When the Words Die.

When I was in grade school, I really adored this series by Tom Deitz. It was sort of Urban Fantasy before UF actually became a genre – essentially the Sidhe in Georgia, with a few hapless mortals tossed into the mix.

And yeah, it came out in 1986. I was in 6th grade.(I’m old!)

I probably reread those first 4 or 5 books over and over again through the years, and every once in a while a new one would come out and I’d snatch it up. (I think the last once came out in 1998 – but the series had slowed down considerably by then, only coming out every few years). Times were different then. We had no internet, so I didn’t usually find out about new releases unless I physically showed up at the book store.

I think we’re all a bit spoiled these days – 30 seconds of googling an author’s name is sure to bring me his or her entire booklist, a bio, a blog, a twitter or facebook page.We can find out what authors are working on, what their favorite music is, the name of their cats. Sometimes we find out more than we bargained for.

This connection can be good – it can help solidify loyalty between a reader and an author or a series. But sometimes it seems to take away the mystique of the process. It’s hard for me to personally enjoy a a story if I’ve lost respect for the author – whether that’s due to an untimely rant on a blog or suddenly finding out their latest sexual fetish – there are things that are probably best left unsaid.

Anyway, so I actually found my copy of Windmaster’s Bane out in the garage last night when I was poking around some boxes and I realized it had been a while since I’d heard anything new from the author. So I looked him up in the off chance I could say hi. After all, I’m Facebooked to all sorts of authors now – including my golden heroes like Charles de Lint and Jacqueline Carey. (Not that I really bug them, ever. Just kinda cool to be “connected”)

And I found out he died last year of heart issues. Which sucks, because now I know that even though the chance of him actually producing another book in this series was probably pretty low, there’s no chance of it at all now.

I guess you can make the argument that a good author never really dies. Books and stories can really touch people, so I suppose there’s a sort of immortality there that’s hard to beat. It’s still a bit painful to realize that what you have is all you’ll ever get.

Selfish, maybe. But there it is.

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5 Responses to When the Words Die.

  1. Danica says:

    No, I think that's just the way it goes. You actually inspired me to look for one of my favorite authors and it looks like she's no longer writing in the genre I love her in, which bothers me. Her books were…well, downright perfect for me. Romance, high historical content, crushing dark moments *sniff* She isn't dead though, so maybe she'll go back to those some day, although it doesn't seem likely.

  2. mynfel says:

    I regret not looking Tom up sooner. I wish I could have had a chance to tell him how much I loved his stories. 🙁

  3. LynnM says:

    So many of my favorites are gone now…from my childhood, Andre Norton…best historical novelist EVER (IMHO) Dorothy Dunnett…Dick Francis…. I'm so glad my last HC copy of Dunnett's Nicolo series was autographed shortly before her death.

  4. Kay says:

    Agree.  The internet book stories help you find an author's back list … and new books ready to come out.  It's one of the first uses I found for the internet after learning how to use it for work.

  5. Simon says:

    It does make me sad when a beautiful imagination is lost to the world. The wonderful thing is that one mind inspired countless others to write. That, as you intimated, is a form of immortality.

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