Beware of Darkness

At my grandmother’s funeral, my father’s eulogy spoke about her love and kindness, and how she showed it by heaping upon him ladles after ladles of food. Now that my father himself is slipping away, I realise that it’s the same with him, only his ladles are books and stories. Each of his published works are dedicated to those he loves; he wrote them with us in mind.

Beware of darkness, that’s not what you are here for

George Harrison

For many years, I tried to distance myself from my father, artistically. We have the same name, and both published under it. My attempts at disambiguation failed and only resulted in diverting my readership towards Dad’s books.

Now that I’m on the brink of losing him, I feel how foolish this was. There is no true separation, artistically or otherwise.

It is one of my life’s great joys that I travelled awhile with him on our respective writing journeys. We share the same teacher, mentor, and circle of writing friends. We attend the same residential, and we collaborate on a fantastic novel, the writing of which is the most fun I’ve never had.

Dad was published first, so he always walks ahead on our journey. He encourages me and my books as if they were his own. He says, ‘keep going,’ whenever I show him something that isn’t quite right. I know when he stops encouraging me like this that he has accepted my writing, trusting it to be as good as his own.

So, I have no right to expect any separation, there is only continuity. My mind is a progression of my father’s, my soul an extension of his.

He is preparing to journey further ahead, and I am in no hurry to catch up, nor am I rushing to extricate my identity from his. Dad exists in my writing, and I am closer to him now, than ever.

There is no time for sadness, or regret that we won’t have him with us for longer. There is too much inspiration to take from him, and to put into my writing.

One of Dad’s heroes is George Harrison, who sang it best, ‘beware of darkness, that’s not what you are here for.’

The three best works of D J Harrison

1) Due Diligence – dedicated to his wife
His best-selling debut crime thriller that introduced the irrepressible northern heroin, Jenny Parker. There is sex, violence, intrigue and childcare, but it’s in between those scenes where things really get interesting.

2) Secret of the Scroll – dedicated to his grandchildren
The first in his fantasy trilogy, this had the working title Tyrant, (or the Liar, the Witch and the Wormhole). This is the one that introduces us to the wonderfully reluctant hero, Tyrant, and which coined the new collective noun, a torrent of demons.

3) Anomaly – dedicated to his sons
Perhaps his best work, this sci-fi is reminiscent of Banks and Corey. Pure class, this is Chandler in space, a cosmic Vonnegut. Just like him.

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