I woke up this morning to the radio announcing that the renowned broadcaster Sir David Frost had died. The odd thing is, I had been thinking about him just yesterday.
I met David Frost in 1989 when he hosted the first Ian St James Awards ceremony at the Savoy Hotel in London. I was fortunate enough to be among the twelve finalists and we had all been brought together for the launch of the anthology and the announcement of the overall winners. It was a wonderful lunch and the room was full of literary people and journalists. Sadly, I had no idea what a unique opportunity it was and I didn’t make the most of it. But that’s life. Lots of lessons to learn!
At the meal, I sat beside some journalist from one of the big British papers and we were chatting (or so I thought). I guess journalists, like writers, are never really ‘off-duty’. Anyway, the next day I read in the paper that I ‘obviously hadn’t needed the prize money having just returned from a round-the-world holiday’. This statement was half-true: my mother and I had just come back from a long trip around the globe. The result of which was that we were absolutely broke. The prize money was, in fact, extremely welcome!
Everyone was lovely and David Frost was charming, as I recall.
This had all come back to mind this weekend just gone as I made the final, final revision to Silvana – The Greening and began to ponder a fellow-writer’s suggestion that I could put out a short story as a freebie on Amazon, to introduce readers to the world Silvana is set in. Bronwen’s Dowry, my entry for the Ian St. James Awards all those years ago, is, in fact, set in that same world – though in a different country. However, the copyright belongs to the charitable trust set up to fund and support the awards. The awards ran for several years and, I discovered (as I did some digging), resulted in some successful, indeed award-winning, novels. But they are, sadly, no more. So, I am currently trying to track down who now owns the copyright to my story.
All the papers and details came out and, of course, all the memories were relived: champagne breakfast on the flight between Dublin and Heathrow (thank goodness for the delay in landing – there was no way we could have appreciated the luxury otherwise!) limousines, photo-shoots, autograph signings. It was a heady time. And so it was this weekend I found myself wondering what all those marvellous people – fellow authors, judges, Ian St. James and Sir David Frost – were doing today.
Rest in Peace.