[Originally published 7 May 2012]
I was reminded of times past today when my son Matt sent me an email with a link to Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing website. I wrote a novel about 15 years ago which I showed to various people, including Matt. He was a medical student at the time and I remember him saying that he had enjoyed reading it, as had several of his fellow students.
His email today suggested that I try and revive the novel – it was called King’s Ransom – and publish it myself. As it happens I do still have a copy of the original print-out of the novel, similar to the copy that Matt and his friends read at the time. It was in my bottom drawer, which is the place where all copywriters keep a novel. I had a quick flick through it this morning, and it brought back memories of those times when I thought I might make it as a writer of fiction (pause for jokes about fiction and writing advertisements).
I recall getting some early encouragement from a literary agent called Darley Anderson, who is now one of the leaders in the business. It was probably unfortunate, because no one else was interested, and when I became busy with the day job, the book went – literally and figuratively – into the bottom drawer, where it has remained ever since.
It’s a pity, but sadly I think that King’s Ransom will have to remain a “might-have-been”. The original digital file has long gone – I’ve changed computers maybe ten times since I wrote it – so the print-out can gather dust until, long after I am gone, someone picks it up and says “this would have made a great movie”. Or not, as the case may be.