The first book I ever read for pleasure was The Haven by Graham Diamond. We (my older sister, older brother and I) were kind of stranded in a Miami hotel (I know it sounds horrible) while our father attended post graduate dental seminars. We went to the pool, stayed in our room and ate in the hotel's dining room.
As a young, active boy, that was torture. The pool was great for the first few days, but as the week went on, I got extremely bored. My mother, tired of my incessant whining, gave me some money and told me to go down to the hotel's gift shop and find something to occupy my time. That's when I saw it! The cover (shown above) gripped me. I was in junior high (middle school for those young enough to know what junior high was), and that's exactly the kind of thing I wanted to read.
I bought the book and went back to the pool. I opened the cover and I read...and read...and read...and read. I couldn't put it down. I read in the room, by the pool, and in the dining room. I finished it that week, and I was a slow reader...still am for that matter. I dug for all the details and underlying messages like a young Sherlock Holmes. I searched for more of Graham Diamond's books.
I later found Lady of the Haven (the sequel), and was hooked forever. I anxiously awaited the next book and then the next. I invested myself not only in the story but in the characters as well. When I later began to play Dungeons and Dragons, I used a couple of Graham's characters in my journeys. I'm a little ashamed to admit it as an adult, but I was hopelessly in love with Stacey, the lead character of the series.
Long story short...I was on sabbatical this last summer (at the age of 50) and somehow stumbled across a Facebook person by the name of Graham Diamond. Believe it or not, he actually befriended me. My secret mentor, my favorite author, the man who instilled not only a love for reading, but a passion for writing. Thanks, Graham. You made my day and my half century.
I just learned from Graham that they are re-releasing his first novel, The Haven. If you've never read it, I would encourage you to do so. Maybe it will inspire you as it did me.