by J.D. Rhoades
It’s very hard to write this post, and I wish you were reading my planned entry on my workspace. But the usual drollery seems inappropriate at the moment, because we’ve lost a dear friend.
David Thompson, manager of Murder by the Book in Houston and one of the founders of the excellent small publisher Busted Flush Press, passed away suddenly on Monday afternoon at the age of 38. It came as a cold steel shock to all of us in the mystery community, not just because David was so young, but because it seems impossible that someone so full of energy and enthusiasm could ever be gone from among us.
David loved books, loved writers, and even loved this crazy business. Most of all, though, he loved his beautiful wife McKenna, who became owner of the store.
It seems only fitting that this photo, taken by Our Zoe at David and McKenna’s wedding, should show the two of them happy and smiling, because that’s the way I, and everyone who knows them, best remember them.
(Our Alafair also remembers them like this, crashing on her NYC couch after being stranded by bad weather on the way home from the wedding):
I first met David shortly after my first book THE DEVIL’S RIGHT HAND, came out. A mutual friend put David in touch with me, and he invited me down to do a panel with Duane Swierczynski, Jason Starr, Allan Guthrie, and Ken Bruen (can you imagine?) I have many fond memories of that night, but one of the fondest was of David and McKenna’s hospitality. We ate well, we drank well, we laughed hard, and we ended up back at McKenna’s apartment, reading aloud from each other’s work into the wee hours. We’ve all been friends since that night. It was my first experience in this wonderful community of writers, and for that alone, I owe David Thompson a debt of gratitude I can never repay.
Of course, it doesn’t end there. All of us can testify as to the amount of time David spent hand-selling our books and promoting our careers, and of the sheer joy he took in doing so.
If you knew David, you were lucky. If you have memories to share of him, please do so in the comments.
RIP, David Thompson. May your story be told forever.