What inspired me to write Saving Dave?
Next week I have an interview with Hannah Murray.
Hannah hosts a programme called The Book Show on Radio Talk Europe, and last interviewed me back in October 2019, when Losing The Plot was published.
While she didn’t get as excited as I would have liked about Losing The Plot, the fifteen minute interview drifted onto the subject of my next project – Saving Dave – and this did float her boat, hence the invitation to a further interview.
One of the areas I’m sure to be quizzed on, is where did the idea for Dave come from?
If you don’t already know this, let me share it with you.
Jake, my first child, was born in 1987. He died six years ago, aged 27, and although such a short life would normally elicit a wailing and gnashing of teeth, in Jake’s case his passing was a celebration of a life ‘well-lived’; a life that touched a great many people in a great many ways.
Now I’m not going to go into details about Jake’s disabilities – or how those disabilities came about – but let’s just say that his ailments were very much the same as Dave’s. In short, he was blind – or was believed to have been blind – he suffered from quadriplegia, and had a very, very limited ability to communicate. And if Jake placed his arm against a hot radiator, it would remain placed against a hot radiator, no matter what damage was inflicted. As a consequence, he was never left in his wheelchair anywhere near hot radiators.
However, Jake did have some good fortune. His mother – my ex-wife – was one of the most caring people I’ve ever known and he could not have had anyone better to love him, support him and fight his corner. She is as far removed as night from day to Gill, Dave’s mother. Dave’s father, Roger … well, I’ll let you make your own mind about him, but I am not ginger and I do not gamble!
And neither did Dave have obnoxious ginger twin siblings (aka the ginger twats) who made his life as miserable as possible on every occasion.
But I always wondered what Jake could understand. Maybe nothing … maybe a little, and maybe even so much more than we – his family – and the experts, concluded he could understand. And hence the idea for a book relating to locked-in syndrome began to take shape.
I also sometimes speculate how Jake’s life might have been, had he not had to play the duff hand that fate had dealt him. He proved he was a survivor, thwarting expert medical opinion by living many years longer than predicted. He would maybe have had the same negative positivity that I applied to Dave, and which many readers have told me they found engaging. He would have been dogged, dependable, and loyal to his friends and loved ones, and probably a success at whatever he applied himself to.
Writing Saving Dave was highly enjoyable and perhaps even a little cathartic for me.
I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Finally, a big thank you to all of you who have bought Saving Dave, and have supported me throughout the journey to publication.
Please click this link to pick up a copy of Saving Dave, which is currently only available to purchase on Amazon, but will shortly also be available in bookshops.