Men like David Thompson just don't come around like clockwork. They're a gift. He was so incredibly supportive, generous, smart, well-read, witty, cheerful and energetic. It was always a gas to visit the store because his welcome was always so heart-warming. (And he always steered you toward great places to eat.) He was about to purchase my first two books for re-issue, and I was so looking forward to working with him. He also asked me to provide a blurb for Busted Flush's re-issue of Daniel Woodrell's TOMATO RED, and was very gassed about the story Luis Alberto Urrea and I have in Lone Star Noir--the publication party was going to be at the store (may still be on, I don't know), and he was urging me to fly out and take part. I just feel like something crucial's been carved out of my gut. He was such a knowledgeable fan and supporter for so many writers who, in this sell-big-or-die publishing environment, owe our literary lives to him. That's gone now. Maybe something or some
one will spring up in his place, but his absence will be felt for a very long while. And he was so young, and so happy with McKenna, they were simply one of those couples that was great to be around, because the fit was so perfect. I'm sure she's devastated. I'm hearing there will be a tribute at Bouchercon, and I'm trying to see what I can do to help, but I think all of us in the reader/writer community, if we could just go online, buy a book or two or dozen, help out Brenda and McKenna and the store, help them get through this initial devastating shock, it would be a nice little gesture. And if that Lone Star Noir pub party is still on, I will definitely make the trip. David gave me a lot. I want to make sure I pay him back, now more than ever.
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