Today I’m very pleased to have had an article published on the rapidly-becoming-legendary Fantasy Faction website, focussing on the late, great David Gemmell, talking about his writing, themes and influence.
Gemmell means a lot to me, as a writer. He was one of my gateway fantasy drugs, along with that other fantasy David, Mr Eddings. But while the Eddings were lent to me by my uncle, and Anne McCaffrey by my friend Anya, David Gemmell was one of the first fantasy writers I discovered for myself, trawling the local library for, well, anything with swords in it (I think I was about 13 at the time.)
I think it was one of the earliest times that I’d read a book and thought “This – this is what I want to write.” I always knew I had to write, but it was Gemmell that booted me along the path of heroic fantasy. Only mine would have more girls in.
I’ve held him up as a benchmark throughout my career. When people ask me, “how big do you want to be? How popular?”, it’s David Gemmell levels of success, and the ability to keep writing, do ok financially, and still be able to pop down the shops without attracting Gaiman / Pratchett-like levels of attention. And my writing has been compared to his, more than once, which I consider to be a great compliment.
I only met David Gemmell once. It was at a signing in Waterstones Bristol. He was meant to be there for two hours. He stayed for over three, chatting to everyone individually, making sure that everyone got everything they had brought personally signed, making time for his fans, telling jokes, and generally being incredibly affable. Nice guy, sadly missed.
I wanted to put the article in a more personal context for readers of this blog, but if you want to know more, hop over to Fantasy Faction and read the article in full.