Sue Grafton Will Be Missed

Saying Goodbye To A Legend

My heart was saddened today to see the report that Sue Grafton has passed away at the age of 77. According to her daughter, Grafton had battled two long years with cancer. To her family I say, “I am so very sorry for your loss!” The world of mystery readers is saddened, too.  At least I know I am.

It is difficult for me to fathom that it has been 35 years since I read her first book in the Kinsey Millhone series, also known as the alphabet series. The first book, A is for Alibi (paid link) made me an avid fan. I loved the character of Kinsey from the get go! Kind of a smart-ass and yet slightly broken. She was believable back then and remained so in all of the books that followed. That took some good writing, folks!

When the series was first released, we readers heard the ambitious goal of the author which was that she wanted to write a series of books for every letter in the alphabet. It kind of became a game for her fans to guess what the title would be for each novel before it was released. Pretty ingenious when you think about it. I don’t know whether she thought about it or not but her goal created a marketing plan that would last for a long time. We call it branding now, but back then it was just a brilliant stroke of genius.

Sue Grafton Ends The Alphabet With Y

Sadly, Sue didn’t get all the way through the alphabet. She almost made it ending with Y is for Yesterday; only one letter to go. Her daughter Jamie released a statement on Sue’s website announcing the passing of her mother. In the statement she reminds her fans that Sue was adamant that a ghost writer would never write under her name. It touched my heart when Jamie says that as far as the family is concerned the alphabet now ends with Y. That brought tears to my eyes!

I think that it is safe to say that Sue Grafton will be sorely missed by her loving family along with her millions of fans. Thank you for your wonderful work throughout the years with believable characters and plots. May you rest in peace dear lady!

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Inspired By Stephen King

I Wish I Could Write Like Stephen King

I was late in becoming a fan of Stephen King, I had always avoided his books because I was under the impression that he only wrote in the horror genre. When I saw that he had written a book about the Kennedy Assassination back in 2011, I decided that I would take a look at it. As with many Americans in my generation, I distinctly remember the day they killed our president. I became a fan of Stephen King before I finished the first page of his book!

kennedy motorcade
Photo of the Kennedys and Connallys in the Presidential car in Dallas JFK Assassination Materials: Warren Commission Document CD 727 File Name: CD 727_2010_001

I became engrossed in his fictional account of that fateful day.  I, also, found myself drooling over his style of writing. My reading journey of 11/22/63 (paid link) began while my husband and I began a long trip in the car. As I read that first few pages, I looked at my husband and said, “Wow, just wow!” I was already interested in the story and how he began telling it but it was more than that. He is a wordsmith; plain and simple. Six years after reading those first few pages, I still recall how he described a character in such a marvelous way that I knew the guy had cancer before he ever told us readers that in a later paragraph. That is a gift, my dear readers. An honest to goodness gift!

Suffice it to say, it was a book that I had trouble putting down and I told everyone I ran into that they should read it, too. When I read the final chapter, I was disappointed.  Not with his story but that I was no longer to be captivated by his words.

A series of tomes worth the time to read

I mentioned to my son-in-law that I had so loved reading Stephen King but as good as he was at descriptive writing I was truly afraid to read any of his horror books. I was certain that he would literally scare the bee-jeeze-us out of me. That is when my dear son by marriage introduced me to the Dark Tower (paid link) series. This set of books are more in the fantasy fiction genre and they did not disappoint me at all. Well, truth be told I don’t think Mr. King would ever disappoint me with his work.

I have always wanted to write my own books and now I have actually started to do just that. My goal is to become maybe one fourth as good a wordsmith as Stephen King. I know that I will never be half as good or ever attain his ability in turning words into pictures but if I could just be 25% as good well that would be something!

Don’t allow yourself to not read something by Stephen King if you think that all he writes are horror stories. Take a gander at some of his other novels that fit into fantasy fiction. You will not be disappointed, I am sure. Experience a true craftsman in telling a tale with the ability to put words together that bring the images straight to your head.

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