IF ever there was an example of persistence paying off it has been given by my former workmate Dave Barnett this week.
The Ince-born hack, currently ensconced in a senior post at the Bradford Telegraph and Argus, had designs on being an author from the moment I first met him 20 years ago, perhaps earlier.
I well remember those days when we were working together in the old office in Makinson Arcade when he would come in with a weighty manuscript he had been toiling over. Sometimes his mood would be buoyant as hopes were raised by the chance of acceptance from a publisher; on other occasions he was rather more subdued after another knock-back.
By the time we went our separate ways the manuscipt(s) had been well thumbed but not, to my recollection, taken up by anyone. It certainly wasn’t for the lack of talent: Dave has a great gift for writing.
I wondered whether he might give up and be contented with having his name just in newspaper print.
But then six years ago I was contacted by Waterstones to say that this Wigan bloke called Barnett would be doing a book-signing in their Bradford store. He had finally found a small, independent publisher with enough faith in his world of dark fantasy fiction and ability to tell a yarn.
Since then there have been several more tomes and this week I was pleased to report that his literary agent had managed to secure him a three-book deal with a publishing arm of Pan Macmillan in America.
I couldn’t be more pleased and hope now that Dave’s perseverance and flair are further rewarded.