Many of you who read this blog knew Ed, either through reading his books or emails or telephone conversations. Not many were lucky enough to have met him in person (I count myself among those lucky few). You probably also know that Ed had struggled with multiple myeloma for a number of years. That struggle ended yesterday.
No other writer did as much for me and my career as Ed did. A long time ago, he and I had the same agent, and she recommended his books to me. His horror novels written as "Daniel Ransom" were what inspired me to become Jack MacLane for a while. I don't remember when I first got a phone call from Ed, but it must have been quite a few years ago, more than 25. He was warm and funny, just the way you'd hope someone you admired would be, and he was that way every time I talked to him.
He leaves behind a great literary legacy. I hardly know which titles to recommend to you. Just about anything has sharp writing, empathetic characters, and a deep compassion for flawed people. Sometimes, as in the western werewolf novel, Wolf Moon, he pulls off something you'd think nobody could. His series of Sam McCain mysteries is a wonderful portrayal of an era of the recent American past. If you've never read one of his books this week, honor his memory by giving one a try. Just about anything you pick up will reward you.
I met Ed's wife, Carol, long before I met Ed. We always said that we'd married far above ourselves and were incredibly lucky to have found women like Carol and Judy. Carol was a guest in Beaumont at the Golden Triangle Writers Workshop back in the late 1980s, and Judy and I had the pleasure of driving her from Beaumont to Houston, where she was to visit Joan Nixon. We had a delightful time on the drive and and a delightful lunch with Joan, her husband, Herschel, and Carol. I'll be thinking a lot about her and her family today and for a long time because I know the kind of loss they've suffered.
Ave atque vale, Ed. We won't see your like again.