I was going to blog "funny waitress stories" this week, but I’ll save it for next week and, instead, find my old newspaper editor’s hat…ah, here it is, on the top shelf; a black-leather John Lennon cap…and write a "Happy Obituary."
No, that’s not an oxymoron.
After a bravely-fought battle with a rare form of cancer, author Katherine Shepherd succumbed Sunday morning. Most of you have never heard of Katherine Shepherd, and that’s understandable. As the author of two mystery novels — Fraternity of Silence and Betrayed by Silence — co-starring a mini Schnauzer named Bowie Aloysius Dog [B.A.D.], Kathy never made the N.Y. Times or USA Today bestseller lists. She never sold a movie option. She never even wrote a blog <thud>.
But Katherine Shephard epitomized everything that’s good about the book biz, everything that’s positive about small press publishing. And for the record, she never felt she was "second cousin" to the big guys — the authors who win prestigious awards, the authors who get 400 reviews [in a row] on DorothyL.
Au contraire. If you look in the dictionary under "enthusiasm," you’ll probably find Katherine Shephard’s name. I don’t know how Kathy felt on the inside, but on the outside she was a star.
Kathy paid her dues. She had a degree in Criminal Justice and she was a political speechwriter. She attended political fundraisers. She truly researched first-hand the politicians who peopled her novels. And best of all, she never said, "Someday I’m going to write a book." She wrote one. And then another. And had she not become sick, she would have kept on entertaining her fans.
Her husband Bob said, "Kathy enjoyed the friends she made during her days as an author. The people she met on book tours, at speaking engagements, at conferences and while working on and researching her books, as well as the fans she developed, were all benefits she had not previously considered. She enjoyed all of them."
The last time I saw Kathy, her eyes twinkled and her smile lit up the room. She was so excited because she had a big surprise for me. Seems she’d mentioned my fictitious dog "Hitchcock" in her latest B.A.D. book [Betrayed by Silence].
Rest in peace, Kathy, free from pain. You will live on in your books, and how many people can say that?
Over and Out,