AUTHOR Iain Banks wrote a million words of “crap” which can never be published before his success with The Wasp Factory, a friend has revealed.
The author’s early struggles were recalled at a moving literary wake held on the final night of the Edinburgh International Book Festival on Monday.
Banks had been due to read from The Quarry, his final novel, at the event but he died, aged 59, from gall bladder cancer in June.
The Scottish author wrote an unpublished novel before he broke through to become one of Britain’s most popular and prolific novelists.
Ken MacLeod, an acclaimed science fiction author, said Banks would often warn aspiring writers that before they could enjoy success, they would have to learn how to cope with failure.
“Iain got through a million words of crap early on by writing a novel that is unpublished, and can never be published I hope, for the sake of his reputation,” said MacLeod.