Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Graham Joyce

Last night I learnt of the sad passing of Graham Joyce. 

59 is far too young to go. Such a creative mind and truly brilliant writer. He had so much more to give.

I’d only just discovered Graham’s work in the last year. Even though I have only read two of his works – Dreamside and The Silent Land – both books had a profound effect on me. Such imagination and poetry; the kind of stories which really penetrate the emotions, make you think and ask questions. In those two books alone, it was evident what a master story teller Joyce was. Haunting, intriguing, beautiful and fascinating – those are books that really make their mark and stay with you.

I had no idea Joyce was battling cancer.  Looking online now, I can see that it was well documented in his blog, but in the interest of finding out more about his books, that had passed me by. That’s another example of how overloaded with futile stuff the Internet is, and that it’s so easy to miss, or not even see any genuinely important bits of information.

I had a few very friendly exchanges with Graham via Twitter, during my search for Dreamside (long out of print in the UK). And I had tried to contact him a couple of times by email, but never heard back. Silly, naïve me. Now I know why. 

Graham's final blog entry is such a moving piece of writing. And as it turns out, his final work. I dare you to read it and not shed a tear.

Although I never got to meet him, by all accounts, he was a great man as well as a great author; clearly a devastating loss to his family, friends and fans. And the literary world has lost a rare, great mind.

It's odd how we can so often strongly connect to writers, artists or musicians. Yet they're usually people we don't know or will ever get to even meet in some cases. Yet books or albums become intensely personal things; you take possession of a good book and treat it like your copy is the only one in the world. They take on certain meanings.

Dreamside really tapped into my interest in the world of dreams. The sort of book I’d always wanted to read. That book inspired some of the music on my latest album, Traces. I’m glad now that I credited Graham in the notes.

Graham, this one’s for you.

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