Author Robert B. Parker died suddenly a couple of weeks ago, and it makes me sad. I’ve enjoyed his books for over 20 years, and particularly recommend the first dozen of his novels about Spenser — the private detective, not the poet. His discipline (write 5 pages a day, no more and no less) and his craft (even after multiple readings of, say Valediction, I’m still amazed at how he could move from introspection to violent action and back) and his ability with dialogue are inspiring. Hard to match, though; I know he would have found a better way to write that last sentence, and could have done it without the parentheticals.
I don’t know why I never wrote him a fan letter, but I didn’t. Probably because I still can’t think of anything to say but thank you, and now all I can do is say it in public. So, thank you. And thanks to wanting to learn more about him, I ran across Wired for Books, where I will now spend more time than I ought to spare listening to author interviews. I counted more than 85 that I want to hear right now.
But I’ll try to emulate Parker’s disciplined approach to making books and be sure I get my pages written before I start listening. When I do, I’ll start with him.