Wednesday, 6 March 2013

This is dedicated to ...

I'm always interested in the dedications at the front of a book.  A few lines, on the first page, when the author has the chance to offer the book to person or persons who are usually unknown to the reader, but who are significant in the author's life.  Occasionally these dedications are cryptic, sometimes they are poignant, now and then they clearly contain some sort of in-joke.  But in the overwhelming number of cases, they are written with love and gratitude. 

When I wrote the dedications for Never Coming Home, it was easy to decide who the book was for -- my mother, and the close friends and family who have supported me throughout my attempts to become a published author. People who believed in me, and encouraged me, and picked me up and dusted me down, when the rejection letters came winging through the letterbox. (On a good day, with a prevailing wind, my postman can get a letter half way up the hall.)

In dedicating the second book, the choice was also easy --To my father who would have been  .... 

Would have been, what?

The choice was easy.  The wording was much more difficult.  In the end I decided on 'To my father, who would have been astonished.'  And that's what appears on the title page of Out of Sight Out of Mind.  I'm pretty sure that what I've written is correct -- although I did have other 'a' words to choose from, 'astounded' and 'amazed' being two of them.  I don't think that it would ever have occurred to my Dad that anyone in his family might write and publish a book, and certainly not his daughter.  I hope he would have been proud of me, although it's difficult to know.  My Dad was one of the generation who, having come through the Second World War, kept their feelings pretty much to themselves.  Since he died I've been told, by several people, how proud he was of things I'd achieved in other parts of my life.  He never said a word to me.

I hope he'd like the idea that I've written a story that was an award winner.  And now followed it with a second book.  Whether I would have wanted him to read them?  Hah!  That is entirely another issue.  Out of Sight Out of Mind  is a thriller -- it has its share of skulduggery and dead bodies, but it is also a romance, and I  think it is a bit more romantic than Never Coming Home,  as many of the scenes take place just between Jay and Madison, and their growing relationship is an essential part of the plot.  And it's not just the romance...  There are love scenes  ... Definitely a no-go area as far as your father is concerned.  So no, I don't think I would have been comfortable with the idea of him reading it, although his capacity to surprise me was one of the things I most remember about him.  Maybe we would have astonished each other.  I like to think that.
He wasn't much of a reader, unless it was an angling magazine.  There is very little fishing in Out of Sight Out of Mind -- although a fisherman does have a very tiny cameo part -- literally a walk on. 

That bit is especially for you, Dad.


  1. What a lovely post, Evonne, and one I can identify with. My dad is still with us but has never said that he is proud of me at any stage. Good luck with OFSOFM. I have recently finished NCH and thought it was brilliant xx

  2. Thanks Mandy - I'm sure your dad, like mine, is proud - men are just not good at saying it. Maybe he'll surprise you on launch day :)