Best selling novelist and former Folkestone editor dies at 57

Contributed by editor on Jul 28, 2006 - 11:31 PM


Best-selling fantasy novelist and former editor of the Folkestone Herald, David Gemmell has died aged 57. 

He underwent quadruple heart bypass surgery a fortnight ago and appeared to be making a good recovery before his death this morning (28 July). 

Gemmell wrote 30 novels, starting in 1984 with Legend, a tale of a fortress under siege which has become an heroic fantasy classic and is still in print.

Born in west London in 1948, he was expelled from school for gambling in 1965 and worked as a labourer and nightclub bouncer in Soho before becoming a journalist and newspaper editor. He left journalism in 1986 after writing his third novel Waylander.

In a statement, Gemmell's publishers Transworld said: "For many years, David has been acknowledged as a master storyteller, one of the best-known and most highly regarded writers in his field.

"His themes of heroic adventure, leadership, personal heroism and the possibility of redemption for every one of us ring as true today as they did when he first published the novel that was to become a classic of heroic fantasy, Legend."

His most recent books were two historical novels about the siege of Troy, Lord of the Silver Bow and Shield of Thunder.

Larry Finlay, managing director of Transworld, said: "David was writing at the peak of his powers.

"He was a true pleasure to work with. We will sorely miss him, as will his thousands of devoted fans around the world.

"Our thoughts are with his wife Stella and his two children."