This week sees both the launch of my novel The Recollection on Thursday evening, and the funeral of my friend and fellow writer, Colin Harvey, on Friday morning.
Without Colin, I may never have finished writing The Recollection. In April 2010, I had started writing the novel and was trying to get an agent interested in representing it; but at Eastercon, I had a meeting in the bar with an agent who advised me to abandon the book altogether. He didn’t like it, and told me to give up on it and concentrate instead on writing something that would give him a “hard-on”.
That meeting knocked my confidence. I knew The Recollection was the sort of book I’d always wanted to write; but now here I was being told it was a waste of time. Luckily, I’d travelled to the convention with Colin, and as we made our way back along the M4 to Bristol, we discussed the situation, and he helped me put it all in perspective. He said that if I believed in the book, I should keep working on it; and thanks to his encouragement, I regained my resolve and my enthusiasm for the project.
Three months later, the novel sold to Solaris Books (without the help of an agent) and the rest, as they say, is history.
The book launch for The Recollection takes place from 6pm this Thursday 25th August, at the Forbidden Planet Megastore in Bristol. I want the launch to be an optimistic and happy occasion – as I’m sure would Colin, were he here. So on Thursday, I’m going to be positive and forward-looking. I am very proud of this book and I fully intend to enjoy launching it.
I will say my thanks and my goodbyes to my friend the following morning, at his funeral.