I used to think that I was a lucky person. In fact sometimes it felt like I lived on luck, that there was a steady trickle of it that would never drown me but might one day decide to leave me high and dry. But I’ve changed my mind over the past few years, in large part to that quote from Peter Dinklage.
“I feel really lucky…although I hate that word — ‘lucky.’ It cheapens a lot of hard work. Living in Brooklyn in an apartment without any heat and paying for dinner at the bodega with dimes — I don’t think I felt myself lucky back then. Doing plays for 50 bucks and trying to be true to myself as an artist and turning down commercials where they wanted a leprechaun. Saying I was lucky negates the hard work I put in and spits on that guy who’s freezing his ass off back in Brooklyn. So I won’t say I’m lucky. I’m fortunate enough to find or attract very talented people. For some reason I found them, and they found me. – Peter Dinklage interviewed in The New York Times
I’m not sure what reason helped me find Brian Sibley (or indeed, he find me), but I appreciate how very, very fortunate I am that he provided a quote for the cover of The Fey Man.
Brian Sibley is like an onion. Or an ogre. Or a parfait. It’s all layers. At first I thought him a Tolkien authority. Amongst other things, he adapted The Lord of the Rings for BBC radio back on 1981, and wrote all the Making Of books for Peter Jackson’s films. Then I learnt he’d also written books about A.A. Milne. And C.S. Lewis. Walt Disney. Harry Potter. Rev. W. Audrey. To top it off, I recently discovered he wrote a very funny piece of comedy about The Twelve Days of Christmas.
The Fey Man found its way into Brian’s hands via my dad; both my dad and Brian are members of the Magic Circle and Brian was too kind not to say no when my dad thrust a copy into his hands. (Perhaps this proves again it’s not what you know but who you know.) Brian’s written about some great authors and great works, and now he had my little novel in his hands (and a copy with the old maps too). I must admit I was a little nervous. And then I received this in the post.
Not only had he read The Fey Man, but he sent me a card to tell me he liked it. That card immediately went up on the mantlepiece and it’s never coming down! I wrote back to thank him, and a brief correspondence led to him offering a quote. And a quote isn’t a small thing. Publishers seek every quote they can get as a form of social proof, as a way of saying “look, this famous person liked this book so you will too”. To offer one to an unknown author is a leg-up, an endorsement, and a rare gift. It was an act of unestimable kindness.
So to say I feel fortunate is an understatement. And perhaps you can appreciate why I want to say I’m lucky,even if Peter Dinklage might tell me off.