Today I’m delighted to welcome author Andrew Clover to One More Page to celebrate the release of his new novel, The Things I’d Miss. Andrew has always been a Jack-of-all-trades. As a comic he was Perrier nominated, as an actor he played the clown in Ashes to Ashes, his Dad Rules column was a hit in The Sunday Times.
But what he truly loves is books. A year ago, he moved to the remotest countryside, intending to produce a romantic comedy – a sequel to his Learn Love In A Week. Instead he found himself writing The Things I’d Miss.
Ooh that’s a good question! As an 18 year old, I was enjoying a pleasant patch when life was going well. I had adventures in New York, then went to Oxford, where I won the prize as Best Actor. This then lead to a happy creative period when I learned to act, dance, write. The trouble was I was so excited by my progress, I wasn’t finding allies, people to work with… I’d want to get hold of that 18 year old me. I’d say to him: Relax, my friend. All around are interesting, talented people… Hear them. Help them. Forget about writing your own story; concentrate on being part of theirs.
At school, my best friend was called Derk Van Raaij. I met him in a chemistry class, over a hot Bunsen Burner. He was a lovely guy. He was kind-hearted, playful, he had the gift of being able to tease without a hint of malice. We had loads of fun together. I often slept in his room. We once windsurfed round the Isle of Wight with our friend Callum. Then a few years later, I bumped into Callum in town. “How’s Derk?” I asked. I knew Callum had stayed in touch. “Oh,” he replied, “I’m afraid Derk took his own life. You know he had ME…” I realised then I knew Derk had ME. I realise that chapter of his life can’t have been so happy; I still wished I’d shared some of it with him. I wish I’d seen how happy were our times together, and how terribly limited. .. I did try to make contact with Derk after school. Ididn’t try hard enough. I’d tell the 18 year old me simple advice: Go and see Derk, I’d say. Check he’s OK.
I actually met my future wife as an 18 year old. She was at college too. I only talked to her twice, but I admired her, and when I left I didn’t forget her. Aged 28, I was listening to a song “But When I Dream”… Who do I dream of? I wondered. I realised it was the girl, from college, who I only spoke to twice. I wrote her a letter, via a friend. She only got it, months later, and she telephoned, and invited me to a party. “By the way,” she confessed, “Iwrote you a Valentine Card when we were students.” Gosh, I thought, I don’t think I’d got it. So this is something else I’d tell the 18 year old me. Andrew, I’d say, check your pigeon hole.
Thanks Andrew and very best publication day wishes!
The Things I’d Miss is published by Arrow today in paperback and ebook formats.
Please do check out the other stops on Andrew’s blog tour this week.