Just now heard about the death of David Thompson, who ran Houston's premiere mystery bookstore, Murder By The Book. David hosted one of my first signings ever when The Tenth Justice was FIRST published. For the first hour, nobody showed. Not one person. Then, two friends showed up (a law school pal and her Mom). That was the grand total: two customers and one was her Mom. I know we were supposed to look at that signing as a disaster, but David and I never did. We went out to the movies after and laughed our asses off watching South Park. I remember thanking him so much for taking a chance on an unknown like me. At the time, the bookstore around the corner from my parents' apartment wouldn't invite me to sign there -- but David said, "No. We need to support the first time authors. Come to Houston."
That was his great gift. I owe him forever for that.
In fact, for the past few books, my publisher had stopped sending me to Houston (media was too sparse there) -- but David and I conspired when The Book of Lies was published. I was going back. The day before I got there, the hurricane hit Houston, shutting the entire city down. I still tried to get in. And when one friend in Houston told me her living room was knee-deep in water, I called David and he was in the store, all set for business. Man, we should all love books like that.
For me, the highway from Austin to Houston was shut down, so no Murder By The Book for me. But David and I were still determined, and months ago, we rebooked my return visit for The Inner Circle this January.
I'll be there. David won't. And I don't care if there's another hurricane -- or only two more people join us -- we'll be raising a glass in his honor.
Miss you , pal. And thank you.