I prefer not to include acknowledgements in my books, but I would like to thank some people publicly. In the case of The Afterparty I am about seven years late, so I should apologise as well.
I owe a great debt to Dan Franklin and Beth Coates, both then at Jonathan Cape, who were the only publishers to show an interest in the book. Beth was a clever and calm editor who improved my writing and patiently absorbed many last-minute changes. I owe much of my improvement since to Dan and her.
James Meek, a more experienced novelist whom I met at the Guardian, has probably forgotten what he did. Having written 10,000 words, I asked him how I should find an agent, but instead of telling me he said that 10,000 words wasn’t very much. He suggested I focus on the book for the time being, and before he’d finished speaking, I knew he was right.
In fact my first agent, Veronique Baxter, approached me soon afterwards, and I showed her what I’d done. She liked it, but had to wait five more years for me to finish, during which she applied no pressure, nor ever lost interest. Then she sold the book to Cape, and was a wise counsel during publication.
Thinking of the book itself, I owe nearly all my thanks, besides much else, to my wife Sarah. The story was more complex to write than I’d anticipated, and would have been impossible without the many hours we spent talking it through. She lifted my spirits with praise, but at least as often showed me what was broken. I wish I could say I’d been a gracious listener. Instead I’ll just say, thank you Sarah.