Talking to someone about book 9, Chronicles of Marsh, the other day, I commented that it would probably only really appeal to the dedicated fans.
Since each book up to and including Bravo Victor sold about 73 copies in its first month, I reckon there are about 73 people who are dedicated fans, and on the alert for new books. Willoughby’s and Dylan’s were slower sellers, but even I get that way with long series.
I only know a handful of those people. Some I know in person; some I’ve linked up with through social media as a result of the books.
Surprisingly, one of my brother’s friends asked him to pass on a specific message to me one Christmas – namely than he loved my books.
Given that my brother is about 8 years older than me, and he and Terry were at school together, I was surprised he’d read them. I think I only met Terry a couple of times, since we lived a fair way from the school. I always remembered him–the only one of my brother’s friends I knew! He was one of the thoughtful, friendly guys, with a warmth about him, and a little Irish charm.
Messages of encouragement continued to come from Terry via my brother, although we were sad to learn of his stroke several years ago, which led to him stepping back from his prestigious and high profile job at one of Ireland’s best educational establishments. Just lately my brother has been worried that he hadn’t heard from him, not like he usually did, and he knew he hadn’t been well.
It turned out that Terry had died in April, after an illness. We are sad, but I don’t think we are surprised. We wish we’d known sooner, of course. But if you would like to read more about my mystery admirer, you can read his obituary in the Irish Times, here. I can hear his voice in the quotes they use.
So Chronicles of Marsh will be dedicated to the memory of Terence Dolan. I thought you’d like to know why, and who he was.