Mr and Mrs Writer

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), November 24, 2007 | Go to article overview

Mr and Mrs Writer


Byline: By Rachel Trezise

Last weekend, award-winning Welsh novelist Rachel Trezise had a dream come true when she got to meet her rock star husband - sorry, hero. Only this time, she didn't have to win a kids' competition to do so, she says

EIGHT years ago, one year before my debut novel was published, I was sitting in my brother's passenger seat, in a car park in Stroud, while he bought parts for his motorbike.

It was a regular fortnightly journey.

He wanted company and usually I had nothing better to do. When he was in the shop, I sat outside, smoking his Benson & Hedges until I turned dizzy.

I'd been there for almost an hour, watching raindrops whipping on the windscreen when I opened the glove box and found a Mars Bar he'd bought at the Cardiff Gate garage.

On the wrapper were details of a competition the company was running, something about collecting five tokens and writing a small paragraph on why you deserved your dreams to come true, for the grand prize of having your dreams made true.

Aware that it was designed for 11-year-olds with terminal illnesses, but 21 and bored as hell, I tried to deduce what my big dream was, and it was obvious; to meet Kelly Jones. Five minutes with the front man of the Stereophonics and he was bound to fall for my inimitable charm. We'd get married, I'd get published, everything would fall into place.

The band's debut album, Word Gets Around, had been released two years earlier, a life-affirming collection of songs about growing up in the big mental hospital that is the South Wales Valleys. I empathised with every lyric, not to mention the whole handsome spectacle of a pretty man strumming the life out of a cherry-red Gibson SG. A little later came their second contribution, Performance & Cocktails, about the world they witnessed from a tour bus window, out of the Cynon Valley and into the world.

I was an Erasmus student living in Ireland, meeting people from Europe and America, and listening to it continually.

Our lives were cycling in tandem, Kelly up ahead, splashed across the pages of the music press, me behind, still unpublished, still unknown but eternally hopeful.

Together, we could have been a Welsh uber-couple, a writing partnership. We could have run the world. The extent of my obsession sent me home to the Rhondda where I bought five more chocolate bars and wrote and posted the little paragraph. …

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