IN a roundabout way, Robert Hoge has two Queensland premiers to thank for giving him the impetus to complete his memoir, Ugly.
The former journalist turned media adviser left Anna Bligh's office in 2010, returning to the general public service with the intent of writing in his spare time.
But after the election of Campbell Newman last year, he found himself among 14,000 positions targeted for cuts.
"I took a, ahem, voluntary redundancy," the 41-year-old Hoge said diplomatically. "I had some time on my hands."
The result is Ugly, a frank and bittersweet tale of personal acceptance.
Hoge, who will be profiled on Monday night's Australian Story, was born with deformed legs and a massive facial tumour that grew in place of his nose and forced his eyes almost to the sides of his head.
As a child, he underwent multiple surgeries to make him more "normal".
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