It truly has been a red-letter week. First I have been celebrating the birth of my son, who came into this world on April 9, and then the publication of my first (non guidebook) book entitled, “Was Gabo an Irishman?” Two very different events but both incredibly emotional and satisfying, you’ll agree.
James wasn’t timed to emerge as a baby of the Bogotazo, but he did so and I am quite thrilled (of course, he’s the next Gaitan, but with a happier ending). Our book, the brainchild of Caroline Doherty de Novoa and Vicky Kellaway – who kindly invited me on board as an additional editor – was timed for release on the one year anniversary of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s passing, April 17.
So far so good if you are interested in important dates in the Colombian calendar.
The fatigue that spirals through your body upon understanding the reality of becoming a parent for the first time is bottomless and well-known. For me thus far the nights have been filled with interrupted dreams of “Was Gabo an Irishman?” being printed with all sorts of errors to the fonts and layout. Mercifully, the book has been very well constructed and the 23 writers represented within should be happy. This scare was but a dream. Then, when I am not fretting about the book, my nighttime head trips have been vivid and peculiar, neither magic nor real like the works of our beloved Gabo.
In the space of a week I have worked out that my son reacts favourably to music by the Clash, the Rolling Stones and the Killers. Clearly we’re going to get along, and if there’s space in his playlist to include the Ramones, some Dylan, some Dead and plenty of Jane’s Addiction, this is going to be a famous father son relationship worthy in itself of the saccharine Cat Stevens’ track.
I received this comment from a friend in the UK: “A published book AND a Dad. You’ve truly made it to the world of grown-ups. What’s it like there?”
Have I grown up? I don’t think so, but as I pour heaped spoonfuls of high quality ground Colombian coffee into my French Press to make another batch of waking fluid, wait for the boiled water to cool so as not to burn the flavour, wander the apartment and then top myself up with further caffeinated goodness, I know that one week in April can be life-changing.
Two babies in one week.
A red-letter week in April.
“Was Gabo an Irishman?” can be purchased on Amazon and is for sale in a number of bookstores in Bogotá. Some of the authors and all three editors will be attending the Bogotá Book Fair (21st April – May 4) and will be around to sign copies of the book at the “Macondo” pavilion. Richard McColl is currently putting the finishing touches to the editorial of the Bradt Guide to Colombia, continues to broadcast weekly radio shows for Colombia Calling and is hoping to finish his own novel, “The Mompos Project” by the end of June.