Gemmell went on to work as a labourer , a lorry-driver's mate, and a nightclub bouncer before his mother set up a job interview with a local newspaper. Of applicants, he was probably the least qualified for the position but was hired owing to his display of arrogance during the interview, which was mistaken for self-confidence. He went on to work as a journalist for several local newspapers in East Sussex , five for which he eventually became editor-in-chief. Coming from a staunch socialist family, Gemmell carried banners and campaigned for eventual Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson in the s, although he nevertheless admitted a grudging alignment with Thatcherite policies on issues of foreign policy, especially the Falklands Conflict ,  and with Reaganite views on East - West relations.
Gemmell first attempted writing a novel in the s, but The Man from Miami failed to find a publisher. He later admitted that the book "was so bad it could curdle milk at 50 paces. Leaving the ending of the novel open, he planned to let the fortress stand or fall dependent upon his own prognosis. It was accepted in and published in under the new title, Legend , going on to achieve considerable commercial success.
He said that while he could "write it better" after becoming an established author, "[its heart] wouldn't be bettered by improving its style. Gemmell later said that his Managing Director had regarded it "a poisonous attack on his integrity.
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After the publication of Waylander , Gemmell became an author full-time, writing over thirty novels in total, some as part of long-running series, others as standalone works. Most of his novels were in the heroic fantasy genre; White Knight, Black Swan was a crime thriller , appearing under the pseudonym Ross Harding, and was Gemmell's only novel not to become a bestseller. Gemmell's books have sold more than one million copies. Gemmell married twice; his first marriage to Valerie  produced two children before he met his second wife, Stella. In mid, Gemmell was on a trip to Alaska when he became discomforted.
He immediately travelled back to the UK, where he underwent quadruple heart bypass surgery in a private London hospital. Within two days he was able to take physical exercise and returned home to resume work on his latest novel. At the time of his death, Gemmell had completed 70, words of the final novel in his Troy series, an alternative-history trilogy based upon the legend of the siege of Troy.
As a former junior reporter, aspiring novelist, and subeditor, and having been involved in Gemmell's writing process for a number of years, Stella Gemmell felt she was "the only one who could do it. Up until his death, Gemmell was also patron of the Hastings Writers' Group , following founder member Catherine Cookson.
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As patron, he was the main judge in the national literary competition run by the group, the Legend Writing Award, which was named after his breakthrough novel. At the inaugural ceremony in June , the first recipient was the Polish writer Andrzej Sapkowski , for his novel Blood of Elves. The youngest author to be nominated for this award was year-old Liam Gillen. He wrote about warriors and heroes, many of them ancient Greeks and Romans. His novel Ghost King introduced me to the legend of the Ninth Legion and ignited my interest in the Roman army.
Originally intending to be an historical novelist, Gemmell was intrigued by events which ended badly for the protagonists. Citing the Battle of the Alamo and the grisly fate of William Wallace as influences, he said that had he written about the 13th century Scottish revolutionary, he would have found a way in which Wallace was ultimately victorious despite the odds, then eventually realised this kind of storytelling would be more palatable in a fantasy setting. Gemmell's work typically deals with themes of honour and loyalty, advancing age, lost causes and the possibility of redemption for even the most corrupt he was interested in the "true nature" of heroes, considering most to be unreliably so.
The consistent presence of redemption in Gemmell's work reflects his Christian beliefs. He claimed that all of his novels have a religious basis, calling them "essentially Christian books" and saying that Christianity stopped him from "promoting the cause of evil" by writing "mindless savagery" in the vein of George G. Gilman 's Edge westerns. While all his novels are violent, successes are often Pyrrhic and the villains complex. Gemmell credited his time as a journalist with providing him with his pacey, succinct style, although critics labelled his work " macho " and would often cite his limited vocabulary and the repetitive nature of his stories.
Violent events usually provide the sole impetus for plot development, and are resolved by physical violence or heroics. Gemmell, known for his strong characterisation, attributed this to his tendency to draw from real life; having been acquainted with violent men, he understood and enjoyed writing them. They are the watch hounds who keep the wolves at bay.
When Bill died during the writing of Ravenheart , as a tribute Gemmell reworked the novel to give the "Bill" character centre stage. References to John Wayne movies are also found throughout the first two books in the Rigante series, Sword in the Storm and even more-so in Midnight Falcon , where his main character Bane, is a pugilist.
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This series is known by several names. The entire series deals with the Stones of Power, also known as the Sipstrassi. The first two books contain a re-imagining of the Arthurian legend.
The last three novels involve the protagonist Jon Shannow. The first four novels were published in an omnibus edition as Stones of Power: A Sipstrassi Omnibus in Sipstrassi is also used in the Greek series by Aristotle to perform feats of magic. In official printings, these two books Lion of Macedon, Dark Prince are grouped with the "Stones of Power" series and contain some of the same characters and assumptions on how the world works. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. David Gemmell. Transworld Publishers.
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