I found out that one of my favourite authors, Graham Joyce, died this afternoon. Not only was he a favourite and one I was constantly pushing people to read, he was also likely the best this country has had in an extremely long time.
He was also criminally under-rated, under-valued and under-read.
I don't usually do sad as an emotion when somebody I don't personally know dies, but today I do. He connected with me on a huge scale as both a reader and as a creative. I sent him an email some time ago to tell him so and I'm pleased that I did.
In an odd chain of events, very early this afternoon I told a friend about him, sent over a list of his books to track down and insisted she read them immediately. She had never heard of him and wandered off to drop his name into google - at which point, this news had not been announced but practically unfolded in front of her face during the search - and then she called me. That was just the kind of thing he would have dropped into a story.
So... thank you Sir, for shaking my book tree really fucking hard. To the readers among you, go and read something - try Some Kind Of Fairy Tale, The Tooth Fairy or Year of the Ladybird. There are others, but he was bang on the money with all three of those. Trust me.
And if you really like what somebody does, you should tell them. Probably right now.
Whatever it is they do.
Life is short. Trust me on that too.