Tuesday, September 14, 2010

David Thompson

I met David Thompson when he first went to work at Murder by the Book 21 years ago. He was just a kid. The last time I saw him was at my signing on Saturday, September 4, just over a week ago. He really hadn't changed much over the years. He still bubbled over with enthusiasm for the signing, for books, for what he was going to do in the future with Busted Flush Press, for the publication and promotion of Damned Near Dead 2, for his life with McKenna, and at least a dozen other things. I heard about all of this in about ten minutes. Those of you who knew David will know what I mean. For a Texan, he could sure talk fast.

And now he's gone. No more of his book recommendations on those little cards in the store. Now more more e-mails, no more talking about what we've read. It's hard to believe that someone so bright, so young, and so full of plans can just not be here, can be gone, just like that. Judy and I have been stunned all day. We can't stop talking about it. A few tears have been shed.

Not that David's really gone, of course. He'll be remembered by hundreds of people. Surely everyone in the mystery community knew him, even if they hadn't met him. He touched us all in one way or another.

I suspect a lot of people have gone by the store today just to be there and to say how much they'll miss David. If I could have, I'd have gone by, too, but it wasn't in the cards. So I'll just say good-bye here. Ave atque vale, David.

4 comments:

  1. Crying again. It's okay. I am no Kennedy.

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  2. Scott Cupp3:42 PM

    This was as stunning to me as when Barry Gardner died, except thqat David was so much younger. Both seemed in good health. Still shaking my head in disbelief.

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  3. Anonymous4:50 PM

    I live in Austin now, but I grew up in Houston. I have so many fond memories of MBTB (Noir Night 2, Megan Abbott & Christa Faust, George Pelecanos & Scott
    Phillips, Dennis Lehane, too many to recall). I had most recently driven over for the delightful Don Winslow. Every time I was treated like an old friend, even though most of our conversations were by phone or in passing at events like
    Con Misterio. David turned me on to so many authors I had never read before. Words can't express the true loss to the mystery reading community.

    Ed

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  4. Anonymous5:10 PM

    Awful, awful news. I never met David, but we exchanged numerous emails and he was always incredibly sharp and generous, full of energy and love for books. A terrible loss.

    --JT.

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