Wednesday, March 12, 2014

My Peers are Starting to Die

This has been a weird 15 months.

I started a publishing company in December of 2012, and have been working 16 hour days (because I am still running the literary agency, which is why I don't write here as often as I used to).  I collapse every night instead of falling asleep, but make sure I get enough sleep, that I eat well, exercise a little and get all my physical check ups. For someone who is burning the candle at both ends, I am pretty healthy.

But I am never unaware of how careful I have to be to make sure that I don't overdo it, or push myself too hard.

In those 15 months, I've lost three people who came up through the horror/sf ranks with me.  They were all exactly my age.  They were brilliant, and some difficult, but they're gone, and I am regularly shocked by my mortality.

First to go was Robert Morales, a brilliant comic book writer and popculture maven.  He was one of the few nerds I knew who could understand how and why I was working to bring porn to the American mainstream.  He used to send me the funniest oddball emails, and I had hoped to one day have him work with me in my new company.  And suddenly he had died.  He had cancer that he didn't even know about and it just took him. Poof!

Then I heard that Philip Nutman, another brilliant but extremely difficult writer, was so sick as a result of years of drinking that he wasn't going to make it.  I couldn't believe that in this day and age someone I knew was actually going to die from drink.  But he did.  He was one of my first horror clients and I sold his only published horror novel, Wet Work.

Last night I learned that Alan Rodgers had passed away.  Another brief, shining light full of fire that often burned anyone in his path.  But Alan was an amazing editor, and horror writer, and I am sad to think he's not in this world anymore. He died as the results of health problems after some strokes.

And, of course, if you know me and my publishing history, you know I also lost Bob Booth, the genius behind Camp Necon, our horror-oasis in Rhode Island. He passed away as a result of lung cancer this fall.

I miss them all.

I can't believe I am at this point in my life where my friends are dying.

Appreciate those you love and tell them so, and get to work on your writing, because the candle doesn't burn forever.