Writers & Reviewers
I thought today that i would sit and write about something very very close to my heart. Books.
I think a lot of people who truly love reading and books can usually point to where it started. For me it all began with David Gemmell and Legend, but didn’t really fire my imagination until Lion of Macedon, maybe not the best story ever written and maybe not the best writing by Gemmell, but a story that hit every right note with me, with characters, places, language and history.
I loved that book so much that it reignited my passion for history, something my school history teacher had done his best to murder, and bury beyond all hope of resurrection with things like the corn law and toll puddle martyrs.
I was soon devouring every book i could find, and at the time my main genreof choice was Fantasy.
Fantasy led me to meet many great people, David Gemmell, Stan Nichols, James Barclay, Raymond Fiest, Gerorge R Martin and many others. Of this group I’m still struck today by a man who affected my life in so many ways, David Gemmell.
David Gemmell was a man of such presence he could effect those around him with just a few words. I first met David via email when out of the blue I received an email thanking me for all the hard work I had put in selling his books, and raising the profile and value of the books (signed).
At first I of course thought it was someone taking the Michael, but he gave me his agents number to verify it was him, he sent me a letter as well and we discussed my favourite books, where i had got the name Parmenion Books and many other subjects. The main i found with him was that he never judged never pushed an opinion, he just listened and even helped me resolve a couple of issues myself.
When I heard about his heart attack and then death I have to say it was one of the most shocking days of my life, I shed a tear for a great man. And still to this day I have not been able to finish the last book in the Troy series, I’m saving it, I will reread the whole series at some point when I can give the series the time and attention it deserves.
David Gemmell’s death also led me to stop reading fantasy, I was already drifting away towards Historical fiction, but after his passing fantasy seemed to become repetitive.
Historical fiction became my new love and led me to meeting so many people in life. Simon Scarrow and Alex Scarrow, who I’m lucky enough to call friends. Alex even when he doesn’t know it makes me stop and think about what I could and can do and to not just accept what I am, but don’t tell him he inspires me he might get all bashful about it 😉
Simon and his Macro and Cato series gave me a new love of history, and Simon is the History Teacher that every person wants for their kid, I have never met someone so infectiously passionate about history or with such an ability to pass that excitement on.
The pair of them have given me a love of not only reading but also writing, the method of writing, and the publishing industry, they did me the huge honour of adding me as a character in their books (Lt Robin Carter in Last Light & Centurion Parmenion in Eagle in the Sand and Centurion ) They have included me in the writing process as a test reader and Alex has asked my opinions while writing the some of his books. All of this for me has been unexpected but as close as i might get to actually writing. Im not sure they will ever appreciate how much it has meant to me, as has their friendship.
The confidence this gives is priceless, the trust is amazing. My only regret is that its too far along in life to get into the publishing industry and start at the bottom. But still they encourage my faint desire to write and maybe one day i will do them proud.
To those two great guys I also add a man who is in my opinion the best writer around and someone who I can also call a friend, Christian Cameron. A man who has re ignited my love of things Greek (Alexander era) but someone who reminds me so much of David Gemmell with his warm inclusive approach and his infectious passion for his subject matter, and how much he actually puts into the process.
Along with these two guys I have met so many others who have become important for their books, and also for their friendship their encouragement and for becoming part of my everyday life.
I could name you all but im scared of missing someone and you are all to important for that, those on twitter and at the HWA and the forums know who you are. Those from the publishers who trust me with proofs and provide those advance copies, thank you, you indulge my passion and I’m glad I can give back with my reviews.
And what led to this love in?
Today I took possession of a and original piece of art work from one of those early books that ignited my passion, unfortunately not Lion of Macedon, but the next best thing Dark Prince.
So here I share my fortune…and also I say THANK YOU to all you writer and publishers and artists, you make my life better and more fun and inspire me to do more.
And the artist was nice enough to also send me a print of Lion of Macedon
So in conclusion go buy more books, get others to buy books, because we are fortunate to have these great people in our lives.