Loss of a dedicated reader.
Yesterday, I heard about the death of a long-time former customer at Prime Crime Books, Malcolm Campbell. He was the kind of person every writer should know.
He would, on a regular basis, phone and reserve an upcoming release (usually hardcover) that he had read about. And when the pile of ordered books accumulated to about four or five, he'd scoot in and buy them. But not until he'd perused the shelves and added several more titles to that pile. He always used to say he shouldn't be looking for more. But he was hooked!
And he'd usually say he was in a hurry but then stick around and talk mysteries. He knew his authors and liked to talk about their books. But more than that, he was a real people person. He liked to schmooze.
He always asked for a signed copy of the local authors, too. You may not have known him but he certainly knew about you!
The person who let me know about his death is also an avid reader, although that's on the weak side for a description. Elaine Naiman always showed up at any launch that Prime Crime was holding...and she continues to do that, supporting the local authors with a passion. She attends the conferences and knows her mysteries inside out.
I haven't seen Malcolm in two years but I feel saddened knowing there's no chance we'll once again get to discuss a mystery. Mystery writers owe so much to these dedicated readers...and there are so many of them. They are what keep the publishing world afloat and the writers happily creating new stories.
So here's a salute to Malcolm Campbell...to Elaine and to all who eagerly await an author's next book or are keen to explore new writing territory with a first time writer. We're all in this together!
Linda Wiken/Erika Chase
A Killer Read coming April, 2012
from Berkley Prime Crime