Hearing that Iain Bank's had sadly passed away yesterday was upsetting news for obvious and personal reasons. Aged just 59, his passing was untimely; he remained to the end open, bold, humble and courageous. On a personal level because I will never forget first discovering his magnificent work and the effect it had on me.
Iain Banks will always be one of my favourite writers. I feel that, to a great extent, I can attribute my love of writing to encompassing his relentless and bold commitment to the act and the world of inspiration that he created as a result. I can also say that his writing was a catalyst and influence on the path that my life and career took. A bold statement but one, in retrospect, I believe to be the truth. Whilst on my gap year, aged 18, I was given a copy of A Wasp Factory by a good friend to read on my travels around Europe. My friend told me not to give it back but rather keep it or pass it on to someone else - selfishly I could never bare to part with it and the pages are now very worn from re-reading.
I don't need to hark on about how amazing this book is because if you've read it you'll understand what a game changing piece of work it is. If you haven't read it, I urge you to go discover it for yourself. As I did in foreign cities, on mountain sides and long coach journeys.
once back from my travels and having encompassed a great amount of writing, history and art - with Bank's words as my cherished companion - I made the decision I'd been putting off. I decided to study Writing and Literature and perhaps, maybe try to be a writer. When interviewed for my place at University, the Dean asked me what the last book I read was and I told him. This opened up a long discussion and shared admiration for this book. This was the start of an ongoing love for writing and the process. It was the start of a long, arduous and exhilarating path to becoming a writer. One that I continue to travel down.
Thank you to my friend for lending me that book and thank you Ian Banks for being such a talented, bold and inspirational writer.
Thank you reading my sentimental and perhaps overly romantic ramblings, it was good to share.