It wasn’t the best weekend of my life. My friend, my mentor, my writing ‘Big Brother’, Nick Pollotta, lost the good fight. He’s now on the next part of his journey.
I can’t say I knew him well, or that I was part of his inner circle. There are those who mourn him more than I do, knew him better, have more memories to console them. Me? I’m just a fan who got lucky when he took her under his wing.
I’d decided months ago that my next book, “Mark of the Successor”, would be dedicated to him. I even put in a quote from a small conversation on FaceBook that he and I’d had. While the casual reader won’t have a clue what it means, it meant something to me. And, I hope, would’ve meant something to him.
A few weeks ago, I let his wife in on the dedication. My thought was to enlist her aid to make sure he saw it when the book released. I have her words that it would’ve touched him a great deal, even though he’ll now never read it himself. There’s a little bit of comfort in that.
I have every intention on continuing with the dedication as it reads now. I don’t plan on adding anything additional. If I’m truly lucky, maybe Nick’ll decide to come haunt me a bit.
I never met him in person. Only heard his voice via a few podcast interviews he did that I was able to listen in on. But he was ever so generous with his advice to me, even before I was published. He gave me an insight into this business that remains priceless. When I got my first contract offer, I sent him a message. I was hoping he could let me know what he wished he’d done differently now, after years in the business, that I could do at the start of my career. He’s been someone I could go to with questions about how to present myself as an author, develop the public persona, deal with the ethics of reviews.
My last message from him was less than a week ago. I’d finally posted the particulars of my new job with Solstice on my FB page (the ‘normal’ one, not my ‘official author’ one), and he offered me his congratulations.
I’ll admit it. As the Solstice Shadows line is for paranormal books, I was really hoping I’d see his name on a book in my slush pile one day. That would’ve been a big day for me as an EIC, to read a new submission from one of my favorite authors.
Last night, I did a Sending. Not that he needed the help going on this new journey of his. I’ve never seen anything in him that led me to think he was lost. But it helped me let go. The pain is still there. It’s not nearly as sharp as what his wife or family feel. I can’t even imagine the hole he’s left in their lives.
I do, though, feel a sense of obligation. I need to repay in kind the grace he showed me. I don’t have a huge fan base. Maybe I never will. But I need to be as generous, kind, and open to helping any author who might contact me as he was towards me. He showed me an amazing amount of support and encouragement, and it would do a disservice to his memory if I couldn’t show that to others.
Be well, my friend. Let there be peace for you at last. The #1 Minion of Team Tuna Fish will continue the work you started.