As some of you may have seen on Twitter or other places last night, YA author L.K. Madigan passed away from pancreatic cancer yesterday. Although I didn't know Lisa personally, she was very close to several friends of mine, and we had chatted on Twitter. When HEX HALL came out, she sent me a very sweet email saying how much she enjoyed it. That email meant so much to me, both because I'd been such a fan of her debut novel, FLASH BURNOUT, and because it was just the nicest, warmest message at a time when I really needed it. And from what I saw last night, so many other people had similar memories of Lisa. In a business that can be filled with insecurity and pettiness, Lisa was a bright spot. She was encouraging and supportive to new writers, and free with her time and guidance. That is such a rarity.
Yes, she was a gifted writer (again, I can't recommend FLASH BURNOUT or THE MERMAID'S MIRROR enough. They're beautiful books), but she was also a profoundly lovely human being. And to me, that counts for even more. So today I'm sad for my friends who are hurting. I'm sad for Lisa's family. I'm sad for all readers that there won't be any more of Lisa's gorgeous words in the world. But, as Lindsey Leavitt said, I'm so grateful for the longevity of words. That Lisa will still be here every time anyone opens one of her books. And while I'll always hate that I never met her in person, I'll always be grateful for the little bit I did get to know her. And I'll always be thankful for words like the following, which she gave on the "Advice For Writers" page on her website:
The main thing is to WRITE. Some days it might be 2000 words. Some days you might tinker with two sentences until you get them just right. Both days belong in the writing life. Some days you may watch a “Doctor Who” marathon or become immersed a book that is so good you can’t stop reading. Some days you may be in love or in mourning. Those days belong in the writing life, too. Live them without guilt.