounted. is the title of a novella Hartnett wrote at the age of ten. From the age of nine to nineteen, Hartnett kept a diary and vast series of notebooks of poetry and short pieces / monologues, based around his emerging sexuality. These still-existing early works reflect Hartnett’s childhood and teen world of reality and erotic imagination, whilst in the questionable care of Benedictine monks, predatory lay teachers.
Hartnett’s first novel was published in 1996, entitled Call Me, edited by Elaine Palmer at Pulp Books. St Martin’s Press in NYC signed the work and Hartnett booked into Hotel 17 for a month of promo. Call Me was followed by I Want To Fuck You (North West Arts Award), Mmm Yeah (a collection of short stories), before being signed to the literary imprint, Sceptre, based in London. Then came, Sixteen (edited by author Nicholas Blincoe), Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide (edited by Wayne Brooks, BOOK OF THE WEEK in The Times) and Just One Bullet (winner of The Manchester Metropolitan University Monologues Competition, later performed by Hartnett at Urbis, Manchester).
Hartnett has given over two hundred readings of his work on an international basis, in locations such as Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Vienna, NYC, Boston, San Francisco, Charlotte (North Carolina), Paris, Tokyo, Dublin, Belfast, Birmingham, Bradford, Brighton, Bournemouth, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Tunis and Gdansk.