Friday, March 22, 2013

RIP Rick Hautala and David and James

Important addendum: Learn how you can help Rick's wife Holly at Christopher Golden's blog

I was on Facebook last night engaging in light conversation with friends when messages started to pop up that Rick Hautala had passed away.

My first thought was: "Can this be real? He was posting things on Facebook just the other day."

A sign of our cyber times, I suppose.

It was true, a heart attack, and a sadness settled over me. Dave B. Silva, writer and editor of The Horror Show passed away recently, and James Herbert died this week. Significant losses for the horror community.

I don't remember exactly how my phone conversation with Rick came about back in the day, but, probably by letter, we agreed to a time for me to call him not long after my first book had sold. I think he was in the midst of his move to Warner Books after Night Stone and Little Brothers and several other successes that made him "that other horror writer from Maine."

It was a Friday night. Friday was my day off when I was a reporter. I worked Sundays.

I dialed him up at an agreed-upon time, and we talked long into that evening, and he never complained or "needed to get off the phone."

He told me the ins and outs of dealing with Zebra/Kensington.

He told me tales of hologram book covers that were a big marketing deal in those days.

He told me of wrangles over book revisions and standing strong in plot point arguments with editors.

He gave me advice about appearing at conventions: Just try to say something funny while on a panel so people remember you. 

Like all those moments you remember from long ago when something makes them suddenly poignant and relevant anew, it seems like yesterday.

RIP Rick Hautala (1949-2013)


Charles Gramlich said...

Yes, I was very sad to hear of this, and all our losses here lately. Rick's short story collection, GLimpses, is free on Amazon today. Looks like it's pretty good. I've read stuff of his before, of course.

Sidney said...

Thanks for the heads up. I'll go nab that. I have Little Brothers, Night Stone, Winter Wake, and a host of others in their original editions.

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